Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.


    TINAJANE76   63,561
SparkPoints
60,000-79,999 SparkPoints
 
 
SparkRadio Interview and My Notes on Weight Loss and Maintenance

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I had the wonderful experience of being interviewed by Lily Hills last week for an episode of SparkRadio. You can find a link to the interview here if youíre interested in checking it out:

tunein.com/topic/
?TopicId=47917705


Although I had done public relations before moving to Italy six years ago, I had never actually been on camera or the radio before so this was a new experience for me. Feeling a bit nervous, I took a lot of notes about things Iíd potentially like to talk about. Surprisingly, I was able to talk about quite a few of the points I had jotted down and Iím very thankful to Lily for letting me just talk. Iím generally rather quiet, but once I get started on something I feel strongly about, I often find it hard to stop talking.

Since time was limited and I wasnít able to talk about everything in my notes (I had A LOT), I thought Iíd share everything in a blog. If youíve already listened to the radio interview, I apologize for some repetition. Since successful maintenance is the endgame of everyone on this journey to better health, thatís what I chose to focus on after giving a brief overview of my weight loss/regain history:

Until recently, my weight loss history had been quite checkered. I went on my first diet at the age of eight when, as a chubby kid, my concerned mom brought me to Weight Watchers. Although it was a great program, I wasnít equipped to deal with the challenges of keeping the weight off and a 25-year cycle of yo-yo dieting ensued. I reached my all-time high of 260 pounds in 2001 when I finally reached a breaking point and got serious about taking the weight off--yet again. Over the next year and a half, I lost a total of 115 pounds and felt great. Sadly, that didnít last long. I maintained my total loss for a few months, then hovered about 20-40 pounds over my goal for a few more years. After I moved to Italy in January 2007, I really started to balloon and was up to 240 pounds by early 2010.

When I got started on SparkPeople in March 2010, I knew that I needed to do things differently than I had in the past. I was a pro at losing weight, but I had never been able to keep it off for more than a few months at a time, which wasnít healthy for my body or my spirit. As I looked back on my past efforts to lose weight, I realized that I actually had done a lot of things right and that I had improved in a lot of small ways with each effort. I also observed that there was still plenty of room for improvement. My past efforts were far too extreme in the sense that I would often restrict my calories so much and exercise so much that I would end up bingeing and/or giving up altogether and perpetuating my yo-yo dieting cycle. Most people canít keep up a highly-restrictive and ultra-disciplined regimen for all that long and I had to learn that lesson the hard way.

By March 2012 I had lost more than 80 pounds and shifted into maintenance. Looking back, Iíve found that three different things have been key to my longer-term success: sustainability, adaptability and support.

Sustainability is something that I continue to work on, even with more than a year of maintenance under my belt. I needed to break out of my cycle of wanting quick results and overdoing it with caloric restriction and excessive exercise. But old habits die hard and this has been a tough one to overcome. As recently as a few months ago, I was still having epic overeating episodes about once a week and spending the rest of the week at about 1,300 calories to make up for it--and this was on maintenance! After I passed my one-year maintenance anniversary, I made it my goal to moderate my habits even more and Iím happy to say that Iíve been able to work up to a more even keel. I now generally eat at least 1,800 calories a day and still enjoy treats, but in much more reasonable portions.

The idea that healthy living was something that required adaptability was a relatively new concept for me. Whenever I wanted to lose weight, I would typically return to the strategies that had worked for me in the past, regardless of whether or not they were the healthiest ones for me. This time around, my weight loss and maintenance have been characterized by constant, but very gradual change and an increasing emphasis on doing things in the healthiest possible way. Iíve become much more willing to experiment with different ways of eating and different forms of exercise than I had in the past and have tossed the things that didnít work well for me and kept the ones that do. In conjunction with the idea of sustainability, Iíve also learned how important it is to not become overly dependent on any one strategy to maintain my losses. Exercise is fantastic and has tons of benefits apart from weight control, but if youíre relying on exercise alone to keep your weight in check, whatís going to happen if you get injured and canít exercise anymore or if work, family or other personal issues drastically cut back on the amount of time you can dedicate to working out?

Adaptability for me has also included ditching the panicky urges I used to get following an overeating session. A typical pattern for me would include one of my aforementioned ďepicĒ overeating sessions followed by a period of overcompensation. Although things would typically even out in the end due to the extent of my restriction, it was an unhealthy binge/restriction pattern. To even things out, I made it my goal to gradually increase my daily calories, which I hoped would minimize my urges to periodically really overdo it. I also knew that I needed to squash the urge to knock off unwanted pounds immediately and fall back into that horrible binge/restriction pattern. If I gain a few pounds over the Christmas holidays or when Iím on vacation, I no longer feel compelled to take them off in a few weekís time. Instead, I make a few small changes, try to stay patient and consistent and eventually the weight comes off.

The final piece of the puzzle for me has been support and, specifically, the support Iíve found here on SparkPeople. Not only have the tools and resources here been a huge help, but the community has also been wonderful. As I approached my goal last March, I started to get very nervous about the idea of maintenance because I had never managed it successfully. Fortunately, I found the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team ( teams.sparkpeople.com/ma
intaining
) and have received the extra support I so desperately needed to keep the weight off. I just wish I had found a forum like this sooner! Staying active and connected on this team has given me lots of positive role models whose examples I could emulate, challenges to keep me focused on staying the same and a community of other maintainers with the common goal of making our losses permanent. This was something I had always been missing in the past when I did Weight Watchers when I was lucky if there was even one other maintainer in the group after reaching goal. Like a recovering addict, I made the decision to ďwork the program,Ē which means I chose to take full advantage of the support that could be found here rather than continuing on this journey almost entirely inside my own head. I firmly believe that having a solid foundation of support in maintenance and feeling more comfortable with opening up about my own struggles (and not just my triumphs) has been one of, if not the most, important factors in my ongoing success.

If youíre really struggling with this journey, my advice is to keep at it. For many of us, permanent success is not something weíre able to achieve our first time out of the gates. Breaking a lifetime of unhealthy patterns is not something that happens overnight or in one shot. I also suggest looking to others who are realistic role models of what you hope to achieve and opening your mind up to trying some of the strategies theyíve used until you find the ones that can help create your own formula for success. Over the years, there have been many, many people Iíve looked to as these role models and theyíve helped me understand that things that I was thought of as impossible, like long-term maintenance, are not only possible but doable.
SHARE
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKLINGME176 9/2/2013 2:00PM

    I DID hear this when it was actually on the radio.... but just to let you know, THANK YOU! You are a GREAT motivator!
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
QTEALADY20031 7/11/2013 11:56AM

    Tina, I came across your blog by accident. What a successful weightloss journey you have had.....you are quite an inspiration. I am 70 years young.......somewhat older then you but it is great to hear your thoughts on this journey on Spark....I am always looking for suggestions as my weight issues did not start until I retired from nursing 8 years ago. Thanks for sharing a great blog! emoticon emoticon June

Report Inappropriate Comment
BEEAUTIFULDAY 7/3/2013 2:12PM

    emoticon Cheers, and thanks for the great blog post, just what I needed :) emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
JOANNEHOLL1 7/3/2013 12:01PM

    Hi TINAJANE,
I have been following you during 2013. You are a real inspiration! Most of us are not 100% successful, life is not perfect and you write like life is.

emoticon

Have a happy 4th of JULY!

Report Inappropriate Comment
THOMS1 7/1/2013 5:04PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GEORGE815 6/29/2013 11:16AM

    Its great to be interviewed.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GABY1948 6/28/2013 12:27PM

    This is GREAT, Tina! I am SO proud of you! You have always inspired me and this is only the cherry on top! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CINDYSDAY 6/27/2013 4:16PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MANDELOVICH 6/27/2013 11:27AM

    Love this blog - will print it out as a resource!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KANOE10 6/27/2013 11:21AM

    Your interview was great. You sounded poised and confident. I love your blog also. I agree with you about those three critical points: support, adaptability and sustainability being important. I also think that your idea of staying calm and focused when dealing with up pounds leads to success.

emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
AMARILYNH 6/27/2013 10:29AM

    Fantastic blog! As one who is also struggling a bit with maintenance, its good to know that I'm not alone and that it IS possible!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FUNLOVEN 6/27/2013 9:54AM

    I always enjoy your blogs Tina. Even though we are individuals on our own I feel we are also a Spark family. I can't tell you how many times I read a blog from one person and when I move on to read the next blog I find another Spark friend blogging about some of the same struggles, tips, or successes. This week it feels like many of us are struggling with moderation. So you blog came just at the right time for the encouragement we need. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SARAWALKS 6/27/2013 9:35AM

    Terrific interview, Tina, and thanks again for your blogs which have been so helpful to me in finding balance on this journey. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
4A-HEALTHY-BMI 6/27/2013 5:01AM

    Great job, Tina.

You told it like it is, without making it sound like a live sentence of vigilance.

The overcompensating point is especially important.

emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MANILUS 6/27/2013 12:37AM

    Wonderful advice and I love the point you make that a permanent loss is not something that people just out of the gate can generally maintain. I maintained for 2 months after losing 187 lbs in 2007 only to gain back 153. Now with 111 off I am like 40 some odd pounds from goal. Great work!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 6/26/2013 10:50PM

    What a super blog!! I "liked" it!! and I'm going to come back to listen to the radio version when I've got a bit of time . . . I know it will stick better hearing you say it!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CAROLISCIOUS 6/26/2013 9:24PM

    It's time to shine the spotlight on TINAJANE76!
emoticon
Great blog and great interview!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MERRY_XMAS 6/26/2013 7:20PM

    Thank you for sharing your journey and your experience!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WORTHIT374 6/26/2013 7:08PM

    Thanks for sharing your journey. I've had many of the same experiences, so it was encouraging to hear how you've made it to maintenance. Hope your success continues!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JESUSLIGHTSMEUP 6/26/2013 7:00PM

  I love you and love your words and love your wisdom and I thank you so much for sharing and being so transparent. Have a great day.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CANNIE50 6/26/2013 6:30PM

    This is an exceptional blog. I get so used to reading weight loss articles in magazines where the same information is recycled over and over. This is the type of blog that reads like it was written by a professional writer but contains actual hard-won wisdom, and an interesting perspective, rather than the "same old, same old". Thank you so much for posting this. You make many excellent points.

Report Inappropriate Comment
_JODI404 6/26/2013 5:41PM

    GREAT interview!! I also liked reading the full detail in the blog!

Congratulations on your success in Maintenance, and especially on the latest tweaks that are making you even more healthy & successful!

emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
KRISKECK 6/26/2013 3:40PM

    Many thanks to you for opening up and sharing your experiences...when I read your story and so many others I find on this team, I feel less embarrassed and strange about having lost and gained more than once. And at about halfway to goal this time, I had already been working on losing in a more sustainable way this time, thinking that might make maintaining the loss easier. So imagine how happy I was when I found your team! Thanks again, you rock!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SALLYKWITT 6/26/2013 3:28PM

    Excellent job! Thanks again for sharing your great wisdom and experience.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MILLIE5522 6/26/2013 2:57PM

    The voice of sanity emoticon

Thank you so much for being here on SP and sharing your experience. You have helped me so much emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
REGILIEH 6/26/2013 2:01PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
INBRAZILFORNOW 6/26/2013 1:46PM

    Wow! Loved the broadcast and the post. Congratulations!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LOTSACATS 6/26/2013 12:41PM

    Thank you so much for sharing. I am a long way from maintenance yet, but it is nice to know that although you've had your struggles, it is attainable. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARILYNROBERT 6/26/2013 12:11PM

    Thanks for this. I've been looking ahead and searching out people who have lost and maintained (people who've know the true struggles of maintaining) and Bookaphile and you are people who I follow because I can learn so much for you. I'll be joining the team that you mentioned also, when I get closer to goal weight. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SEATTLE58 6/26/2013 12:06PM

    Good work all around, Tina! Hats off to you! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ISHIIGIRL 6/26/2013 12:03PM

    Great Blog. I think you hit on some points that we all struggle with once we reach maintenance. Finding the balance between exercise and calorie intake is a common occurance. Its so hard to pinpoint and the cycle of binging and over compensating is one I have seen time and time again. I think the key for most successful maintainers is conquering that cycle and finding out what is a happy balance for them. I especially appreciate your comments about increasing your overall calories and then moderating the treats. That, to me, is sustainable and sustainability is what we all are striving for in maintenance.

Report Inappropriate Comment
123ELAINE456 6/26/2013 12:02PM

  Awesome Blog and Congratulations on being on Spark Radio. You are doing Great and an Inspiration to Everyone. Keep It Up. This is the WTG!!! God Blessings You and Everyone. Have a Wonderful Week and a Delightful Day. Take Care!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KONRAD695 6/26/2013 11:36AM

    That is a wonderful blog. Once again emoticon As I continue on with my maintenance and learning, I'm looking up to you. emoticon

Hope you're ready for a new job. You are now the "Role Model" you once looked up to. emoticon emoticon

Thank you so much for staying with Spark and helping the rest of us.

Lots of respect and admiration, Konrad

Report Inappropriate Comment
LORILEEPAGE 6/26/2013 10:56AM

    I just listened in on your segment. You did an awesome job! emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BREWMASTERBILL 6/26/2013 10:22AM

    Well done. I like that host too, she reinforced the good points that you made. A lot of hosts seem uninterested or they're more interested in what they have to say than the guest. So well done to both of you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LORILEEPAGE 6/26/2013 10:14AM

    Your words of wisdom are great for me to read this morning. Thank you! Especially about overcompensation. Which I refer to purging with restriction and excessive working out. I hadn't figured out a method to break this cycle, and your plan to up the calories allowed a bit would possibly help me also, to not feel that deprivation. When I restrict after a binge, and exercise so much, I end up terribly hungry. Often my binge is just a reaction to that empty feeling so I stuff myself to stop that hunger. This is effective for about five days, which often becomes my binge day. THANK YOU for your insight. You have sparked me!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BOOKAPHILE 6/26/2013 10:13AM

    Great blog, Tina! I've also found the support in the At Goal and Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance Team to be very valuable. Blogs like yours have helped me to understand that having to go through the process several times doesn't make me a failure, but rather a determined learner who eventually overcame. Thanks for the support and leadership on our team!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CELIAMINER 6/26/2013 9:53AM

    Great interview! I always go straight to the member interviews when I click on SparkRadio. My interview may be on next week, but Lily wanted to concentrate on how meditation helped my weight loss. It was very difficult to prepare for that, but she had done her homework and did quite a bit of the talking. I would rather have talked about my "ah-ha" moment, the process of losing, and maintenance.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUNSHINE99999 6/26/2013 9:43AM

  How cool is that to be on Spark Radio. Congrats on your success and I raise my water glass to your continued maintenance abilities. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MYRTROSE 6/26/2013 9:41AM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ROSAMARCELLE 6/26/2013 9:39AM

    emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANGEL32192 6/26/2013 9:37AM

  emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DLDROST 6/26/2013 9:35AM

  emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

Add Your Comment to the Blog Post


Log in to post a comment.