a 2014 weight/fitness resolution check-in

I had big dreams for 2014.  Big dreams for myself in 2014.  I got on a roll with running in 2013 and completed Couch to 5k. Running had always scared me because of my less-than-stellar knees.  No, I didn’t play sports…no I didn’t have a car accident or an injury. I just inherited really crappy knees.
So I was surprised that the more I ran, the less they bothered me.  Maybe getting 25 pounds off was what helped my knees.  Who knows.  I learned to like running. I won’t say I loved it. I kind of hate it during but love the feeling of accomplishment afterwards. It’s euphoria when I am able to push myself to meet or surpass a goal. I’m not and don’t ever plan to be a long distance runner. The furthest I’ve ever ran continuously is three and a half miles.  I was completely okay with that distance, but I wanted to just be consistently getting good, challenging exercise.
For 2014, I planned to run 25 miles per month or a total of 300 miles this year.  Unfortunately, in the first 6 weeks of 2014, I also experienced some unplanned obstacles. Like 2 separate stomach bugs, the flu, and 2 separate rounds of strep throat.  I ran 15 miles in during the month of January somehow but obviously fell short of the 25 mile goal I needed to hit to stay on track for running 300 miles for the year.
February rolled around and I ran again but there was trouble. Not far into my run, I had a debilitating pain in my left knee.  I tried to walk it off and run again but the pain got worse. Nothing popped or snapped, I never knew where the pain was coming from or why it was happening. I gave up after three attempts that day and decided to let my knee rest. That week, my knee hurt… all the time.  Standing up from my chair at work. Walking towards the back of the grocery store.  I was really worried. I continued to rest it. I ran once in March and it was a little better, but still hurt. 
By this point I was wondering if my running days were over. I was debating seeing an orthopedist but didn’t have much luck the last time I went to one. They wanted to do an MRI that would be $1800 out of pocket and we were in the middle of moving so I put it off and eventually my knees stopped bothering me as much. 
I fell in April, badly scraping both knees, which gave me another excuse not to run. About a week after the fall, I noticed that I hadn’t had any (internal) knee pain. I waited for another week for the scrapes to heal and could no longer resist the urge to run.  I was able to run over two miles and have been running off and on ever since then, but not with the consistency I would like.  Some days my knees hurt a little, some days they hurt a lot.  Occasionally…rarely, they don’t hurt at all.  
I’ve given up on my dream of running 300 miles this year – obviously – but I still like getting some exercise every day one way or another. Lately it’s been too humid for me to run. I’m just not that hardcore and it’s too hard to breathe.

My weight has crept up a little as I haven’t been watching what I eat as well as I used to. Well – I’m still watching. I’m still using MyFitnessPal to log calories and exercise daily.  I have just been eating a lot more of what I WANT than what I should.  My original goal was to lose 20-24 pounds and last year my weight loss hovered around 25-27 pounds.  I’m back to about a 21-22 pound loss, which is okay, but I liked 26 a whole lot better! 

So I’d love to hear any ideas people have about keeping motivation high long-term in order to keep the pounds AWAY long term.  Maintaining just isn’t as fun or rewarding as losing, ya know? Neither is gaining.  If anyone has had long-term success at keeping weight off, please feel free share your tips and secrets. It’s so easy to slip into old habits.