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    SLENDERELLA61   158,286
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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:

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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KIMPY225 9/13/2012 10:00AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

It definitely is tough changing a lifestyle! Keep up the amazing work!!

I lost 40 pounds on weight watchers a few years ago. I gained it back so quickly though! I wasn't feeling the support system, and I didn't really learn how important it was to be HEALTHIER. I just lost weight to do better for the weigh-ins. So many people only lost weight to see the numbers go down on the scale! Spark has helped me see that there is a lot more to this lifestyle than a number!

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JEWELMOTI 9/13/2012 9:47AM

    You are an inspiration to all of us!

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LKEITHO 9/13/2012 9:29AM

    Thank you for some great advice. It is obviously working for you - you look great!

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SHANTODD420 9/13/2012 9:25AM

    Thanks for sharing and being honest. I know just how you feel.

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MEXGAL1 9/13/2012 9:25AM

    Congrats Miss Marsha for having a popular blog! You so deserve it! I have followed your blogs for a long time now and have been motivated and learned so much. I feel so fortunate to have "" you and have you as part of my life.
Have a terrific day.
Sallie

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ANNIEONLI 9/13/2012 9:02AM

    Yay! I hear you loud & clear....and my own mantra is"Every day...is Day One"....so it keeps it in my head to fight the good (and healthy) fight!
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LOGOULD 9/13/2012 9:01AM

    Thank you for such an honest and inspiring blog. "QUIT QUITTING", yes, that is key....I am just returning and almost to goal after losing nearly 50 lbs and then regaining nearly half of that. It is so much harder to lose it this time around, or at least it feels that way! I don't EVER want to go through that again! So grateful for this team and Sparkfriends like you to keep me encouraged and inspired to KEEP IT OFF this time!

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CELIAMINER 9/13/2012 8:28AM

    Love your inspiring maintenance record AND your tales of failing. I'm fairly new to maintenance (only four months so far), so I am taking your words to heart, especially the part about maintaining for a year and then regaining. Fortunately, SP's At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team is providing lots of support from folks like you!

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NUOVAELLE 9/13/2012 8:26AM

    Congratulations and thank you for reminding us the most important factor of any success in life: Quit quitting!
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NEW-CAZ 9/13/2012 8:25AM

    emoticon emoticon

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GERMANIRISHGIRL 9/13/2012 8:08AM

    emoticon emoticon

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LJR4HEALTH 9/13/2012 8:01AM

    emoticon

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62NVON 9/13/2012 8:00AM

    I read it because I've lived it. It's great to see people who are succeeding at the maintenance thing.
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ROXYZMOM 9/11/2012 8:24AM

    Congratulations! Your plan obviously is working for you! Thanks for the link to the maintenance group - I am going to check it out!

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SWEDE_SU 9/11/2012 7:37AM

    "...most important, i quit quitting" - isn't that the key for all of us who have lost and gained, again and again, through the year? excellent blog! the more we define the behaviors that will make this time different, the better we will reach and maintain that goal! emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 9/6/2012 2:44PM

    YES! I believe you've found the keys to maintaining for life--and one of the biggest is to quit quitting. I've lost weight and regained it more times than I care to think, but because of what I've learned on SP and the completely different mindset that I have now. The only thing I have quit is quitting; no giving up, no going back.

I love the At Goal & Maintaining & Transitioning to Maintenance team! I hesitated joining because I wasn't sure I was ready to declare myself at goal (I would like to lose at least 5 pounds more), but I'm glad that I did. There is so much great advice and wisdom from people who are dealing with the challenges of maintaining!

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CANDOK1260 9/6/2012 1:52PM

    thank you when i get to maintancve i am suure it will remeber this blog

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NIELSENSLADY 9/6/2012 12:33AM

    I don't think I've read your blogs before but this one is hitting home. I've gained almost 50 pounds in six months and I've done this about four times in ten years or so. I would take a year to lose it and less than half to gain it back. I can honestly say my eating habits would go back to the overconsumption of sugar with the lack of exercise. Today I had a very ugly day, based on my feelings. This blog made me feel better though. I just need to be honest with myself and I need to get off my butt again. I need to commit that one hour to myself, if nothing else. Something has to be consistent. Really enjoyed the lil pep talk and I'm happy for your success!

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ISHIIGIRL 9/5/2012 10:45PM

    It took me 3 yrs to lose 70 lbs. I was able to maintain that for over two years until this last January when I suffered a back injury and had SAD. It has taken all I have to climb out of that slide but slowly I have regained some of my fitness and I am slowly losing the 18 lbs I put on. For me the key to maintenance is back to basics, tracking and exercising several times a week. Thanks for writing this great blog as a reminder that maintaining really is possible over the long haul. Bravo!

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WATERMELLEN 9/5/2012 9:04PM

    Super blog: "liked" this!! Quitting quitting: yeah!! It's key!!

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MARTHAWILL 9/4/2012 8:20PM

    I'm glad I read this. You are very encouraging!

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CHOCOHOLIC2276 9/4/2012 7:50PM

    Thank you for sharing, your blog title caught my eye because I've been yo-yo ing for what seems like forever.

emoticon job and thank you for the inspiration:)

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NEWNAC304 9/4/2012 6:13PM

    Great job! Thanks for sharing your encouraging story!

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KANSASROSE67 9/4/2012 12:52PM

    Great blog! I just got to my goal and I know maintenance will just be a continuation of what I've been doing. I appreciate your insights.

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NATPLUMMER 9/4/2012 11:23AM

    emoticon

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MSLZZY 9/4/2012 9:42AM

    Just what I needed to read today.
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STRIVER57 9/4/2012 8:41AM

    that is very encouraging. so is the fact that i was miserable when i couldn't run because of an injury and made sure i kept doing other workouts even if they weren't as rewarding. i've been at goal for 9 months now ... and plan to stay there!

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DONNABRIGHT 9/4/2012 8:26AM

    We all have to find our own way, don't we?

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DAISYBELL6 9/4/2012 8:25AM

    You have hit the nail on the head! Keep on keeping on. It doesn't have to be perfect just the best healthy living you can manage, consistently. I am just starting my second year of maintainance of a healthier weight and am finally beginning to get the message. Perfection is not the goal, health is!

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_LINDA 9/3/2012 11:46PM

    Right on! Yes, you are an inspiration! Never give up, never give in, do it consistently and you are the winner! You are showing everyone its possible to get off the rollercoaster of yo yo weight loss and actually start living and enjoying life. The key is to find what makes it really motivating for you to want to continue and we all know its Marsha, the awesome runner!
You go girl!
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PHEBESS 9/3/2012 11:12PM

    "I quit quitting" - You are so right!!!!!

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CAT609 9/3/2012 10:13PM

    Awesome! Keep up the great work!

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TBRANCH2 9/3/2012 9:57PM

    Thanks! I needed that!!!

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AQUAGIRL08 9/3/2012 9:21PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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A-NEW-PAULA 9/3/2012 9:13PM

    emoticon for me AGAIN so I really needed to hear this!!!

I lost it with SP but gained it back plus another 10 pounds... Grrrrr...

It sounds like I need to up my workouts to 6 one hour cardio routines and some lifting! What specifically did you read in regards to exercise or maybe better yet where can I read the info you did about exercise and losing/keeping weight off?

I have to stop quitting on me!
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Thanks!
Paula

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FROSTY99 9/3/2012 8:48PM

    Thanks for this reminder to never be a quitter. I too have lost the weight, several times and this time I am taking it slow and easy so hopefully when it is gone, it is gone for good. I still have a ways to go, but at least, I am heading in the right direction!
Thanks for letting me know it is possible to succeed no matter what was in our past.

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REJ7777 9/3/2012 8:29PM

    What an inspiring blog! emoticon

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JOYINKY 9/3/2012 8:28PM

    Yes, you're singing my song too! Glad you are doing so great! I had to change my life and focus on health too! Works if you work it!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 9/3/2012 8:15PM

    So true, for me, too!

And those same NWCR people have reported that many successful maintainers say they tried several times before finally getting it "right."

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ROOSTER72 9/3/2012 7:06PM

    You are an inspiration! Well done
Quit quitting - that is so important.

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SPARKLINGME176 9/3/2012 6:38PM

    Thanks for the INSPIRATION!

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HEALTHYARTIST1 9/3/2012 6:16PM

    Yes, I am sure you got a lot of, "that sounds like me". Well, my story is a little bit different, I didn't get heavy until my late 40's than it just piled on. I have lost and gained the same 30 to 50 lbs over and over. This time I am doing it different. I am changing my life, I also found I need to do at least 60 min of cardio, even though I do not want to and the only day I allow some slack is on Sunday where 20 min is allowed. And I am also learning if you eat more of the healthy, filling food you tend to eat less of the processed food. I do not consider myself on a diet, instead a healthy lifestyle that is what I am living. So far in this new healthy lifestyle I have lost 21 lbs with another 31 lbs to go. For some reason my body is fighting the weight loss right now, as I have been within 2 lbs up and down for a month, it is frustrating. If you have any suggestions let me know and thanks for the blog. emoticon

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MEXGAL1 9/3/2012 6:04PM

    Marsha...my goodness...this sounds like I could have written the same story. I too finally weight less than I did in the 7th grade. I remember then weighing 120 and thinking I was getting heavy. Little did I know then that I would just keep gaining until I was almost 200 lbs. Our histories sound so much a like and what I have discovered is very much what you have discovered.
I will never quit either!
Here's to our continued success!
Sallie

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GOING4MUSCLE 9/3/2012 5:42PM

    No longer "quitters"! Nope, Nope , Nope!! emoticon emoticon

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DEBRITA01 9/3/2012 5:39PM

    Loved the blog and your insight. The statement that spoke to me was "And most important, I quit quitting." Each day is a new day to do our best and that's the good news. Thanks for sharing... emoticon

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IAMWINNING 9/3/2012 5:07PM

    Thank you, Marsha, for this blog. It's encouragement to us all, and I will keep these things in mind when (not 'if') I reach my goal.


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MELLIE1030 9/3/2012 5:05PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/3/2012 4:58PM

    I love, love, love this statement: "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."

It is the key to your long-term success, and to mine. It's OK to not be perfect... majority of behavior rules. The most important decision is always the next one.

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