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Rockstars of Maintenance, Revisited

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Just about a year ago I wrote a blog post about a list of successful maintainers weíve been compiling in the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team.

One of our team leaders, TINAJANE76, suggested that I do a new blog post about this list, as a reminder to all of us that not only can maintenance be accomplished, but that weíve got a list of people doing it, right here on Sparkpeople.com. Last year there were 71 people on the list. Now there are nearly twice that number!

It all started in an attempt to celebrate maintenance anniversaries. According to the scientific literature, the rates of regain follow a pattern like other forms of rehabilitation such as addiction treatment. In such cases, the length of time someone has already ďstayed cleanĒ is one of the best predictors of them being able to make the change stick in the future. The same is true in maintaining a weight loss:

- 80% - 95% of people who reach goal weight regain.
- After 2 years of maintenance the frequency of regain drops to 50%.
- After 5 years the frequency of regain drops to 27%!
(see this paper, for example: clinical.diabetesjournals.org/conten

So the point was to keep us focused on those anniversaries - looking ahead to the next one, and then the one after that. Because figuring out maintenance can be challenging. And contemplating doing all this work FOREVER, for the REST OF YOUR LIFE, can be overwhelming.

Itís much more manageable to think about doing it for a week, or another month. Or just another year. And in the process of making it work in these smaller steps, you start to implement the mental shifts and accept the lifestyle changes over longer time periods. And slowly, almost without even realizing it, you reprogram your habits, and over time it actually becomes less of a struggle. Itís the same principle as a Spark streak, but on a scale of years.

In the process of collecting dates to celebrate those anniversaries we ended up with a list that can be sorted in terms of how long people have maintained. You can see it here:

Years Spark ID

24.04 SHIRLEYD1959
8.12 RLC6765
5.29 PEGGYT3
2.91 CAROLZ1967
2.78 LAURIE5658
2.68 MEXGAL1
2.37 LISAW/3
2.24 LEVERB66
1.98 62NVON
1.40 G1NNY7
1.33 MIRAGE727
1.25 MLB570
1.13 NAVYMOM133
1.08 LYNNE118
1.03 JENNYR0506
0.99 2010_IS_MY_YEAR
0.97 KRISZTA11
0.94 BARB_48
0.89 TANYAP71
0.88 KANOE10
0.87 AILEEN5K145
0.74 SUNSHINE20113
0.65 NICOLEVAR5886
0.56 MKELLY72
0.45 PCASEY7
0.33 ABBETG22
0.28 FROGGGY13
0.18 HOLLY255255

This list is tremendously helpful - itís a way we can find members of the Sparkpeople.com community who are living proof that maintenance is achievable. People who can inspire us, and serve as role models.

These people may be a minority here on the site, but they have a huge amount to offer, because they have mastered the one thing all weight losers aspire to - KEEPING the weight off. They have life throwing them curve balls too. And they have setbacks. And they overcome them.

I think if we can figure out how to stay engaged and focused and learn from these people, we can beat those depressing published odds.

85 people on the list (65%) have maintained less than two years.


In the outside world, only 42 of them would manage to keep the weight off. But I think we can beat those statistics, here, with the support of each other.

There are people from a wide spectrum of weight loss. From those who have shed 200 pounds, to others keeping off less than 10. People who just reached goal, and people who have kept the weight off for over 40 years!


(hover your mouse over a dot to see more information)
I just love watching those blue dots march off to the right, one day at a time...

There are other tabs at the bottom of the screen to explore - some of us have been curious about our other stats as a group, such as waist to height ratio, for example. So we have a way for people to enter optional data about their current size and shape, for anonymous graphs.

Group BMI distribution


Group waist to height ratios

Group waist to hip ratios

Group BMI vs % Body Fat

In order to ensure the data are current, we ask everyone to update their information once a year. Sadly, there are a few folks who have stopped checking in:


Every month we email people whose entries are coming up for renewal and those whose have expired, and ask them to re-enter their data. This is an important step with maintenance, too. Because regain does happen, and we want to catch people and help them turn around the trend before it spirals out of control.

A very common response to regain is to feel shame and retreat from the community. This is the worst thing you can do, however, because youíre hiding from your friends and support network just when you need their help the most! Many who have regained according to their own definition are surprised and happy to learn that they are still successfully maintaining according to a scientific definition, ďkept at least 10% of the starting weight off.Ē And sometimes that one piece of validation is all it takes for them to recover their confidence and pull things back together.

If you are maintaining and would like to celebrate YOUR anniversary with us, sign up here!

I also encourage you to join our vibrant team of maintainers and people preparing for maintenance:

And if you'd like to make maintainers more visible and celebrated, one thing you can do is "like" this post so more people will see it (and them).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUPERSYLPH 8/24/2013 11:56AM


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LAWANDMUSIC 10/22/2012 3:33PM

    I love the records you posted. Congratulations on your analysis, as well!

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POMELO 9/23/2012 8:23PM

  This is a list I want to be able to belong to. Bad grammar perhaps but a good plan.

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CELIAMINER 9/21/2012 7:46AM

    Loved clicking through all the tabs. Thanks for doing all the analysis...seeing the numbers in black and white (and in multi-colored charts) makes things seem more real.

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    great post

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MAUREENV2 9/18/2012 10:58AM

    Wow. thanks for doing all this work. You are amazing. Between you and TinaJane76, you are motivating me to become more active in this team. Thanks again

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EFFRAYECHILDE 9/18/2012 8:54AM


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TRICIAE2 9/18/2012 8:20AM

    I hope to add my name to that list soon!!


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MAMA_CD 9/17/2012 7:30PM

    Very interesting statistics, well done!

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BANDMOM2012 9/17/2012 3:53PM


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IRONBLOSSOM 9/17/2012 2:25PM

    Wow, you guys have put so much work into this! That's amazing! I aspire to be on your list one day too...keep it going for a while, aiiight?

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MISSB8604 9/17/2012 2:08PM

    Absolutely amazing.

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JO28352 9/17/2012 8:38AM


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    so proud to be a member of At Goal and Maintaining. The team is a great source for maintenance and support. Thanks for the excellent blog! I can see there was a lot of hard work put into it. With gratitude, Pat (Self_Respect)

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JEANNIENOKLA 9/17/2012 1:33AM

    emoticon I can't imagine the work it took to compile this Blog, and the Lists that you have included!! Thank You for gathering all of the information in One Place!!
emoticon I reached my Goal Weight in October of 2010. I will be filling out the form and joining the NWCR soon. I just want to get my measurements from the records at Curves.

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_CYNDY55_ 9/17/2012 12:37AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon Maintainer's You All emoticon ROCK!

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NKOUAMI26 9/16/2012 9:38PM


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CAROL494 9/16/2012 9:31PM

  Maintenance is the key for success to become life-long! emoticon

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    Great post

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HILARYMM 9/16/2012 8:26AM

    I don't understand the scientific definition: what does kept at least 10% of the starting weight off mean?

Is that ten percent of your original high weight (in my case, 170 pounds) or ten percent of your weight loss, or what?

Otherwise great informational blog. I think that I need to reconnect with all of you in maintenance. I'm seven pounds from my goal (again -- I slipped up after the last time I lost all my weight.) I need to figure out how to keep maintaining.


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MIRAGE727 9/15/2012 9:50PM

Thank you, Anja! 69 maintenance weeks and going strong! Stay strong and keep living the dream!

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SERASARA 9/15/2012 9:24PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PCASEY7 9/15/2012 9:24PM

    Great blog! I'll come back to it to check out all the other links.

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CAROLISCIOUS 9/15/2012 9:08PM

    So HAPPY to be on this list!

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TERID816 9/15/2012 8:19PM

    Great encouragement for those of us still trying to reach our goal weight.

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MARYJEANSL 9/15/2012 7:34PM

  Sounds like a great team! Someday...

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HYATTI1 9/15/2012 6:03PM

    That is an impressive number...great that they are able to succeed in such a way as to set an example to the rest of us.


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PRESBESS 9/15/2012 2:29PM

    Absolutely Awesome! I love this blog! I must say... I also love seeing my name on the list as well!

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PERIWINKLE88 9/15/2012 2:10PM

    Very well deserved recognition for you this week!


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PACKERMANN 9/15/2012 1:44PM

    wow! i am impressed at the support Spark gives that other programs don't. can't wait to lose the rest of my weight and get to goal so i can join the Maintenance Team!

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60NLOVINIT2 9/15/2012 11:21AM

    just read your blog about losing so much weight... i saw that segment on the today show but did not realize you were from romulus... i grew up in waterloo.. i went to your fingerlakes team but did not see much recent activity... would love to have joined it just to stay in touch with that area... best of luck to you for keeping it off.. i am struggling with my 100# emoticon

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CICELY360 9/15/2012 11:05AM

  Good encouragement

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OHMEMEME 9/15/2012 10:50AM

    Thanks for sharing! My focus from my start has been maintainance and hope to join you soon! I appreciate all the time and effort you have put into this blog and the Spark community. I admire your weightloss and more so, your maintainance. Keep Sparking!

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TDWANDD2MYK9 9/15/2012 10:13AM


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MANILUS 9/15/2012 10:11AM

    Great look at success and support!

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BABYSTEPS123 9/15/2012 9:42AM

    Still losing ... but can't wait to join you! So happy to know you are out there since I fit into the "lost but regained" category. Not this time ... thank to better tools and people like you! Keep up the good work!

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-SHOREIDO- 9/15/2012 9:30AM

    Forgot to subscribe : ) emoticon

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-SHOREIDO- 9/15/2012 9:29AM

    This is so great it should be kept somewhere!! Like a mission statement for Sparkpeople!!
Good job!!

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GOOSIEMOON 9/15/2012 9:17AM


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PENOWOK 9/15/2012 8:53AM

    Wow! That's amazing!! Thanks for all of the work making this blog!

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    emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon

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LEANMEAN2 9/15/2012 7:19AM


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THEIS58 9/15/2012 5:00AM

    Love the maintainers group!

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NEW-CAZ 9/15/2012 2:55AM

    emoticon emoticon

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BLUEJEAN99 9/15/2012 1:34AM

    emoticon emoticon

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CORINA-MOMOF4 9/14/2012 11:16PM

    Great blog! I reached my goal and maintained for 2 full years - only to have a set back (had several procedures and I wasn't able to workout for almost 3 months - well, not working out = picking up the bad eating habits) I gained about 15 pounds - and have since lost it again and now maintained the last several months!! Maintaining, in my opinion, is almost harder than loosing the weight!!

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TREYONE 9/14/2012 11:10PM

  What an inspiration! Thank you!!!

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ROCKYCPA 9/14/2012 11:04PM

    Thanks for sharing!

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CRAZY_KAT_1984 9/14/2012 10:57PM

    Wow! That list is overwhelming and inspiring! I will join it one day!

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BLOOMING52 9/14/2012 10:25PM

    This is great, Thank you,

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30 questions challenge: 11-20

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Iíve joined in on TANYAP71ís blog question challenge.

I donít often manage to post blogs daily, so Iíll be answering questions here when I can and posting them in clumps of 10. In this case, since I won't have access to a computer until next week, I'm going to post some of these ahead of when they're "due."

Itís been fun reading the responses from others, and to help me keep track of them, Iíve made a spreadsheet, here:

(this way Iíll be able to find those posts in the future, even after theyíve been buried by more recent ones)

11. What do you like most about your body? Has what you like most about your body changed as you've progressed towards your goals?
I like the muscles. I like the fact that it can drive me through white water with strong, sure strokes (when Iím focusing on my form, anyway). I like how it can roll a kayak back up when I flip upside down in the water. I like how it looks in the mirror. I like how my favorite pants fit on it. I like how it can lift Very Heavy Weights. These things have been pretty consistently the things I like the most when Iím maintaining successfully.

12. Post a picture of your inspiration. Thinspiration if that's your thing. Fitspiration if that's what you're after. Heathspiration if that's your primary goal. Why is this person inspiring to you?


Dara Torres was 41 when she BROUGHT IT to the 2008 Olympics, winning three silver medals. If she could do that, why canít I, in my mid-40s, lose 186 lbs and take up white water kayaking? Someday I hope to have the skills and strength to run some local class V rivers cleanly and with relish. Indeed, age IS just a number.

13. What has been the hardest life style change you've made for the sake of losing weight, getting fit, or becoming healthier? Any tips for making that change easier?
Staying vigilant, and facing down the occasional creep up in my weight. I have an amazing and unfortunate ability to ignore the writing on the wall until Iíve regained 10 or more pounds above goal range. Iím working on that. One of the things that is helping me is the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team challenges that focus on maintenance. They provide accountability and external pressure to keep on top of my fitness and do something about it soon when it drifts.

14. What life style changes have been easier than you expected? Why do you think that was?
I didnít expect that my depression would be so reduced. For most of the past 20 years I took low levels of Prozac to help control my PMS symptoms. After reaching goal weight I gradually stopped requiring it altogether. Perhaps peri-menopause is helping too, although Iíd expect that it would actually make the symptoms worse, given how hard on the system that transition can be.

15. What is your favorite weight loss, fitness, or wellness blog (or website or magazine) outside of sparkpeople?
I like LeighPeele.com - she has well-written, scientifically accurate, no-nonsense advice about nutrition and fitness. Her free podcasts on iTunes are fantastic. The Binge Series really spoke to me.

16. Do you follow an eating 'plan'? (Vegetarian, paleo, South Beach, Atkins, yada yada yada) How has this helped you live a healthier life?
Iím not sure how youíd characterize what I eat. I get about 30% fats, 30% carbs, and 30% protein. I settled on this via trial and error, based on how I feel and what foods minimize my binge triggers.

My general daily targets are:

150g minimum protein
50g minimum fats
40g minimum fiber
100g maximum sugar

I eat very little grains and added sugar. I like lean proteins, nuts, seeds, Greek yogurt (both with and without fat), leafy greens, and fruits. I eat a fair amount of protein bars when Iím on the road.

17. Do you have any meals/snacks that you repeat over and over? What are they?
For breakfast I almost always have Greek yogurt with some chia or flax seeds, and maybe some textured vegetable protein and/or fruit on top.

18. Do you have a go-to meal for days when you have to be on the go, no time to stop to eat and no refrigeration/cooler available?
Protein bars. Hard boiled eggs. Envelopes of tuna. Toasted almonds. Carbs are easy to get on the road. But the protein can be tough, so I focus on having that available in a pinch. I once wrote a whole blog post about road food:

19. What 'unhealthy' food(s)/drink(s) do you refuse to give up? Any that you have given up completely?
I canít have cheese in the house. Itís just too tempting. I like ice cream, so once a month I go to the local place cayugalakecreamery.com where they make their own from scratch and get a kiddie scoop in a homemade waffle cone. I eat it there, and then Iím done. No ice cream calling to me from the freezer when I get home. I pretty much canít have any snacks or fruit or peanut butter or breads or starches or anything easy to eat at home. Night eating is a particular downfall for me. So I make sure I have exactly what I need around and no more.

20. What are your favorite healthy foods? What healthy foods have you 'discovered' along the way to better eating habits?
In case you havenít noticed, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Greek yogurt. The real stuff, with just milk and lactobacilli in it. Not the stuff with pectins, gelatin, and other junk that some of the commercial brands add. Most of the time I go for the plain flavors because then I can control how much sugar Iím getting. If I want full fat I prefer Simply Greek brand. If I want nonfat Iíll get Wegmans, Fage, Siggiís, Oikos, or Chobani. When I can find it I sometimes get the kind made from sheepís milk. Lowfat (2%) Fage and Chobani are good, too.

Low-fat, and non-fat varieties both often have a great amount of protein in there. Which one I choose depends on whether I want my fats from dairy that day/meal or whether Iím going to go for fats from nuts and seeds. It depends on my mood. I donít like to decide until the day or even the meal Iím eating, because I like to indulge my whims within my allotted calories. It helps keep me from feeling deprived or too regimented.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1GODGIRL 9/24/2012 12:58PM

    Great blog!

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MINSOSTER 9/18/2012 5:28PM

    I am so impressed with your diet plan. You must fit a lot of plant protein in your diet with quinoa, beans, etc. in order to keep your fats so low. I struggle with that part of it and my protein intake is about 60 g a day. Did your current diet evolve gradually to where it is today?

Off to track my food from today to see where I am. . .


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OHMEMEME 9/15/2012 11:22AM

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to share. Inspirational and informative! Please don't ever tire of sharing and repeating yourself...

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MJZHERE 9/14/2012 7:41PM

    I really like reading how people who are maintaining figure out what works for their body and have their own plan. That so encourages me that I am on the right path by listening to my body and doing what works for it.

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MARGARITTM 9/14/2012 10:48AM

    Should kick up the protein and lose some carbs

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BLUE42DOWN 9/13/2012 2:20PM

    I love reading these too. It's just so fascinating to see all the variations amongst us Sparkers.

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BOOKWORM27S 9/13/2012 11:56AM

    Wow, I only get about 50-70 grams of protein a day. Maybe I need to pay more attention to it.

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MKELLY72 9/13/2012 10:01AM

    Such great information! It's great to be reminded from others some of the things that we already know, but kind of wander away from- like easy, go to, portable protein. I forget about tuna packs- I need to stock up again on those!

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WATERMELLEN 9/13/2012 8:54AM

    Such helpful tips. Liked particularly what you said about the reduction of depression with the loss of weight. Of course carrying around all the extra pounds cannot make us feel upbeat and good about ourselves. It helps so much to like what we see in the mirror! The "embodiment" of the "eternal vigilance"!!

Thanks for passing my name along to THESLOWESTLOSER: I did respond and was flattered to be asked!!

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TANYAP71 9/12/2012 8:19PM

    Thank you for the quick food ideas. I need to look at your road food blog too. I've never see anyone eat more protein a day than me. Do you have a hard time getting 150? I aim for 125. I tried for 150 for a bit but it was just too hard to hit. (I'm 30f/30c/40p and try to net 1500-1800 calories a day.)

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LESLIELENORE 9/12/2012 8:12PM

    I just committed myself to training for a sprint triathlon next summer. If I can do that you can tackle those Class V rapids! Age really is just a number. I want to go into my 40s as healthy and happy as possible. You inspire me to reach out and grab the possibilities.

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30 questions challenge: 1-10

Monday, September 10, 2012

Iím joining in on TANYAP71ís blog question challenge.

I donít often manage to post blogs daily, so Iíll be answering questions here when I can and posting them en masse.

Itís been fun reading the responses from others, and to help me keep track of them, Iíve made a spreadsheet, here:

(this way Iíll be able to find those posts in the future, even after theyíve been buried by more recent ones)

1: Your stats. Starting stats, current stats, goal stats. Are you currently trying to lose weight, gain weight, or maintain weight or something else? Do you have a goal for the month of September?
Started at a BMI of 52.56, not sure what % body fat (highest measured was 54.2% after Iíd lost about 30 lbs)
Currently at a BMI of 24.22, approx 20% body fat

Iím right now just outside of my +/- 3% range around 150, so I want to get back in there.

My goal for the rest of September is to get my eating back under control (it occasionally goes off the rails).

2. How did you pick your goal weight? Did you pick an ultimate goal weight at the beginning of your weight loss? Did it change? Did you set smaller goals along the way?
At the beginning I just wanted to get my BMI under 30 (obese). Then I wanted to get it under 25 to see if I could (160 lbs). In the past 6 months Iíve reset my goal weight to hover around 150. When I lost the weight I aimed for a 5% reduction. Then another 5% reduction. And so on.

3. Who have you shared your weight loss goals with? What has been good about sharing your goals?
When I was losing weight I shared my goals with anyone who would listen. It was helpful to have everyone on board. Since hitting goal over 2.5 years ago Iíve slowed down on telling people about my history. Most of them met me after I lost weight and it really doesnít come up unless weíre discussing food or exercise or something like that.

4. What are (or were) your fears about weight loss?
That I wonít be able to keep it off. Over time Iím starting to believe more and more that this process can be learned and is achievable. Iíve stumbled, but Iíve also gotten back up.

5. What is your weight history like? How old where you when you first 'went on a diet'? Have you lost and regained? How is this time different from others?
My first diet was probably when I was 8 or 9. Iíve gained and lost a lot of weight. Most notably I gained and lost over 100 lbs in my 20s, only to regain it all plus almost 100 more. I lost it again in 2009. This time is different because I saw how easy it was to regain before, and Iím determined not to do THAT again!

6. What has been most challenging about maintaining a weight loss (now or in the past)?
In my 20s I was unprepared for the difficulty of maintaining. There is a critical mental shift that needs to happen in order to make it stick. And it takes vigilance and work to keep myself focused, engaged, and doing the behaviors that help me stay fit. Iíve set the bar pretty high for myself, and itís not easy keeping my food and exercise on point. It takes a lot of work.

7. How do you measure progress towards or maintenance? Scale weight? Body fat percentage? How your clothes fit? Other?
Mostly I rely on weighing myself every day and tracking the moving average trend. I also track my % body fat to get a handle on my composition.

I have a couple of pairs of favorite pants that let me know when the number on the scale reflects more than just water gain. And I can tell how Iím doing strength-wise by whether Iím increasing the pounds Iím lifting, over time.

8. What do you think will be different when you reach your goal weight? If you are in maintenance, what did you think would be different? What actually was different?
I wasnít sure what, if anything would be different. It turns out I can eat more. But as I said earlier in #6, I knew it would require a mental shift. I tried preparing for this shift while still in loss mode, and that helped. But over time Iíve had to experiment with maintenance strategies just as I had to experiment with loss strategies. Iím still fiddling with it, trying to figure out what works best.

9. How old are you and do you think your thoughts about weight loss, fitness, and wellness have changed over time?
Iím 46 and with age has come a level of discipline and maturity that I didnít have in my 20s. It is a lot easier to carry through with things when youíre sure of yourself. I was very unsure of myself the last time around. Something about just going around the sun a bunch of times seems to have helped provide the spine and inner strength I lacked before.

10. Why are you working towards the goal you talked about on Day 1? Particular health goal? Size goal? Activity goal? Vanity goal?
Simple survival. I donít want to live my next 40 years the way I lived my previous 40 years. I was suffocating inside a coffin of my own flesh and couldnít physically do things I liked and didnít like how I felt, and didnít like what I saw in the mirror. Life is too dang short to live like that, so Iím going to take the time Iíve got left and live in a way that I like.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKIIBUNNY 9/16/2012 5:02PM

    Thanks for your candid comments. You ARE such an inspiration! emoticon

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SNOWYOGA 9/15/2012 5:09PM

    Great blog! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 9/13/2012 8:50AM

    That critical mental shift which says you don't want to suffocate within the coffin of your own flesh: powerful words!

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TANYAP71 9/11/2012 3:54PM

    Great blog! I'm glad you've joined in.

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MKELLY72 9/11/2012 12:08PM

    I love your responses to these questions! Very inspiring for a fellow maintainer! I've been inspired to join in the challenge myself.

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BOOKWORM27S 9/11/2012 11:53AM

    Thank you for posting!

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62NVON 9/11/2012 11:52AM

    Awesome, Anja.... You are my hero!

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JENNYR0506 9/11/2012 11:13AM

    So glad you joined us on the blog challenge! Catch up whenever you get the chance. Love hearing your perspective based on experience.

emoticon Jenny

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ANDASI 9/11/2012 12:52AM

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LESLIELENORE 9/10/2012 10:13PM

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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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