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Maintenance Success Story

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Wow, so it's been almost a year since the last check in. I'll spare you most of the long story. I met and fell madly in love with an amazing woman. Pretty cool, right? Well, it happened at a rather messy time in my life and to complicate matters further, she lives in Ireland. The story is a bit wild, but we met on Facebook in a diet and fitness group. It started innocently enough. Things stayed on topic, but escalated to personal questions in private messages. We had so much in common and the things we didn't were intriguing (the Irish are great!). It was a confusing situation for both of us. There were ridiculously strong feelings for someone and we never met. It was a crazy thing to process in our minds. We skyped and texted for hours a day. With the time difference, she was up until the wee hours of the morning every day.

It was obvious this relationship had to enter reality, so I booked my tickets to Ireland last April. Talk about nerves! I was more emotionally invested in her than any other real life relationship, but we both knew that there was a huge unknown before us. Would we like each other in 'real life'? Let's just say the chemistry was there, it was beyond there. She ended up coming back to the states with me on my return trip home.

Sadly, she had to go back to Ireland, but that couple of weeks was the best time we'd ever had. By the end of her stay, we found our dream home and talked about marriage. In July, we moved into our dream and were married in that house. (Yes, I skipped a lot in between).

It's not happily ever after yet. I'm writing you from Dublin. My wife's son needed permission from his father to move to the states. The father/son relationship is strained, at best, but this still involved a court battle. It was settled in October and we're moving back home in July of this year. But the stress isn't over yet as we still have to wait for her green card. This can take six months if you're very lucky and most folks take over a year. We started the process in December, so we're hoping to be closer to six months. This is all very stressful. The process is difficult and very expensive and then there is no guarantee that the green card is granted. I'm staying with my inlaws on top of that. lol (actually, they're great)

OK, well that was all longer than I wanted it to be, but it served two purposes.

First, this last year has been the most emotionally difficult time in my life. There were some major ups and downs. It had life changing effects and some very difficult decisions and risks were taken. Routine was completely out the window. There were long stretches of heavy drinking and little to no exercise, but thanks to what I learned from this website and the people here, I knew how to keep it managed. I wouldn't say I made the healthiest choices all of the time, but I learned reasonable substitution. I could keep my calories down and my protein reasonable to keep my hunger managed and my weight relatively stable. I knew this life situation wasn't permanent, but life gets in the way of the best laid plans and having the knowledge from being a part of this group is what I attribute a lot of my maintenance success to. Thank you all for that.

Second, I'm happy to report that me and my new wife have a gym membership and she's been lifting heavy for the last couple of months with me. Now she's not new to the heavy barbell, but her progression is nothing short of awesome. She's classified as "advanced" in every major lift! And I've been no slouch. I'm still battling a nagging back from time to time, but I hit a PR on the bench press yesterday. My squat and deadlift are progressing and I'm not too far off of where I was at my peak in July 2013. We have our home gym ready for us when we get back home too!

I'm happy to say that I'm not coming back to tell you I'm off the wagon and need help. I'm here to say that with the tools and ideas I learned here, even when life was tough, I knew enough to keep close to the wagon. Also, with nearly a year off of lifting, within about 2 months, things are back to where they were. So you don't have to always be on. You can take long breaks, keep reasonably close to your desired calorie and macronutrient goals and still maintain. I feel lucky that my goal for years was to simplify this effort. The illusion of complex exercise schemes and magic diets pervades the mindset in fitness communities and I believe swipes success out of people's hands. Some smart dude named Albert said "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." I attribute maintenance success to the simple mindset of the people I've surrounded myself with in this community. Thank you all and in particular the maintenance group here.

I'll end it with a picture of the bride and groom. :)

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Congratulations on your new love and family!! emoticon
    1751 days ago
    @PROVERBS31JULIA. Thanks again for checking in. A lot of year spent in Ireland was about "business". lol. I had to work and deal with immigration and other shiddy situations. But we did manage to take a few trips for sure. Like her mother always said "Anywhere in Ireland is gorgeous ... if you can get the weather" ... that's quite a huge 'if'. lol.

    Glad to hear you enjoyed your time. That's all that counts. If you're going back, I highly recommend the Cliffs of Moher. You can always take a step back in time on the Aran Islands. I'd like to check out Giants Causeway, that was something I didn't make it to.

    I can't get dual citizenship, no. I don't live there. lol. I don't even think my wife can. She's counting the days until she can became a U.S. citizen. I believe you have to have a parent in one country and the other to get dual, so her son can as his father still lives in Ireland.
    1960 days ago
    Ahhh yes, I do remember something about Ireland. Sorry I hadn't kept up with you as much (not that you write all that often anyway...)..

    We just returned from our second trip to Ireland - we went in October of 2014 and saw the Giant's Causeway as our big trip during that visit, and this year we took my mom in late September and returned here the 7th. So of course we had to retrace our steps to Giant's Causeway to show her what we liked last year. We also went out to Cliffs of Mohr and to Blarney Castle (where we did NOT kiss the Blarney Stone) and then later in the week, to Trim Castle (where we learned that we were wise to refrain from kissing the Blarney Stone - whew! Who knew?). Also went back to Waterford and then spent a little time in Cork (since Blarney Castle is closest there.). Still too much to do and see, and I really have a clearer reason why else I need to develop strength and lose the weight - as I could not climb all the way up Blarney Castle steps etc (plus I was wearing a long skirt and having an allergy fit in my "good" eye and wearing high heels so it was kind of an asinine idea. But it was kicking my thighs for a couple days afterwards, ai yi!)... We were predominantly in Co Meath, in Ashbourne, and so we went to Newgrange this year (we went to Knowth last year because Newgrange was booked up the day we went.).

    So anyway, this doesn't hold a candle to your awesome experiences. I guess if I had remembered, I would have sent you a note here before we left this last trip. But I don't mind to go back to Ireland again!! Hope it all works out for you two. And can you get dual citizenship ?? Or would you even want to, I guess. Oh well. I've no idea how often you check here.

    1961 days ago
    Thanks for sharing your story. Congratulations on maintaining your success despite all you went through.
    2151 days ago
  • HAIL_10_

    PS! Hey Bill! Congratulations! emoticon
    2170 days ago
    Congratulations on the wedding, the great love adventure and the weight / fitness control!
    emoticon emoticon
    2193 days ago
  • BOB240
    you both look terrific!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    lly - Irish women are best..just a personal opinion... but watch out for their tongue!!.. They have a wit that can cut a man in half at 20 paces!!!
    2199 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/25/2015 2:50:26 PM
    Congratulations BB!
    You've found someone who shares your dreams, that's marvelous. And she' beautiful!

    Good assessment about the maintenance process.
    Learning to roll with life without self destructing is key. This site definitely has all the tools needed.

    Wishing you well. Keep in touch.
    2200 days ago
    You have had an exciting year, and you both look great. I'm sure it will all work out fine in the end. Congratulations!
    2200 days ago
    Tough as your year has been, it has turned out a lot better than many international couples. Many congrats!
    2200 days ago
    What an incredible story! And a gorgeous couple you make. Blessings and best wishes to you.
    2200 days ago
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