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    SMALLERSHEEP   42,996
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The Biggest Loser--The Next Chapter

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I've been thinking for some time now that NBC should do a spin-off show from their ever-popular, "The Biggest Loser". I would love to see it be a show about MAINTAINING the big losses they show. Everyone seems to have the greatest way to lose weight but so few actually focus on how to KEEP it off.

I've lost more than sixty pounds since joining Spark in 2007. What's more, I've kept it off since 2008. My weight has fluctuated as much as 5-10 pounds in that time, but never more than that. But here's the thing about maintenance, it's HARD! Harder, for me at least, than the losing was. When I was losing, people noticed..."Wow, Jeni, you're looking really good!" I had something tangible each week as I was able to move my ticker closer and closer to that goal weight. There was an end to work toward. I had a specific goal in mind that helped me focus on healthy eating choices.

In maintenance, however, the comments are much fewer and farther between. People I meet now have no idea the struggles I went through, how much work was involved. The scale doesn't move much and when I am trying to get it to move down a little, it's a lot harder to make it do so. Also, in maintenance, there's no end in sight. I'm going to be doing this for the rest of my life. Maintenance isn't glamorous or impressive (probably why we'll never see, "The Biggest Loser--The Next Chapter" on T.V.), it's just living life.

So what do we do to make it work? How can we be successful maintainers? For me, the first step was realizing that my reasons for losing weight in the first place still apply. I have a fantastic family--my hubby of 11 years, a 7 year old daughter and a 4 year old son--and I want to be a healthy, active part of their lives for a long time. I couldn't do that when I was so heavy that I was out of breath going up the stairs. I have to remind myself when I'm feeling tempted by food (yep, sorry, still tempted by junk. I wish it was different for me, but it's not) that my family is way more important.

I have to track. I may not log every BLT (Bite, Lick, Taste) on Spark every day, but I keep a running tally in my head of everything I eat and write it in a little notepad that I keep in my purse. When the scale starts going up, though, I do come here and log it all. There's nothing like seeing it in black and white to wake you up and get you back on track.

I work out a minimum of 5 days a week--even when I don't feel like it. I have a little trick I have to use sometimes, but it usually works for me. I tell myself I HAVE to do 20 minutes. If, at the end of 20 minutes, I don't want to continue, I don't have to. *Usually*, at the end of 20 minutes, the endorphins have kicked in and I continue on for a while longer, but some days, 20 minutes is all I do. That's okay! You don't have to be a world class athlete to be a maintainer (or a loser, for that matter!).

I allow myself to be human. I think, so often, we get in this hardcore mindset and that's almost impossible to maintain for any length of time. Real life happens. When it does, you have to be able to roll with it or you'll fall off your path. What I mean by that is, yes, I work out 5 days a week. Yes, I still track my calories and keep within my calorie range. However, I'm fallible. There are days when I go over my calories. I don't look at that as a free-for-all anymore, though. If I have something special coming--a birthday, anniversary, etc, and I know that I'm likely to go over my calories for that, I plan for it. Not just the day of, but the WEEK of. I keep to the lower end of my range for the week leading into the event and usually up my workout intensity. Sometimes, however, there are unexpected events. For the most part, I try to make the best choice I can (like having the build your own spinach salad when my cousin dropped in unexpectedly this week and we all went out for dinner), but if I mess up and choose something unhealthy, I see it, own it, and move on. I no longer allow that bad choice to snowball into a week of bad choices.

So, will we ever see "The Next Chapter"? Probably not. BUT, we can definitely live it!!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EGRAMMY 6/23/2012 10:15PM

    emoticon blog.

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COOKINGSTARS 6/21/2012 5:53PM

    great blog that is a great idea

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WILDNTEXAS 6/21/2012 5:17PM

    Wow! As someone starting into maintenance again (for the 3rd time, hopefully this time I'll stay) only five weeks again (and SCARED I'll go back, if I let go of what I'm doing), I found your blog post very inspiring and helpful! emoticon for writing about this!

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FITLIKENIC 6/21/2012 5:09PM

    Wonderful words... Thank YOU for all you do... INSPIRING is what YOU ARE!

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SWEETMNTHING 6/21/2012 1:09PM

    Great blog, Jeni! Thanks for sharing all your tips about keeping the weight off! I've known you since I first joined BLC, and you have always been and always been a big inspiration to me. One of the things I love about BLC is that there is a maintenance team so you get help in keeping it off, and one day, hopefully in the next year or so, I hope to get there. You're right though, the maintenance part is not as glamourous or exciting, it's continuing the healthy habits you learned in your weight loss journey. I think for you it helped that you decided to try running and of course registering for races gives you something to train for. Oh and that comment about not getting comments about your weight anymore, if you want me to I can fix that, at least on my part! LOL If you want me to come by your page and your facebook wall every day and cheer you on and tell you how great you're doing I can do that! Even though you're at maintenance now, everyone no matter where they are in their journey needs support and encouragement or sites like Spark and Sparkteams like BLC wouldn't exist!

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FITNHEALTHYKAL 6/21/2012 12:31PM

    Not a diet but a life's journey. I miss you Jeni. Thank you for all you have done for and meant to me....

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CHICKEYBABE 6/21/2012 12:12PM

    Awesome! Your insights are profound and I will be printing this one off to remind me about maintenance. I have purposefully lost a total of over 300 pounds in my adult life. That number is so high because I have never gotten the maintenance idea down. Not this time!!! Thanks for sharing.

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TEKRU1 6/21/2012 11:25AM

    Great reminder that the goal ISN'T the goal, it's just another step in a healthy life :- ) You look GREAT, by the way!

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MGJARVI 6/21/2012 10:23AM

    Jeni... i love you. There is so much here I can comment on, but I'll keep this short and just say that I really needed to hear this today to be reminded of where I need to be. YOU are always my inspiration. YOU are my superhero! I'm proud of you everyday.

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CHRISZ40 6/21/2012 9:15AM

    They do show some segments during some of the shows that goes and looks at what those people are doing and how they are doing.. some have definitely gained back the weight, some have kept off... But they could do a show and bring on a group of past contestants and see how they are doing and if they can still keep up with the Biggest Loser intensity

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