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Maintenance - Not What I Expected

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

I'm not sure what I expected. I guess I expected it to be more cut and dry. I'm learning that this part of the journey will take just as much time and energy to figure out as weight loss did. A very helpful post by MOBYCARP showed me that it could take weeks, even months, to discover what balance of exercise and calorie range will keep my weight stable. I may continue to lose weight until that discovery is made which is perfectly ok with me. I have in fact lost three more pounds since starting to gradually increase daily calorie intake. I went first from 1800 a day to 2000 a day. This past Monday I started eating an average of 2100 a day. This seems to be the right approach that is recommended (i.e. raise calorie range gradually on a two week trial periods to see what happens and then adjust accordingly). What MOBYCARP also pointed out is that there is not likely to be a magical number of calories that will permanently be the "right" amount for me! That too will change over time as metabolism and activity/exercise levels change. So it appears to be like trying to hit a moving target. I'll need to focus more on longer range trends bi-monthly and monthly trends rather than the daily and weekly monitoring I've been doing. I feel like I have a lot to learn and I hope I'm on the right track. I certainly don't want to back-track. I've worked hard to get here and I like the new, more-fit me. I want to keep what I've gained and continue to make progress in learning how to stay fit and healthy. So I'm stepping into this new challenge even though it's turning out to be more complex than I thought it would be.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm still in the weight loss stage for a while, but this was helpful to think about a bit for the hopeful future :) thanks
    1716 days ago
    Woo Hoo good for you! Thanks for mentioning those tips you gleaned from Mobycarp. Very useful. Keep up the good work!
    1716 days ago
    Maintenance sure is every bit as much of a learning experience as losing weight was, and it seems that will continue for the rest of my life........or as long as I want to feel good and look good. Worth the trade off I'd say!
    1716 days ago
  • HHB4181
    great info & blog!
    1716 days ago
  • KEEPFIT2013
    Find I'm doing the same thing...learning as I go and realizing flexibility is the key. I, like Sunshine99999, am sticking with the food and fitness trackers for the short term anyway and setting and tracking short term goals. It seems to be working so far but I'm really only one month in so will see.
    1717 days ago
  • NCSUE0514
    Can't wait to join you in maintenance!
    1717 days ago
    emoticon , it is a balancing act:) emoticon emoticon
    1719 days ago
    1719 days ago
    Thank you for sharing your story and congratulations on reaching your goal. It is a little difficult to maintain for me too. I am still working at finding the balance. Best wishes, Linda from bean town emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1719 days ago
    Your so right!! It's like getting your balance going when you first learn how to ride a 2 wheeler bike!!
    1720 days ago
    Congratulations on your success. You have the right attitude and will figure out the proper balance for you.
    1720 days ago
  • POPSY190
    emoticon and best wishes for your maintenance!
    1720 days ago
    Sincere congrats on reaching your goal and entering the maintenance phase! Glad we have SP support groups, tools, and techniques to help us through any bumps in the road. I just got back from vacation with the predictable weight spike, and returning to basics has helped me shed most of those pounds.
    1720 days ago
  • MARIO432
    Congratulations on reaching goal. I didn't realize maintence would be such a juggling act either - but well worth it - isn't it.
    Wishing you continued success.
    1720 days ago
    You're right, there's a lot of trial and error to find the right balance.
    1720 days ago
  • SINGER73
    I'm right there with you.
    1720 days ago
    Congratulations! I'm very happy for you and it's great to read how you are learning exactly how many calories you can eat to maintain.
    1720 days ago
  • MY1FAN
    Congrats on reaching your goal. I'm still trying to find my calorie balance also. Keep up the great work.
    1720 days ago
    I have been maintaining for 2+ years and still learning!!
    Well done on your success! You are truly inspiring!
    1720 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Well done!! You have that winning attitude which is going to make you a successful maintainer!
    Keep up the great work!!
    1720 days ago
    It's a constant vigil, isn't it?
    1720 days ago
    You can do it!
    1721 days ago
    It really is an adventure of discovery - figuring out how to live life at a normal weight. but there you have it - you can do this too!
    1721 days ago
    Congratulations on your weight loss success and moving onward in the next phase of your journey: maintenance. emoticon
    1721 days ago
  • JULIA1154
    Congratulations on reaching your goal. I suspect you'll be equally successful at maintaining your ideal weight and health; you've worked too hard to get here to get careless.

    Maintenance does take attention and being in tune with your body, which are not bad things to do in the first place. The rewards of feeling good are ongoing, however, and certainly help me stay focused on my priorities.

    Don't sweat it - enjoy it!
    1721 days ago
  • MKELLY72
    I like your moving target comment--good visual. I feel like it took a full year to really get the swing of how things shift throughout the seasons--I feel like I may be better prepared this coming year, since I've been through one now--every season has it's own challenges to tackle, and with practice and mindfulness, you will become a master at this!
    1721 days ago
    Very good blog. Maintenance is possible. The way you are doing it, adding gradually, will serve you well. Although you may "need" a few treats you've been wanting, I found that adding more of what your body truly needs (in my case more calcium and healthy fat) will probably serve you best! -Marsha
    1721 days ago
    Maintenance is a bit of a moving target but that's OK: we're trying for a "reasonable range", a few pounds fluctuation!

    You've done great with weight loss, you'll do great with the weight loss maintenance too. Congrats to you!
    1721 days ago
    I'm glad I was able to be helpful. A year later, I'm finding that maintenance is tricky but not impossible. The *transition* from weight loss mode to maintenance was harder for me than ongoing maintenance seems to be, though maintenance does require regular attention and some effort. But at least I'm not living with uncertainty about where my weight ought to be any more.
    1721 days ago
    It does seem like a moving target! For me, as long as I stay in a 3-4 pound weight range, I feel I am on track long-term.
    1721 days ago
    In my third year of maintenance I still find adjustments needed from time to time. I think... gasp... perhaps... I have discovered what NORMAL eaters do... i.e. gain a bit over the winter, and lose it back without excessive effort as their activity levels rise in the Spring and summer... this is the second year of modest fluctuation over the season changes!

    Vigilance is still required. And I still get scared when I see my HABITS slipping (the scale follows the habits, like a tail).

    Good luck with your transition.
    1721 days ago
    Congratulations on your accomishments!

    Next week will be six months of maintainance for me, longest I have maintained a weight loss. You are right, it can be tricky.

    Checking in with the at goal and maintenance team every morning really keeps me on track!

    I'm so happy for you becoming a healthier version of yourself! Continued success to you!
    1721 days ago
    I'm not there yet, but stopped by to wish you the best.
    1745 days ago
  • KANOE10
    Yes, maintenance is tricky. It does take work and like Moby Carp said, you may need to change what you are doing as time goes on.

    You have done a great job of reaching your goal weight. I am sure you will find the steps needed to keep it off. I do not want to gain my weight back either!

    You have a great positive attitude and you will do well in your maintenance.

    1745 days ago
    It is definitely hard work and there are no short cuts.
    1745 days ago
    “It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.” ~William James

    "Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” ~Thomas Jefferson

    “The difference between a mountain and a molehill is your perspective.” ~Al Neuharth

    I am counting on you to figure this out, so when my time comes, I can use your method to make it easier for me!!! emoticon

    Blessings to you. I know you will conquer this as you have the weight loss.

    1746 days ago
    It is different and will take some balancing to figure out what works best for you. Don't give up
    1746 days ago
  • BOB240
    well see my blog...

    In comparison maintenance is far harder than losing weight. If you eat less and exercise more the weight falls off-- the scales and other people constantly "stroke" you and this is encouraging.

    In maintenance (8 months for me now) I found that I have to focus on diet and routine fare more -- and noone notices and the scales don't move much.............
    1746 days ago
    I lost 40 lbs 2 years ago and failed miserably at maintenance emoticon I fell into a relaxed state and thought "the weight wont come back" emoticon It everything you can to STAY ON IT!!! emoticon
    1746 days ago
    It's definitely different from either weight loss or going back to the way things were. Best of luck to you. I guess the thing to watch out for is a thought that might creep in, "This is too much trouble for nothing much happening". Anytime you think that, go look at old photos if you have them or maybe some fat pants.
    1746 days ago
  • SUNSHINE99999
    I'm finding the same thing. So, I'm continuing to do a number of things i.e. track my food, exercise each day, drink at least 8 cups of water, and hit 10,000 steps and it takes work. I raise my water glass to your success. emoticon
    1746 days ago
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