The day has come and I have to admit, I am overwhelmed.  I have been using dietbet for over a year now to lose 40 pounds and get back to a weight I am happy with... but now what?

I started on Dietbet in October 2014 at 174 pounds.  I had lost 4 pounds at that point from a high point of 178, though I am not sure how accurate that scale really was.  After the first bet I got a new scale and it weighed me a couple pounds higher.  Not only was my weight frustrating for me, my body shape had changed.  I was used to being somewhat broad in the shoulders but overall pretty balanced on top and bottom.  That's what I was used to and suddenly (or well, not SO suddenly really) I found myself more bottom heavy.  In fact, my shirt size never changed much, but my pants size sure did!  It was hard finding clothing I felt flattered my figure when all the styles I had been used to wearing just did not.  On top of this, I just was out of shape.  As someone who grew up dancing and doing gymnastics, even well into adulthood, this was not something I was used to.

When I started DietBet I also started watching my carbs in addition to my calories.  And it worked!  I won my first dietbet, and just kept going.  I would take a few weeks or a month off of bets here and there, but overall I have been on bets more than not.  I only wish I had joined a transformer before I was 10% away from my final goal weight!  But that's OK.  DietBets kept me accountable, kept me on track, gave me a support system, and also a really GREAT excuse to not eat those bad things at social gatherings ("Are you going to pay me the $ I could be losing if I eat/drink that?" works really well!) Without it I feel sure I would have given up.  This wasn't the first time I had tried to get myself back to what felt like "me" and always I would last a couple months and then be out.  This time I was determined, plus I like money and hate losing it!  So it was very notivating for me.

And now here I am, after just weighing out of 3 kickstarters and a transformer yesterday and at my own personal goal weight (5 pounds above my "stretch" goal, if we're being perfectly honest, but 5 pounds under where I started to feel like I was back in my own body again.)  I am 20 pounds below where I was on my wedding day!  One of the things motivating me to lose weight was being able to fit into my AMAZING wedding dress again to renew my vows and now I am too SMALL to fit into it!

Here's the good news- I appear to have developed some good habits!  While I am considering what I want to eat, I am still reaching mostly for my same foods I was eating to lose weight.  For me that means higher in fat and protein and lower in carbs.  I have been snacking a tiny bit on some things I rarely let myself have while losing (Doritos so far) But I am finding I only want a few.  Not the larger quantities I used to eat.  I am nervous I will slip back into my eating patterns but my plan is to keep checking my weight and tracking my food to see how things are going.

I did have a bit of a fast food feast last night in celebration of my winning my last bets I was in.  I still weighed in at my personal goal weight this morning, which admittedly is about a pound over my yesterday weight.  I do plan to be less strict with my diet.  I am likely to start eating more pizza again, an adding back things like tortillas and bread instead of just eating what normally would go inside.  I am both looking forward to this and dreading the possible effects on my weight.  

I am also considering the effects of exercise on my maintenance.  I know I will continue to be active because that is the lifestyle I currently live.  I swim or hike (often both) every week.  But what about focused workouts?  I'm not sure how much I will continue to do.  I enjoy feeling in shape, and have found the more in shape I become the even more in shape I want to be but I don't know for me if that is enough motivation.  I guess we will see!

There's so many unknowns.  I was always thin without trying, and most of the weight crept on over years.  Now that I am back at a weight that feels like me, it will be a learning curve to see what I need to do to STAY here, where I can loosen the reins and where I will need to stay strict with myself.  Here goes nothing trying to stay on track on my own waiting for the maintainer game to come out of beta!