SLENDERELLA61   165,241
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Better Maintenance Method

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Until I came to SparkPeople I had never tried to figure out my calorie range for maintenance. I had never tracked calories in order to maintain. And I had never tried to maximize my nutrition.

One maintenance technique I had tried was to weigh each day. Then any day I was over the top of my maintenance range I went back to my weight loss diet. I was able to maintain my weight loss for quite a few months using this method, but my nutrition was less than optimum often. Also, it was difficult to plan meals out and celebrations because I never knew before the day what days I was dieting and what days I wasn't.

Now I am just trying to eat healthy. Life is better!

PS Some people thought that "just trying to eat healthy" meant I'm not tracking now, but actually most of the time I am. For me trying to eat healthy means tracking.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DONNABRIGHT 9/29/2012 12:03PM

    That is the only way that works for me!

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SNUGLBUNIE 9/29/2012 9:35AM

    I have been on maintenance for two years and I have tracked that whole time and only weigh once a month as usual. If I find that my fluctuates to close to the 5 lb. over limit that I've given myself, then I cut back on my calories and food. Good job on reach goal and maintaining and living life :) Good for you!

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FROSTY99 9/28/2012 2:09PM

    Moderation along with eating healthy=success

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123ELAINE456 9/28/2012 10:28AM

  Awesome!!! Great Plan!!! This is the WAY TO GO!!! You can do it. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. Enjoy You Day and Take Care.

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AQUAGIRL08 9/28/2012 10:26AM

    Just trying to eat healthy is the best way to go! You are doing such a great job!

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NATPLUMMER 9/28/2012 9:23AM

    I think it's a great plan.

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STRIVER57 9/28/2012 8:34AM

    yes! exactly.

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2WHEELEDSHARON 9/28/2012 6:31AM

    Maintenance is no joke, bt you're doing an excellent job! emoticon

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SWEDE_SU 9/28/2012 4:08AM

    simple but so true!

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DIDMIS 9/28/2012 3:00AM

    emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 9/28/2012 2:50AM

    Changing to maintaining was a bigger learning curve for me than dieting, but we're both living proof that it can be done with the advice on here Marsha emoticon

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_LINDA 9/28/2012 2:41AM

    Sometimes the simple answer is all you need. Eat healthy and get regular exercise, what a concept! No tracking needed if done right!
You go girl!

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MSLZZY 9/27/2012 11:00PM

    Good for you! Whatever works and stick with it. HUGS!

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WATERMELLEN 9/27/2012 9:32PM

    I absolutely agree that eating healthy is the key . . . .

And I'm thinking there are still some fitness goals I can aim for too!!

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BESTSUSIEYET 9/27/2012 9:08PM

    It is so important to make sure we are getting the RIGHT nutrients, not just the right amount of calories! Thanks for the reminder! Consistency in making healthy choices is critical! I can choose a 'splurge' now & then (like today's pizza lunch) but I need to make sure I don't think that is a "staple" in my eating plan!


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ONEKIDSMOM 9/27/2012 8:56PM

    You've got that right... life IS better! emoticon

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MEXGAL1 9/27/2012 8:37PM

    with your running, I would think just eating healthy without going overboard would work to maintain.
Hope this is your answer
Best of everything to you.
Sallie

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PERSISTANT123 9/27/2012 8:35PM

    I hadn't though about it like that. emoticon

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ROOSTER72 9/27/2012 8:11PM

    Great point. Thanks for sharing

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The BIG Maintenance Advantage

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I look in the mirror and smile. I take a size 4 outfit out of the closet and put it on. I read my now normal lab reports. I run miles and don't even get winded. I look at old pictures and wince then current pictures and don't. I look at the graph of my weight over time.

When I've blown it, overeaten, and feel totally disgusted with myself, I use these tools to remind myself that overall, I am doing great!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKINGCHICK 10/8/2012 3:13PM

    A great way to maintain inspiration - thanks for sharing your thoughts! emoticon

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LISA_FRAME 9/28/2012 8:37PM

  emoticon

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LOGOULD 9/28/2012 1:57PM

    Thanks for the reminder - I need to be more grateful for how far I've come and quit beating myself up on not having already achieved every goal I have set my mind on!

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CHUM48 9/27/2012 12:26PM

    You are doing great! Awesome thinking!

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AQUAGIRL08 9/27/2012 9:50AM

    You certainly are, Marsha! Nothing is as motivating as taking a look at how far you've come!

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BLUEJEAN99 9/27/2012 1:33AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PCASEY7 9/26/2012 11:41PM

    Great job - you look fabulous and fit!

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JAMER123 9/26/2012 9:14PM

    emoticon emoticon Very inspiring!! Thank you!!

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DIANNEMT 9/26/2012 6:29PM

    Wow!! You can be MY inspiration!! I'm 55 and want to get to a healthy BMI and stay there! If you did it, I have high hopes for me!! Thanks!

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LIVELYGIRL2 9/26/2012 4:34PM

  I went and visited your page. You are doing incredible!!!! This is a great reminder and particularly the over 50 crowd it's really too late to chance and improve. Congratulations!

emoticon emoticon

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 9/26/2012 4:11PM

    Yea! :) I'm having a rough day right now, so this is a great reminder :)

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SAILOR64 9/26/2012 3:10PM

    Whoo-hoo!!!!!!!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SERASARA 9/26/2012 3:02PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FATTOFIT56 9/26/2012 2:20PM

    emoticon

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TIGERSIS78 9/26/2012 1:47PM

  Just what I needed to read today! I've lost over 90 pounds, but currently having a bit of an increase in weight. I'm trying hard not to slip into negative thoughts about it, trying to focus on the 90+ pounds I have lost! Thanks! emoticon

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IAMAGEMLOVER 9/26/2012 12:10PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TERRIJ7 9/26/2012 11:52AM

    I can't imagine how wonderful that feels--but one day, I hope to. Congrats!

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BLEGNER1 9/26/2012 11:43AM

    You are doing great!

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HEARTS116 9/26/2012 11:11AM

    emoticon emoticon

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NILLAPEPSI 9/26/2012 11:09AM

    emoticon emoticon for the encouragement.

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PATRICIAANN46 9/26/2012 10:55AM

  Great Advice!!!!! emoticon

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CICELY360 9/26/2012 10:12AM

  Good blog.

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CLAYARTIST 9/26/2012 10:08AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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REGILIEH 9/26/2012 9:57AM

    emoticon

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TONYVAND1 9/26/2012 9:44AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ILIKETOZUMBA 9/26/2012 9:16AM

    Hear, hear! As someone in maintenance who still struggles with feeling bad for eating out or missing a workout...thank you for posting this! :)

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SHOAPIE 9/26/2012 8:58AM

    emoticon

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WALLINMW 9/26/2012 8:49AM

  Awesome. Stay motivated!!

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PENOWOK 9/26/2012 8:41AM

    Great reminder!!!

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PHEBESS 9/26/2012 8:40AM

    Yes!!!!!

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TREYONE 9/26/2012 8:35AM

  Well Done!!! Positive Thinking is so powerful! emoticon

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NEWMOM20121 9/26/2012 8:17AM

    Well said.

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DJSHIP46 9/26/2012 8:06AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MIMIDOT 9/26/2012 7:48AM

    Awesome!!!

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DNRAE1 9/26/2012 7:47AM

    Fantastic!!!

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JANEMARIE77 9/26/2012 7:23AM

    Nice

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GARDENCHRIS 9/26/2012 7:22AM

    emoticon

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NCSUE0514 9/26/2012 7:21AM

    emoticon

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MLH148 9/26/2012 6:09AM

    Thanks!

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FARIS71 9/26/2012 5:53AM

    Oh my gosh thank you! I really blew it in the food department last night but you are so right - overall I'm doing great. Need to keep that perspective. Bless you for reminding me.

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TRYINGHARD54 9/26/2012 5:39AM

    emoticon

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SUSANK16 9/26/2012 5:25AM

  Great ideas

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POPSY190 9/26/2012 3:44AM

    emoticon blog.

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SWEDE_SU 9/26/2012 3:24AM

    how true! emoticon

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TDWANDD2MYK9 9/26/2012 3:09AM

    emoticon

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SPARKLINGME176 9/25/2012 10:16PM

    I have joined SP to learn how to maintain! 17 # more to go! Thanks for this insite, it helps me!

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MSLZZY 9/25/2012 10:00PM

    Yes, you are!

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WATERMELLEN 9/25/2012 8:25PM

    Enjoy your success: they ARE what motivates us to keep maintaining!!

(Size FOUR!! Awesome!!)

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/25/2012 8:21PM

    emoticon "I walk home from work and don't feel it's a long way."

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MIRAGE727 9/25/2012 4:29PM

    Stay strong, Marsha...and don't be too hard on yourself. Just stay focused on your portion control.
emoticon



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Maintenance Expectations Continued

Monday, September 24, 2012

A couple days ago I wrote a blog about whether maintaining a weight loss is hard. My point was that if you have reasonable expectations about how you are going to eat and exercise once you achieve your goal weight, that maintenance won't be as hard as it is for those with unrealistic expectations.

I wrote that blog after thinking about the many times I did not succeed at maintenance. I was the queen of unrealistic expectations. I thought my life would be perfect at goal weight. It wasn't. I thought I would not have to work so hard to maintain. It's work. I expected to eat dessert every day. I'm more successful when I eat more fruits and veggies and a few nuts rather than sweets. I thought I'd just naturally learn how much to eat. I haven't. I still need to weigh, measure, and track often.

Having realistic expectations about how you will eat and exercise to maintain goal weight may be necessary for maintenance, but on further reflection, it is not sufficient. This time when I got to goal I read everything I could find on maintenance on SparkPeople, WeightWatchers, Beck Diet Solution, National Weight Control Registry and whatever else I could find. One thing I read scared me. I read several places that expecting success at maintenance is important to maintaining. What?? How could I have confidence that I could maintain when I had failed at maintenance at least eight times before?

I wanted to succeed at maintenance, but I had very little expectation that I would. I knew that building confidence in my ability to maintain was important for my success. So, I started out very slowly. This time, instead of adding desserts and treats to my losing food plan, I added extra skim milk and more extra virgin olive oil. I was not gaining!! I found the SP meal plans with calorie ranges for my maintenance. Although I didn't follow them exactly, I used them to inform my food selections and portions.

Although I got to goal weight with more or less realistic ideas about how I would eat and exercise, I did not have expectation of success. But by eating as well as I could (sometimes far from perfect) and continuing to enjoy my workouts, I gradually built confidence in my ability to maintain. One of my SparkFriends (should I call out MIRAGE727??) said he "owns maintenance". I love that confidence! I'm not there yet, but I'm getting closer.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMARILYNH 9/25/2012 9:59AM

    What MAARTJEBOL said is exactly what I feel - and I too credit SparkPeople and my SparkFriends with my new found confidence!! I CANNOT fail because too many people are depending on me not to!! That is powerful incentive to stay fit and healthy - as is how GOOD I feel each day when I get out of bed! I'll be 65 in January - who KNEW I could feel better at 64 than I did at 34? Amazing!! Life is GOOD!! emoticon

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_LINDA 9/25/2012 1:51AM

    Maintenance is as personal as the weight loss part is -we each have to find our own path. What ever works. I truly believe you have found your balance and will be able to put a stop to any potential weight gains you might encounter. Number one you have found your inner athlete, and number two you have learned to enjoy the foods that are good for you. Number three you are not letting anything that life throws at you (caring for children all over again) get in your way of your healthy lifestyle. You find ways to work around. Its that determination that is making you a successful maintainer! No, by George, this time around, you have GOT it!!
Keep up the fabulous work!!

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POLSKARENIA 9/25/2012 1:11AM

    Great blog. As with all things, we can't stop when we get to the end - that's just the 1st stage in the process... Our bodies need the consistency of wellbeing! It's up to us to keep looking after ourselves!

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ROOSTER72 9/25/2012 12:19AM

    Thanks for your blog.
I too believe I can do this. I will have plenty of ups and downs as I stumble here and there - and lose my way . . . but I know what I have to do, and I can do it.

As can you!

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MARTHAWILL 9/24/2012 8:18PM

    I could have written this blog-it reflects my journey so clearly. I am finding this time to be different. I do find myself struggling and working at maintaining and have had to battle down 5-15 lbs a few times to get back to maintenance range. My confidence in my ability to maintain has skyrocketed and done nose dives. Sometimes I do feel a bit of a panic and deja-vue but the difference this time is that I am able to turn things around and not let things spiral out of control. I credit the connection to SparkPeople for that and all the inspirational blogs like yours.
You can do it! We can do it!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 9/24/2012 8:14PM

    Own maintenance? A great attitude and a goal in itself!
Go for it! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 9/24/2012 7:41PM

    What a great blog. I wouldn't say I "own" maintaining yet . . . but I seem to have a long-term lease, anyhow: maybe "rent to own"??

Key thing is managing those expectations . . . . and in particular the expectation of weight regainers (former me) that we can return to eating and not-exercising the way we did before we lost it!!

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AQUAGIRL08 9/24/2012 7:38PM

    I'm so glad that you gave all of us a real look at what maintaining will be like. I think including your reasons for wanting to lose in the first place will also help. If a person thinks that being thinner is, by itself, going to automatically make them a happy person, they are setting themselves up for failure. I've watched you struggle and work at it, Marsha. You don't take maintenance for granted. It is an every day struggle sometimes but you don't give in. Your journey has been an amazing one and you have every reason to be proud of yourself! Kudos to you! -Cyndi

Comment edited on: 9/24/2012 7:39:45 PM

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2WHEELEDSHARON 9/24/2012 7:34PM

    You're managing it very sustainably this time. Thank you for sharing your insights with us!

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/24/2012 7:13PM

    I've got a ways to go to get to "owns maintenance", too... but I'm closer than I have been in the past! emoticon

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JOYINKY 9/24/2012 5:28PM

    I'm experiencing success this time because my choices are driven by a desire to maintain good health; the number on the scale is 3rd after healthy and happy! By chance, it fell right into place. I never did expect to be the weight/size I am. But, I do expect to maintain it now that I'm here doing the same things that got me here. Healthy choices. I've loved following your journey Marsha! You're a great example of how someone can completely remodel their livestyle! Now, I'm heading out to walk Sugar!

Comment edited on: 9/24/2012 5:29:15 PM

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MIRAGE727 9/24/2012 4:06PM

    As I mentioned to Marsha, I should have said that I totally embrace a healthy lifestyle now after wasting 40 years of my life. I spent the first few months of maintenance finding my delicate balance in nutrition and exercise. Yes, I stressed a bit but after I found the formula, I "embraced" a healthy lifestyle to the fullest. And there's the secret! I don't believe in diets! Marsha, you're doing fabulous and I know where your Spark is! You are extremely there! Stay positive, don't let anyone take it away from you, and stay strong!
emoticon

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DDOORN 9/24/2012 3:35PM

    Whoa..."expecting success at maintenance is important to maintaining"...talk about a change in mind set! It does make sense, but getting there means dumping a lot of old bad training and negativistic thinking. Now THERE'S a challenge!

Don

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CHICA125KML 9/24/2012 2:20PM

    emoticon Thanks for being an inspiration

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NATPLUMMER 9/24/2012 2:09PM

    You're doing great! Just take it one day at a time :-)

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Bike Ride Pix of the Week

Sunday, September 23, 2012

We had a great ride today, my longest ever. I enjoyed all 23.5 miles of it. The most special part was riding on the dirt and gravel paths through the Circle Bar B Nature Preserve. Although I have walked back in there, this was my first time to go by bike and cover far more area than I ever had before in a day. We were so close to sand hill cranes and great blue herons I think I could have touched them if I were willing to lean enough to fall off the bike! There were anhingas, roseate spoonbills, egrets, turkey vultures,small herons, and quite a few birds that I can't name. I caught a glimpse of a large gator moving away that they tell me I rode right by without seeing!

I really need to get a camera that I know how to work. I would love to post pictures of what we saw today. However, I can post the two pictures that Janet took:


The guys actually got in the picture this week!


We did get a picture with just the women.

After the group ride, I cycled over to my daughter's house to take care of my granddaughters and this evening I rode home before it got too dark. I really enjoyed my activity today and feel so blessed that I am healthy enough to do it!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 9/24/2012 7:37PM

    Fabulous!! When I get to Florida, I really enjoy the birds (at Sanibel) -- especialy the egrets and the roseate spoonbills: the alligators, not nearly as much.

Thanks for your very kind comment on my "components of fitness" blog! You certainly have them all going on . . . literally and metaphorically!

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DDOORN 9/24/2012 3:34PM

    Great pics! I had a super time out with my bike club for a glorious 50 miler with the colors just coming out on the trees here in our beautiful upstate New York!

Don

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DONNABRIGHT 9/24/2012 10:00AM

    emoticon

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ALLYSONRW 9/24/2012 9:44AM

    Looks like everyone had a great time!
emoticon

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2WHEELEDSHARON 9/24/2012 8:25AM

    Wow! Yay for that scenery!

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MSLZZY 9/24/2012 7:24AM

    emoticon emoticon

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TINAJANE76 9/24/2012 7:16AM

    Thanks for sharing this! The smile on your face in these pictures tells it all. You're the picture of fantastic health and you radiate happiness and positivity. Love it!

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GABY1948 9/24/2012 6:57AM

    What a emoticon ride! Thanks for sharing...great pics too but do hope you get a camera soon...I love seeing wildlife! Have a wonderful week!

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ROOSTER72 9/24/2012 6:25AM

    That's a huge ride. So great that you have a group to ride with - it adds to the enjoyment.

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123ELAINE456 9/24/2012 4:16AM

  Awesome!!! Sounds like You had a very Big Fun Day. Lots of Exercise too. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. Enjoy Your Day. Take Care.

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NEW-CAZ 9/24/2012 2:54AM

    emoticon that sounds like a lot of fun

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DALID414 9/23/2012 11:26PM

    That sounds SO fun!!

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NATPLUMMER 9/23/2012 10:03PM

    Sounds like fun :-)

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AQUAGIRL08 9/23/2012 9:25PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WILLOWBROOK5 9/23/2012 8:45PM

    What a fantastic day! Good going!!!
emoticon

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WILLOWBROOK5 9/23/2012 8:44PM

    What a fantastic day! Good going!!!
emoticon

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JOYINKY 9/23/2012 8:32PM

    What a great day! I'm proud of ALL of you for getting out and enjoying it!

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/23/2012 8:09PM

    Health is indeed a blessing. May it continue, for years to come!

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How Hard is Maintenance?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Some people say it is harder to maintain than it is to lose weight. I think that depends -- depends on what your expectations of maintenance are.

If you think you'll go back to eating just about the way you did before you started losing weight, perhaps with a little less food, maintenance will be hard.

If you think you'll continue to eat the way you did while losing, with just a little more food, you probably won't find maintenance so hard.

If you think you can quit exercising because you are now at goal weight, maintenance will be hard.

If you continue to exercise after making it to goal, or better yet take on new exercise challenges (I'm going for a half marathon!), you may find that maintenance is not so hard after all.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TINAJANE76 9/24/2012 7:19AM

    Great points! I still think maintenance is hard but changing our mindset about it can definitely go a long way in making it a bit easier.

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ISHIIGIRL 9/23/2012 3:14PM

    I totally agree. You have to look as losing weight as a lifestyle change and not a temporary solution to a problem. If you are only doing it "to lose weight" you will eventually gain it all back. You need to realize it is form now on or you wll not be successful in keeping it off. You have to make the commitment to yourself.

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MILLIE5522 9/23/2012 1:39PM

    emoticon I have only just reached my goal weight so this advice was great. I plan on continuing to track, to increase my strength training and more or less to continue eating similar amounts of food as I did when I was losing weight...... I lost weight very slowly.

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2WHEELEDSHARON 9/23/2012 11:56AM

    I like your style, Marsha! emoticon

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NATPLUMMER 9/23/2012 11:55AM

    emoticon

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123ELAINE456 9/23/2012 3:47AM

  Awesome!!! How True This Is. Thanks for Sharing this with Us. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. Take Care.

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MSLZZY 9/22/2012 10:46PM

    Right on!

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WATERMELLEN 9/22/2012 10:38PM

    Managing expectations about exercise and nutrition are KEY to maintenance; you've hit the nail right on the head.

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RONALANA 9/22/2012 9:25PM

    emoticon I love seeing the success stories. It is so motivating to see someone who has managed to keep the pounds off after reaching the goal! Thanks for sharing your views on maintenance!

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GABY1948 9/22/2012 7:36PM

    Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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SWEDE_SU 9/22/2012 6:52PM

    it sounds so simple the way you put it - maybe because it is! when you look at things in the right way, the lightbulb goes off!

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ROOSTER72 9/22/2012 6:35PM

    We seem to dwell on 'how hard' maintenance is.
You are so right - through Spark we have learned the right lifestyle - planning our food, exercising etc - as long as we continue, we will succeed!

Thank you for reminding us that it is possible.

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DONNABRIGHT 9/22/2012 3:10PM

    emoticon

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QUILTANDKNIT 9/22/2012 2:50PM

    emoticon

Marsha

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JOYINKY 9/22/2012 2:17PM

    emoticon

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BUBBLICIOUS6 9/22/2012 1:23PM

    How true!! Thank you for the insight.......right on!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 9/22/2012 12:53PM

    Spot on Marsha, it's a lifestyle maintaining, a healthy active lifestyle!

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MEXGAL1 9/22/2012 12:51PM

    Love this blog Marsha...you sure summed up what we talk about. I personally think it's a challenge everyday but one I understand now and am willing to take on for great health and feeling good.
Thanks for sharing and thanks so much for all your support.
This achy body got the dogs walked and it felt good to work those sore muscles. Now off to do some errands.
Have a terrific day.
Sallie

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PERSISTANT123 9/22/2012 12:38PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/22/2012 12:36PM

    Nice insights, Marsha! Thanks for sharing.

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MIRAGE727 9/22/2012 12:30PM

    Love your reasoning in this blog, Marsha! Spot on! I tell my SparkFriends the bottom line is "Embrace the journey because it is for life!" I'm almost embarrassed to say it...I own maintaining!
emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/22/2012 12:30:53 PM

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POLSKARENIA 9/22/2012 12:24PM

    That's where the lifestyle change comes in.....

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MARIAJESTRADA 9/22/2012 12:21PM

    Well said! I often ask myself if I can keep this up for the long term, or if there some hope for heavier indulging, and I don't see that in the horizon. (Says the woman who just had two turkey sticks = 70 calories.) I also am really enjoying the work outs, and really don't want to slow down. So, I guess if you have the right attitude and don't see the process as a pain or chore, then, you'll be able to maintain.

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MELLIE1030 9/22/2012 12:04PM

    emoticon

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MERETONI 9/22/2012 12:02PM

    I'm looking forward to maintaining. I agree.. I know that my eating will stay the same as it is now as will my working out. (Just cut back a little).

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