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    SLENDERELLA61   140,655
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Please Read This Blog If You've Gained Weight Back Before

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Monday, September 03, 2012

The first time I lost 60 pounds it took me 9 months to lose it and 3 months to gain it back. I was 16 years old and I doubt if I even maintained my loss for a week.

On December 1, 2008, when I started my current effort to control my weight, I'd lost 30 pounds or more eight times and twice maintained for almost a year. I'd lived over 5 decades overweight. This time my goal was not to lose weight, but to change my life.

Today I claim 180 weeks, almost 3 and a half years, of living life at a weight below what I weighed in 7th grade, a weight I never dreamed I could achieve, 86 pounds gone.

What did I do differently this time? For me, successful maintenance is in a large part due to three factors:

1. Super Foods or Power Foods - I dramatically increased the healthiest foods (see
www.sparkpeople.com/reso
urce/nutrition_articles.as
p?id=307
)
and decreased dramatically the processed foods I eat.

2. Based on what I read at the National Weight Control Registry, I increased my exercise. I went from 5 half hour sessions per week to a minimum of 6 one hour cardio sessions. And then SparkPeople convinced me to add strength training.

3. And most important, I quit quitting. After years of letting myself get discouraged by the scale and how hard it is to maintain, I recommitted each day to do the best I can, no matter what. Some days the best I can do isn't very good, but if I just keep trying, I get it back and find it is good enough. And my SparkFriends on the At Goal & Maintaining Team, www.sparkpeople.com/mysp
ark/groups_individual.asp?
gid=1111
, understand and support me like no one in my 3D life.

My point is that maintenance is possible, even for someone like me who found it impossible over and over again. Perhaps your keys to successful maintenance will be different than mine. We are all different. But if you keep trying, you can do it.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAKAPES 11/3/2012 3:22AM

    That was inspirational, thank you!

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MJREIMERS 11/1/2012 8:08PM

    emoticon for the blog and for sharing the information that has helped you maintain your healthier lifestyle. You are a remarkable person and I'm glad that I am able to call you a Sparkfriend! emoticon

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SWEETYOUNGTHING 11/1/2012 2:13PM

    Wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing this info. As always, you are an inspiration to me emoticon Pat

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CATMAGNET 11/1/2012 1:41PM

    I completely agree that eating healthy and exercise really needs to be a daily commitment and the key is to focus Just For Today. I owe a lot of my success to those three words.

Thanks for the necessary reminder!

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KARRENLYNN 10/3/2012 10:42PM

    I'm a long time yo-yo dieter and for the first time in decades, I'm down 9 lbs in my latest journey. One important change I made this time, which is making it easier if not perfect, is embracing this as a lifestyle habit, not a special project with a finite quit date. It's easier not to feel deprived or left out. Congratulations on your accomplishments and I'm going to try to add more power foods as you suggest.



emoticon

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SHERRY28269 9/27/2012 3:03PM

    Great Job!

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IONA72 9/21/2012 3:59AM

    Sometimes it's hard to see the light but you are a beacon shining for us all!
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TFMNOW 9/20/2012 10:09PM

    You give me hope for a new future! emoticon

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QTEALADY20031 9/20/2012 8:18PM

    Thank you for sharing on what worked for you. I know that I and many others can relate to what you are saying with the gaining and losing. I only recently started gaining weight about 8 years ago after I retired from nursing. I am getting my weight off slowly but I too need to re-evaluate from time to time to see what other assistance I need. The support on Spark People is just wonderful because everyone knows what one is going through, are still working on weight loss on their journey or like you have reached maintenance. I wish you the best on your journey, you are doing great! emoticon emoticon June

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TUBLADY 9/20/2012 7:02PM

    Congratulations on the success you have had. And all the continued success you will have throughout your life.
Sometimes we have to be knocked down and almost out before we really grasp what we should be doing.
I didn't have as long a time over weight and obese, but it was worse. But I am in my weight range now and have been there for over a year. I know there is no yo yo gaining and losing for me. This is it. I am in a happy content place, enjoying my young senior years healthy, fit, and like they say, "It's priceless."
Be strong, stay positive.
Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DOTTY7267 9/20/2012 2:44PM

    I have kept my weight off this time as well, but I have lost large amounts before, only to regain it plus more. I had to make the decision that I couldn't go from fad diet and quick fixes, I had to change the way I thought about many things, especially myself. Thank you for sharing in your journey.

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DDESERTDDAWN 9/20/2012 4:01AM

    Thank you for being frank and clear on what worked and works for you!

Here's to quitting quitting! emoticon


dDawn emoticon

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PHYSEDTEACHER 9/18/2012 6:46AM

    Love it.."I quit quitting.."

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THETROUT 9/17/2012 10:37PM

    Thanks for writing. My best was not very good today, but because it's SP, I will pick up and do my best tomorrow.

I've also added strength training. I will look at the article on Super Foods.

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KKINNEA 9/17/2012 12:21PM

    Totally agree! It's absorbing the information and finding the way that works best for you - congrats on your success!

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HAKAPES 9/17/2012 12:17PM

    Awesome, thanks for the tips!

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JO28352 9/17/2012 8:40AM

    emoticon

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THEIS58 9/16/2012 11:34AM

    Thank you!

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OOLALA53 9/16/2012 11:07AM

    Though not as thin as you, reading that long term maintainers (who had often lost and gained back before) say that THIS time, they quit quitting has helped me lose and maintain this time, too. I also think being older and having gone through other tough things helped me. And like you, I committed to a certain way to LIVE, not diet. Unless I have health issues that demand even more constrictions, this is the way I live now! Moderate meals, much smaller ratios of processed foods, lots of freggies, more hunger (the good kind), less being stuffed. Aack, I've probably said all this before.

Decades of trying other options probably helped.

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MANILUS 9/16/2012 10:21AM

    A success story, congrats! Perseverance is the key.

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BEAUTIFUL_REINA 9/15/2012 9:26PM

    Ya know, this is the most encouraging blog I've read today, I really appreciate your sharing it!

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STARLIGHT22146 9/14/2012 8:47PM

    Thank you!! What a great blog. Although I guess I need to add the goal on my maintaining calendar that I need a couple more hours a week of exercise! I too thought that 4 or so days a week was enough. WAY TO GO!! Thanks for being an inspiration, I hope I can say 10 years from now that I've maintained this loss!

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MANDELOVICH 9/14/2012 8:38PM

    I love it. You quit quitting! Good for you! Thanks for the inspiration!

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BANDMOM2012 9/14/2012 4:08PM

    emoticon

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KANOE10 9/14/2012 9:32AM

    That is inspiring. I am doing 50 min and am thinking of upping it to 1 hr.

Great job on maintaining and staying healthy.

Also I do one day at a time. I weigh each day and decide what I can eat depending on the scale. emoticon

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KKKAREN 9/14/2012 8:30AM

    Good tips, thanks for sharing.

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TRYINGHARD54 9/14/2012 5:58AM

    great blog.....thank you

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DSJB9999 9/14/2012 3:50AM

    emoticon for sharing this, I hope to be a real maintainer too soon, you are inspiring! I know it is possible, I'm afraid I tend not to check out the maintaining site when I am struggling but perhaps I should!
emoticon emoticon Donna x

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SYZYGY922 9/14/2012 1:46AM

    Congratulations on your continued success!

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SHERYL_B 9/13/2012 11:15PM

    emoticon

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MLH148 9/13/2012 9:22PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARTHAWILL 9/13/2012 8:14PM

    Thanks for the inspiration and hope you give. Awesome!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EDUCGRAD 9/13/2012 7:54PM

    Thanks for the encouragement.

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BESTSUSIEYET 9/13/2012 7:24PM

    Marsha, I love the emphasis on one day at a time ... Not quitting because of a bad day, or a bad week! "building a healthy lifestyle" is so much better a goal than "losing weight"! Hooray for your perseverance and thanks for encouraging the rest of us!

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JUSTYNA7 9/13/2012 5:32PM

    I really appreciate this blog. It is not easy to lose or to maintain and I think most importantly you can't go back to how you were eating and exercising. It is a learning curve and long journey to a different place than we were.

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POPSY190 9/13/2012 5:22PM

    Succinct, to the point and sensible. It is very reassuring to know that it CAN be done; we need more people like you to keep reminding us of that!

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THOMS1 9/13/2012 5:10PM

    emoticon I needed ths today! You are an inspiration.

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NAVYMOM133 9/13/2012 3:58PM

    Fantastic perspective! This takes real work but it is so worth it. Thanks for sharing!

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SEXBOBOMB 9/13/2012 3:48PM

    Thank you for this! emoticon

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ADRIENNIE 9/13/2012 1:32PM

    When we all recognize that no matter how it is to lose it's maintaining the loss that is the hard part our obesity will be overcome. You are an awesome hero and I'm proud to know you!

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PRESBESS 9/13/2012 1:28PM

    You are a great example of never giving up! Stay in the fight!
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MIRAGE727 9/13/2012 12:55PM

    Uh, I haven't gained back but you know I support you, Marsha! Thanks for sharing and stay strong!
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ELAYNE39 9/13/2012 12:06PM

    Thank you for blogging on this. If I added up weight lost over my life, it would probably be more than a ton! (Maybe that's a little bit of an exaggeration, but it would be a bunch.) I hope to get to where you are. I've struggled with maintenance in the past. You give us all hope!

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LIVNFITNHAPPY 9/13/2012 11:20AM

    Great Blog! Familiar story.
Since joining SparkPeople in 2009 I have released more weight than I ever thought possible and I have not tortured myself in the process. I have found fun ways to exercise (kayaking & cycling) in addition to walking the dogs and hiking. My weight has fluctuated along with challenging times like the passing of loved ones. At times I have felt like I was barely hanging on here but I have never given up. As a result, I am in the best shape of my life at 61.
It is indeed possible for everyone. We are just like the children's toys, The Weebles, "they wobble but they don't fall down!"

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SABLENESS 9/13/2012 10:53AM

    Love #3, "I quit quitting"! I'm amazed at myself that I've stuck with SparkPeople for nearly 13 mos now. Yes, I'm recovering right now from another round of gain back a few pounds, but I'm hanging in there till I get all the way to my goal and STAY there, whatever and however long it takes. emoticon

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LAURIE5658 9/13/2012 10:47AM

    Congratulations and job well done! This IS the hard part and you are doing it!!!

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LVMAMAW 9/13/2012 10:38AM

    emoticon emoticon Just what I needed today! emoticon

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SUSIEMT 9/13/2012 10:35AM

    You have learned so much from Spark People! I have to and thank you for sharing your HOPE! Sometimes that is all someone might need, that SPARK! Keep up the good work!

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GREENMOUSE 9/13/2012 10:17AM

    Congratulations on your success and thanks for sharing your insights!

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AMARILYNH 9/13/2012 10:00AM

    Been there, done that - but don't plan to again!! Like you I find the support I get on SparkPeople to make a huge difference in my life! emoticon

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