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The key ingredient in the maintenance recipe!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Iím probably not in maintenance mode. If I were, I would still be at my best-ever weight of 68 kilos that I reached last summer.

Iím not in weight loss mode either. If I were, I wouldnít be battling the same couple of pounds every weekend Ė borrowing the words from my good Sparkfriend Maura.

Maybe Iím at this ďtransition to maintenanceĒ phase that the leaders at the ďAt goal and maintainingĒ team so wisely added to the team name. And Iíve been here long enough to have given maintenance lots of thought and contemplation.

So whatís the most important thing you can think of when the word ďmaintenanceĒ comes to mind? Is it the correct calorie range? Or maybe the proper amount of exercise? Could it be the continuous motivation? Or a reward system for our continuous success? A support system of other maintainers maybe? Or is it just that we have finally established a healthy lifestyle that suits us and we can count on it?

Maybe one or more of the above. But quite honestly none of the above is the real reason Iím trying hard to maintain my weight. What has really kept me close to this all-time-low weight of mine is something else. Thereís a different reason I try to go back to my healthy habits every Monday even if my weekend has been a complete disaster. The key ingredient to my maintenance attempts Ė their degree of success being irrelevant Ė is always the same.

Failure.

To be more exact, past failure.

I never forgot how easy it is to lose control. Iíll always remember how unbelievably fast the weight we lose can be ďfoundĒ again. The disappointment I felt when I had to dig out the ďbigĒ clothes from the back of my closet cannot be forgotten. The silent, weird looks on the faces of the people who had congratulated me a few months ago are not ones that I would like to see again. And, worst of all, the awful sense of not keeping a promise to myself and of having let me down once more is definitely a thing to try to avoid at all costs.

It never gets easy. Yes, I have formed healthy eating habits that I try to follow. Yes, Iíve made exercise a routine. But still, there are days that I want to be like those people who have an out-of-this-world metabolism and can eat whenever and whatever they like Ė yes, they do exist even if they are a minority! There are days that temptation will be thrown in front of my face and coincidentally my defense system will have gone on strike! There are days that my emotions will be hard to handle and sweet treats will come to the rescue!

But there will always be the next day. And the next day I choose to remember. I remind myself where this can lead. And I begin trying again. I slowly push myself back on the right track. Simply because I recognize the other road. And I donít like the place where it leads. Iíve been there.

In short, I really believe that the more failures youíve had in your weight loss resume, the better your chances of maintaining are. As long as you translate these failures into lessons. As long as you ally with your mistakes and use them towards your goal.





I donít consider myself a successful maintainer. But Iím one that keeps fighting. Because Iíve learned my lesson. And maybe, just maybe, thatís what maintenance is all about.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRISKECK 4/2/2013 12:58PM

    Thank you - that is food for thought (no pun intended!). I hadn't thought of it that way but you're exactly right. Having experienced that particular kind of failure has inspired me to work to avoid it as I proceed towards my goals once again.

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Have a great day!

Kristin

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ISHIIGIRL 3/28/2013 8:07AM

    I think you shed light on a very important aspect of successfully maintaining. We all have to have some motivation to stay in maintenance and for many that is a fear of failure. A fear we can't maintain what we have acheived. This rings true for me and for many. Great blog.

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MILLIE5522 3/28/2013 6:45AM

    Great blog!
You are so right. I never quite realized that this was one of my motivations too until I read your blog. Guess I am still learning about myself! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 3/27/2013 9:24PM

    It never gets easy.

Oh yeah.

And like you I'm a successful maintainer because the memory of all my past failures is so powerful.

Great blog!

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-AMANDA79- 3/27/2013 8:34PM

    Great blog! I yo-yo'd for a long time, but think I've finally learned from those failures.

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TINAJANE76 3/27/2013 4:27PM

    I'm totally with you! I failed five times before I finally found success in maintenance this time around and I always have my past failures in the back of my mind when I feel as though I'm starting to slip or my motivation starts to lag. All of the other things I do definitely help, but not wanting to gain all of the weight back--again--is probably my biggest motivator!

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KANOE10 3/27/2013 11:58AM

    Great blog. I can remember all too well the sense of failure when you regain your lost weight. I do not want to return to this either.

Maintenance is hard work. Keep fighting. You are successful because you are fighting and learning from your mistakes.

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BLOOMINGLENA 3/27/2013 7:12AM

    I know how it feels to lose weight and sense the success and then gain weight again and sense FAILURE! You certainly inspire me to continue my journey no matter how many turnarounds I make because I have in mind that I want to see myself in its best and not disappoint myself again. It is hard but worth the try! Thank you, my dearest friend Elle!
Love youxxxxx

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MONAKIN314 3/26/2013 8:59PM

    Great!!

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MJREIMERS 3/26/2013 6:49PM

    emoticon I understand where you are coming from because I've been there! All I can say is you are so right! emoticon emoticon and I'm here cheering you on!!! emoticon

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THOMS1 3/26/2013 4:22PM

    emoticon I'm thinking you are right. If we hadn't learned our lessons here on spark we wouldn't keep fighting to get it right. Thanks! emoticon

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MICKEYH 3/26/2013 3:10PM

    emoticon great blog !!

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TRAVELGRRL 3/26/2013 1:12PM

    Great blog, thanks! I've had a bunch of failures and am looking to make the last one MY LAST ONE!

I'm doing better -- instead of having an "I don't give a sh*t" month, it's now a week. Or a day. Or maybe just a meal!

It's almost easier to stay on the right road even if you're just jogging in place!

Thanks for sharing your insights.

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FITFOODIE806 3/26/2013 12:33PM

    Oh Elle, you know how much I get this. "It never gets easy." Nope! But seriously, how strong are we for keep working every single week???!! It would be so easy to give up. We will move over this transition hump. I know it.
(And thanks for the little shout out! Made me smile. )

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CARLYG8 3/26/2013 11:47AM

    Great blog!!

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NEWCHINELO 3/26/2013 11:45AM

    thank you dear!

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VIXSTERLU 3/26/2013 11:29AM

    I just have to say Elle...YOU ROCK! This is a great blog and a good lessen for anyone :)

And now I am going to throw my half full cup of froo froo coffee (you know the kind that has 400 calories). You inspired me to remember that this is exactly what lead me to that place before and I don't want to go there again. Ok, maybe one more sip :)

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SUNSHINE99999 3/26/2013 11:01AM

  Very important to learn something from our mistakes indeed. emoticon

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MIDROAD 3/26/2013 10:57AM

    Great inspiring blog. It gives me hope!

Thanks
Jeannie

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DLBROWN93 3/26/2013 10:53AM

    If we don't learn something from our mistakes, we will continue to repeat them.

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