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Maintenance: reassessment and iteration

Friday, August 01, 2014

It has been two years since I hit my maintenance weight and range. I haven't had a problem losing weight in the past, my problem has always been finding it again.

I believe that this has been the longest I have been in maintenance after losing weight, and I credit SP with the tools, community, sparkfriends, and groups (like the at goal and maintaining group) for helping me be successful.

As an engineer, I tend to come at problems in a certain way. Whether deliberately or not, I tend to apply an engineering design process to tackle challenges and problems. It starts with defining the problem, a design and analysis phase where you generate potential solutions, a decision making phase, and implementation. The process doesn't stop there, it is iterative, relying on assessment to drive improvement. (This usually continues until you run out of time and/or money) SP helps with the data collection and analysis, but it is up to me to assess progress and iterate to improve.

Over the month of July, my weight (which is the most conspicuous indicator) has drifted up a few pounds above my maintenance range. While this is concerning and will result in some adjustments to get back on track, it is not a cause for panic.

One of the valuable lessons from maintenance has been that weight is one of many indicators. While July was not great weight-wise, I had a good fitness month logging road miles and road biking miles, and getting in fitness minutes. I ran in two races including a very solid performance in a 5 miler (only 1:20 off my 5mi PR) plus a hilly and challenging trail run. Then at the end of the month, I had my annual check up. My blood pressure was lower than it has been in years, my cholesterol numbers were improved and in the healthy range and other risk factors were low.

While I know that illness or injury can strike at any time, I know that maintaining a healthy weight and fitness is helping me stack the odds in my favor. August will be my month to refocus on healthy eating with minor adjustments (primarily to portion size and to limiting evening snacks) and I will be back on track.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
SUNSHINE20113 8/4/2014 1:18PM

    Congratulations on two years in maintenance!

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HAKAPES 8/4/2014 8:07AM

    I'm an engineer, too, I recognize your approach in my actions... :-)

I love SP, but it took me some time to shift my focus from weight to developing healthy habits, and measure my success about implementing habits. Now I weigh-in daily, to track whether I'm going in the right direction.

Here's an article I wrote about it (the text is not edited yet - sorry for my English) on my website. If you read it, I'm interested in your feedback.

Otherwise, what is your take away from the past two years?

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    Welcome back to the track to getting back to goal.

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ROXYZMOM 8/2/2014 9:51AM

    I love this blog! Congratulations and thanks for the engineer perspective!

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MOM_VICKI 8/2/2014 9:29AM

    Well done on maintaining and, especially, your wonderful check up!

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TERI-RIFIC 8/1/2014 5:36PM

    It all sounds really good and balanced! I constantly strive for a balanced approach and outlook, but I don't think I'm as naturally balanced in my thinking as you are. Good for you and congrats on maintaining so well.

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LORI-K 8/1/2014 3:19PM

    Sounds like you're doing really great in maintenance mode! Good news on your fitness and labs!
Best of luck in August with your adjustments.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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50YEARSAWIFE 8/1/2014 12:43PM

    emoticon Best of luck with your August goals. emoticon

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LEWILL1982 8/1/2014 12:39PM

    Numbers don't lie, I actually look forward to lab results and race results these days. They are better indicators of our fitness than the scale, though we always stew over that number. If your clothes fit well, then that's a victory too! Good job!

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VIXSTERLU 8/1/2014 12:23PM

    Couldn't agree more! You make me realize I may be an engineer at heart, lol. I approach problems the same way and definitely assess and reassess and then reassess, lol.

Congrats on your maintenance! Keep doing what you're doing.

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NATPLUMMER 8/1/2014 12:16PM


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BIGPAWSUP 8/1/2014 11:57AM


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MELYROD18 8/1/2014 11:57AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.