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Published March 15, 2012, 11:30 PM

Holt: Roller coaster of long-term weight loss

Recently I told a friend I feel weird telling people I’ve lost 100 pounds because I’m still a big girl.

By: Meredith Holt, INFORUM

Recently I told a friend I feel weird telling people I’ve lost 100 pounds because I’m still a big girl.

I worry they’ll size me up and think, “Whoa, what’d she look like before?!”

(I’m quick to add that I want to lose at least 50 more.)

My friend texted back: “Stop taking away from your accomplishments. Just be happy that it’s 100 pounds you’ve left behind.”

I may have shed the pounds, but the psychological damage remains.

I’ve always been hard on myself, and, to an extent, it’s helped me succeed.

But my inner critic snipes, “Well, if you’d been even harder on yourself, you wouldn’t have let your weight spiral out of control.”

I go back and forth almost every day between feeling proud and ashamed.

During a pedicure a year ago, I noticed my “cankles” had once again become ankles. Welcome back, ladies!

My lower legs may be stronger, tighter and more defined, but my thighs are covered in cellulite, stretch marks and loose skin. (Oh yeah, there’s physical damage, too).

I renewed my driver’s license a couple days after my 28th birthday, and felt good that I didn’t have to lie (as much) about my weight.

I hope by the time it expires on May 24, 2015, I’m down to one chin.

I spent most of September searching for a dress to wear to a formal event.

Finally, I thought I’d found the perfect one: It hid everything I wanted to hide and accentuated everything I wanted to accentuate. It even had that “wow” factor.

No matter how much pushing, pulling and tugging I (and a couple friends) did, I couldn’t get the zipper up the last 3 inches. So back to Herberger’s it went.

Some days I feel empowered after a grueling workout, but then I’ll get an ugly reminder of how far I have yet to go.

Shaking off a set of 50-pound kettlebell squats, I’ll notice my “bat wings” hanging out of my favorite Beastie Boys T-shirt, or I’ll catch sight of my gut in the mirror while climbing off the inclined leg press and think, “Oh, yeah, that’s who I am. Still.”

I smiled through the sweat the day I graduated from “girl” pushups to “regular” pushups. But pull-ups are still out of the question. Unassisted ones, anyway.

I broke down in the middle of one of my first workouts with a personal trainer. I felt so ridiculous huffing and puffing through drills. But I finished.

The other day I ate a green-sprinkled cookie and a red-velvet cupcake and then cried in the gym parking lot. But I wiped away my tears, grabbed my gym bag, and walked inside. Every slip-up is fixable.

Last week, I threw about 1,000 punches with my trainer. By the second or third round, my body felt weak and my arms heavy, but I kept going.

I guess I’ve learned that no matter how exhausted, defeated or discouraged I feel, there’s always a little more fight left in me.

Weight loss is all relative.

A few months after I started, I wrote this in an online support group: “catielynn: WOW! You’ve lost almost 100 pounds! That’s AWESOME! I hope I can get that far, too.”

Forum reporter Meredith Holt will share stories of her weight-loss journey in her column, which will run the third Friday of each month in SheSays.