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Jarod Shows Us It's Hard to Maintain

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Remember Jarod, the Subway spokesman who lost 245 lbs on a Subway diet? Seems Jarod has another lesson to teach us. Once the Subway endorsements slowed down, so did his diet and motivation, it seems. It's all too easy to slip back into familiar patterns. He has regained some of his weight back.


So like Jarord, you've lost the weight. Yay! Bikini party! Work it, work it, fashion, fashion baby. Once the high fives, pats on the back, and strutting is done, then what?

As a long term maintainer, I don't have great news here. However hard you had to work in order to lose weight, is what you will have to do to keep it off. If you successfully got the idea of 'lifestyle change', then you have a good chance of doing this.

Even still, it's harder than some may realize. In the 5 years of maintaining my weight, I've had more than one alarming spells when I realized I was slipping. Things like this went through my mind:

"Oh, I'm still eating well, but I haven't exercised in a couple of weeks."
"BBQ ribs with all the fixings won't hurt me this one time (but in reality I've had it 3 times this week)".
"I haven't counted my calories today, but I'm sure I'm within range (I'm underestimating)".

And predictably, my weight starts creeping up, my pants get tighter. I threw out all of my fat clothes, and I absolutely refuse to buy a larger dress size. So when things start feeling a little snug, that's usually my kicker to get back on track.

When it becomes a daily routine of exercising and counting calories, I find it pretty easy to keep up with. It's just like brushing my teeth in the morning and washing my hair. It's something I have to do.

However...whenever there's something that disrupts my routine, that's when the trouble starts for me. A break in my routine, like a vacation or a cross country move, and that's usually when the above thoughts start slipping in my head.

It hasn't happened just once. It's happened enough times, it's predictable. I gain back at most 5 pounds, which may not sound like a lot, but I'm only 5'0". A 10 pound weight gain is enough for me to move a full dress size up.

I hated how I felt when I wore a size 14. I hated myself. I couldn't stand myself in my own skin. A size 10 leads to a size 12, which isn't too far from a 14. I absolutely detest the idea of buying a size 10, and I'm certain that's the main reason why I haven't regained the full 30 I lost. A size 10 is off limits. It represents a person I never want to see in the mirror again.

And so, exercising and counting calories becomes like brushing my teeth again.

I hope Jarod finds what it will take to stop him from regaining all the weight he lost, before the past is looking back at him in the mirror.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thanks so much for your insights, Karen. Like you, it's more important to me to be healthy. While image is part of the equation, for me, keeping the weight off is more about enjoying life. When I carried a staggering 44% body fat, I couldn't walk up stairs without struggling. I didn't ride a bike or walk in the park because it was just too hard. I'd sweat like crazy, and my joints would ache. Exercise was not enjoyable.

    Now, I carry 2-3 loads of groceries up 3 flights of stairs to my apartment with no problem. Sometimes I use it as an extra challenge to see how fast I can make it up, like a bonus workout. I ride bikes, swim, walk - I'd fly if I could flap my arms hard enough! Exercise is fun! I don't ever want to go back again!

    And yes, looking more attractive is a nice bonus.

    I haven't seen the newest commercials. I'm glad he's back on track! I have always rooted for him, hoped he would make it for the long haul!
    2793 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/28/2010 5:04:23 PM
    Great blog ! I know many people think that losing weight is hard, but I think maintaining is much much harder. Losing weight is easy. We've all done it hundreds of thousands of times. The challenge is keeping it off.

    It really is a fine balance. On the one hand we know we have to keep up our healthy habits in order to keep the weight off. BUT, we don't want to be so Spartan that we can't enjoy ourselves either. We should be allowed to sit down and eat something and not have to worry about whether or not we'll "gain" weight if we do.

    Did I gain back some of the weight I lost ? Yes and no. Yes, I gained scale weight, but I lost body fat. When I increased my weight training, my weight went up. Not substantially, but enough to make me wonder whether or not I was doing the right thing.

    Then I thought about it and I decided that being fit and healthy was more important to me than being "thin". That's the trade off i.e. you can be thin or you can be fit. If you decide you want to be fit, you have to realize the scale might go up.

    And seeing the scale go up doesn't mean you're fat. It took a long time for me to reconcile myself to that realization. I always taught that thin was in. The thinner you were, the happier you'd be. That was wrong too.

    No, oddly enough, even though the scale went up a bit, I'm happy with my body. It's not perfect. never will be, but I'm happy with all my accomplishments.

    As far as Jared, I have seen his new commercial and it does look like he took off the weight. Maybe he got to a point where he started feeling uncomfortable with his weight and decided he'd lapsed back into unhealthy habits and needed to make a change.

    That's what happens many times and it's understandable. stuff happens. I've been pretty good about keeping all of my healthy habits. I'm doing my best to follow the 80/20 rule i.e. 80% of the time I eat right to the best of my ability and 20% of the time, I go a little wild. that's worked for me.

    Like you, I don't want to see myself wearing size 16 pants ever again. So, I guess I'll have to be mindful of what I eat for the rest of my life.

    Some days, I really wish we'd live in a world where we didn't have to worry about our weight or at least, we lived in a world where you weren't criticized for being overweight.

    -- karen
    2793 days ago
    No, he hasn't 'porked out'. He HAS gained some weight, though. He's just like the rest of us in if he doesn't get a handle on it, then 'porking out' is a real outcome. I was using him as an example of how difficult it is to maintain weight loss, even with the greatest motivations.
    2793 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/28/2010 3:08:23 PM
    Don't be too down for Jarod. That article was written in 2009. Also, you don't know how "doctored" the photo might be. When folks are on top, there is always someone trying to bring them down, albeit, falsely.

    If you notice the latest Subway commercials, Jarod looks pretty good. The camera will add at least 10 lbs to you. Also, he is training for a marathon this Fall to run with one of the past contestants of the Biggest Loser. I doubt very seriously if he porked out at this point. Besides he has a contract with Subway that has a maintain the weight clause. If someone were paying me a jillion dollars to stay slim, I would pretty well do it.

    My doctor told me last year that maybe 10% of people who lose weight maintain it. I have lost and gained enough weight in my lifetime to equal at least 3 people. Yet, I am trying and succeeding once again.

    Why? Why don't I just give up and eat and drink myself to death? I could do that very easily. But I love to ride the bike (since 2005). Biking has saved my life. I don't ride the bike to lose weight, I lose weight to ride the bike. I ride much easier, much stronger and much farther with less weight. It's a passion.

    Not to mention the terrific advantages to my health, strength for my job and being able to be a much better husband to my wife.

    It is always sad to see someone who has fought the good fight to gain it back again. But it happens. So what'll you do? You do again and again and again if need be, until you get it right.

    The very best to you in your SPARK ADVENTURES!
    2793 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/28/2010 1:10:37 PM
    Having lost and gained large amounts numerous times in my adult life, I have always claimed that maintenance is the hardest part of a wellness/fitness program. If you think losing is hard, just wait until you start to try to maintain. Not trying to burst anyone's bubble, but it's a hard reality. Good Luck all! (and me, too)
    2793 days ago
    "And so, exercising and counting calories becomes like brushing my teeth again. "

    This is the key. Think of our inability to accurately judge how much we eat as mis-wiring in the brain. It's a lot like having to wear glasses. You can't wear glasses for a year, take them off and expect to have 20/20 vision. So is the case here. Once you stop tracking, you lose the ability to perform small corrections to stay on track and then it becomes a BIG problem again. I think most people have problems maintaining because they toss the tracking habit in the garbage. We're not fixed! We have to wear our diet glasses forever, or until they come out with diet LASIK. heh.
    2793 days ago
    Yeah, good job for you...and sad, but not unsurprising, for Jarod. Thanks for bring his struggles to my attention, though.
    2793 days ago
    His diet was always pretty limited with just eating subway all the time -- it didn't allow for variety. Good job on maintaining for so long.
    2793 days ago
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