4A-HEALTHY-BMI   44,084
40,000-49,999 SparkPoints
4A-HEALTHY-BMI's Recent Blog Entries

Am I done?! Really?! Yikes. :-o

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My initial goal has been 150 lbs or 25% body fat, whichever came first.

My Tanita scale has been indicating anywhere from 22% to 26% body fat for the past week or so.

UPDATE: In "athlete" mode it says 19.7% Thanks to S318830 for advising me on that! (And also for finding the DXA place in San Diego.)

I suspected I was close, but wouldn't know until I had it measured by a more accurate method.

On Thursday through a DXA scan I found out my body fat % is actually 19%.

Are you freaking KIDDING me?! That's actually in the "athletic" category. Last year at this time I still weighed over 300 lbs...

This means, technically, that by at least one measure I am done. I have been processing this information for the past couple of days - I actually cried a little in the car on the way back on Thursday, because I was just so overwhelmed. I wasn't expecting this. I wasn't really ready for it.

If you've been following the thread where STEVIECAT4 and I are trying to reach 150 you'll already have read some of my mulling over this issue. tinyurl.com/race2onefifty

Anyway, I have been lightening up on the calorie restriction but continuing with the heavy exercising, with predictable results. This morning I'm up to 158. So I'll be pushing back down on the restriction a little more.

In the meantime, realizing that I'm probably going to be close to this size for a while, and having my two sisters handy, I've been indulging in SHOPPING. Me. Who has historically H.A.T.E.D. shopping. With a Passion.

In the interests of public service, here is a rundown of the thrift and consignment stores we've investigated:

1) American Cancer Society Discovery Store, Rancho Bernardo
16787 Bernardo Center Drive, San Diego - (858) 385-0479

Small store, Salvation Army-type prices & selection. Found the sparkly $18 dress on sale there that day for half off.

2) Girlfriend's Consignment Boutique, Poway
12222 Poway Road, Poway, CA - (858) 679-1222

Upscale. Lovely selection. Found a really nice workout top and leather pants ($26).

3) Plato's Closet, Escondido
1220 Auto Park Way, Escondido, CA - (760) 233-0002

Geared toward 20 year olds. Found some really nice workout gear there. Lots of colors and styles and the ability to be picky.

4) Deborah's Next to New, Escondido
1624 E Valley Pkwy, Escondido, CA - (760) 743-8980

Large selection. Similar items scattered throughout the store. Quality ranges from Salvation Army to upscale. Found an awesome lined suede long skirt there for $29.

I'm going to have to get a box and ship this stuff home...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOM5INFL 1/26/2010 6:01PM

    I somehow lost my subscription to your blog so I totally missed the results of your DEXA. 19 percent, holy cow! That's awesome. You are so done with your weight loss. The extra skin is obviously adding a significant amount of weight. Do not beat yourself up for not getting to a number that may be too stressful to maintain. You are done with losing fat...unless you are planning to compete in a bodybuilding competition. Now focus on reshaping your body through weight training. Congratulations! emoticon

I think I need to do the DEXA or BodPod or something. I need to know my bodyfat percent so that I can stop those nagging thoughts that maybe I could do better. Again, congratulations!!! Birdie.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WALKWITME 1/20/2010 6:27AM

    I am so Happy For You!

I actually pull up your photo at work and show you off

You are so Inspiring!

I am Spreading Your Spark around

CONGRATULATIONS ! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Way to go on the 19% body fat and how fun to go shopping with your sisters. Can't wait to see pictures of all your finds!


Report Inappropriate Comment
CARRIE1948 1/18/2010 8:05AM

    That's fantastic

Report Inappropriate Comment
MURSPERZ 1/18/2010 7:46AM

    Congratulations! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
YARELL 1/17/2010 6:37PM

    That is awesome!!! Isn't that the oddest thing, it sticks at a point... whatever number your chasing... seems to be cemented in place... then
without even realizing it.. bam!
you hit it and past! What the heck!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DBALZER 1/17/2010 2:40PM

    Truly Inspiring! I look forward to my DONE post. That will be a while but with inspirations like you I know I can keep at it.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GINGER_LOSTALOT 1/17/2010 2:36PM

    That's truly inspiring!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DAYHIKER 1/17/2010 2:29PM

    emoticonYou look wonderful! And you positively glow with good health! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GEE-KNEE 1/17/2010 2:05PM

    Hooray, 19% body fat says it all. Good for you. Now that you're done losing weight, what is the next goal?

Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 1/17/2010 12:28PM

    I *knew* the 19% had to be a BIGGIE from your message...WOW! No WONDER it inspired tears! The numbers have certainly been your "friend" as you pointed out in your message thread with STEVIECAT4 , folks like us...and I can certainly relate!...lose touch with our bodies and appetites. How do we *KNOW* when we are hungry or not...? Now THAT would be a challenge: to somehow re-learn, re-gain confidence in having our bodies *KNOW* when we are TRULY hungry, vs. all the other distortions we have picked up along the way to cloud our sense of appetite!

Love your new pic...you are finding some "gems" out there! :-) Don't know if you knew that there is a Plato's Closet here on the Vestal Parkway...? Not sure if there is something special about this consignment shop...have never been there.

Of course your journey continues through the challenges of maintenance...! Who knows what discoveries may be yet ahead? :-)


Report Inappropriate Comment
TELERIE 1/17/2010 11:53AM

    You're just a-mazing and an inspiration and I'm so happy I have "met" you here! Congratulations and happy shopping. Now to keep on with the great work you're doing on maintenance.

Report Inappropriate Comment
RAYLINSTEPHENS 1/17/2010 11:44AM

    I just love it when a plan comes together!

SparkPeople works!! You are living proof!!


Report Inappropriate Comment
THOMS1 1/17/2010 11:12AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

Rancho Bernardo Spark Rally

Friday, January 15, 2010

My sisters and I met with Deb (S318830) for lunch today at the Soup Plantation near the hotel. So, since there were three SparkPeople (TM) there, we're calling it a "Spark Rally" LOL.

Here are the photos afterward, taken by the one sister who isn't (yet) on this site.

OK, photos don't seem to be uploading properly, so I'll add 'em later.
...Looks like I need to use IE instead of Firefox.

S318830 smiling for the camera while 4A-HEALTHY-BMI tells HAVASUROSE to put down the rabbit ears. LOL

HAVASUROSE giving attitude.

4A-HEALTHY-BMI giving attitude.

More pics together at the Wild Animal Park on Sunday morning, when we'll include the other sister!

Then afterwards HAVASUROSE had a dentist appointment, S318830 went back to work, and 4A-HEALTHY-BMI and her eldest sister (not pictured) went to consignment stores and thrift shops and played in clothes...

NEW fully-lined LEATHER PANTS! ($26) and jacket from a skirt suit ($11)
[I was intrigued by S318830's account of HER new leather pants, both in the original blog and at lunch today. Not just intrigued. Jealous. LOL]

New dress ($9) that I saw on the manniquin and thought would be fun to try on. My boss retired on the 30th and his dinner is coming up.

Then we tried re-staging the "fat pants" photo with HAVASUROSE from November, and this time they ZIPPED UP! LOL

This is the SAME EXACT PAIR OF PANTS in each photo.

March 2008:

November 2009:

January 2010:

4A-HEALTHY-BMI with her eldest sister in "the pants."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKWITME 1/20/2010 6:32AM

    I Know the Feeling Too

You Have Done An AWESOME Job !

You all Look Great !

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

    What fun, I love the pants photos! The dress looked amazing and glad to see you got some sister time!


Report Inappropriate Comment
KALISWALKER 1/17/2010 2:25AM

    What a great photo! looks like you know how to have fun.

Report Inappropriate Comment
S318830 1/16/2010 1:08PM

    YEAH!!!! LOVE the new red leather pants! And congratulations on being able to zip up the old pants now! That's awesome!

Comment edited on: 1/16/2010 1:09:15 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARRIE1948 1/16/2010 8:57AM

    Love the photos

Report Inappropriate Comment
DAVEOZ 1/16/2010 2:25AM

    I can feel your joy. Great job. Leather pants!!! I want a pair along with big hair and bright red boots to tuck the leather pants INTO (can you say 80's)


Keep up the great work!!!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 1/15/2010 6:04PM

    Can't wait for the pics! Wish I was THERE!

Also can't wait to hear all about your friends and family's reaction to the NEW YOU!

Love your news of 19%...woo hoo! :-)


Comment edited on: 1/15/2010 6:24:46 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
S318830 1/15/2010 4:23PM

    Photo tease! That was great! I really enjoyed meeting you guys. I just posted my own blog where I mention our lunch too.

Report Inappropriate Comment
THISMISSLINZI 1/15/2010 4:07PM

  I live in SD too! Awesome!

Report Inappropriate Comment

More Enabling (food) Technologies, part III

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

1. Dixie diners crunchy apple soy rocks protein bars

I've written about protein and mentioned protein bars before.

This is my new go-to favorite bar and has one of the best protein / calorie ratios at 10 g protein and 81 calories. They are crunchy and satisfying and at less than half the calories of most protein bars they are suitable for a snack to get you by until a real meal will be available.

You can also get a version with flax seeds in it that has 90 calories and 10 g of protein. I prefer to just get my omegas via capsule.

There's no weird melty chocolate layer that will go funny if it gets hot in the car, so you can stash them everywhere for emergencies. I have them in my glove box, my life vest, my desk at work, my gym bag, etc.

I buy them online directly from Dixie Diners' Club:

2. Freeze-dried fruit

Most "normal" dried fruit has added sulfates, sugars, and even sometimes oil. Freeze-dried fruit has none of those additions and is fantastic with breakfast cereal or yoghurt (or just about anything else to which you'd add fruit). I even like just snacking on it - it's crunchy and has a nice tart / sweet kick.

You can get freeze dried blueberries and strawberries at Trader Joe's, or you can order a bunch of different kinds from nutsonline.com - they have a referral incentive so if you want 10% off your first order, contact me with your email address and I'll have them send you a code. (I would get 10% off my next order, too)

You can also get freeze dried vegetables - the broccoli has the highest protein / calorie ratio of any of the fruits and vegetables. Of the fruits, the freeze-dried sour cherries win the nutrition contest with the boysenberries a close second. (Boysenberries resulted from crossing blackberry, loganberry and raspberry and are the basis of the Knott's Berry Farm empire.)


3. Wasa crisp n' light crackers

I found these while visiting a friend recently in Alexandria, VA. At 20 calories and 11.7 mg of sodium per cracker I think they actually taste pretty good, and are a great alternative to more fat and sodium laden crackers. I plan on bringing some to the New Year's Eve celebration I attend every year.

It turns out you can order a case of ten online from Amazon.com cheaper than you can get them from the store:

4. Laughing Cow Cheese (Extra Light)

I discovered this spreadable low-fat cheese while visiting LAFAGG in England.

In one wedge (17.5 g) there are:

20 calories
0.6 g fat
131.3 mg sodium
2.6 g protein

Compare this with the Laughing Cow Light available in the US:
(21 g per wedge)

35 calories
2 g fat
260 mg sodium
2.5 g protein

I don't know about you, but I'd prefer to eat the UK version. Or TWO of them, since that's about the equivalent in calories to ONE of the US wedges - and more than TWICE the protein... To me it tastes just as good. On my Wasa Crisp n' Light crackers, LOL.

For this one, unfortunately, you have to either know someone in Europe who can send it to you, or know people traveling there who can bring it home in a suitcase.

I emailed Laughing Cow and asked why they don't sell Extra Light in North America. They replied that it is because they're marketed here as a "specialty cheese" and don't think there would be a market for it.

I think they're wrong and referred them to www.hungry-girl.com/girls/biteoutdet
as an example.

5. Kauffman's fruit butter with no sugar added

If your tastes run more to sweet than savory for your cracker or toast toppings, here's something I recently discovered in the local Mennonite store. The pumpkin butter in particular stands out, at 5 calories per tablespoon and a short list of ingredients (pumpkin, apple cider, lemon, cinnamon, citric acid).

If you can't find a local store that carries it, you can order it direct from the Pennsylvania:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARENE10 1/13/2010 9:50AM

    Thanks for all the great info. I do not live that far from Kaufman's---it would be doable to go there on a weekend day that I have off. Roadtrip emoticon Thanks for doing all the research for us!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PUDDLE_JUMPER 1/10/2010 2:58AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
PATTILYNN224 1/7/2010 10:10AM

    Thanks so much for opening up a whole new world for me. I live in a small town and it is very difficult to find dairy free products.

Comment edited on: 1/7/2010 10:11:09 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
STEVIECAT4 1/5/2010 5:18PM

    I'm going to send you my email address through Sparkmail. I LOVE cherries, and I want to order the freeze dried cherries from nutsonline.com. A coupon will be great!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHELLEBELLE104 1/3/2010 11:11PM

    that is great info... you are just amazing and I am going to have to look into that stuff! Thanks.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DARA52 1/3/2010 2:58AM

    Thank you!Great info!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MPLSLINDA 1/2/2010 4:26PM

    I'm going to write to Laughing Cow and tell them they could develop their market for Extra Light "specialty cheese" right here on SparkPeople! Thanks for all the tips. Because of the info you post, I'm reading The Hacker's Diet, signed up for Physics Diet today, and am investigating Lean Me for my iTouch.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ZESTYLADY 12/31/2009 3:16PM

    I sure love having you do my research for me! Thanks

Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 12/30/2009 11:36PM

    My DW made a KILLER apple butter this past fall without sugar. Some great sounding items here to check out...thx for passing along your discoveries!


Report Inappropriate Comment
ZELLAZM 12/30/2009 6:13PM

    What a great list of things to try! Makes me feel like going shopping right NOW! Thanks for posting this info. I've especially been on the lookout for a good protein bar/snack since the company I bought from discontinued their high-fiber version.

Thanks again!

Report Inappropriate Comment
4A-HEALTHY-BMI 12/30/2009 4:31PM

    @ WILLOW49
You might not be able to eat the Dixie Diners' products - you can't have soy, right?

For other protein bar options, check out my blog on protein...


Comment edited on: 12/30/2009 4:32:22 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
WILLOW49 12/30/2009 4:20PM

    I'm going to have to try those Dixie Diner's protein bars! I don't think I ever eat enough protein :( This might be a good answer for me. That dried fruit is right up my alley, too!


Report Inappropriate Comment
CARRIE1948 12/30/2009 4:19PM

    As usual, a font of information

Report Inappropriate Comment

The BEST Christmas present, EVER!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wow. This place is AMAZING.

With the help of the nutrition tracker, the motivational tools, and most especially THE PEOPLE, I've managed to remove 166.8 lbs since last December. (176.2 total)

What I wanted most of all for Christmas this year was a BMI under 25.

And this morning, what was waiting for me on the scale? A number that put me there!!!!!


To get there has taken a lot of perseverance and support from too many people to mention here, but it includes pretty much everyone who has ever commented on my page, or a blog, or sent me an email, or shown up to a Finger Lakes Team Spark rally... (As well as so many friends and family in my AFK life.)

I want to especially thank STEVIECAT4 for joining a contest with me after Thanksgiving to race to our goal weights by Valentine's Day. Her spirit of friendly competition has definitely helped me stay on track and make progress this month.
Here's hoping her back heals soon so she can continue to push me (and herself) toward our goals!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my (now much healthier) heart!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

P.S. I am already planning out my meals and exercise for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

I'm using "Lean Me Pro" on my iPod Touch to track exercise and nutrition.
The advantage over the SP tracker is that I can do it anywhere, any time, even when not connected to the internet. Which means I always know how many calories I have left for the day, and what proportion of them needs to be protein.

Thurs and Fri I will drop down to a -6 lbs per month diet plan which will give me a bit more flexibility in the eating. Saturday it's back to the stricter -8 lbs per month regime.

As I ramp down to goal I will experiment with -8, -6, -4, and "maintenance" diet cycles to see what works.

I WILL have a plan, and I WILL stay on track.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMAROLEMODEL 1/11/2010 10:50AM

    Way to go-- I am so proud of you!

keep it up


Report Inappropriate Comment
STEVIECAT4 1/5/2010 5:27PM

    You are so awesome!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DAVEOZ 1/4/2010 2:17PM

    Great job. Best of 2010 to you and your BMI!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GEE-KNEE 12/27/2009 12:00PM

    Congratulations again! You did this so fast. That must have taken some great determination, and I am sure that same determination will keep it off this time. It's good to have a plan. I am taking the tortoise approach lately, slow and steady, but I'll get there too. Until then I am enjoying being just overweight for Christmas..., something I haven't been since high school.


Comment edited on: 12/27/2009 2:25:43 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOMFAN 12/26/2009 8:44PM

    Great Job!

Report Inappropriate Comment
TELERIE 12/26/2009 1:27PM

    Congratulations on the best Christmas present ever! and it's a gift you can keep on enjoying for the rest of your long and healthy life! You are SUCH an inspiration! I am putting the same Christmas wish on my list for next year.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOM5INFL 12/24/2009 10:56AM

    Congratulations!!!! Yay!!!! Awesome!!! This is what it's about. Getting healthy. You are an inspiration!!! Birdie.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FRECKS96 12/24/2009 8:50AM

    Congrats!! What an amazing gift to yourself!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 12/24/2009 1:33AM

    What an AMAZING journey for you!

Amazing in how MUCH and how FAST you've accomplished this!

You've been such an inspiration for me to get off my duff and get going once again after a plateau of over a year...can't thank you ENOUGH!

May your holidays and the years to come bring you all that your heart desires!


Report Inappropriate Comment
WALKWITME 12/23/2009 8:11PM

    emoticon Congratulations!

My AWESOME emoticon

emoticon Merry Christmas! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
JUST-AMY 12/23/2009 7:17PM

    What a great, hard-earned, self-given Christmas present, indeed. You are awe-inspiring!


Report Inappropriate Comment
BUTTERFLY2819 12/23/2009 1:22PM

    congratulations!!! way to go!!! you're right, that is an amazing christmas present!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BETTYAHE 12/23/2009 12:21PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

A wonderful gift to yourself! Congratulations!

Hugs, Betty emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
STEVIECAT4 12/23/2009 12:20PM

    Right back at ya Goal Buddy!!! The scale just wasn't moving for me until you proposed this challenge and now we're both in the 150's!!! Merry Christmas! I KNEW you would make it. As for me, I'm sure I'll be back to my exercise by Sunday and then you'd better watch out cuz we're going to be neck and neck down to the wire. I predict a photo finish!!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WILLOW49 12/23/2009 11:54AM

    emoticon emoticon You couldn't have given yourself a better gift...leaving those pounds behind in 2009!

Enjoy your new gift...so glad it's under your tree ;)

Report Inappropriate Comment
SPATTERS3 12/23/2009 11:09AM

    congrats ! I went to your spark page - phenomenal !

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARZATAX 12/23/2009 10:05AM

    Way to go! Congratualtions on your early Christmas gift! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ALYFITN 12/23/2009 9:40AM

    emoticon HI FIVE FOR A TWENTY-FIVE!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOLLYDAGGER64 12/23/2009 9:38AM

    Good for you. Congratulations. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DEBMORSE1 12/23/2009 9:32AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
KARENE10 12/23/2009 9:32AM

    What a wonderful Christmas present~ Better health! I am so happy for you! Hope steviecat is on the mend too. Friendly competition helps me also. Wishing you and yours
a very Merry Christmas and a happy ,HEALTHY new year!!!!!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PEDAL-PUSHER 12/23/2009 9:30AM

    AMAZING!!!!! Congratulations!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I would like to reopen the issue of expanding support for maintainers here at Spark People.

I've already lost over 100 lbs and gained it back once in my life, and this time I am playing for keeps. Twice in one lifetime is ENOUGH.

I want to stack the deck as well as I can toward success in maintenance, the way I have stacked it toward success in weight removal.

Ideally this would include tools, incentives, and reminders all timed to coincide with the stages of maintenance - continuing out to 60 months, analogous to the excellent structure provided here for phases of weight loss. And some way to find the other people who have been where I am and are where I am, for mutual support in sticking to the plan.

I have sent a message to Chris, Coach Jen, and Coach Dean, but they've probably been too busy to answer. Time is slipping by, and I would like to know from the rest of the community if I'm the only one here who is concerned about this.

The maintenance issue is deep and difficult. Statistically only 5% to 20% of people manage to keep a large weight loss off (depending on how you define "keeping the weight off"). I myself once before lost over 100 lbs and gained it back (plus 100 more). Training in maintenance mentality needs to start before someone reaches goal and needs to continue from 2-5 years afterward (according to the literature).

If Spark People can show an improvement for weight loss maintenance better than these statistics, the site will have a significant edge over other competing resources.

We need to make maintenance more supported, visible and celebrated here. More than occasional articles about regain, and a few teams about maintenance. The "Maintaining Your New Weight" Lifestyle Center page is good to have, but it is not enough.

There is a lot of scientific information available about which specific behaviors and strategies are associated with weight loss maintenance. The National Weight Control Registry has published about weight maintenance interventions they've designed.

Spark People would be an ideal place to implement such a program. The site already has many of the necessary features already in place - personal interactions for mutual support, tools for nutrition and fitness tracking, and the "stickiness" necessary to keep people coming back and staying with the program.

I've written a blog summarizing the main behaviors associated with weight loss maintenance, based on a recent paper from the NWCR:
(This post also contains links to other resources like the maintenance chapter of the Hacker's Diet, a link to the Second Helping online magazine, etc.)

These specific behaviors need to be highlighted, encouraged, and celebrated. Spark Streaks and countdowns to 5 years of maintenance from initial goal weight would help a lot.

We need a maintenance program that is based on hard science. Someone from Spark People could approach the NWCR about whether they'd be interested in helping design a weight loss maintenance program for us. I have even offered to assist with this, given my background in scientific / academic research.

Am I the only one here who sees a need for something like this? Getting the weight off simply is not enough. I need help KEEPING it off!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I received an email from SparkGuy Chris.

He said they have put this down as a project to work on. He suggested building a "days at goal" tracker and then have rewards based on that. He said they also want to build out SparkAmerica/SparkEarth fitness minutes challenges since consistent fitness is such an important part of maintenance.

He asked if I had any specific additional thoughts.

Below are some specific suggestions I made. If you have any specific ideas for how to facilitate maintenance, it sounds like now is a good time to email them to him.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I'd LOVE to see Spark Streaks implemented for days at goal, weeks at goal, months at goal, etc. all the way up to 60 months (five years).

Spark Streaks would be ideal to encourage the behaviors that have been statistically associated with weight maintenance:

1) activity levels of over 200 minutes per week (at least for women in the cited study)
2) high levels of dietary restraint, such as:
- a) deliberately taking small helpings
- b) avoiding certain foods
- c) counting calories
3) having lower levels of depressive symptomology
4) controlling overeating

I'd also like to see "success gallery" icons marking the time spent at maintenance (all the way up to 5 years).

The "Maintaining Your New Weight" Lifestyle Center page is good, but it could be improved.

I'd love to see links to articles addressing these key predictors of successful long-term maintenance, highlighting them specifically:

1) longer duration of weight loss maintenance (more than 2 years)
2) dietary consistency
3) less fast food consumption
4) less TV viewing
5) more frequent breakfast consumption
6) lower levels of depressive symptoms and dis-inhibited eating

Some of the articles already there could be enhanced. For example, Nichole wrote a nice article summarizing the efficacy of daily weigh-ins. But how about including a link to resources that calculate a weighted moving average of daily weights, such as physicsdiet.com or the Hacker's Diet online log?

(Ultimately I'd like to see a Hacker's Diet-type weighted moving average option built into Spark People's weight charts, but that might not be such an easy addition. See the Hacker's Diet Spark Team for more info: teams.sparkpeople.com/hackersdiet )

Mike Kramer wrote a nice article summarizing his "unscientific" survey among maintainers, but there is actual scientific data (like that listed above) that could be referenced in this regard as well.

How about a subset of the motivational weight loss pages highlighting people who have maintained for more than 2 years? (2-5 years is the term most scientific articles mention)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Another update:

BETHEFLAME has pointed out that there is a new Spark Poll asking about maintenance support:

If you have opinions, that might be a good place to voice them, too!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 4/25/2011 6:11PM

    Thank you for posting this (and yeah, it's a few years later but you know why I'm here).

If SP wants us to be in the 5%, dammit, where are they?

Report Inappropriate Comment
GEINAHG0757 1/3/2010 12:09PM

    While I have found my way to a "normal" BMI - right now - I am absolutely TERRIFIED that this will not last. It never has before. It is very admirable of you to recommend to SP that they expand their Maintenance program. If this site is to be truly successful, it is going to have to address this.
I have not found the right nutritional path as you have. I "lurk" your blogs - taking (well, borrowing) ideas that you suggest. Some of them I have incorporated into my diet and I thank you for that. Cannot.do.tofu...just.can't!
Congrats on your journey so far. You LOOK so vital, healthy and just plain HAPPY. May whatever power that guides continue to do so...

Report Inappropriate Comment
SHEILA1505 12/23/2009 10:44AM

    Hi there - looks like SP might be listening! This morning I noticed a link to Maintenance - so maybe just maybe we'll get the support and recognition that we need.

Well done with the under 25 BMI too! Awesome

Peace and Joy
Have a good Christmas

Report Inappropriate Comment
SHEILA1505 12/22/2009 2:45AM

    I hit my target last year - full of motivation and Yay Way to Go stuff - but maybe I got complacent and then woke up 6 months later with several miserable pounds back on board. This time I have added this community to my back-up infrastructure and am looking forward to the January BootCamp to keep the energy levels up. I can't say that the Nutrition Trackers helped in any way as they don't seem to allow for intolerances etc. but the friendships certainly help. Thanx everyone!

It probably was a head thing - but isn't everything? My head gets it - but Yes - we do still need encouragement, support, information and rewards. We all need to know we are appreciated and our efforts are worth while.

Bring it on!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BINGHAM37 12/20/2009 12:03PM

    I really respect your amazing success and took a look at your food intake to see how you did it. Now I can see why you might be really concerned with maintenance! You must be doing what is right for your body, even though the numbers look extreme to me. Are you consulting with a reputable and modern dietitian? I hope so, I know that many Americans get that much protein but I worry about your kidneys. Yes, I worry... sorry if that irritates you at all, I just wanted to let you know that I care. Take care on your journey, I wish you all the health and happiness in the world.

Update: I'm glad to hear you've researched high-pro diets, it obviously works for you and that's like 98% of the battle isn't it?! I studied to become a dietitian but I learned that a lot of them are not up-to-date with new research. Your research and knowledge of your own body is probably a lot more accurate for your needs than most professionals in the field! All the best and I hope to hear more about your journey through next year (as I hopefully track my progress too =). Happy Holidays!

Comment edited on: 12/20/2009 2:39:41 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
HEALTH4LYFE 12/15/2009 10:21PM

    Thank you for sharing and for providing so much information on which others could contribute. I am 22 lbs away from my goal and have lost 64 lbs so far. I have done the weight loss thing before and gained it back plus.
It scares me to death (only figuratively) with regards to how I am going to handle it, and what I need to do to maintain.
I have already been chatting with a friend who is maintaining and I told her I plan on leaning on her A LOT!! I will try and brainstorm some ideas and send them your way. Thanks again. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SECRETMUSIC 12/15/2009 10:03PM

    I so agree with you. At 80+ pounds down and 20+ to go, I am already feeling the lack of support that was given with the initial phases. I like your suggestions very much, and I'll try to think of anything else that might occur to me. Thanks so much for bringing this up!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WALKWITME 12/13/2009 3:46PM

    Thanks ! I need all the help I can get

Report Inappropriate Comment
PEPCEA 12/11/2009 12:44PM

    I totally agree with MSTUBBE and I am speaking from personal experience of having lost a great deal of weight and gained it back plus many more pounds. So I can be honest about it. The truth is the programs are telling the truth...you do need to continue with what you did to lose the weight. The problem is, most people don't do it. I totally agree that there is a psychological component that MUST be addressed for success. I know for a fact that is why I am successful this time. I have changed my lifestyle and I know I cannot go back to how I used to eat EVER! Unfortunately, it's a truth the most will not accept or cannot accept. And I'll tell you, all the support in the world won't help you if YOU are not willing to change forever. In the end, it is up to each individual person and I would really encourage anyone struggling to work on the mindset because you will never have permanent success otherwise. (well, at least, that's what I feel based on my own struggles).

Report Inappropriate Comment
4A-HEALTHY-BMI 12/10/2009 8:07PM


It *is* confusing, isn't it?! You'd THINK keeping the weight off would be just doing the same things that helped you lose weight. And most weight loss programs tell you exactly that.

But the fact is that only about 5% of people actually manage to stay close to their goal weight in the long term, and up to 20% only manage to keep about 10% of their starting weight off, that means 80% gain it ALL back, or even add some.

So what the weight loss programs are telling us, the standard lines about "doing what you did to lose the weight" clearly isn't working. And there is research out there showing it. There are subtle differences, and they are important. Both in the psychology and in the mechanics of the process.

So, unfortunately maintenance is a whole other can of worms, and in my experience much harder than losing weight. You can see some of the collected resources and comments in my original blog on the subject...

Report Inappropriate Comment
MSTUBBE 12/10/2009 7:55PM

    I'm confused... I get that once you reach your weight loss goal you want to maintain that weight loss but losing 100 lbs or more takes a lot of time... right? So why wouldn't you continue to live the lifestyle that got you to where you are when you reach your weight loss goal?

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHARLIESANGEL10 12/10/2009 1:37PM

    Yes, I think Spark needs something like this. People will also need to learn how to maintain for life--& will need support because life can really get ya sometimes. I think you sound like a well educated person on the topic--maybe they should put you in charge. I know it would be helpful for people to see how people are successfully keeping their weight off & coping with life while doing it. I've often wondered why they did not have it...I had lost from 200 to 150 & kept it off 5 years before my pregnancy that left me half dead & 300 pounds & I already wanted to read & study up & learn from the examples of others, to help remind me where I used to be & I was hoping someone there had done it without exercising like crazy. This time, I am physically unable to do the amount of exercise I did before to maintain & am now challenged to gain more control over my portions--forever, it's not easy for me. I know it would help people who are maintaining when they hit personal & medical crisis moments. Ever seen anyone try to stay at their goal weight for life while taking steroids for pain management? That is not easy & would benefit all people because at one point in our lives, we are all gonna be on medications & many cause weight gain---I'd like to know the best way to do the best you can when dealing with it. Thanks.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DAYHIKER 12/10/2009 8:03AM

    DDORN kindly sent me here, too, and I'm so glad he did! I am eager to get on board for Maintenance!


Report Inappropriate Comment
GETTO140 12/10/2009 6:28AM

    Another spark member, DDORN, pointed me to this blog.

This is an excellent blog with some really great ideas. I need a "how to maintain" guide, because I don't want to go back where I was either! I did reach my original goal, however, I bumped it to 140 when I saw the pounds coming off on a regular basis. Staying down is not so easy, really. It's a daily, mindful process. I help other people here, but could use some of this kind of help and motivation from others who are trying to maintain.


Report Inappropriate Comment
GOLIONS 12/9/2009 8:41AM

    I have reached 1.5 year at goal. It is so scary. Seeing that weight fluctuation of 1-2 pounds during my weekly weigh in is very scary! Did I really gain weight? What did or didn't I do this week that was so different? Am I slipping back to the old habits? It is

Report Inappropriate Comment
RUSSLANE 12/8/2009 9:57PM

    Thanks for the mention of Second Helping!

In terms of the "keeping it off is harder thing" -- if you talk with mountain climbers, or read of the chilling (ooh! really horrible pun) account of Mt. Everest climbs, there's an ongoing theme. If you put all your energy into climbing up the mountain, how will you get down?

Life, post-weight is kind of like this, learning to climb down the mountain and settle into "the new normal." With all the emphasis on weight loss -- and rightly so -- there's comparatively less on life-after-weight loss. The methodology of it, and the reality of what it means to "catch your mind up to your body."

With all the "weight loss success story hype" so popular in the media, post-weight life can be a lot harder than it looks. It's an tremendous adjustment, and one that goes criminally unacknowledged.

As for SP teams, I definitely recommend the "Over the Hump" team -- for me, a lot of the "what am I going to do with my life now?" questions started happening toward the latter half of my weight loss. And there's the awesome team, At Goal and Maintaining.

Comment edited on: 12/8/2009 9:57:26 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
LACHELY 12/8/2009 4:40PM

    thank you~!!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
UNSURE 12/8/2009 12:12PM

    hven't gotten there yet, but great to see it is coming. We all need this to be address

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOOSLADY 12/8/2009 11:39AM

    I love the weighted average idea. I have been doing this on paper by hand because the chart here doesn't show enough detail. Even when you reach goal your weight varies a little bit each day due to hormones, constipation, etc so one weekly measurement is not as helpful.
I have been at my goal weight for a year and find I can't yet not record my food. How can we transition to eating intuitively? How about when the low calories we were eating to lose are causing our bodies to panic and gain weight. I recently found I had to eat more to stop a regain. When I read that most people are eating 1200-1400 calories and I am having to eat 1700 to maintain it confuses me, we definitely need more support.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LIFE-OF-LEISURE 12/8/2009 8:07AM

    I'm thinking about my maintenance phase already and I've only lost one third of my goal weightloss!

I thought I'd lost you on PhysicsDiet, but then I thought "those numbers look familiar". I bet she changed her name. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
VGIMLET 12/7/2009 9:00PM

    Maintaining has always been my problem too.

When I get to goal this will be the third time I have lost a significant amount of weight to get to a goal. Losing the weight, once I make up my mind, is not usually the problem. It's keeping it off. I have better tools now, and a better mindset that I'm working on, but I agree, having a maintenance component is a great idea.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ILOVESP 12/7/2009 8:32PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
USHAMATT 12/7/2009 7:35PM

    I need maintenacnce more than anything. I reached my goal and decided to lose a little more. Just beacuse I am afraid of the future. Now I have no enthusiasm. I have kept within my nutrition and exercise guideleines but I just feeol deflated. I reached my goal over Thanksgiving.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHRISSYVB 12/7/2009 1:46PM

    Really well thought out. Thank you.

I know those who are still struggling to lose probably wouldn't agree with this but the losing was the easy part. Once I was in the losing mind-set I didn't really have a problem sticking to the program. Sure a few hiccups but no real problems. Maintenance is much harder for me.

I hope your suggestions are implemented quickly.

Report Inappropriate Comment
HILARYMM 12/7/2009 11:35AM

    Rock on! I am six pounds from goal, and trying to work out maintenance issues. I want to keep this lovely body. Thanks for a timely blog post!

-- Hilary

Report Inappropriate Comment
NANCYBFULLER 12/7/2009 9:25AM

    In the meantime, you could start a team. If you do let me know.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LADY_KATHY 12/7/2009 12:15AM

    Great ideas.. glad someone (you) started something. ; )

Report Inappropriate Comment
FRANMA76 12/6/2009 10:35PM

    I completely agree. I'm a WW member, and have already found that other than weigh ins and an empathetic leader, there are no real clear cut guidelines, or much of a "what to expect"...I'd like to see some articles addressing how you cope when the message from the scale is suddenly say the same...and the mental game of keeping on tracking, controlling portions, all of it.

I've always heard it's hard, but it's still a shock.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SF-RACHAEL 12/6/2009 8:47PM

    As I'm closing in on goal I find myself wondering about maintenance. I'm not gaining this weight back. I want to know others who are in the same boat, doing the same things, striving for the same goals.

Expanded support for maintainers...Expanded support for large weight loss (i.e. half our former selves)...tools, tricks, groups.

I'll have that please.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ROBIE143 12/6/2009 5:55PM

  My problem is not losing but maintaining. I have lost and gained over 500lbs in my life.Very scary,.Finaly at age 54 I figured it out.Jan 1 of09 I started my plan, no carbs,sugar,or flour.It is not a diet It's a wsy of eating.Sugar makes me eat everything in site.I have no problem eating this wayand now I'm a size 6 and very happy.I know if I eat this way I will stay thin and happy.Now I need to move,I can't find a workout I want to do more than once. Help

Report Inappropriate Comment
COLUMBINE2 12/6/2009 1:27PM

    Thanks for your research and your initiative in bringing this to our attention and to that of the SP organization. SP has provided a service we can never repay and I, for one, will be eternally grateful to them.

The facts, however, are crystal clear: most of us are in a viscious cycle of weight loss and weight gain. Truthfully, SP's assistance in helping us learn to maintain our weight would be even more life-changing than the intial (and probably temporary) weight loss.

Try to visualize the ripple effect of hundreds of thousands of fewer people suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, physical limitations, etc. Imagine the improved lives, the improved work productivity, the vastly lowered health costs -- the list is endless.

I encourage SP to offer additional tools to cement the progress achieved by those reaching weight goals. The alternative is to watch the revolving door of losing and gaining, not only of pounds, but also of good health, fitness, self-esteem and Hope.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ALYFITN 12/6/2009 1:01PM

    You are right on with your suggestions. I am glad to hear Chris & Company agree. I started SP one month ago and my biggest concern out of the blocks is future maintenance.

I’m in the honeymoon phase of this lifestyle. My hubby commented regarded documenting that surely I won’t have to keep it up once I get “good” at this. He is usually right but this time could not be more wrong! I will continue tracking.

Self-perception is a tricky issue. We cannot depend on it—therefore, we must measure.

Thanks for all your great posts.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LESLIETX 12/6/2009 6:46AM

    I have emailed you about this! I am on my way to goal again after a "problem" few years that I had. I think another intervention that needs to be in place is a comprehensive relapse plan. That was one thing that kept me at a normal BMI from 2003-2006. My normal BMI is 200 pounds less than my highest weight. I have lost over 100 more than twice, but have spent more than 20 years maintaining at least 100 pounds of that weight off. I don't get accolades or credit for the 100 that stayed off, because of the fact that I have only spent 3 years at goal. During that 3 year period I felt "bullet proof" with my maintenance plan. I am a member of the NWCR and a health care professional.

Report Inappropriate Comment
L3DESIGNS 12/6/2009 1:43AM

    Great ideas. I'm not at goal yet, but maintaining after I reach my goal is very important and I will need strategies so I don't gain again

Report Inappropriate Comment
NANCY- 12/6/2009 1:17AM

    Excellent, I'm already working with maintenance in mind.

Report Inappropriate Comment
-WRKNG2ABTTRME- 12/6/2009 1:14AM

    This is great! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
REVSERENA 12/6/2009 12:15AM

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

I was just corresponding with a spark buddy about how much more difficult it is to stay with it when the accolades stop coming, and it's all about staying where you are instead of getting someplace new.

I really applaud your effort to strengthen the research base, and resourcing for maintainers.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KATELJM 12/5/2009 11:51PM

    I haven't quite reached a good weight to maintain, but when I view my weight tracking, I always regard it as a trend,and individual weigh-ins may sometimes just be blips.

I liked your recommendations. There could be 1-year, 2-year, 3-year, 4-year, 5-year and 5+years badges to appear under the member avatar.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CRAZYGYMGIRL 12/5/2009 11:44PM

    Maintenance is really the hard part... I agree totally. Firsltly, it's not hard to loss weight when you're 200 lbs, but harder as you get smaller. And then it takes so much less to maintain the lower weight. What I found is

A) I think I'm sabatoging myself to not get to goal so that I'm always in the weight loss mode and I concentrate on losing weight. I lost 60 lbs over a year ago and I've kept most of it off... but I still have about 10 or so to go.. and I can't seem to get there.

B) I've joined WW's, as well as SP, because they do have a maintenance program and motivation to stay at goal... free membership.

I think it would be great to have some extra tools for maintenance on SP, but honestly, I don't know how much more it would help me. In the end, only we can do it or not do it.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MEXGAL1 12/5/2009 9:25PM

    Thank you for taking such an interest in maintenance and acting on it. I too struggle to stay at my current weight. I found Sparks at the end of my weight loss journey but at the right time to help me reach goal weight. I still continue to track what I eat and my exercise as a means of not loosing control and going back to my old ways of eating. So I love some of your suggestions and would welcome them!

Report Inappropriate Comment
NICOLEBA47 12/5/2009 8:46PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
JAMIELOGICAL 12/5/2009 8:40PM

    I think you have some great ideas. I think special trackers and streaks for people who are maintaining would be great. The should be incentives and rewards for staying within a final target weight range and continuing to track nutrition and exercise.

Also, I think it's important to keep in mind that people who have lost weight through SparkPeople and are now maintaining are a HUGE asset to the community. They are great motivators and can help with answering questions and share their own experiences with overcoming obstacles. So, keeping maintainers interested in SparkPeople by providing additional tools and incentives for them to continue using the site is in the best interest of everyone.

Report Inappropriate Comment

    I found that getting involved in the Community Team has really helped me with maintenance and achieving new goals. Thanks for the blog!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LEGOS2STILETTOS 12/5/2009 6:46PM

    God/s know its definitely needed.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BILL60 12/5/2009 6:40PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
ELISADEL 12/5/2009 5:43PM

    You make a great point. I've heard other people say that some of the monitoring on sparkpeople becomes a bit awkward when you're trying to maintain, such as the weight loss tickers. It'd be nice to see these kinds of things updated.

I also think that you're right that efforts to keep people who are in maintenance involved in Sparkpeople should pay off. It'll give them more tools to stay healthy, and a pool of people who've been through the whole process to answer questions and offer encouragement to newer members.

Everyone who loses weight in a healthy way on this site improves their own lives and health, makes it more likely that their friends and family will seek to improve their health, and generally helps to direct more of our dollars toward companies that produce healthy food and less toward the companies that make junk foods. It's a win for everybody (except the junk food companies, but I don't feel sorry for them). Everything we can do to make the process more effective and lasting is a good thing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ADVENTURE-GIRL 12/5/2009 5:37PM

    Wow, great idea! I am still in the weight loss phase, but I know from experience that weight maintenance is a difficult task. Thanks for taking the initiative.

Report Inappropriate Comment

    I agree, I reached my goal about 2 years ago now, but the work isn't over.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRABOLD8567 12/5/2009 2:11PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
SNLIGHT 12/5/2009 1:47PM

    Great and informative blog! I can't wait until this becomes a REAL issue for me instead of speculative. Thanks for being proactive.

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 Last Page