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  • Rev. Brandon Rich

Survived Winter!

I took the winter off from posting in Weddings and Weight Loss, but now I’m back. For those who have followed my journey, you might be curious how I’m doing. On July 29, 2020 I hit my goal weight of 185 pounds, which was a 120-pound weight loss. Starting that day, I switched from weight loss mode to maintenance mode. You may be wondering how I’ve done. You may think that a winter hiatus from writing means I gained a bunch of weight. Well, no, not at all!

As the summer of 2020 gave way to fall, I actually lost another 10 pounds, putting me at 175. That was not intentional, but I was happy to have a nice buffer going into a very food-heavy fall, which starts with my birthday in October and runs through Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and then my partner’s February birthday. Winter offers its own challenges with fewer opportunities to walk outside, especially in late February 2021 when Nashville was encased in ice and snow and the whole city (and region) was shut down, and I was house-bound for an entire week! Winter is also when Girl Scout Cookies arrive, and that is one indulgence I will not renounce! Even with my hard-won weight loss, I still order my Girl Scout Cookies by the case. I’m happy and relieved to report that I’ve maintained 100% of my weight loss. Now that the days are longer and warmer, it’s easier to get my walking laps outside. This week alone I’ve walked over 33 miles and that was between Sunday and Thursday. My weekly weight average is falling back down into the mid 170s after have been in the mid 180s during the coldest and darkest part of winter 2021.

Weight loss was hard. Going from 305 lbs to 185 lbs (then down to 175 lbs) was a long and arduous road that required difficult calorie restriction, daily lap-walking and a full year to accomplish. As hard as it was, do you know what is more difficult that weight loss? Maintenance! Maintaining my weight loss is actually much more difficult than losing all that weight. Losing all the weight did take a lot of work, but at its core, it was a simple formula. Eat less, walk more, thereby creating a daily calorie deficit (burning more calories than consumed every day) and maintain that plan for an extended period of time, and weight loss followed. At a certain point, I was on auto-pilot. Once I got to my goal weight, the metaphor changed from the easy “auto-pilot” to “walking a tight rope”—constantly adjusting my walking and my eating, trying to achieve a balance where I am neither losing weight nor gaining weight. That’s actually why I lost another ten pounds from my 185 goal down to 175. I’m always the “err on the side of caution” type, so three months after I reached my goal, I was down ten more pounds. The food-heavy winter holidays combined with short days and cold weather prevented me from dipping any lower than 175. I spent so much money on clothes and alterations in 2020 that I really can’t afford to lose any more weight, so 175 is my floor—and 185 is my ceiling. As long as I am inside that 10-pound range, I’m happy.

Please know that it is worth the effort to lose your excess weight. It is worth the extreme effort to maintain weight loss. All of the weight-related ailments that afflicted me as a heavy man disappeared. I had knee, foot and ankle pain. I had digestive issues and pain. I had mobility issues. I had poor self-esteem—I was deeply ashamed of how I looked. All of those issues evaporated when the weight went away. Every part of my life is better now. You can experience that too! Is it difficult? Yes. Does it take a long time? Yes. Is it worth it? YES!

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