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Getting Ready to Stay the Same: Considering Maintenance While Losing

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

"The significant problems we face cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them."
-Albert Einstein




Why the heck would I be blogging about weight maintenance? I am not anywhere near my goal weight, so I shouldn't have to worry about that right now, right? Weight maintenance is an afterthought, something that will take care of itself once I reach my goal weight. At that point, I should be so motivated by being thin that I will know what to do to prevent gaining the weight back. What's the saying, "Being thin is its own reward!"? Well, being thin is most certainly not its own reward, otherwise I wouldn't be here to lose weight again. There would be a much higher success rate of weight maintenance amongst all who lose weight if being thin were truly enough motivation in and of itself.

There is no glamor in maintaining weight. Now weight loss, that is sexy. A dash of willpower, a sprinkle of determination, and POOF, you're losing weight. The compliments abound, fueling your sheer determination to keep losing, to keep the comments coming. Can we really rely on that steel-cut determination every second of every day...forever? When the compliments dwindle down and you and everyone else are used to your new body...then what?

This time, I decided not to start losing weight until I had a plan for maintenance. You don't start a marathon without knowing where to find the start and finish lines, and you do a lot of preparation before race day. I've decided to take the same approach to weight loss. I spent months mentally preparing for weight loss and weight maintenance, preparing for the changes that were to come. I did not set a day to start losing weight--I let my soul tell me when it was ready. It took a lot of reflection on past weight loss to figure out how to make this time different.

It is fair to say that I had not been successful at weight maintenance before. I regained the 95 pounds I had lost on WeightWatchers several years ago; the weight crept back on over the past couple of years. Even though WeightWatchers really does give some good focus to weight maintenance, even during the weight loss process, I was not mentally prepared for the shock of being thin. When one of my uncles saw me for the first time since I had lost 95 pounds, he hugged me and said, "Much, MUCH better," as he patted me on the back. I should have said, "What the hell does that mean? I wasn't good during the previous 27 years?" How could he think that when I felt just as bad about myself as I did the day I walked into my first WeightWatchers meeting? My body had changed, but my mind was the same. I was certainly not much, MUCH better. That moment set off something inside of me, and I struggled to figure out why the "compliment" bothered me so much. Wasn't that why I lost weight? To be better than I was before?

I returned to school in 2008 to return to my psychology roots, and also wanted to study exercise science. I did a self-designed bachelor's degree combining psychology and kinesiology; essentially, I was studying exercise psychology. I wanted to study exercise motivation in weight loss and weight maintenance. Needless to say, there have not been many studies performed to assess exercise motivation in weight maintenance. Exercise psychology tends to focus either on elite athletes or overweight people, without much else in between. I was fortunate to work with some professors who thought I had good ideas, and they encouraged me to expand my horizons.

Most of the academic world that deals with health focuses on weight loss, seeming to forget that life often continues on after the weight is lost. Therein lies the problem of the forgotten group, the maintainers. Weight loss sells, and weight maintenance is just supposed to be something that will happen because you paid so dearly to get to that weight. The reality is, weight maintenance is hard. Damn hard. And weight maintenance has been neglected by the fields that should be addressing it, such as medicine, psychology, and public health. Weight maintenance seems to be brushed off as a passive process, when in fact, most people will proclaim that long-term maintenance is more difficult than losing. I think that having a plan for maintenance, and doing as much as possible to prepare to exist in a different body, are vital to long-term success.

Actively preparing to maintain weight loss is a part of my daily routine and is intertwined with the weight loss. In my eyes, they are the same journey, a continuation down the same road. Here are some of the things I work on to prepare for long-term maintenance:



*Take emotion out of the numbers.

Sure, some days I glance at the scale and growl, and sometimes I'm practically skipping to step on it, but I have worked very hard to detach my sense of self from the number on the scale. I have focused on taking emotion out of weight loss partially so that the scale doesn't trip me up, and because I can't rely on the constant thrill of losing to keep me going. We tend to get upset when the scale isn't doing what it is "supposed" to be doing. The scale isn't "supposed" to do anything. I step on it, it spits out a number, it has done its job. I have control over how that number makes me feel. It has helped me immensely to think of weekly weigh-ins as a mini-measurement, with my overall monthly net loss as the true measurement. I will continue weighing weekly once I am maintaining, but will only make adjustments to diet and exercise if the weight is creeping up over the course of an entire month (a "true gain").

It baffles and saddens me to see people feeling like they have failed because they are not staying within a pound or 2 of a particular weight they have in mind. I have found the scale to be so wacky that there can be up to a 7 pound difference from day to day. Not being bent on a specific number will help reduce stress, which in turn reduces the feeling of "failing," and reduces the chances of giving up.



*Find success in unlikely places.

AK_MILLER had congratulated me the other day on my 3-month plateau. Smart gal; she picked up that I wasn't beating myself up over cycling through the same 5 pounds for 3 months, but that I took it as a lesson in weight maintenance. A plateau usually brings on words of comfort, not celebration. I became frustrated enough with the up-and-down cycle that I finally "broke up" with the Same 5 Pounds and am ready to get back to weight loss, but I do not feel like I have "wasted" the past 3 months.

When I feel like everything is going wrong, I stop those thoughts and think hard about at least one thing that is going right. I mean, I woke up this morning, I'm still alive, so there has to be something positive buried in there. Even if there isn't a truly positive outcome to a situation, we always learn something. Embrace the experience, incorporate it into your being, and delve deep to find some meaning.



*Lift weights. Lift giant, heavy, un-girly weights.

Muscle mass is your friend. During the past 3 months of cycling up and down with the same 5 pounds, I still lost inches. Actually, I lost almost the same amount of inches as I had when I was losing 6-8 pounds a month. I can thank lifting heavy weights for this, and doing as much lower-body work as my right knee could tolerate.

This is where losing slowly comes in handy. Losing slowly allows for adjustments in muscle mass as body fat is lost. I will probably do at least 1 blog about all of the nerdrageous physiological reasons that strength training is vital to weight maintenance, and why strength training during weight loss primes the body to maintain weight loss.



*Track food--forever.

I know a lot of people aim to break free of having to track their food. But planning my food has been the key to my weight loss, and I know it will help with keepin' it real during maintenance. It takes five minutes out of my night to plan my food for the next day. I have taught myself that I can eat normally, so tracking should not be a big deal; not tracking would simply be me showing my denial of my eating patterns.



*Find at least one fitness-related hobby.

Having a fitness-related hobby helps fitness become a natural part of your daily life. Even if you think you won't enjoy a fitness-related hobby, give it a shot. From aerobics to Zumba, there are thousands of options and there's something right for everyone.



*Find at least one non-fitness-related hobby.

Health and fitness goals can be time-consuming, but I think a major part of having a rich life is having activities that bring out the best within ourselves. People tend to want to lose weight to make life better, so why not act on those, "Gee, someday I'd like to..." thoughts that drift through our minds?

What have you always wanted to try? Take the leap and go for it.



*Get new friends.

Being overweight is often accompanied by low self-esteem. I have tended to accept whomever shoved themselves in front of me, because hey, I should be so lucky that they're giving me the time of day, right?

Nah, not anymore.

I have been extremely fortunate in that most of my friends are awesome and supportive and they don't care what I weigh, but it took some work to get rid of people who were not good for me. I no longer allow toxic people into my life. I finally got to a point where I had enough self-respect to stop letting people treat me badly. If the friends you have don't love and respect you at whatever weight you happen to be, whether fat or thin, then they don't deserve you. They are shallow people. And it doesn't always have to be about weight--if they don't treat you right, they should be gone. Buh. Bye.



*Laugh. Seriously, laugh right now.

I love this quote from an unknown author: "The first thing you lose on a diet is your sense of humor." We allow ourselves to feel ecstatic when we lose, sad when we aren't losing, and anger when we have a gain. We tend to put on our game face, stopping only to smile when the scale shows a loss. During maintenance, are we doomed to feel mere relief when we step on the scale and have not gained, and angst if there is the slightest gain? Where's the humor?

I have a very crass and sarcastic sense of humor, and I couldn't exist without it. Finding the humor in an unfavorable situation is like seeing the sunshine through the crack in the wall in a dark room. You don't have to stay there; find something funny--damn funny--and break out into the sunny field.




I had to lose some fat in my head before I could get ready to lose--and keep off--the fat on my body. Weight maintenance takes very hard work, even before we're at our goal weight. The biggest thing I think we need to learn is that people are no "better" or "worse" because of their weight. We are who we are, at any weight, although the deep inward reflection that often accompanies weight loss may certainly make us radiate happiness.



"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."
-Wayne Dyer

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GLORIAMAJDI 3/28/2013 2:42PM

    As someone who has lost it and gained it (more than once), I really appreciate the thoughts in this blog. I know that this time I am getting off the roller coaster and the ideas and thoughts here give me a lot of food for thought...excuse the pun!



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KELLYD2112 3/28/2013 10:22AM

    Great encourage for all of us contemplating maintenance yet again, but this time wiser and determined.

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PAM_COOPER 1/15/2013 1:14AM

    What a great article! You have the basic psychology of the process covered and skillfully put it into words and generously shared it with your readers. Thank you! I too, will be sharing this with my girls.

I just reached my goal weight of 135 in early December (actually I hit 133, but now teetering between 136 and 138). I totally agree with the plan for maintenance to be in your mind at the beginning. I lost 112 lbs. 20 years ago with no idea what "maintenance" meant. I just gradually started throwing in the butter again and eating ice cream, mac and cheese and other trigger foods again and within months I had regained the whole 112 lbs. I gave up --- for 20 years! I thought fat was a destiny, that I just was not capable of keeping it off. I reasoned it was easier on my body to just stay fat rather than yo yo.

But, this time I set out to lose weight 'for love' of my adult children who also have weight problems and the fact that menopause had added another 35 lbs. I suddenly realized that my poor example had affected my children's thinking, that they too thought they were destined to be fat. When my youngest daughter planned WLS because she thought there was no other way, I decided I would show her that it CAN be done without surgery, hoping she would join me on the journey. She still opted for the surgery and has done well. She and I have had great fun going shopping for clothes! However, my other daughter is now losing and has been my greatest cheerleader and I hers. She got my 'message'--that weight loss CAN happen w/o surgery.

As you indicated in your article, I think maintenance is going to take more dedication than merely losing. Losing is the easy part--there is a goal, a challenge, and lots of rewards. But, maintaining is the long haul commitment to be a stable, healthy weight after the 'glow' of weight loss and compliments subside.

Anyway, the maintenance plan has been in the making from the beginning, knowing that this is what went wrong 20 years ago. I also plan on logging my food for months or years to come. I may not always log online (I have most calories memorized)--but I will be logging and weighing in periodically. I also realize that the cooking methods and foods that helped me lose 140 lbs. should never be abandoned just because I am now thin. I still have trouble with trigger foods and trigger situations and will always need to be on guard to correct a slip up before I regain 20-40-100 pounds. It can happen quickly!

As far as friends, I have been fortunate to have friends who loved and accepted me as I was---except my always skinny husband who HATES fat people, especially when it was his wife. He has changed his attitude toward me and life has been much better at home. However, it does bother me that the person he was so mean to is the same person who he is now so nice to. I understand his feelings to an extent, but for many years I took extreme verbal abuse everyday and would resort to hiding much of my eating and just about everything else I did. Now, he says I am too thin and need to gain 20 lbs. (grrrr!) I think I am just right where I am and just need to tone up -- a lot. That is my second year goal which I am now working on.

I am determined to be that small percentage of people that keeps it off this time!

As far as fitness related habits/hobbies, I have a short workout routine 3 or 4 times a week and try to go hiking (or other similar activity) at least once a week. I've also got renewed energy and motivation to clean house more thoroughly and keep my yard and garden more manicured. I have always loved my garden, but after the last 35 lb. gain I just felt so bad physically and emotionally that I didn't even care if my flower beds had weeds or not. I've learned to keep the exercise expectations 'real' and reasonable so not to just abandon it (as I did 20 years ago when I walked and exercised 3-4 hours a day).

Anyway, thanks again for the words of wisdom. emoticon



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STARDUSTD 1/14/2013 6:45PM

  Speaking as someone TOTALLY unprepared for maintenance prior to beginning it, this blog is brilliant. It's just so spot on. I applaud your approach of emphasizing the maintenance mindset from the get-go, and thank you wholeheartedly for sharing.
Hope you don't mind my printing your blog for future reference.

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BECCAZEN7 1/13/2013 10:08PM

    I am bookmarking this for future use and rereading. Well said, well thought out. thanks. emoticon

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PHOENIX1949 1/13/2013 7:04PM

    emoticon

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CATMAGNET 1/13/2013 6:45PM

    Thank you for this post. I REALLY needed to read this today!

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NUFLIGHER 1/11/2013 11:08AM

    Keep up the great work!

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REDQT2 1/11/2013 8:35AM

    This is excellent and so what I need to read. Why can't people realize that losing weight has no effect on their personality, attitudes, and especially their false beliefs about the world... Excellent post! emoticon

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JSTETSER 1/11/2013 5:55AM

    Beautiful!
This is my one year anniversary of sparking. Read my blog!
http://www.sparkpeople.com
/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=J
STETSER
Jackie

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BROWNCOFIDDLER 1/10/2013 9:28PM

    An over the top awesome blog. You are SO smart!! Recently I reached maintenance with my body, but like you said, my head isn't quite there yet. It IS a shock to be thin again. There's such a huge psychological component to this journey. Also, you're right...it's a never ending journey down the right path. It must continue on after the weight is lost. I see people & food differently in this new body and don't quite know what to make of it. Those I formerly thought were thin and in good shape I see with different eyes. Sometimes it's unsettling. I'm going to save your blog and refer back to it when necessary. All of these things I need to carefully digest and reflect upon. Thank you for writing it. emoticon emoticon

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MARCOSMASTER 1/10/2013 7:40PM

    Wow, great insights, blown away! Thanks emoticon

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MANDELOVICH 1/10/2013 6:59PM

    I love this blog. What great strategies you live by! Thank you for sharing!!

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MOBYCARP 1/10/2013 5:04PM

    What an incredibly well-reasoned blog! I'm glad I got pointed at it.

All the major points you describe resonate as true. I struggled with some, learned the hard way about others, and did still other naturally; but the important things are pretty much what you described.

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DOUBLEMME 1/10/2013 4:20PM

    Great blog!
From two friends you mentioned, I wish you:
“The only source of knowledge is experience”. (Albert Einstein)
“Begin to see yourself as a soul with a body rather than a body with a soul”. (Wayne Dyer)

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ADRIENALINE 1/10/2013 3:53PM

    Awesome blog. You are brilliant to incorporate a maintenance process into your weight loss goals because the maintenance phase is the same as the weight loss phase with all of the emotional lows and none of the highs. I never had to go through what you have gone through but I have lost 34 lbs to get to my goal healthy weight maintained my new weight since 3/22/2012 so I know what I'm saying.

I still eat the same healthy diet that I implemented for weight loss and do more cardio than I ever did before and weigh myself every day (the scale goes up and down all the time) but I get to have great fattening desserts every so often and my best reward is to know that I still fit into my skinny jeans and look marvelous.

I know you will get there too. This blog is full of major truths!

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GETFIT2LIVE 1/10/2013 3:18PM

    TRUTH! I hope that SP sees your blog and features it; this is stuff that people need to read and think about wherever they are in the process of losing weight. If you don't start thinking about maintenance *from the beginning*, you're going to have a much harder time keeping the weight off.

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PRESBESS 1/10/2013 12:43PM

    Great blog!
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THOMS1 1/10/2013 10:59AM

    Love it! I really needed this today as I stepped on the scale this morning expecting a loss and I stayed the same. I will look at things very differently from now on.

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MPLSLINDA 1/10/2013 10:01AM

    Of all the blogs and articles I've read about weight loss and weight maintenance, THIS is the one I'm saving to my Evernote collection. From the beginning--the unsexy maintenance--to the end--losing the fat in your head before losing the fat on your body--you wrote the unvarnished TRUTH. Thank you for writing so clearly and eloquently about the most important and most ignored aspect of weight loss.

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SUSIEMT 1/10/2013 9:58AM

    Very well said! Thank you! A mini novel for sure but so worth the read!

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KANOE10 1/10/2013 9:52AM

    That is a great blog. You are losing the fat in your head and will succeed in maintenance!
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GREASE31 1/10/2013 9:45AM

    Hi CATS_MEOW_0911,

Thank you, you have put this very well. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 1/10/2013 9:40AM

    Very well said and thought out!!! You would make an excellent life coach if that is in your schooling plans.
Tracking does rule and I plan on doing it forever.
Great point on the weight lifting, something a lot of women ignore or do very little of.
I hope Spark puts this on a Daily Spark Blog. It should be, or as a permanent article would be even better!
Keep on Sparking!

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KTISFOCUSED 1/10/2013 9:38AM

    Perfect blog and you are just like me. I have been at a plateau since June (10 miles from goal) but I too am doing all the things you talked about and it is a good reminder that once I get there, I have the tools to stay there. Thanks for a wonderful reminder and good luck on getting to your goal. Once there, you WILL stay there.

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POINDEXTRA 1/10/2013 8:56AM

    Wow - amazing insights. And, it meshes perfectly with something I read recently on the Dr. Gourmet site. Someone did a study where one group was assigned to maintain their weight before losing, and the other group went straight to losing first. Guess what. The people who practiced maintaining first kept the weight off longer! Especially for people with a lot of weight to lose, any plateus should simply be considered practice toward the ultimate goal of a never-ending plateau.

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DDOORN 1/10/2013 8:53AM

    Why oh WHY do I lose track of some of the SMARTEST, SHARPEST members of my SparkFamily?!?! I think it's because there are SO MUCH BRILLIANCE among us! :-)

Such a joy to read, nodding my head to EVERYTHING you've written...especially your reaction: "What the hell does that mean? I wasn't good during the previous 27 years"...which sparked my inner critic which I'm looking to exorcise.

My therapist and I have developed a positive INJUNCTION to counter all those negative INJUNCTIONS that I've clobbered myself with over the years. It's simple, it may change, but right now it works. It's my mantra during workouts, when I wake up, when I go to sleep and any other time of day when I stop, clear my head with some deep breathing:

I am special as I am.

Such a joy to catch up with you again! Saving your words to review, remind, rekindle, re-SPARK!

Don

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SANDICANE 1/10/2013 8:25AM

    You're right...there's nothing sexy about maintaining...and yet, it is the NUMBER ONE goal on my list this year. Having gained and lost LITERALLY HUNDREDS of pounds in my life...I want to stay the same.

Cheers to you and I'm subscribing too.

Bless us all on our journey.

Cheers,
Sandi

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TORTISE110 1/10/2013 8:14AM

    You have nailed this! Well done. Maybe the heart of it is that losing weight is not living a full life. And we need to figure that out as we lose and as we maintain. You are inspiring to read! Thank you!!!

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DIANNEMT 1/10/2013 7:59AM

    Wow--I am supposed to be in maintenance mode--but then Christmas happened. So--this really speaks to me! I will say good-bye to this extra weight and then will be doing the really tough job of maintaining.... Thank you--I will come back to this again and again!

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BROOKLYN_BORN 1/10/2013 7:33AM

    Great blog! We agree on so many things already, but thanks for the heads up on heavier weights. That's one area I neglect.

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SLENDERELLA61 1/10/2013 6:32AM

    Great blog! You are so ready for success! Thanks for spelling out lots of things that were just kind of formed in my brain. I count you right on every point!! -Marsha

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ANNIEONLI 1/10/2013 6:29AM

    "There is no glamour in maintaining weight" - truer words could not have been said.

I am SO glad that you are thinking this way because it will make maintaining easier in the long run. Every point you made, is valid in maintaining for the long long haul. You have your plan and KNOW for a FACT that is it solid and a good one.

Smiles
Annie

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MAREE1953 1/10/2013 4:44AM

    Great blog! I am so thankful to have found the At Goal/Maintaining team here at SP. Lots of great advice and inspiration. Best wishes for your journey, my friend.

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NEW-CAZ 1/10/2013 3:05AM

    FaNTASTIC BLOG emoticon

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TRYINGHARD1948 1/10/2013 2:13AM

    You have put much thought into this blog and for me it is wonderful. Your perspective has really helped me look at several things in a new way. Thank you so much, emoticon

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POPSY190 1/10/2013 2:05AM

    Terrific blog. I especially like the section where you find good aspects of plateauxing- it's so easy to give up at that point rather than treating it as a landing before the next flight of stairs. emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 1/9/2013 7:14PM

    Sheer brilliance! What a great blog!! Those of us at At Goal and Maintaining: Transition to Maintenance believe devoutly that the time to plan for maintenance is right at the start of the weight loss journey!! We'd love to see Spark focus on the MAIN thing: MAINtenance! Welcome!!

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NELLJONES 1/9/2013 10:38AM

    I have been maintaining for many years and I still track my food, just not on something as intricate as Spark's nutrition planner. It's true that the "motivation" from the outside disappears and we have to rely on whatever discipline we learned while losing. The scale doesn't bother me, it just tells me what my day should look like. The scale is a tool, an indicator, like a thermometer. You don't get up and look at the thermometer outside and freak out because it doesn't say what you expected or wanted. You dress accordingly. The scale is the same kind of indicator.

As for your uncle, you have no idea what he was referring to. When we were fat, we gave off unhappy or angry vibes all the time, daring people to say something. My son, the dietician, calls it "fat people syndrome". Because weight fills every thought every day, it feels like it fills everyone else's thoughts every day, too. It doesn't. I'll bet your uncle was referring to a job well done, or even the lifting of that invisible cloud all desperate people carry. A stranger? Yes, I'd be irritated, but someone who loves me? I'll bet he sees a change in you that you don't see in yourself yet.

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LITTLEBO 11/14/2012 7:50PM

    GREAT!!! I too started thinking about maintenance when I first started losing weight. And I jointed the maintenance team when I still had many pounds to lose. Gotta get that mentality early....
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TINAJANE76 11/14/2012 6:35PM

    Love this blog and so glad that you decided to join the 'At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance' team. The points you mention are things that many of us continue to work on as we continue to maintain. The earlier you start getting ready to do all of these things, the easier (but not easy per se!) things will be once you get down to goal.

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BOOKAPHILE 11/10/2012 9:59AM

    I also followed a link from Watermellen to find your blog. I think this is the first time I've ever taken notes while reading a blog. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences! I'm on my second trip through the same 30 pounds, and this blog post is tremendously encouraging to me.

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TRAVELGRRL 11/6/2012 12:56PM

    I found your blog because Watermellen mentioned it in HER blog today, and you've made some wonderful points. I'm 16 pounds from my goal but I'm on the THIRD TIME losing the same weight. I think finally I'm a bit smarter. Thanks so much for sharing what you've learned.

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46SHADOW 11/6/2012 8:16AM

    thank you.

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TOASTIE 7/1/2011 10:47AM

    Another great blog. A weight maintenance mentality helps me keep a focus on the long-term healthy choices I am making. Even if my outside isn't changing, on the inside, where it really counts, I have to believe that good things are going on. And I am reinforcing the switches I am making from bad to better habits. And honestly? Maintaining my weight takes a lot more work than gaining does. Sometimes it helps me to remember that I weigh a lot less than I could weigh if I wasn't maintaining! Each week that I maintain represents 1-2 pounds that I didn't gain!

Congratulations on maintaining!

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GEMINIAN1 7/1/2011 1:42AM

    How brilliant are you? Geeeezoman.

My heart goes out to you regarding the comments your Uncle made.
I mean, really? Really? Maybe the up side to it happening is that, you'll be prepared for it this time. We both know that someone is likely to say something "off" ;-) Hey, maybe we can start mustering up some sarcastic, or otherwise, reactions to off color comments right now ... lol.

Start studies in weight maintenance; I'll be your first client. You're right. I have read blogs on SP where people are shocked at the reactions they get ... and I'm not talking about the good ones.
I've had that happen too; I think it's "mandatory" ... lol.

I'm with you on the taking the emotions out of the scale; but, I just try to take the bad ones out. I still allow the happy ones in. I agree about the overall month thing too. I, personally, don't understand weighing yourself every day; for me it would be "a recipe for disaster". The most, I weight in, is once a week. Different things work for different people.

Woo-Hoo muscles!!! Burn, burn, burn at rest. Burn baby burn!
I plan on sticking with SP after "goal" (I haven't really decided what that means; I just know I'm *not* there; lol), Tracking, maybe update My Status that 'I Maintained' or something, joining Maintenance Teams, pay it forward.

I love that, 'lose fat in my head'; you're so funny.
I love the quotes ... again ... :-)
I loved this Blog *so* much. Thank you for sharing it.
You are awesome indeed my friend; awesome indeed.

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CANNIE50 6/30/2011 8:36PM

    Another SPfriend directed me to this blog and I am so grateful she did. You put so much work and thought and wisdom into this post and I really appreciate it. I have subscribed to your blog, and will be reading those you have posted in the past. I agree with what another commentor said - this should be a "most popular blog".

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LHLADY517 6/30/2011 6:47PM

    Excellent. Very important.

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HIKINGSD 6/30/2011 4:25PM

    Excellent blog!

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LEONALIONESS 6/30/2011 3:53PM

    Agree with all this except tracking food forever. I, personally, can't do it without it being incredibly, maddeningly triggering. It makes my EDNOS just go CRAZY and I have to take numbers out of the equation entirely. This also means I don't weigh myself anymore - choosing to go by my clothing, how I look and my measurements. So far, so good.

I've been trying the intuitive eating thing and eating as much unprocessed or lightly processed food as I can. I probably have eaten more the last month of not tracking than I did while I was tracking - I'm just eating the right things when I'm hungry (mostly, I still love sweets and still give in to "mouth hungries" rather than stomach hungries!) and I believe the little bit of weight I regained is gone. Or my body has just shifted it. I look leaner and feel leaner, my clothes fit better (except now, post giant salad and no-oil added, homemade Indian style veggies with brown rice... ooof fiber foodbaby) and I feel really good.

Everyone's mileage varies here. You, unlike me, seem to have a much MUCH healthier body image and relationship with food and weight. For the nonED/EDNOS amongst us, tracking can be just another bit of information we have to use for planning. I just can't do it anymore, personally, without it having me spin off into a bad headspace.

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