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    TINAJANE76   55,875
SparkPoints
50,000-59,999 SparkPoints
 
 
A Summary of the Lessons I've Learned in my First Year of Maintenance

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Saturday, March 02, 2013

On Thursday, I'll reach my one-year maintenance anniversary. Over the course of the past year, I've learned a lot about myself and the strategies that are important for me to use to stabilize my weight. I'm quite fortunate that I haven't experienced any major life challenges to seriously throw me off track in the past year, so I feel like I've established a strong foundation to deal with with those when they do come down the road.

I've summarized a lot of the things I've learned in past blogs, but these are the ones that I think have been key for me:

1. Staying connected to my support systems
I've never had real support on maintenance and until now, I had always regained any weight I lost. Staying active here on SparkPeople, especially on the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team has been a huge component of my success. I've learned so much from the strategies used by other maintainers and have found having the support of like-minded people to be invaluable. Even if you're not at goal yet, I strongly suggest checking out this team. There's a lot to be learned from people who have experienced lasting weight management success. You can visit us here: teams.sparkpeople.com/ma
intaining


2. Keeping up my healthy habits
Maintenance is not a destination. It's a continuation of a process of refinement of the habits that you developed to lose weight and get healthy. Yes, I still experiment with different strategies to keep me interested, engaged and on track, but the basics of my diet and exercise regime are the same. Eat better, mind my portions, move as much as possible and strength train.

3. Continuing to track and weigh in regularly
Tracking was a useful weight loss tool for me and one that I've continued in maintenance. It's helped me to identify where I need to be from a nutritional and fitness point of view and has helped prevent weight creep. Regular weigh ins have backed up those efforts and shown me where changes need to be made.

4. Tackling weight creep with subtle changes
There have been times in the past year when I've added a few pounds. Rather than panicking and doing anything drastic, I've made subtle changes when I've seen upward trends and taken a more patient approach to getting the weight back off. I realize that a five-pound gain is nothing compared to a 50-pound gain and can be undone gradually without making significant changes to my meal plan or exercise routine. As a result, I don't feel as though I've had to shift back into weight loss mode and like I'm in a perpetual yo-yo cycle.

5. Learning to live life in a sustainable way
Unlike my past efforts, which were often quite restrictive, I've learned that it's okay not to be perfect. It's okay to indulge every once in a while and it's okay if I slip up from time to time. My overall lifestyle is healthy and it's okay if I don't adhere to a perfect plan all the time. Small daily treats and occasional indulgences have made my maintenance more enjoyable and made me feel like something I can keep up for the rest of my life. I don't have to avoid social events out of fear of weight regain because I've learned to choose my indulgences more wisely and to plan ahead and/or make healthier choices when I've felt like what's being offered isn't worth it.

I admit that it hasn't always been easy and that there have been times when my resolve hasn't been as strong as others. But as my anniversary approaches, I find myself right in the center of my maintenance range and optimistic that I can keep this up forever.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JACLEGG6 4/11/2013 10:31AM

    Thanks for sharing your insights. It's inspiring to know that others have kept the weight off after reaching their goal. It makes me even more determined to reach my weight loss goal.

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SIA1308 4/11/2013 9:28AM

  Great Job, I am new to this site and reading everyone's success stories is a great encouragement to a newbie that I can seek and get a lot of help from this community!

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GLUECIPHER 3/14/2013 1:03PM

    thanks for sharing

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WARMSTRONG2 3/13/2013 12:03AM

  Great to hear that there is hope after weight loss.

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MANILUS 3/12/2013 1:27AM

    Great work!

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PLPSAVAGE 3/10/2013 7:13PM

    Very Inspiring!

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_CYNDY55_ 3/10/2013 12:28AM

    emoticon
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GOOSIEMOON 3/9/2013 9:23AM

    emoticon

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DESERTJULZ 3/8/2013 2:36PM

    Nope, not easy!
Yep, definitely sustainable!

Good blog, we can all learn from your lessons.

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SWEETYOUNGTHING 3/8/2013 8:31AM

    Wonderful; thanks for sharing!

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EFFRAYECHILDE 3/7/2013 9:41AM

    emoticon

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KUTEY5041 3/6/2013 8:24PM

    proud of what you have done - and continue to do

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CAMETHYSTE 3/6/2013 7:13PM

    Congratulations on your maintenance anniversary and thanks so much for the inspiration. Your words are definitely ones to make note of and refer to in the future. emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 3/5/2013 2:57PM

    Great summmary, great blog, gorgeous celebration photo! Love the dress, the hair, the confidence and joy!

You've gotta feature this blog . . . c'mon now, don't be shy. It absolutely deserves a wider audience.

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RX_2_RV 3/5/2013 10:46AM

    Thanks for taking the time to post. It is an inspiration to the rest of us still struggling. This is the 4th time I will have lost the same 40 pounds and I know that I did not have all of this down when I hit maintenance before. I NEEDED to hear this.

I wish you continued success, health, and happiness!

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VTRICIA 3/5/2013 8:49AM

    Woohoo

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SJKENT1 3/4/2013 7:48PM

    so awesome!!

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LUVTOBOWL 3/4/2013 4:23PM

    emoticon emoticon You have inspired me today!!!

Keep up the good/positive work.

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PRESBESS 3/4/2013 12:45PM

    It is such an awesome thing to maintain for a year and having learned what works for you along the way. I'm right there with ya, enjoying the treats you like, weighing-in regularly, contineously tracking, staying connected to your support system... Way To Go TinaJane76!

You Rock!
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SORLANDO21 3/4/2013 10:07AM

    emoticon

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HPSANDDOLLAR 3/4/2013 9:56AM

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GRAMPIAN 3/4/2013 6:22AM

  Sound advice. emoticon

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BLUEJEAN99 3/4/2013 4:14AM

    emoticon emoticon

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NUOVAELLE 3/4/2013 1:50AM

    You look amazing! Congratulations on your one year of maintenance and thank you again for sharing all those wonderful tips and insights on maintenance. Life-long weight maintenance is not an easy task and only the right attitude and the proper mentality can help us succeed.
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ILIKETOZUMBA 3/4/2013 12:00AM

    Thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom! It's always nice to read about somebody else's experience with maintenance; it doesn't seem so scary to me when other people discuss how easily they deal with weight creep (which is something I totally worry about, even though I know it's not that bad to deal with; if I can lose 100+ pounds, I can totally drop 5 if I accidentally gain that much back). Anyways, it sounds like you're doing great, congrats on all your success, and thanks again!

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PCASEY7 3/3/2013 11:41PM

    Congrats on reaching a year of maintenance!

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CICELY360 3/3/2013 11:11PM

  good blog

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JAMER123 3/3/2013 11:03PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Good work on maintaining!! I have confidence you will make it!!

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GRGAP86 3/3/2013 11:01PM

  emoticon Keep up the good work!

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JOANNHUNT 3/3/2013 9:47PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HEARTS116 3/3/2013 9:06PM

    emoticon emoticon

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JERICHO1991 3/3/2013 9:03PM

    Good lessons learned, and followed.

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FIT4MEIN2013 3/3/2013 7:17PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

I am getting close to maintenance and am getting nervous. I will check out the teams now!

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PENOWOK 3/3/2013 5:50PM

    Good for you for keeping it down!!

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FROMNDTOGA 3/3/2013 5:38PM

    Thanks for sharing your journey - and congratulations!
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JACKIE542 3/3/2013 5:30PM

    Great job! emoticon emoticon

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SANDYLH1 3/3/2013 5:15PM

  emoticon

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PATRICIAANN46 3/3/2013 5:02PM

  You have done an amazing job. emoticon

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MARYJEANSL 3/3/2013 4:52PM

  Good for you - and congratulations!

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JANEMARIE77 3/3/2013 4:33PM

    great job

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NEWTINK 3/3/2013 4:16PM

    you have done wonderful

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DIANNEMT 3/3/2013 3:09PM

    Your experience will be helpful as I begin my maintenance--soon, I hope!!

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CHRISBEM 3/3/2013 3:00PM

    what great lessons

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MIMIDOT 3/3/2013 2:09PM

    You look great!!!! Good going!

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BJENKINS1014 3/3/2013 1:38PM

    Thanks for sharing all these wonderful ideas. And here's to your continued success! emoticon

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SUSIEMT 3/3/2013 1:30PM

    Very good advice TinaJane! Keep up the good work!

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ALIDOSHA 3/3/2013 1:13PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHOAPIE 3/3/2013 1:06PM

    emoticon

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GRIZ1GIRL 3/3/2013 1:00PM

    Keep it up!

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ALIHIKES 3/3/2013 12:16PM

    You look great! Congratulations on one year maintenance! and thanks for sharing your insights on how to be successful emoticon

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