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Monday, January 07, 2013

In my last blog post, I discussed the sudden realization that I am terrified of the "maintenance phase" .... I've been thinking about that for the last few days and think that the reason I am so afraid of this is that I am REALLY a goal oriented person. I have a hard time in my house, for example, tidying everyday to maintain cleanliness. It is my personalty to prefer to let thing get to a catastrophic level of disorder and then spend a weekend reorganizing, cleaning, and making things better again. Big jobs with pride-filled results are easy for me. Daily maintenance of anything is pretty hard for me.

If we compare that to my weight loss, I already see a pattern. I lost 50 lbs 5 years ago, and was SO proud of myself! I was skinnier than I have ever been in my life, I had all these physical activities that I liked to do, I was prideful and in fact maybe a little arrogant about the ease in which I lost the weight. Because it was "easy" for my personality type - I had a big job to do, and I did it! The weight seemed to melt off. I lost all of the weight in about 6 or 7 months, and the results were fantastic. Then, at some point, my pride got the better of me. I knew how "easy" it was to loose weight, plus, even in weeks where I didn't do any fitness activities and I ate like a pig, I didn't put weight on as fast as I had been able to lose it... so I started gaining for a week and losing for a week. I was entering a mini version of a yo-yo diet. My pants never got too tight, because I wasn't gaining more than 2-3 pounds before I lost it again. Then it was 5 lbs. Then I got busy for a couple months and it was 10 lbs which never completely came off. Then I went vegan and started vegan baking and got all kinds of caught up in vegan cookies and BALLOONED up.

The dedicated "fixing" phase is easy for me. The "maintenance" phase has proven to be not so easy.

Now here I am again, in the prideful, arrogant phase of enjoying my successful weight loss, and staring down the barrel at the NEVER-ENDING phase of "maintenance." Will I be able to do it this time? Or will I again fall prey to my arrogance and my ability to rationalize?

My pride and my heart say "I will absolutely be able to do it this time!"

But my head, who knows me better, replies with a skittish "I hope I can do it, but my history and personality point to a different outcome."

SO.... I'm starting to prepare now. I think the goal oriented part of my brain will respond well with some established goals, so I think I will set something like that up. Something along the lines of: If I weigh the same or less 6 months from the beginning of maintenance, I will have some reward. Then set a bigger reward at 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years, etc.

I am also setting some fitness goals. I would like to run a 10k this year - which will (should) be after I hit my goal weight. I'd like to run/walk a half marathon in 2014. I'd like to completely run a half marathon in 2015 and I'd like to run a marathon in 2016. Specifically, I'd like to run the Berlin marathon in 2016.

I'd also like to get my yoga teaching certification within the next 2 years. I don't think I'll ever teach full time, but it would be nice to give private lessons on the weekends, or to hold classes for my coworkers after work, etc... It is just something I want for me, not for a career.

I've also been reading about other successful maintainers. I've fallen in love with this blog by SP member SLIMKATIE: Which was suggested to me by SparkFriend KELLYSWIMS12

Any other maintainers out there? What are your secrets? Anyone know of good books or other materials on the topic?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    We sound a LOT a like. I am the same way when it comes to maintenance. In fact your blog actually made me a little panicky, because I am going to be ready for maintenance fairly soon. I do not want to get back into bad habits, once I can eat "normal" again.

    My plan was to continue with the exercises I am doing now and adding more and then eating just a few hundred more calories a day. Right now I eat only 1200 calories a day on most days.

    I still have between 20 and 40 pounds to lose, so it won't be anytime REAL soon that I am on maintenance, but it is creeping up on me. I wish you luck with your maintenance!
    1895 days ago
    I'm a lot like you. The big things aren't a problem, it's the little every day things. So I think you are going about it the right way. You still need goals - races to train for, fitness goals to meet - not necessarily weight goals.

    I've also thought about yoga teaching certification. Since I'm not interested in teaching I'm not that interested in spending that kind of money. I hope you have a good program near you.
    1899 days ago
    It sounds like you're setting up good building blocks to be ready to maintain when the time comes. Knowing your personality will certainly help! And woah! Marathon! Awesome-sauce :)
    1899 days ago
    I'm the last person to talk to about maintenance but I just wanted to say, HEY, BERLIN MARATHON, COUNT ME IN! Perhaps I can convince you to consider loftier goals so you can run it when I do, which I'm hoping is September 2014. :-)
    1900 days ago
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