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    NELLJONES   233,346
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Maintaining isn't really like Losing, Yet it is


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Sunday, August 19, 2012

There has been a lot of wonderful discussion on the At Goal and Maintaining + Transitioning to Maintenance Board, as we try to figure out what maintaining really is. The keeping weight off part is pretty obvious, but the attitudes are very different and not discussed often enough.

I remember years ago when I decided to have a facelift. I went to interview several surgeons. One of them asked me why I wanted it done. He said that if my answer had been to get others to like me more, or to get my husband to love me more, he wouldn't have done it. Anything you do for the sole purpose of eliciting a certain response from another person will never work out the way you think. I know people who buy expensive cars so that people will look up to them (they won't) or put in a dream kitchen to impress the neighbors (it won't) are doomed to serial disappointment.

Most of us started the weight loss process to just lose the stupid weight. Which is fine. But along the way we got a lot of appreciation for something obvious to others, even if their assumptions of how we did it were wrong. We all love positive attention. But if we lost the weight thinking that we would finally live a life with no problems (and that's what any long term, hard fought goal looks like waaaay in the future), and a life of constant adulation, we are doomed to disappointment.

When I first started in WW I was told that I would learn patience; I would learn discipline and know it wouldn't kill me; I would learn that there is life without Reeses. And even though I was busy weighing and measuring and writing things down, and drinking that milk and eating that fish, and going to meetings even though there might be something better to do, I was learning all those things below my radar.

And I learned to have faith in myself. I learned that if I listen to people who know more than I do and listened to them (remember that ago old lament "If only I knew then what I know now?") I would be able to handle life as it came at me, rather than thinking that a certain weight would make me immune to life's challenges.

There are people who keep getting advanced degrees in order to avoid going out into the big, unfamiliar world. We don't have that choice: we CAN"T keep losing weight. We MUST make the transition to doing all the work without all the outside applause. But we have a group right here on Spark to hash it all out with.

Pour yourself a cup of coffee and check us out.
www.sparkpeople.com/mysp
ark/groups_individual.asp?
gid=1111
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
SHEENADEE 10/8/2012 10:01AM

    Hi - I know I'm a little late commenting on this blog; but, I just recently joined the team you mention and somehow that helped lead me to you. I really appreciate your thoughts in this blog. Maintenance can be so difficult if we don't put ourselves in the right mindset and work at it.

Thanks!

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SLENDERMAMA1 9/28/2012 7:27PM

    emoticon

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JAZZEJR 9/15/2012 9:21PM

    Glad I found you through the featured blog. You're a true inspiration. And thanks for the link.

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CAMAEL100 9/15/2012 3:53PM

    This blog has inspired me in more ways than one!! Really we have to live life for ourselves not for others!

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GOPINTOS 9/15/2012 8:33AM

    Loved this! thank you!

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BRAINNOISE 9/14/2012 8:33PM

    Great post!


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MANDELOVICH 9/14/2012 8:28PM

    You are an inspiration!

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WILLOWBROOK5 9/8/2012 9:11PM

    Great post!

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LEALOWE 9/8/2012 2:54PM

    Hear hear!

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PENOWOK 9/8/2012 8:58AM

    Well said

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MEXGAL1 9/6/2012 7:50PM

    Fabulous blog...great thoughts that I can really identify with. thank you so much for posting.
Have a terrific evening.
Sallie

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GOTTAPLAN4U 9/4/2012 9:45AM

  However you got there, you are a very wise woman. Thanks for making the effort to share your wisdom.
Kate

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ELOQUENTZ 8/30/2012 1:40PM

    Good post.

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KASPER10779 8/28/2012 12:00PM

    I am not at the maintaining point just yet, but I really appreciated the insight you give here :). It will definitely be a help for me in the future!!

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MISSB8604 8/27/2012 6:52PM

    I've been really worrying about this myself and am glad you brought it up. I guess I never realized how much of a battle maintaining is. It's actually quite scary to me.

Thank you.

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FRUITCASE 8/26/2012 5:03PM

    I agree, this maintaining malarkey is a difficult journey and I for one need help along the way.So I welcome the support available on this site to keep me going. emoticon

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NEWCHINELO 8/26/2012 4:15PM

    thanks for sharing!

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MARTHAWILL 8/25/2012 8:43PM

    Thanks for the insights. Very well put and so true. I had so much faith in myself and am looking for it back. It's a roller coaster ride- would like it to be straight and narrow again. Not going to happen because LIFE happens and you can never let up your guard - knowing the facts/truths/pitfalls alone doesn't do it. It's what you allow to take over between the ears.

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REENIE131 8/24/2012 10:53PM

    Very helpful. Thank you!


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EMILYDOODLE 8/24/2012 10:07PM

  Great blog! thanks for sharing, it really is a journey to maintain your weight. it really is hard!
emoticon

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MNABOY 8/24/2012 8:45PM

    Still have a way to goal but still enjoyed and learned from your words. Thanks for sharing.

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AEHEGE 8/24/2012 5:50PM

    Wise words!

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IFEOMA4 8/24/2012 5:30PM

  i agree

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MANILUS 8/24/2012 11:38AM

    There are so many issues in this life that we must deal with, if weight is not an issue, we can deal with those better! Thanks for sharing that maintenance holds issues.

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ESME25 8/24/2012 9:58AM

    emoticon

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KOMTRIA 8/24/2012 8:45AM

  Helpful posting. Lots to think about.

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JESSJESSB 8/24/2012 7:40AM

    This is one of the smartest, most insightful statements I've heard so far: "We MUST make the transition to doing all the work without all the outside applause."

I've found myself slipping into unhealthy habits to maintain- I lost all 119 lbs the smart, healthy way, but now I'm picking up unhealthy behaviors to try to be able to eat crap and still keep it off. I never dreamed that would be something I struggled with on THIS side of the goal line. I'm trying to be more active in the forum.

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THETROUT 8/24/2012 7:08AM

    Wow! I'm looking forward to getting to your side of this journey. Thanks for sharing.

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SLENDERELLA61 8/24/2012 6:52AM

    Great blog, Nell! And thanks for your continuing commitment to help us maintainers. -Marsha

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SHERRYBETH84 8/24/2012 3:43AM

    I finally realized why the others keep calling this their journey, rather than their accomplishment. It is all a journey through life, with new goals and speed bumps and wrong turns at every moment, with or without the added weight on our body. I read blogs like yours to help keep me mindful of the pitfalls and get directions as I traverse through new areas in my journey. Thanks for the alert. Thanks for the heartfelt blog.

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ILOVEMALI 8/24/2012 2:55AM

    Great thoughts--inspiring!

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NUOVAELLE 8/24/2012 2:28AM

    "My late knowledge, I wish I had you earlier!" That's a proverb in my country, one I've used a lot in my life and, I believe, a common human behavior. We've all wished at some point in our lives that we knew back then what we know now. But when there are people like you, who decide to devote time and effort to helping others reach this knowledge earlier than they would by themselves, life gets easier.
I just read about your journey in the team's e-mails and all I can say is that you are a REAL motivation!
Thank you!
emoticon

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JAZZEJR 8/23/2012 10:37PM

    I'm struggling with maintenance. Maybe I need to focus on something different than the lbs. But that's the only thing I'm having a problem with....

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MYSTERY-LADY1 8/23/2012 9:17PM

    emoticon

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EASH5M 8/23/2012 8:43PM

    I agree!

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LIVNFITNHAPPY 8/23/2012 7:05PM

    And that's the Truth!!!
Thanks for summing it up in print! emoticon

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STARWARSFAN2 8/23/2012 6:23PM

    Congratulations on reaching this stage of your fitness journey! Thank you for articulating the maintenance step so well.

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ADRIENALINE 8/23/2012 6:10PM

    Wow the truest words on SP

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POSEY440 8/23/2012 3:40PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CRAZYWOMAN10 8/23/2012 3:16PM

    Very well put...Something I need to focus on for sure :)

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GLASSART43 8/23/2012 3:15PM

    emoticon for your blog!

I couldn't lose weight and keep it off until I decided to put my health first and make it a priority in my life. No waiting around for other family members to get onboard, just do what I could to get healthy.

Maintenance is a struggle - SparkPeople is a lifesaver.



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GRANDMAPATTYV 8/23/2012 2:22PM

    Thanks for the encouragement and insight! I'm working on the maintaining part of life, and it is hard.... I do find myself wondering if people even realize how hard this journey is? But it's not for them, it's for me that I do this, and continue to record my food, and journal my achievements and stay with my teams!! You are totally an inspiration! Thanks Nell!!! - Patty emoticon

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DIANEDOESSMILES 8/23/2012 2:16PM

    SO TRUE !! SO TRUE !! I myself am FAR from this point, but I am a leader for a team, where many are soooooooo fortunate to hit ths ! WOOHOOOOOOOO Includin WONDAHFUL TINAJANE76 !!! GOOO TINA !! We are SO PROUD OF YOU !!!!!! She was NOT even near this when she joined the 5% challenge, but with so much help from the team,,,her OWN Determination of which Tina has SO MUCH OF !! GOOO TINA GOOO ! We are VERY BLESSED and HONORED to have Tina with us !

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CHANSEN_20001 8/23/2012 1:20PM

    I need to keep this blog for when the day comes and I'm maintaining. It's something to look forward to.

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RUSSLANE 8/23/2012 12:33PM

    Nell, would you hate me if I said I really want to put you in a helicopter, shove a bullhorn in your hand and let you have at it?

You're totally my hero.

I think you hit on the biggest difference between weight loss and maintaining -- having faith in yourself, and building that muscle just as much as you would a bicep.

Weight loss, in its strictest sense, is about following a structured eating and/or exercise plan. Ultimately, you're being told what to do. And that's needed -- if you didn't, you wouldn't need to lose weight, right?

Maintaining is learning to call the shots, I found, and think for yourself, tweak, problem solve and build a life that's makes your weight loss the least of your accomplishments. It's a different context, but also a highly individual one.

Would you agree teaching the transition, and devising a method that bridges the gap between being-told-what-to-do and rugged individualism be a key component of increasing the 5 percent?


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JEANSHEP2 8/23/2012 12:29PM

    Whoa, Nell. When I first came on Spark, 4 1/2 years ago, I lost 50 lbs the first year and was so proud to be at goal. But I did not have anyone to encourage me to maintain so I have gained back nearly 30 lbs. I am now anxious to lose that re-gained weight and get to your team. Your blog is what I needed when I reached goal before! Now I have another reason to lose...going for it.

Jean

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MNJONES2 8/23/2012 11:29AM

    So happy for you Nell. You are the best!!


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LVMAMAW 8/23/2012 11:27AM

    Great Blog! Thank you for sharing! You are so right! emoticon

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TRAINER_T 8/23/2012 11:14AM

    emoticon

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MANDELOVICH 8/23/2012 11:14AM

    Great tips! I'm not quite at goal, but I'm so happy to know that when I get there, I will be able to learn from and support this group!

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