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Get off the merry-go-round

Monday, August 20, 2012


GOING4HEALTHY, a member of the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance (AG&M+TM) team recently described what used to be her annual loss and regain cycle:

- Dec 31: begin weight loss
- March: achieve goal weight
- Sept: lose all motivation
- Oct, Nov: pack the pounds on
- Dec 31: let the games begin...again!

How many of us can relate to this? I sure can. My own Gain-Loss-Regain experiences havenít always been annual in nature, but Iíve definitely experienced what she describes, in terms of waxing and waning motivation. And weíre not alone, because 80-95% of people who reach goal weight donít manage to stay there, either.

Not only does this yo-yo take a toll on us physically, but as GOING4HEALTHY said, even *thinking* about this cycle can be exhausting.

So, how and when do you get off?

One option is to simply give up and get off at the top of the cycle. Iíve done that. Where I landed wasnít pretty. Or healthy. Life was easier in the sense that I didnít bother much with thinking about what or how much food I ate, or what kinds of physical activity I did.

Life was harder in a bunch of other ways, like trying to find chairs that wouldnít collapse and without arms, asking for seat belt extenders on airplanes, the pain of arthritis and plantar fasciitis, etc. I lived there for about 15 years.

Another option is to get off at the bottom of the cycle. Iíve done that too. Itís actually kind of hard to get off at the very bottom, because thereís usually a little bounce ~3 lbs when I go from a deficit into maintenance. Down here, I definitely have to stay on top of my food and exercise to avoid sliding back onto the ride. On the other hand there are lots of cool things I can do here, that I canít do at the other end.

And then you can also get off in the middle somewhere, either on your way back down or on your way back up, where you might not need to be so vigilant about your food and exercise, but yet life can also be somewhat manageable.

All of these options are choices. None of them are a failure, as long as youíre DECIDING thatís where you want to be. If you find you are NOT where you want to be, then you need to get back on, and choose your stop. And then get off and work to stay there, if it is a stop that requires work.

You donít have to do this alone. Most of us have been through this, ourselves. In fact, 80-95% of us are STILL going through it.

The remaining 5-20% of us who are NOT going through this anymore are a minority, but weíre right here on SparkPeople.com, and we want to help.

The AG&M+TM team has lots of people who understand what this cycle is like, and we also understand what weíve needed to do to break it.

- It requires wrapping your mind around maintenance, well before you reach your goal. The ride isnít going to stop for you, so you have to plan where youíre going to jump off and how, without hurting yourself.

- You will be dizzy and need to sit down and wait a bit for the world to stop spinning.

- Then you will need to start taking the first wobbly steps you planned for staying at your desired place.

We can help you with all of that.

And we can help you (as we routinely help each other) to stay focused and engaged so that all of us are less likely to slide back onto that exhausting ride. And if we start slipping, everyone reaches their hands out to help pull us back onto solid ground.

Come see us.
And bring your friends. We may be a minority here on SparkPeople.com, but what we have to offer is huge. We can offer our help and experience with the one thing that ALL of the weight loss folks here aspire to - a way to get off and stay off the merry-go-round.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIMBOLEAN 12/5/2012 1:39PM


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CHERRYALLIE 11/15/2012 1:44PM

    Thank you for sharing. Your words are so helpful, even if I don't always respond to them in words. emoticon

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SSUSMITA 11/14/2012 10:30AM

    Holiday time = emoticon
That's what it is to me! emoticon

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COOKINGSTARS 11/13/2012 4:35PM


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EMILYDOODLE 11/12/2012 10:24PM

  thanks for the blog! very true, very hard to stay on maintenance. alot of exercise and most of the time eating the right foods!

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LIBBYL1 11/11/2012 10:43PM

  I am almost there! the maintenance thing....and am starting now to get my mind around it - and planning treats for the extra calories I will be allowed and how I will (in my mind at least) keep on exercising at the gym

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MANILUS 11/11/2012 11:27AM

    A lot of truth in this, thanks for sharing!

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MILLIE5522 11/10/2012 2:15PM

    Great blog and so helpful! I have only been maintaining for just under 2 months so it's early days for me yet. My real test will be around Xmas. I will definitely need the support of this wonderful group around that time! emoticon = emoticon = emoticon

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11TERRY20 11/10/2012 12:46PM

    New to the team, here. I am so impressed. You put it so succinctly.


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    Anja, I appreciate so much all you do to support those of us trying to maintain a weight loss. I like all your stats and knowledge. Whenever I need to know something, I always know who to ask. I also appreciated all your suggestions about my upcoming trip to NYC for the Today show. I'm going to be using many of them, starting with getting the name and cell phone number of a contact person at my local NBC affiliate where I am going next week to record the voice-over. (Emily from Today Show sent it to me.) Like you, Omaha is at least an hour from my home, and I sure don't want to have to make the trip twice since it involves taking time off from work, etc. You looked so good when you were on the show, I know I can never be that attractive, but I'm sure going to try!! Thanks again for your help in maintenance and NYC!!!

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CELIAMINER 11/9/2012 11:45AM

    The bottom of the cycle is where I want to STAY this time, and what is helping me is all the support from other maintainers like you.

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POPSY190 11/8/2012 9:13PM

    Great blog!

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    Great blog! It certainly is NEVER OVER! This is a lifelong comittment and we are in it for the long haul! You are such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing with us.

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TUBLADY 11/8/2012 4:05PM

    I threw away my YO YO and know that way of keeping fit doesn't work in the long tun, plus very unhealthy. When i lost 200 lbs in less than 2 years. Some thought it was only temporary. But 17 months later I am holding and have no intention of ever again being obese. Plus it's too late in my life, I'm almost 71 to keep starting over.
Life is too good, life is what it should be, am living my life at the pace and activity I always expected too. Although for 14 obese , disabled years I thought I had lost my way.
When you embark on any weight loss program its got a start, but in a sense there is no end. You might stop losing, but the habits that you set in place the same rules that enabled you to lose have to be applied to maintain that weight.
I still track, I exercise everyday. I raised my calories, but if my7 activity level goes down I adjust calories to balance it all out.
Being successful is be aware at all times.
Whats more important to you, ?? Health and fitness, or food?
For me it's a no brainer. I choose my healthy, active, fit looking good life.
I hope all can achieve the success I have.
Be strong, stay positive,
Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ADRIENALINE 11/8/2012 2:30PM

    Great blog. So motivating!

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SUSIEMT 11/8/2012 2:26PM

    You are so right! Keep up the good work!

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JEWELY_ROADS 11/8/2012 1:27PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 11/8/2012 11:40AM

    Great discussion of a problem area for just about everyone! You make such a great team leader because you have been through everything big time. You can give out sage advice so that maybe, just maybe, we can avoid the same pitfalls and just relax and enjoy our maintenance minus the yo yo.
Thank you for this!! Amazing job on how far you have come too! If you can do it, no one else should have any excuse not to do it as well!

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SUZYMOBILE 11/8/2012 8:38AM

    Great blog! I, too, am really happy to have found this team because I have a mini-merry-go-round of my own. It's only about 8 pounds up and down, but I'm just about at the bottom of that range now and will need to learn again how to stay there. I suspect the "how" changes from year to year, but I know this team and its leader can help me figure it out once and for all!

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LOGOULD 11/8/2012 8:31AM

    WOW....what a GREAT blog! I, for one, am off the merry-go-round! Maintenance may be another type of ride all together - maybe a gentle roller coaster (of motivation/effort and results), but hopefully as I go along the ride will smooth out even more to something more akin to a train cruising along with just an occasional jostle. Thank you so much for all you do for this team and Spark. You're devotion and efforts are appreciated and admirable.

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EAGLEMOMX3 11/8/2012 8:20AM

    Great blog and great team! Wish I had found it a year ago when I hit my goal weight. It would have made this year a lot easier!

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KANOE10 11/8/2012 7:34AM

    Great blog. I am staying off that merry go round. Having the support of AGM & TM members is so helpful to maintenance.

Great job on getting out of the yo-yo pattern and leading a healthy life!

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AMARILYNH 11/8/2012 6:58AM

    You did an awesome job of describing the feelings that accompany the yoyo cycle - one I went through many times (TOO many!) before making it to maintenance. Maintenance still isn't easy for me but its so much more rewarding than the old cycle. Not to mention the joy of still fitting in the clothes I wore a year ago!! emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 11/8/2012 6:57AM

    It is a great team! Thanks for all you are doing to grow and highlight this powerful team. I have no doubt that there will be more maintainers on SP because of you and the efforts of those you have motivated. Thanks for this great blog! Congrats on all your travels and physical feats. Impressive!!

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MIRAGE727 11/8/2012 6:55AM

    As always, a stellar blog! Anja, you have been a major factor in my maintenance on this journey! Thank you for the motivation, the inspiration, and guidance!

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HOLLY255255 11/8/2012 6:44AM

    Well written and very true!!

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DIDMIS 11/8/2012 5:40AM


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NEW-CAZ 11/8/2012 5:18AM

    Great blog. I am so pleased I've found the team- so supportive

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ELLEKTRA 11/8/2012 5:08AM

    Great read! Thank you ma'am!

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MJZHERE 9/14/2012 7:43PM

  These dates are the exact cycle I was on (take or give a year here and there) - and for 40+ years I didn't even recognize that is what the problem was!

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BOOKWORM27S 9/3/2012 10:57AM

    Fantastic! I can so relate to this....

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IRISHF 8/24/2012 9:23PM

    Thanks for writing this blog, and I enjoyed the video from your TV appearance! I would have liked it if they would have had you explain your tips yourself. :)

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NAVYMOM133 8/24/2012 10:01AM

    Excellent blog that came at a very good time!! At Goal and Maintaining is a fantastic team and you are a daily inspiration.

Thank you!!

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TINAJANE76 8/22/2012 7:18PM

    Excellent! So many of us have been on that merry-go-round and it's high time we got off and stayed off.

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HIKERBECKY 8/22/2012 1:57PM

    Thanks for this post! Here is my unfortunate mind set, I have to get up early every day and workout/eat healthy then once I reach my goal I can stop and go back to eating fast food and sitting on the couch.... Yeah not going to be too successful. I need to learn to change my mindset and think about lifestyle change. Not temporary lifestyle change. Logically I get it, but someplace in the back of my mind I think okay I just have to do this healthy thing for a while.... Guess I need to look at it like a 12 step program, one day at a time. A lifetime is a bit overwhelming but, just for today I will eat right and move more. Going to check out your team now! again thanks for sharing.

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BLUE42DOWN 8/21/2012 2:03PM

    = You will be dizzy and need to sit down and wait a bit for the world to stop spinning. =

That line right there really made a lot of sense. Weight loss takes time, quite a lot of time. And "getting off" is a big change in mindset and routine, a gap of time and energy without a focus. Is it any wonder it is dizzying?

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KAYOTIC 8/21/2012 9:55AM

    I "liked" it too! Great stuff 4A, thanks for being so great at summarizing all the ins and outs, and ups and downs we go through. I will say, although I have technically been "maintaining" for a long time, it's gotten easier on SparkPeople, as I am thinking about my healthy habits more, and continue to grow and learn how to make it easier to maintain them. It's always about choice, you choose what to eat, you choose to move or not to move and how you move, be it walking, running, biking or kayaking! You choose what weight is comfortable for you, and you can change that too if you find you were wrong on your first (or second, or third) guess.

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WATERMELLEN 8/21/2012 8:53AM

    Wow! Powerful blog!! I "liked" this one for sure!!

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DDOORN 8/21/2012 8:30AM

    Maintenance is crucial and oh-so-TOUGH! Thx for pulling together such wisdom & expertise!


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DAISYBELL6 8/21/2012 7:44AM

    I was 10 pounds from my goal weight and stayed that way for a year. I have now slowly put on another 5 pounds over the last few months. I am not where I want to be, but I could stay here. Its a lot better than being 270 pounds. I have the choice. I have the resources. (AG&M+TM)

I choose to keep working toward goal. I have established healthy habits in food and exercise. They are comfortable now. I can do this! I refuse to get back on the Merry go Round!

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ANDASI 8/21/2012 6:14AM

    Thank you for writting this blog. At the moment i dont belong to any teams but i will check out this team. I thought maybie i was getting a bit ahead of myself by thinking of maintenance at such an early stage of my loss but i wanted to do someting diffrent from past times of loosing. In the past maintenance never really entered my mind so much i was too excited about the loosing and as soon as i hit goal i almost instantly have gained fast and fearce. Ive been reading more and more how difficult maintenance can be so i really want to get an idea what to prepare for. And also learning from the people who have been there done that during loss and maintenance.


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SWEDE_SU 8/20/2012 11:25PM

    that merry go round totally describes me, except off by a few months - i'm active through the fall, and work piles on in the winter, and the resolution comes about 3 months later as the days get longer that now it's time to do something about it. and as usual, i did something about it and with SP succeeded better than ever before. and it is so wonderful to know there is a place for maintainers - and to realize that the merry go round can stop, the weight does not have to come back on like it has so many times before. this AG&M+TM may be the most supportive team yet!

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BESTSUSIEYET 8/20/2012 10:46PM

    This team is Great! And the leaders are so helpful! I am one who has maintained for 3.5 years, but remembers the past (when I had kept the weight off for years, and then under stress, I went back to my old habits and regained all the lost pounds). I am learning to stay healthy rather than being on the Merry Go Round!

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WOLFKITTY 8/20/2012 10:20PM

    Am I allowed to join the team? (I just did anyway)... I ask because I've had a lot of maintenance questions, especially the past two years, and I've seen glimpses of the *kind* of struggles I might face, and ways around them.


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TRAVELGRRL 8/20/2012 10:10PM

    Since I've been on Spark I've lost the same 25 pounds TWICE. I'm a really slow loser so it's discouraging to go through all that effort for naught.

I really appreciate the name change and the WARM welcome to the team. I'm definitely wrapping my brain around the idea of maintaining, no matter what the number is. Even maintaining at my current weight would be a success over what happened last year!

Thank you for giving me a new perspective. I definitely will be joining the team as I transition into maintenance!


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GOING4MUSCLE 8/20/2012 9:22PM

    Wow, I have my name in lights! emoticon

Yea, I'm sure glad I finally got off that "merry go round", as it was very draining. Not only physically, but mentally, also. Plus, I was always so very embarrassed about my continual failure, in keeping the weight OFF.

Just happy I discovered *my* answer to what was preventing me from being the success I knew I could be.

We ALL have the ability to do the same. emoticon

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NANCYANNE55 8/20/2012 8:42PM

    I'm glad I've found the team. After I reached maintenance I suddenly didn't have many peers. :-)

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LESLIELENORE 8/20/2012 8:30PM

    Thanks for your words. I needed to hear them. I am trying to prepare myself mentally for maintenance. It is actually a little scary, but I can't wait. I will have to check out the team.

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Will Horton hear OUR Whos??? Maintainers ARE HERE.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I was saddened to see a feature on the front page of SparkPeople.com today.


It is a feature that was written five years ago (the first comments date back to November 2007) listing 5 "secrets" of the "elusive" 5% of successful maintainers. Who "prefer to stay relatively unknown."

Although I am glad they recycle this column at all (at least it addresses maintenance), I am very sorry to hear that our At Goal and Maintaining team of 16,300 is practically invisible.

I am sorry that the community at SparkPeople.com are exposed to a 5-year old feature every six months that lists strategies with no scientific basis, and no links for people seeking additional help or information about maintenance. A feature that portrays maintainers as people who would prefer to stay in the shadows and keep to themselves. This is a disservice. We can do so much better.

Three weeks ago I burned a perfectly good vacation day off work that I would have preferred to spend kayaking so I could go on national TV (at SP's request) and advertise them and address maintenance.

That doesn't include the time it took to drive an hour each way to two different local affiliates to record the audio part of the segment, gas money for those trips and to the airport, not to mention airport parking fees, the cost of buying healthy meals in Manhattan, etc. The flight, transport between the airport and the hotel, and one night at a hotel were paid for.

Nor does this include the humiliation of having all those very unflattering "before" photos available to the world. On the internet. Forever. Post weight-loss discrimination exists, and I have exposed myself to it. See this reference if you do not believe me. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2

Yet I was glad to do all of this, because I think raising the visibility of maintenance is that important.

SparkPeople.com have said that they were very happy with the segment, and that lots of people have joined because of it.

It is just so very disappointing after all this to see SparkPeople.com now put up an old feature that says maintainers are invisible and secretive. What are we? Chopped liver?

Apparently so.

Thank God we maintainers have each other. Because sometimes it sure feels like we're all we've got.

At the very least I would like to see this feature updated with a link to the maintenance teams. Or a link to the somewhat dusty and self-contradictory "Maintaining Your New Weight" Lifestyle Center.

Many of us absolutely do NOT hide away in the shadows, forcing others to figure it out on their own, keeping our "secrets" to ourselves. We would like to help folks so that the statistics do not have to be so dismal, in the first place.

Our longest term maintainer, NELLJONES (41 years and counting), sticks around expressly for the purpose of helping the rest of us out.

I firmly believe that 5% success is the current stat with the current climate and resources and tools available. I think if we can build a supportive maintenance environment to prepare people for the issues they will be facing and help catch them when they fall, that we can change those statistics.

Heck, it helps me, just being able to see that other people are DOING IT day after day after day, for years, through good times and struggles, and hearing about how they feel and cope in the process.

Like those tiny little Whos no one believed existed on Horton's dust speck, perhaps we maintainers need to post comments on that feature, saying "WE ARE HERE! WE ARE HERE! WE ARE HERE!"

Because a person is a person, no matter how small.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EMILYDOODLE 8/25/2012 11:24PM

  emoticon emoticon

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STOPPLAYING2011 8/25/2012 12:20AM

    emoticon emoticon blog i like how you used Dr. Seuss story to get your point a cross emoticon

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IRISHF 8/24/2012 9:26PM

    It's the same with Weight Watchers, no real resources for maintainers. I went to WW meetings while at goal for years. People look at you askance, even glare at you, if you show up to a meeting at goal. Makes no sense.

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NUOVAELLE 8/23/2012 3:21AM

    I just followed the link and read the article. Even though some of the strategies mentioned are correct, the contradiction of this article really draws the attention away from everything else! Elusive maintainers, more mysterious than the alien residents of Area 51 who actually... make it public??? What disappointed me even more was the fact that the article was written by Mike Kramer, whose articles are usually very carefully written and offering real-life motivation. I hope he was just trying to be dramatic...
The more I read articles, blogs and posts in the "At Goal and Maintaining" team the more I realize the great job you've done on stressing the importance of maintenance and on helping to make this 5% a much bigger percentage. I believe we're not going to see a big difference in the way maintenance is dealt with in the future - and I really hope I'm proved wrong some day! So, I agree with you, we only have each other.
But I think that's more than enough!

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TINAJANE76 8/19/2012 11:58AM

    We're getting things done and hopefully SparkPeople's management will wake up and see how important it is to make resources for maintainers a priority. Ninety-five percent of us should not have to be restarting this process again and again.

Comment edited on: 8/22/2013 12:18:22 PM

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GOPINTOS 8/19/2012 11:06AM

    Congrats on your progress!!

JMO, I didnt read the article as negative at all. I think it starts out referring to most other 5%, because it goes on to say "At SparkPeople, Iíve witnessed a lot of these 5%ers in action. I wondered, what do they do differently than the rest of us?" and then it goes on to say what the SP 5% general do, with #1 being make it public.

I think you guys are doing great, and I hope to be a member of the club some day. I have been there before, many moons ago... but didnt understand nutrition and what it takes to maintain. Now I do, so I know that once I get there, I will stay there!

Congrats again!! emoticon

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NANCYANNE55 8/19/2012 10:36AM

    Agreed. I'm loud about my maintenance, and very frank about what a struggle it is (it's harder than losing was). I have blogged and vlogged about it several times.

I intend to stay loud. Knowledge and support are power. Spark needs to do more to harness that power, instead of leaving it to us few loud ones to carry by ourselves.

This maintenance thing is WORK!

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SWEDE_SU 8/19/2012 12:04AM

    so well said - before finding the team for maintainers, i had no idea such a "state" existed! and so many of us know about losing (after all, we've done it - again and again - which is why we are back on SP, again and again) but do not even realize that maintaining also requires work! the same competitive nature to lose can be applied to the desire to maintain, to be among the 5% - if people only knew about it! i'm so glad i found the At Goal and Maintaining team - because this time, i'm going to make it!

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SH9719 8/18/2012 5:02PM

    There is such a focus on stats. Each maintainer is important whether they be quiet or vocal. I think that knowing there are successful maintainers out there may help the soon to be maintainers. I think that a lot of us who are thinking ahead worry that all we are doing will be wasted by losing it after we succeed. (I have succeeded twice. Once over 70 lbs.) Each time I lost my focus and rolled back up. Knowing ahead that there are good maintenance plans eases the worry and keeps the momentum for the journey.

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TRYINGHARD54 8/18/2012 7:49AM

    5% sure is low... but im glad your bringing this to our attention...I agree with you.
I lost and gained all my life. Never figured out how to maintain....Hopefully one day I will..

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DOTTY7267 8/17/2012 9:49AM


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INCONTROL247 8/17/2012 12:05AM

    I'm not to the maintaining stage yet and I'm not sure how exactly I stumbled across your blog, but I'm so glad that I did. You're so inspirational. And you got to be on tv, how exciting!! I watched your new story (via the link provided). I think it's excellent that you're here to show people that maintenance is possible. emoticon Thank you for sticking around to help the rest of us out. (And I love your Dr. Seuss reference. emoticon)

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COMETER 8/16/2012 10:49PM

    Where I think you're on the right track is--so it's 5% now, but what if we all got together and changed the climate so that it would be higher? And so here we are, trying to build that supportive environment. Yes, indeed.

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CHRISPYLEE 8/16/2012 5:03PM

    I failed to maintain the first time around.....dropped 80 and within 2 years gained back 50. I am on my way back down to a healthy BMI and NOW i know where to find help on Spark when i get to maintenance again!

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GETFIT2LIVE 8/16/2012 1:21PM

    This is a message that needs to be repeated and repeated and repeated until it's heard loud and clear. Thanks for leading the charge to CHANGE the stats for people maintaining; SparkPeople really is uniquely positioned to help do that.

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BEMORESTUBBORN 8/16/2012 10:41AM

    The secretive part is just creative license to make the opening line tantalizing. Later the writer contradicts that when he says, "The 5% generally donít keep their weight loss efforts to themselves." LOL!

While the article may be old, it's concise and informative, "new" to those who have never read it before and the tips are 100% on the money.

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CELIAMINER 8/16/2012 8:04AM

    I am so happy to be part of the At Goal and Maintaining team because of the support and education I get from you and the other members. Thanks!

- 5% wannabe (3 months maintaining)

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MOMFAN 8/14/2012 11:46AM


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DDOORN 8/14/2012 8:37AM

    Thx for keeping on with the hollering needed to give maintenance the attention which is so badly needed! LOTSA folks are hearing and hoping Horton will too in time! :-)


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MKELLY72 8/13/2012 6:33PM

    I think I had read that article when it was featured once before and thought it was negative, so I have not re-visited it either.
I'm pretty new at maintenance and agree that it is tricky- I had yo-yoed in the past, so I'm always afraid to let my guard down now.
I stick around, because I love to help out anyone I can, and the positive feedback I get from others also helps me to stay grounded and continue to successfully maintain.
Thank you for all that you share!

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JLPEASE 8/13/2012 12:14PM

    I read the article and although it is old, I still found it a useful reminder of where I want to be.
You should be very happy because you are part of the Spark Team that the rest of us would most hope to eventually join!! Certainly the Success Stories on this site have been a major inspiration for many of us.
Since I'm not there yet, I can't say I've been aware of the lack of information and support for those in maintenance. I do hope that SP addresses this before I get there, so thanks for getting the word out.


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NAVYMOM133 8/13/2012 11:47AM

    I am on the "At Goal and Maintaining" team and recently joined the "50+ Maintaners" (though I don't turn 50 till this Sunday - sshh). It is PRECISELY due to these teams that I was able to say I've maintained for one year last month.

I've seen that article several times since I joined in 2008, and it is a disservice to us.

emoticon Sparkpeople, take note! Provide something for your base of maintainers, if not at the very least some credit and pointers to valuable teams!!

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BLKLILY 8/13/2012 11:37AM

    Thanks for posting this and I truly hope Spark Guy gets your message. First of all, the article is outdated and so many people have been maintaining their weight loss since then so why not give us more, fact based, updated information along with, as you pointed out, a link to those maintaining groups. I will admit that I find after those that lose the weight and become maintainers, it is hard to find some of you. It seems they either leave Spark altogether or just stop sharing. I don't know why it seems this way or if some maintainers feel that they are no longer needed when in deed they are.

I am no where near where I want to be so people who are struggling with me are great to have around but I want some one around in the end, during my maintenance as well.

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KAYOTIC 8/13/2012 10:20AM

    Well said, 4A!

Being in the 5% since 1988, it's been a struggle, and you're right the resources out there are slim to none...pardon the pun! but you've really contributed a great deal to the resources available to me and the rest of us in the maintenance sphere, at least here on Spark!


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NANCY- 8/13/2012 9:54AM

    Hooray for you! I want to be one of your Who's.
MAINtaining a healthy lifestyle is the ultimate goal for me and your being here made me aware of that when I reach my weight goal, a journey of maintenance begins. There is no going back to what was or the weight would return.
You and other in your group have inspired me to make changes not just to lose weight but to make healthy changes for life.

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62NVON 8/13/2012 8:29AM

    You are my hero, girl! I found out the hard way that I need the support of other people who are maintaining. We need support as much if not more than those in losing mode!

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    It is generally a terrible article in that it provides generic advice with some contradictions and that wonderful "secret" moniker that is far too common when dispensing "information" about diet and exercise. So they lead off by saying that the 5% are hiding and then they say "The 5% generally donít keep their weight loss efforts to themselves.". So which is it?

Anyway, I think it's safe to say that we're truly blazing the trail on the maintainers group. I think the success will come to light at some point.

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    You know, I saw that article and thought......seriously, why be so negative??
I didn't even read it because it seemed like the premise was such a downer.
Usually Spark is not that way. To me maintenance is extremely important.
I read many entries about people that have lost a whole bunch/get to goal weight and then regain it all, sometimes more. If they would have maintained, they would NOT have done the yo-yo thing. Maintenance is tricky, I think. There is less margin for error.

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_LINDA 8/12/2012 9:46PM

    Well said and thank you for putting yourself out there once again. Spark asks you to do this, and yet doesn't update that old article to reflect this dynamic team of maintainers??? Seems like we should flood Spark Team's or Spark Guy's page with requests to put this team in the mainstream and start working up current information about keeping the weight off. They certainly have the talented staff writers and guests to do it!! Thanks for doing all you can to promote maintaining as being vital too, not just the weight loss! You rock!!!!

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BLUE42DOWN 8/12/2012 9:39PM

    I found the article a bit odd actually. It implies that there is some "prized secret to a healthy lifestyle". That sounds more like the mindset we get from people who see others succeeding, ask the secret, then look disappointed (and disbelieving) to hear "eat proper portions" and "be more physically active".

The secrets aren't even part of the maintaining step as they read. The first, for example, about "Make it public" is talking about being public about "weight loss efforts".

They are still good pointers, but don't really say much about maintainers. It would be nice to see more publicity for all those who maintain and how long they have.

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TRAVELNISTA 8/12/2012 9:19PM

    You are such an inspiration to me!

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EBEAMS 8/12/2012 9:12PM

    emoticon emoticon I saw one of the interviews and was clapping at home for you! You were awesome!

Comment edited on: 8/12/2012 9:14:45 PM

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HAPPYSOUL91 8/12/2012 8:45PM


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LESLIELENORE 8/12/2012 8:16PM

    I see your point, I appreciate all you have been doing to advocate for maintainers. I am not there yet, but I will be. When I get there I hope I find the strength to be just as vocal!

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TRAVELGRRL 8/12/2012 8:03PM

    I am a new reader to your blog but I appreciate your advocacy for a very underrepresented group. I can understand your disappointment with Spark. Is there anyone you can mention this to?

Well, YOU ARE APPRECIATED! Thank you for everything you do.

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MARTHAWILL 8/12/2012 7:51PM

    Well written. I too do not wish to be invisible or elusive. That wouldn't help me or others. I'd likely be right back to where I started if I chose that route.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 8/12/2012 7:50PM

    You are so right!! We count! We are not in the shadows!!! SparkPeople made it possible for me. That IT was not weight loss, it was MAINTENANCE, something I've never achieved before.

Thank you so much for your strong voice, your strong logic and research abilities, and your generous leadership. We are very lucky to have you lead our team!!

Hope you get a Popular Blog Award!!

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SPARKLINGHOPE 8/12/2012 7:45PM

    Great blog!

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WATERMELLEN 8/12/2012 6:53PM

    Fantastic blog! It's generous of you in the extreme to continue all of your services -- above and beyond your fantastic TV appearance -- this stale ol' article has to be a bit of a downer. I can join you in saying: I don't prefer to be "elusive" or "invisible" or "unknown" either. Sing it out loud, we should be proud.

Although gotta say, I sympathisize with your hesitation in putting "before" pictures out there: there is indeed prejudice against the overweight even including the formerly overweight.

You've done such a great job promoting "maintainers" and providing so much detailed and current and scientific information in so many excellent blogs. You've been incredibly innovative as team leader of At Goal and Maintaining, building motivation in many different ways.

The commercial weight loss sites don't promote maintaining: possibly because their business plan depends upon recidivism.

I'd love to see that 5% figure for maintainers multiplied by 10 x at least! I'd love to see the majority of those who do the hard hard work of taking it off learn the skills necessary to KEEP it off, permanently.

I'd love to see SP become the leader in weight loss maintenance research/promotion/support.

Because MAINtenance is the main thing: it has to be, to sustain the health benefits and the social benefits and the psychological benefits of the weight loss victory!

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1EMMA2011 8/12/2012 6:44PM

    I feel as though you should have been reimbursed for expenses on your trip. Thank you for speaking up and being a beacon of hope for those of us still trying to get to the point where you are. emoticon

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MYSTERY-LADY1 8/12/2012 6:35PM


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LJR4HEALTH 8/12/2012 6:32PM


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ONEKIDSMOM 8/12/2012 6:22PM

    And no matter how long we've been SMALL! Well written. Let's all "like" it and make it a featured blog!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Learning Maintenance: Mental Phases

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

I believe maintenance can be learned. Iíve been at this for over two and half years, and I seem to be getting better at it. Hereís a way of looking at my progress in terms of what is going on in my head at any given time. See the bottom of this post for a related blog post about framing my progress in terms of levels of maintenance.

Over the past 2+ years Iíve noticed some phases that I seem to go through. I donít think I ever saw these phases so clearly before because I never got this far in maintenance in the first place. This time around is different because I havenít given up - Iíve persisted enough to gain some longer perspective. And I have some very good buddies who keep an eye on me and offer up tuff love on the occasions I need it.

Phases of Maintenance

1) Honeymoon Phase
ďWoo hoo! Iím smaller! I can wear normal-sized clothes! Who IS that person in the mirror, anyway?!Ē
ďWait a minute, what should I be eating, now? How much should I be eating now?Ē

2) Is this it?
ďIs this all there is?Ē
ďHow come my life isnít magically better in all aspects?Ē
ďSure I look better and can move better, but this sure feels like a lot of work. Can I stop tracking, now?Ē

3) Regain. Ouch.
ďMaybe Itís just water gain. Maybe this is just normal fluctuation. Maybe the goal weight Iíd picked isnít sustainable.Ē
ďOMG, itís starting all over again. Iím going back to square one, I can feel it. Iím going to gain it all back again! Damn, damn, damn.Ē
ďDo I have enough courage to admit thereís a problem and I need to track more carefully and increase my exercise?Ē

4) Re-loss. Sigh.
ďWell, this situation isnít pretty, but itís reality. At least I know how to get the weight back off. Ugh.Ē
ďI canít believe I let this get away from me. Never again.Ē

5) Yay, Iím finally back in my ďHappy Range.Ē
ďThis isnít as exciting as it was the first time I was here, but itís nice in a homey sort of way. I like wearing my favorite jeans.Ē
ďYeah, tracking is a pain, but I like my life at this size, so Iím gonna do it.Ē

6) Body Recomposition and new goals.
ďI wonder if I could benefit from skin removal?Ē
ďWhat about body fat and muscle? How can I manipulate them?Ē
ďI wonder if I would prefer to be more (or fewer) pounds?Ē
ďWhat would it be like to run a marathon? Squat more than my body weight? Kayak cleanly down a class IV-V river?Ē


You can see a graphic example of these phases here:


Phase 1 (Honeymoon) happened once to me in this most recent bout of weight loss. It lasted about 6 months, from January 2010 until June 2010. By June 2010 Iíd slid thoroughly into Phase 2 (Is this it?).

I stayed in Phases 2 (Is this it?) - 3 (Regain) until around March 2011, with the result that I regained about 30 lbs. At that point I went into Phase 4 (Re-loss). I seem to have amazing abilities to sit around and watch myself gain weight in Phase 3 (Regain) and KNOW what to do about it, but delay flipping the switch and going into Phase 4 (Re-loss). :-/

I reached Phase 5 (Happy Range) briefly in June of 2011, only to cycle back into Phases 2-3 with the result that I regained 20 lbs by September. At which point I went back into Phase 4 again, and returned to Phase 5 in December 2011.

As you can see from the chart, I have continued to cycle through Phases 2-5, but every time the ďbumpĒ up in weight is smaller, and the length of the cycle is smaller too.

Phase 6 (Body recomposition) has been kind of going on throughout the process, but I seem to focus on recomposition more when the overall weight is stable in Phase 5.

The reason I think Iím getting better at this is because over the past 2+ years I seem to be spending more time in Phases 5 and 6 and less time cycling through Phases 2-4.

I am spending more of my time with my head in the game and my eyes on the prize, doing the work I need to do in order to keep myself where I like to be. It isnít necessarily less effort, but itís certainly becoming less of a struggle to make myself do it.

Here is a related blog post about learning maintenance framing the subject in terms of definition and stringency:

...and here is a similar recent blog post by THETURTLEBEAR who has been fortunate not to get stuck in any cycles:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRISKECK 6/11/2013 10:14AM

    Your blogs and the Big Page of Links are so helpful - thank you! I have been tracking for the past 9 years and I see the exact same pattern. I only noticed it the last time I lost weight and have joined your team EARLY so I can start to think about maintenance before I get there and I can tell this will be a big help!

emoticon emoticon


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WOLFKITTY 9/4/2012 9:47AM

    You are so awesome.

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BOOKWORM27S 9/3/2012 10:56AM

    Great blog! This sounds just like what I've been going through.

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CELIAMINER 8/22/2012 9:24AM

    You are great with visuals!

Sometimes I wake up in a panic that I have regained all the weight I lost, and I rush in to check the scale for reassurance. Not sure what phase that fear falls into. And then there are the days I look at myself in the mirror, and my eyes bypass the toned muscles and look at the fat. Wonder where that mental image goes in the maintenance phases. Anyway, great blog and thanks for writing it!

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DDOORN 8/14/2012 8:39AM

    This info is so CRUCIAL and needs to be circulated FAR and WIDE!

Thx for all that you do for the Maintenance Cause!


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MYOWNHERO 8/8/2012 9:04AM

    Wow, this is impressive!

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GEE-KNEE 8/6/2012 1:29AM

    Onward to new goals.... it keeps it fun. It's a new lifestyle... not a diet.

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MYSTERY-LADY1 8/5/2012 6:48PM


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MEXGAL1 8/4/2012 12:33PM

    I have been and am so there.......so many of my thoughts for sure!
Thanks for sharing

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WATERMELLEN 8/2/2012 10:13PM

    These blogs are very very helpful in explaining the phases: and yeah, I've experienced them too.

It's great to realize that the regain blips are getting shorter and the maintenance phases are getting longer.

The whole thing is: not giving up, not permitting total relapse, catching regain early and getting back on track.

I'm not thinking it's ever going to be "easy" and "natural": but I'm going to do it.

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MINSOSTER 8/2/2012 3:16PM

    I love, love, love your tracking tools!

Thank you for sharing these phases and how much it makes a difference to pay attention to the details. I know I am very much still learning and have a long way to go before I get close to maintenance at goal weight.

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TRAVELGRRL 8/2/2012 2:39PM

    Ditto what Leslielenore said. I am going to go back and read all of your blogs in order. There is a lot of information here, and I am getting WAY TOO OLD to keep doing the same things over and over again. When I hit my goal weight, I want it to be for GOOD this time!

Thanks for all your effort in sharing your amazing and successful journey. You are appreciated!

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BLUE42DOWN 8/2/2012 1:54PM

    Fascinating read. I wonder how differently our approach to those phases - or even knowledge of the potential to hit them - can affect our own journey.

I know my first read through, I found myself thinking "it won't happen to me that way." I had to laugh at my own reaction. Maybe I'm right and I can sort of skim the "honeymoon phase" and skip the "is this it?" because I'm more focused on fitness goals than weight goals. But maybe I'm wrong and deceiving myself just as I might in the "Regain. Ouch." phase.

On the plus side, it definitely looks like you're getting better about spotting the beginning of the climb and turning things around rather than playing "see no evil, hear no evil" as a pound here and pound there creep on.

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LESLIELENORE 8/2/2012 9:21AM

    I am creeping towards maintenance, so I think it is important for me to hear this stuff BEFORE I get there. I don't want to reach my goal weight and say "now what?" It makes sense to me that there can be a cyclical nature to trying to stay at maintenance.

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    Seems to me that you have it figured out. You have both the math and the psychology and kinow yourself very well. I am very impressed with your record-keeping and your self-analysis.

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UMUCGRAD 8/1/2012 10:34PM

    Owww! Here's hoping we all break the cycle of going round and round.

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MYSTERY-LADY1 8/1/2012 9:24PM


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MYSTERY-LADY1 8/1/2012 9:23PM


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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 8/1/2012 8:49PM

I see phases 3-4 in terms of "do I weigh more than I consider acceptable?" If so, then it's regain. And requires re-loss to get back into my "happy range" (phase 5). But your experience may be different. The Lord knows, I'm wired in a unique and peculiar way... LOL

Dude, I'm still learning, too...

Maybe one day I'll be as good at this maintenance thing as the superstars on the At Goal and Maintaining team, but right now I'm still a mere Padawan...

Comment edited on: 8/1/2012 8:54:55 PM

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ZIRCADIA 8/1/2012 8:45PM

    This is a great post! I think I'm in some awkward place.... 2-3 ish... I haven't ever got to re-loss REALLY, but I also haven't gained THAT much.... I'm still healthy weight, just higher than I want to be really... I need to power through phase 4.....

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VHALKYRIE 8/1/2012 8:36PM

    Big LOL about the honeymoon phase!!

I'm still learning. ;)

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Learning Maintenance: Levels

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

I believe maintenance can be learned. Iíve been at this now for over two and half years, and I seem to be getting better at it. Hereís one way of looking at my progress, based on the number on the scale. See the bottom of this post for a link about how I frame my progress in terms of mental phases.

There are various levels of maintenance. You can define weight maintenance in many ways. www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo

I have several nested weight-based definitions Iíve been using.

1) Keeping off at least 10% of my original weight (under 302 lbs)
Iíve managed this since January 2010. This is the broadest definition I use when Iím talking about my overall maintenance path since losing the weight in 2009. Iíve been within this definition consistently since January 2010.

2) Keeping under 160 lbs, with attention paid to body composition.
This was my original goal, since at this weight my BMI is under 25. I removed the emphasis on BMI in order to be consistent with my more recent philosophy that any BMI under 30 can be considered ďhealthyĒ (since BMI doesnít account for muscle mass or bone weight). I like how I look and feel here. When I am above 160 itís usually because I have more fat on me.


Iíve been inside and outside of this range since January 2010. I had a 4-month streak within that range January 2010-April 2010. Then I gained out of this range. I briefly dropped back under 160 in June 2011. Then I regained. I again dropped back under in December 2011 and Iíve managed to stay here for the past 8 months. In two weeks Iíll have managed 9 months here. Iím shooting for a year - that will be an accomplishment, for sure.

3) Keeping within +/- 3% around 150 lbs (145.5 -154.5)
This is the most stringent definition that I use. Itís based on the paper described here:
. Itís also the definition we use for the maintenance challenges in the At Goal and Maintaining Team teams.sparkpeople.com/maintaining .
My central goal weight has slowly dropped. At first it was 155 (150.4-159.7), then it was 152.5 (147.9-157.1), and now itís 150. Iíve discovered that I can do more stuff in my kayak at a smaller size, so thatís where I like to be. As with the previous definition, if I weigh more than this range itís usually because I have more fat on me.

So far I havenít yet managed to stay within my chosen +/- 3% weight range during one of our team maintenance challenges. I keep trying, though, and I think Iím getting better at doing it. We just started a new one this month, and Iím going to do my best to hang in there for the next 12 weeks. Part of the reason I run these challenges is to give myself the accountability and motivation to keep working at it.

The good news is that I am getting better at staying within a goal weight range, with less and less fluctuation. There are people on the At Goal and Maintaining team who consistently manage this, so I know itís possible. And since I am getting better at it, I think itís reasonable to assume that if I keep working at it, one day I can be one of them, too.

Perhaps in a couple of years Iíll discover I like life better at a higher weight or a lower one, or maybe Iíll have found a more accurate way to assess body composition and that will become how I gauge maintenance. But for now, watching the scale and my % body fat and my athletic performance suffices.

(Update and clarification; I DO track my body composition, and here is a post explaining how: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo

Here is a related blog post about learning maintenance, framing it in terms of mental phases:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 5/29/2013 11:02PM

    Like you, I believe maintenance can be learned. And has to be learned. And then has to be relearned . . . ! (Which is not the same as yo-yoing . . .because we are changing up techniques to stay within our chosen maintenance range).

Thanks, Anja, for all of this collected wisdom on the Big Page of Links.

Really enjoyed the article about the pain and shame of regaining too.

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LOGOULD 10/17/2012 11:15PM

    Still working on figuring out where my final goal weight range will end up, but more important to me right now is consistently staying within a range.

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CELIAMINER 8/22/2012 9:18AM

    I like the progressive definitions of maintenance. As for staying within the +/- 3 pounds, I think it is easier post menopause, when hormonal fluctuations don't produce a 5-pound water weight gain every month.

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KAYOTIC 8/4/2012 12:38PM

    I think it's good idea to keep an open mind about the final goal range. I've adjusted mine up and down over the past few years, currently I use 135 as my goal point, and go for the 3% above and below that, and it's been working very well.

I'm bummed I missed the first week of the latest challenge, I think I was looking for an e-mail, I might have missed it, but I was also on vacation, so that may have been the culprit! I'll be eagerly awaiting the next one though, as I found the last few challenges to be really great in helping me stay in my range (and figure out what that range is!)

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 8/2/2012 1:57AM

No one at the YMCA was willing to do caliper measurements for me. I have a system using averaged BIA numbers: http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_p

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LBLYKOWSKI 8/2/2012 1:17AM

    I like tracking my body composition by having my gym measure my body fat. They take measurements using a little metal pincher in a few places (for women its belly, hip and back of arm). It's fairly accurate compared to what by doctor has done previously. Check it out.

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MYSTERY-LADY1 8/1/2012 9:22PM

    emoticon Thanks

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SOULOFWELLNESS' insightful questions

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I've had a recent email exchange with SOULOFWELLNESS who had some questions about the steps I took to remove a lot of weight (body fat).

I really like her questions, because they show that she is putting a lot of effort into understanding this monumental task she's set for herself. I see that as a sign she is likely to succeed - especially because so much of this process has been one of discovery for me. I've had to learn a lot about myself and about nutrition and about the various forms of exercise, and had to come up with individual solutions that work for me.

I like her questions so much that I've decided to post them here, with my answers, in case anyone else finds them helpful or thought-provoking.

1.) Since starting what is the main thing you personally have learned?

That I need to track my food. Not only to control my intake, but to understand patterns in how I feel, what gives me energy, what makes me hungry, what triggers binges, what I can't stop eating at "just one," etc. Yes, tracking is a PAIN IN THE BUTT. I hate it. Iíve done everything I can to make it less painful ( LoseIt.com app on my iPhone & iPods, scales at home and work and in my purse, etc. etc. etc.) I consider this just something I have to do, the way a nearsighted person has to deal with glasses or contacts if they want to be able to see.

2.) If you knew then what you know now, what changes would you have made?

That's a hard one to answer, because so much of my self awareness and mental approach to this whole fitness thing has evolved. I didnít have the knowledge, tools, and experience back then that I do now. I had to learn about myself by tracking stuff - weight, % body fat, food, exercise, etc. and watch the effects. I also had to read and learn about how food and exercise affect metabolism, weight gain, loss, and maintenance in people, etc.

I can say what things I think I did right, that led me here, though, so maybe that will help?

A. Tracking my food. All of it. Every day.

B. Weighing myself regularly and using a weighted average like the one at physicsdiet.com so the fluctuations wouldnít wig me out. For more information about weighted moving averages, you can see teams.sparkpeople.com/hackers

C. Lifting weights AND cardio, both. On a fitness class schedule, so once my routine was locked in, it became a habit. As things got easier I found ways to challenge myself more, eventually sometimes switching to harder activities.

D. Logging everything somewhere I could see the progress in a graphical format and make sense of it ( physicsdiet.com )

E. Having realistic expectations of how the weight loss would go if I stayed on the plan. The difficulty of getting weight off is proportional, not in terms of actual pounds. It is roughly equally difficult for everyone to lose 5% of their body weight. For example, it is about as hard for me at 153 to lose 8 lbs as it is for someone who is 350 lbs to lose 17 lbs. This is why they scale the losses on shows like The Biggest Loser. www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo

F. Setting up frequent milestones that were only about 5 lbs apart, or less. This way I always had another milestone to celebrate, just around the corner.

This is a war won in tiny little battles, day after day after day. I found it really helpful to always have a carrot waiting just around the next bend.

3.) Correct me if wrong here, but.... From what I see you are high protein, low carb and low fat? Did I understand that correctly?

Iím not sure what my diet would be classified as. At the beginning I just started with trying to make my nutrition pie chart look like the RDA one at the bottom of the Spark tracker. Later I explored more of a South Beach Diet approach. For most of the year I lost 160 lbs I ate pretty equal percentages of carbs and protein and very low fat.

Now Iím aiming for these numbers each day:

at least 150g protein
at least 40g fiber
at least 50g fat
less than 100g sugar

I kind of settled on this after watching how my body responds to stuff. Iím working with a dietitian now to see if we can reintroduce more starches (complex carbs) into my diet. Macronutrient ratio is the sort of thing that you can tweak and refine forever. And your requirements change depending on where you are in the process.

4.) Your eating plan - Has it lowered any lipids? I have high cholesterol and am nervous about high protein. We are fed so much by media and such about what is best.

Getting my body fat down overall has definitely made my numbers look better. See this table:

Higher amounts of protein help me personally eat less overall (because protein is so filling). In general I seem to do really well on a low glycemic index type of diet. So for me eating a lot of protein helped with the overall goal of getting rid of body fat, which helped with my general health.

5.) Ohhh speaking of protein, I noticed you also use Whey... Now is that once a day or more often?

I supplement with protein powder when I need more lean protein in my day. I often have a shake after a workout, and sometimes mix some protein powder in with my Greek yogurt. Iíd say on average I have about 1-2 scoops of protein powder per day. While itís usually whey, I also sometimes use rice, hemp, pea, or soy protein, just to get some variety. I also use protein bars, especially for emergencies. Here are some blog posts Iíve written about protein and whey supplements:



6.) After beginning your lifestyle, when was the point you noticed you had more energy?

The amount of energy I have goes through phases. It sort of snuck up on me so I canít put my finger on a specific date. Whenever I start a new exercise regime at first itís sort of hard and I have to force myself to do it. Over time it gets easier, and then one day Iím like, ďGee, I canít WAIT to go over there and pound out some miles on the bike (or in the kayak), lift some heavy weights, etc.Ē And I stop and go, ďWhoa. when did THAT happen???Ē I suspect it takes at least 2 weeks of consistently doing whatever it is, to feel that way.

The amount of energy I have also is greatly affected by whether Iím getting enough sleep. Even if Iím eating well and doing my workouts, if Iím not getting enough sleep I lose motivation, start making unhealthy decisions, etc.

If you would like to follow SOULOFWELLNESS on her journey, here's a link to her Spark Page:


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PERIWINKLE88 8/31/2012 8:46AM

    Going back over your old blogs. Lots to learn from you!


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SWEETLIPS 8/1/2012 7:17PM

    Thank you so much for these answers and thinking enough to post them. I eat those noodles as well, because I needed a sub that would keep my blood sugar stable. I so appreciate this. Thanks

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    So helpful! Thank you!! emoticon

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VHALKYRIE 8/1/2012 11:54AM

    Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us! It's so insightful to see what has worked well for those who succeeded!


Comment edited on: 8/1/2012 11:55:09 AM

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CINDYSDAY 8/1/2012 11:38AM


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DDOORN 8/1/2012 9:10AM

    Wonderful summary of your "secrets" (hardly! thank you...!) to success!

Really appreciate your sharing...will save for reminders and to pass along to others as well!


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BLUE42DOWN 8/1/2012 12:48AM

    Love your answers. I'm not where you are in the process and yet so many of my answers would have been very similar.

Tracking food as necessary the way glasses or contacts are; that is such a great comparison. I know I found it easier when I viewed it as tracking ALL the nutrients, tracking the when and why and what, and not just calorie-counting.

And the way the journey evolves is something else that even I didn't expect. So so many times I hear (or say it myself) that a person is surprised to be doing or liking something they wouldn't even have considered when they first started. Who would expect to hula hoop or kayak or do zumba when just walking to the mailbox is tough? Something we know works NOW may not have been workable early on before we were ready to make the change.

I'm going to link your blog on one of my teams because I think it can help others as well.

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WATERMELLEN 7/31/2012 8:48PM

    Another great blog with a whole lot of info and resources: you are the "SOULOFGENEROSITY" with the time you spend on such detailed and helpful responses! Love both the rigour of your thought AND the inherent modesty of your scope: "this is what worked for me", not claiming some kind of universal wisdom. (Although I'm suspecting it's fundamentally what works for most of us).

I'm gonna try some protein powder, thanks for the idea!

And agree totally that the fundamental is: track the nutrition!

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LESLIELENORE 7/31/2012 8:37PM

    Thanks for sharing that discussion. I am always tweaking my macronutrient percentages to see what works best for me. I have seen in a lot of places that each of us is "an experiment of one" when it comes to weight loss, and I think that is very true. It helps me though to read what works for other people and maybe modify what I am doing to see if what you do might help me.

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