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HAPPYSOUL91's Photo HAPPYSOUL91 SparkPoints: (220,147)
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9/14/12 10:12 A

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Great blog, lots of information

Every day I am on the verge of making slight changes that would make all the difference in my life.

Don't make todays choices be tomorrows regret

Carol
Southern CA - Pacific time

5% Challenge
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4A-HEALTHY-BMI's Photo 4A-HEALTHY-BMI Posts: 6,036
9/14/12 5:51 A

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Yeah, Bruce is a good guy, and he understands the issue from having lived it. :-)

Never, ever, EVER give up!

From BMI 53 (336 lbs) to under 30. Now aiming for less than 20% body fat.

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Weight chart
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Maintenance Info
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LAFEMMEDELALUNE's Photo LAFEMMEDELALUNE Posts: 4,789
9/13/12 11:40 P

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It appears that SparkPeople has just added a new blog about our team! :)
www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=how
_t
hey_beat_the_odds_for_weight_loss_anR>d_maintenance


Living an active lifestyle
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HAPPYSOUL91's Photo HAPPYSOUL91 SparkPoints: (220,147)
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8/30/12 10:09 A

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This is an excellent topic and I sure appreciate all the "must reads" that are listed. Maintenance is harder and anything that helps is much appreciated.

Every day I am on the verge of making slight changes that would make all the difference in my life.

Don't make todays choices be tomorrows regret

Carol
Southern CA - Pacific time

5% Challenge
BLC27
The Beck Deck Crew co-leader
Camp Wannabefit


 current weight: 10.0  over
 
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4A-HEALTHY-BMI's Photo 4A-HEALTHY-BMI Posts: 6,036
8/23/12 2:39 P

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See this article RUSSLANE wrote about the NWCR after interviewing one of the authors of the paper I cited earlier in this thread.
wekeepitoff.com/2010/03/long-running
-r
esearch-program-singles-out-maintenaR>nce-research


"It’s mostly understood that you can lose weight purely through diet and no exercise. The early research reveals maintenance is more like a tapestry, combining several different strategies together, regardless of how weight was lost."

"And for these broad trends, the exact strategies vary wildly. “One of the things that doesn’t come across in these papers, is that each individual person has to figure out which strategies are most effective for them,” Thomas said."

Edited by: 4A-HEALTHY-BMI at: 9/4/2012 (15:38)
Never, ever, EVER give up!

From BMI 53 (336 lbs) to under 30. Now aiming for less than 20% body fat.

Media
tinyurl.com/4a-healthy-bmi-me
dia


Weight chart
tinyurl.com/4A-HEALTHY-BMI-graph

Blogs
tinyurl.com/4a-healthy-bmi-in
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Maintenance Info
tinyurl.com/maintenance-links

Goal 155 +/- 3%


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NELLJONES's Photo NELLJONES SparkPoints: (232,651)
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8/23/12 2:33 P

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Between the scale and our attitude we will always figure out what works over time. Thus the vigilance.

Nell
Reston, Virginia

No one ever got up in the morning wishing she'd eaten more the night before.

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TINASWEEP's Photo TINASWEEP Posts: 982
8/23/12 1:56 P

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I like the idea of less common strategies, and I would want this sage advice to preface all articles on maintaining. It helps to hear it more than you could ever know. emoticon



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8/23/12 1:23 P

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It is important to note that not ALL maintainers did ALL strategies. In fact they found what we have, here in our team. Successful maintainers use a whole bunch of different strategies. The Key Predictors and Key Behaviors just happen to be the MOST COMMON strategies that showed up when looking at all maintainers as a group. In other words, those are the most popular strategies.

It doesn't mean you can't be a successful maintainer if you happen to use NONE of those strategies. It would just mean that you happened to prefer less common ones.

The fact that you're working on figuring out how to maintain means you belong. Because it isn't about doing exactly what the majority does. It's about trying things and finding the way that works best, for YOU.
emoticon

Edited by: 4A-HEALTHY-BMI at: 8/23/2012 (13:25)
Never, ever, EVER give up!

From BMI 53 (336 lbs) to under 30. Now aiming for less than 20% body fat.

Media
tinyurl.com/4a-healthy-bmi-me
dia


Weight chart
tinyurl.com/4A-HEALTHY-BMI-graph

Blogs
tinyurl.com/4a-healthy-bmi-in
dex


Maintenance Info
tinyurl.com/maintenance-links

Goal 155 +/- 3%


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TINASWEEP's Photo TINASWEEP Posts: 982
8/23/12 11:47 A

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Excellent links, thank you. It makes me curious as to what a maintenance program would look and operate like. I imagine something much like a group therapy program.

The list of patterns is one I've seen before and have had issue with in the past as the results makes me feel alienated and outcast of those who are successful. Time will only tell, but I want to feel now as if I'm not doomed for failure or that there's not something wrong with me because of the contrary behavioral patterns that work for me.

Edited by: TINASWEEP at: 8/23/2012 (13:57)

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CELIAMINER's Photo CELIAMINER SparkPoints: (167,307)
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8/23/12 11:06 A

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Thanks, everyone, for the thoughtful comments on maintaining. Nell, you are wonderful to keep telling your story! This forum has become my favorite and the one I turn to first for new information and motivation.

Celia
Maintaining since May 19, 2012


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8/23/12 10:44 A

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For general relapse prevention strategies, see this excellent resource:
www.addictionsandrecovery.org/relaps
e-
prevention.htm


For a list of maintenance strategies/patterns/behaviors that are most correlated with successfully keeping the weight off, this is a good place to start:
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
ur
nal_individual.asp?blog_id=4323111


Both of these resources are in the team links - that's the place where we've been collecting helpful information about how to maintain.

Hope this helps!
emoticon

Never, ever, EVER give up!

From BMI 53 (336 lbs) to under 30. Now aiming for less than 20% body fat.

Media
tinyurl.com/4a-healthy-bmi-me
dia


Weight chart
tinyurl.com/4A-HEALTHY-BMI-graph

Blogs
tinyurl.com/4a-healthy-bmi-in
dex


Maintenance Info
tinyurl.com/maintenance-links

Goal 155 +/- 3%


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TINAJANE76's Photo TINAJANE76 SparkPoints: (65,282)
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8/23/12 6:49 A

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI can definitely point you in the right direction if you're interested in science and study. She's a scientist and and an unending font of well-researched information. If you're looking for something on a specific topic and such information exists, she probably knows where to find it!

My name's Tina. I lost more than 90 pounds between March 2010 and March 2012 and have been keeping if off ever since.

Central European Time (CET), Venice, Italy


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TINASWEEP's Photo TINASWEEP Posts: 982
8/23/12 2:00 A

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Thanks for your responses everybody. I am glad there is so much contemplation being put forth on the subject. I do believe the mundane days should be celebrated, yet I miss celebrating them typically because I'm just living them and not able to necessarily step outside of them and recognize them for the normalcy of the moment. They slip by without notice and fanfare because of their inherent nature.

Additionally, I can say I've been maintaining X amount of days but it's hard to feel what that means. There may be someway to compare certain milestones to lengths of time, like 'you've been maintaining 7 months which is the same amount time it took for the first manmade object launch from Russia and land (or rather crash) on Mars'. Then there may be the tiny milestones, like binge-free for 3 days, or exercised for 3 days straight, etc etc.

I would also be curious to see how the problems maintainers encountered are handled from a place of science and study. In my own experiences, I use a scientific approach to problems encountered in maintenance: first come repeated mistakes to build a pattern of errors, then the identification of the problem, and finally working out a solution. At the same time, the solutions are more like band-aids, helping the situation for a little bit until they fail and it's time to find a new band-aid that will work (temporarily). Perhaps permanent solutions that continually worked for other maintainers can be found amongst the studies.



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8/22/12 4:25 P

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, TINASWEEP. Although I definitely can understand where you're coming from with your concerns, I don't think anyone here wants to advocate a one-size-fits-all approach to maintenance. Many of us lost weight using different strategies and we'll also maintain using different strategies. What we hope to do is to provide information about successful maintenance that's based on scientific research, like what's conducted by the National Weight Control Registry, and continue to offer the broad range of support we have from our members here who have walked the walk. Members will naturally find some information and discussions more useful than others but the beauty of these threads is that they're created by our members and really reflect their needs and difficulties in navigating maintenance. That doesn't mean we'll always have the same opinions but I think an exchange of information and ideas can be extremely constructive and helpful. On a personal note, it's been really beneficial for me to learn from the more experienced maintainers here like NELLJONES and I hope her wisdom will help guide me to be as successful she's been.
emoticon

My name's Tina. I lost more than 90 pounds between March 2010 and March 2012 and have been keeping if off ever since.

Central European Time (CET), Venice, Italy


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8/22/12 3:27 P

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Nell, I wish there was a "like" button.

Woohoo for you!

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8/22/12 3:19 P

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Tina, I think completing another mundane day On Plan really is something to celebrate! And that is why I think a Maintaining board is so important. It isn't about pounds lost, but rather each and every day of the life we lost the weight in order to have. As soon as I stop the celebration, I'll gain the weight. To people who were born with a functioning appetite control, my planning each meal for each day may seem like a prison, but to me it's the key to freedom. I am free of the awful compulsions and the daily self-loathing. I am free of constantly trying to see my worth in other people's eyes. I have the life I always wanted. And I celebrate it every day. I can only voice it here, though, because intuitive eaters don't have the foggiest idea about what I'm talking about.


Nell
Reston, Virginia

No one ever got up in the morning wishing she'd eaten more the night before.

Original Goal: 114. Current old lady goal: 106.


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8/22/12 3:15 P

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I agree 100 percent that maintenance means different things to different people. But I also think that some of the issues are universal. Like how to handle the "mundane" and possible complacency that could lead to carelessness in food choices. Like the disappointment or anti-climactic feeling that you "got there" and "now what"?

I believe that what you focus on expands, and I know that when I am actively involved in health/fitness/maintenance I become much more aware and mindful. I eat better and exercise more when I'm devoting a lot of time and attention to the subject. This might not be true for everyone.

I have a friend who is a recovering drug addict and he says he doesn't want to live his life as "not an addict." Meaning he doesn't want his life to be about what he is not, or what he is not anymore, or to constantly be thought of in terms or context of his addiction. I understand that completely, and I know that this is what works for many people. They just want to move on.

For me personally, I need to live it and breathe it. My involvement keeps my "head in the game" as it were.

I also believe everyone needs to figure out what works for them, and that takes a lot of experimentation and self-discovery. Then you have to stick to the behavior that DOES work for you, be confident with it, and not allow yourself to be measured by other people's yardsticks. For me, that means being an "active" maintainer. Its just too easy for me to get distracted.



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8/22/12 2:59 P

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So I peeked in on this topic when Tina emailed it, and I've been thinking about it for a while now. I've had many mixed feelings about this to work through. I do admit I am happy for the efforts everyone is pointing towards how to reward the impressive task of sustained maintenance. There is a lack of information and support available on this issue as it takes a backseat to the pizzaz and stardom of weight loss.

I think advertising success stories to people who are no longer active is detrimental as encouragement, so I am glad this has been brought to attention.

But I am also troubled with what can be achieved to help those who are entering and involved with the maintenance stage from an informational sense. It's just incredibly hard to define. To define what is successful maintenance on a large scale as it means different things for different people based on their individual lives. For example, some people find success with restriction of sugar, but another person finds success with the inclusion of sugar.

Ultimately in my own eyes, successful maintenance is the practice of normalcy, or of the mundane. This success is so hard to celebrate, as it does mean so many different things, but also because it's intensely hard to sit back on recognize when I am being mundane in my life. Usually this is the period of time where I am less active on SP as a result. It's just not as exciting to share 'I completed an entirely mundane day!' as opposed to 'I lost 5 pounds!' Even to say instead 'I completed a day without binging!' is not a normal or mundane day in the end, because we were facing a struggle that we had to work through and it was presenting us with conflict and distress beyond the norm.

I'm probably thinking too hard about this, which can often be the case. So thank you at least for listening to my contemplations. I appreciate your time and still hope for the best that can be managed.

Edited by: TINASWEEP at: 8/22/2012 (15:00)

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8/19/12 11:31 A

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I think encouraging more of the real long-term maintainers (3+ years) to be and stay active here could be a good step. I'm newer to maintenance and am still learning a lot about the process and transition myself. Hearing from the people who've reached that golden milestone has helped me immensely and is a kind of support I've never had before. I think lots of other people can benefit from the wisdom of our long termers and that's why I think this team is so very important and has so much to offer people who have recently arrived or are close to arriving at their goals.

Edited by: TINAJANE76 at: 8/19/2012 (11:40)
My name's Tina. I lost more than 90 pounds between March 2010 and March 2012 and have been keeping if off ever since.

Central European Time (CET), Venice, Italy


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8/19/12 11:08 A

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This is a great discussion, and it is a huge issue in the weight loss surgery world as well.

There is this dramatic and rapid weight loss, and so much excitement that goes along with that. People see you and don't recognize you; your clothing size seems to shrink by the week, and all the other "non-scale victories" are thrilling. But then things kind of stabilize and the novelty wears off.

I believe that is a critical moment. All the attention and celebrity and discoveries fade away and life becomes "normal." You can sort of become addicted to all that positive emotion, and if you don't figure out how to find other ways to get that good endorphin rush, it can throw you into a slump. Many of us deal with that kind of slump with emotional eating. I believe the lack of support for patients in this phase is one of the main factors that contribute to regain. And regain is not only possible after surgery, it is heartbreakingly common.

In my humble opinion, the lack of support during the maintenance phase is not only critical, but very complex; and improper attention to it makes continued success difficult. It is true for any person in maintenance, but may also be magnified for WLS patients because of all the expectations that are heaped on top of people who have made that dramatic decision.

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8/19/12 10:59 A

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I also left a comment on katie's blog inviting her to come on over and join us. I didn't leave the message just for her but to try and send a message to anyone that Spark alone will not help. We are here to aid in the new journey they are embarking on.

~*~Laurie~Moline, IL ~*~


~*~Half Fanatic #1047~*~
~*~Marathon Maniac #5858~*~



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8/19/12 10:40 A

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I am also a recovering alcholic (35+ yrs of sobriety) and at meetings we tell stories of our drinking even though I have lived over half my life sober. There are two reasons: one is to share our stories with newcomers and those in early sobriety. They need to hear that it works, over and over again. They need to hear a million stories to hear their own. Secondly, it is vital to those of us with a lot of time never to forget where we came from. If we forget, the excuse mechanisms we all perfected way back will come to the front, and despair and death is just a drink away.

Jean Nidetch spent her career at Weight Watchers telling her weight loss story long after she had lost her 72 pounds, because people needed to hear it. There is a saying in the 12 Step Programs that the only way to keep it is to give it away. The story of successful weight loss is more thrilling if it is followed by successfully keeping it off. If weight loss is Lifestyle 101, maintenance is Lifestyle, 201, 301 and 401. You need to have learned everything from the previous lessons in order to move on.

Nell
Reston, Virginia

No one ever got up in the morning wishing she'd eaten more the night before.

Original Goal: 114. Current old lady goal: 106.


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8/19/12 10:28 A

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Having lived a regain BEYOND the three year mark, I know there is no real time limit to be saying it's forever, at least for ME. Some of us live with the risk of regain forever, because the single most determining factor for maintenance is maintaining the inspiration and motivation to "keep doing it". And that's not always a factor of knowledge about the process.

That said, I LOVE that a few are being vocal about how they are making it to 3, 5, 10, 15 years and beyond, "maintaining" not just the weight range, but the active and healthy lifestyle... which is really what it's all about.

THANK YOU!

- Barb

Defeat is temporary: giving up makes it permanent! Never give up!

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RUSSLANE's Photo RUSSLANE Posts: 401
8/19/12 10:22 A

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Personally, keeping it off a year isn't sufficient enough time to really be talking (or even thinking, as the climate currently stands) about maintenance, so it doesn't surprise me she mainly discussed weight loss.

Please understand; I'm not dissing the achievement, or anyone else's. Just very few of us hit (statistically) hit upon the realizations 4A, Nell, myself and a lot of us here have AND are willing to pipe up about it.

The statistics don't jibe with that; neither, personally, does real life experience and all the interviews I've done.

That three year mark seems to be the winner in longterm weight maintenance; keep it off for three, and you're golden.

Honestly a year after such an achievement is so early in the process, you're still in "weight loss" mode.

That's the challenge we're up against guys -- people are so busy thinking about *weight loss* they can't wrap their head about weight maintenance. Too foreign/scary/etc. It's a logical fallacy we're up against.

The real question is how to change the thinking.



Edited by: RUSSLANE at: 8/19/2012 (10:24)
Best,
Russ Lane

Fight for the Good Stuff

We Keep It Off.com:
www.wekeepitoff.com

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If you lost 30 pounds and kept it off a year, volunteer for the National Weight Control Registry
www.nwcr.ws/default.htm Vive La Resistance!
CELIAMINER's Photo CELIAMINER SparkPoints: (167,307)
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8/19/12 10:15 A

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Such great discussion on this thread! Nell, I liked your analogy about the transition from being pregnant to giving birth and having the baby to fill the void. It reminded me that before I reached my goal weight, I realized I needed to find the next goal, so I started channeling energy and focus and goal-setting techniques toward decluttering. Have to admit, I haven't been as good with the new goal, but I can still see the difference, especially in my closet, which now contains no "big" clothes.

Just went to Katie's blog that talks about her keeping off 115 pound for a year and left a comment that includes the team name.

Edited by: CELIAMINER at: 8/19/2012 (10:20)
Celia
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8/19/12 7:12 A

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I agree that staying active and engaged helps me personally in the WHY aspect of my maintenance behaviors (which as much as I hate to admit it, is just as important as the HOW aspect. LOL)

My comment SP about profiling maintainers and losers who aren't very active at the site is more from the perspective of how helpful the story is to the community, rather than how helpful the activity is for the maintainers and losers.

I'd like to see people profiled who are still really "here," posting on message boards, writing blog posts, interacting with the community somehow. I think it's reasonable if they only check in once every week or two, maybe once a month, if their new health and fitness takes them in directions away from the computer. (Part of the reason I've been so active on here lately was due to illness and unexpected cancellation of kayaking plans.)

But if someone hasn't touched the site in over a year, they're not really a member of the current community anymore, and maybe not as helpful for people who want to learn from them and interact with them.

Edited by: 4A-HEALTHY-BMI at: 8/19/2012 (07:15)
Never, ever, EVER give up!

From BMI 53 (336 lbs) to under 30. Now aiming for less than 20% body fat.

Media
tinyurl.com/4a-healthy-bmi-me
dia


Weight chart
tinyurl.com/4A-HEALTHY-BMI-graph

Blogs
tinyurl.com/4a-healthy-bmi-in
dex


Maintenance Info
tinyurl.com/maintenance-links

Goal 155 +/- 3%


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TINAJANE76's Photo TINAJANE76 SparkPoints: (65,282)
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8/19/12 4:44 A

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It does seem like her message is more geared toward weight losers than weight maintainers. That may have been a deliberate choice on SparkPeople.com's behalf. I think that's fine if they want to use a success story to motivate people to lose weight but it would definitely be very nice to see how a long-term maintainer has managed to stay successful for three years or more.

Staying active here definitely gives me motivation to keep my weight off and maintenance has been as much, if not more, of a learning process for me than weight loss. I've always been able to succeed at weight loss but this is the longest I've been able to maintain. That's not saying much because I'm not even at six months yet but I know I need to take a different approach this time or I'll end up having to start this process all over again.

My name's Tina. I lost more than 90 pounds between March 2010 and March 2012 and have been keeping if off ever since.

Central European Time (CET), Venice, Italy


 current weight: -2.0  under
 
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8/18/12 12:37 P

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The honeymoon for losing 100+ lbs can last a while. I've seen some people seem to deliberately prolong it by chasing publicity, in an effort to provide motivation for themselves to keep it off.

It's taken me a good 2.5 years to finally start settling into the idea that a +/- 3% range around 150 is now "home." With all the benefits AND the work that it entails. Perhaps I'm just a slow learner.

The good news is that I'm sticking around long enough to hear NELLJONES' sensible words frequently enough that I think they're starting to sink in through my thick skull!

emoticon

Edited by: 4A-HEALTHY-BMI at: 8/18/2012 (12:38)
Never, ever, EVER give up!

From BMI 53 (336 lbs) to under 30. Now aiming for less than 20% body fat.

Media
tinyurl.com/4a-healthy-bmi-me
dia


Weight chart
tinyurl.com/4A-HEALTHY-BMI-graph

Blogs
tinyurl.com/4a-healthy-bmi-in
dex


Maintenance Info
tinyurl.com/maintenance-links

Goal 155 +/- 3%


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8/18/12 12:02 P

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I don't know how long the "pink cloud effect" would last after losing 100 pounds. I know it took me a few months to slow down the dancing after I hit my goal of only 33 pounds lost. Only then did I realize that something profound had changed, that I had to change my reason for living each day. When you are pregnant and dreaming of the baby, the change from pregnancy is sudden and shocking, but you have a baby to fill the void. After losing weight, I had to find my own next thing, which I did, but then had to make sure I never forgot the value of my old achievement, and make sure I kept it.

Nell
Reston, Virginia

No one ever got up in the morning wishing she'd eaten more the night before.

Original Goal: 114. Current old lady goal: 106.


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8/18/12 11:54 A

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Is there a link you can give us?

Nevermind, I found it here:
www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=how
_k
atie_lost_115_poundsand_kept_it_off


I don't see much wrong with the column; it asks how she eats and exercises, and presumably those patterns have helped her maintain this long...

I agree that it does seem written mostly from the "how she lost it" and less from the "how she's kept it off" perspective, but that probably reflects the overall representation in the SP community.

It's hard to tell if she's active on the site, or not. She hasn't blogged in over a year. And using a Google search I haven't been able to find any recent message board posts from her, but that may be a limitation of the search since it seems that I'm getting a lot of recipes and maybe they show up first. There is a photo on her page from this past February. Her page does mention another non-Spark blog, so maybe most of her activity is over there now.

A general problem I have with some of the members SP chooses to highlight is that they aren't very active. If you go to the Lifestyles tab for Maintenance, 4 of the 5 people featured either have a private spark page and/or haven't been active on the site in over a year. Only SUEBEE42 has a visible page and has any visible activity in the last year. (She posted something in a message board in April.)
www.sparkpeople.com/resource/lifesty
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_center_detail.asp?id=1


Edited by: 4A-HEALTHY-BMI at: 8/18/2012 (12:33)
Never, ever, EVER give up!

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CAROLJEAN64's Photo CAROLJEAN64 Posts: 11,541
8/18/12 11:44 A

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Did anyone else notice the Daily Spark article about the woman who lost over 100 lbs. and kept it off for a year. It is a good article, but not real talk about maintenance.... in fact I don't think the word is used in the article. Perhaps several of us should comment on the article.

Lost 65 lbs and maintained since 2006.


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8/18/12 5:58 A

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I'm so thrilled and encouraged that this worked!

My name's Tina. I lost more than 90 pounds between March 2010 and March 2012 and have been keeping if off ever since.

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RUSSLANE's Photo RUSSLANE Posts: 401
8/18/12 2:41 A

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Nicely done!

Best,
Russ Lane

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CAROLJEAN64's Photo CAROLJEAN64 Posts: 11,541
8/17/12 11:11 P

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I am so pumped. We are going the direction we want.

Lost 65 lbs and maintained since 2006.


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8/17/12 7:55 A

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I saw that and I was cheering!!! It's about time!!!

~*~Laurie~Moline, IL ~*~


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8/17/12 6:37 A

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OMG it worked!!!

Peri's excellent blog got enough votes to make it "popular" and now many many more people are going to see it and benefit from it!

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Never, ever, EVER give up!

From BMI 53 (336 lbs) to under 30. Now aiming for less than 20% body fat.

Media
tinyurl.com/4a-healthy-bmi-me
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Blogs
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Maintenance Info
tinyurl.com/maintenance-links

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RUSSLANE's Photo RUSSLANE Posts: 401
8/16/12 10:52 P

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Sounds good. I'm working on that list now.

Also Tina, my internet connection's been fussy lately (I'm just happy I have a comp again -- try running a Web site without one *laughs*). Loved your message!

Generally 4A's the resident Sparker, I'm more focused on systemic stuff for everyone, but I'm here as a resources. She knows what the past few years have put me through and personally? Waht I've seen on these boards is making me cheer and what I've been praying to see happen for five years now.

Anything -- And I do mean anything -- I can do to foster it and keep the momentum going is at y'all's disposal, be it via WKIO or here.

Best,
Russ Lane

Fight for the Good Stuff

We Keep It Off.com:
www.wekeepitoff.com

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CAROLJEAN64's Photo CAROLJEAN64 Posts: 11,541
8/16/12 10:15 P

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I agree. Sounds great. I would love to help after the end of September.

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8/16/12 6:17 P

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Sounds great to me!

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8/16/12 12:59 P

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That sounds fantastic and would be a huge help. Maybe the leaders who are willing and able should work on pulling all of our ideas together, so we can come up with one master plan that we can then use to start our ideas. We can then decide who can do what and when with a manageable schedule that won't overwhelm any one of us or be too taxing for our members to keep up with. How does that sound?

My name's Tina. I lost more than 90 pounds between March 2010 and March 2012 and have been keeping if off ever since.

Central European Time (CET), Venice, Italy


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RUSSLANE's Photo RUSSLANE Posts: 401
8/16/12 12:54 P

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Well the other admins are focusing on increasing the Spark visibility of maintainers, in another thread, which is a really great step within the community. So I'd check that out. Start locally, think globally and all that.

Otherwise, I'm printing off the whole thread and circling the ideas there, Spark-related or otherwise. I don't have the tech to do it on SP, but I can create a poll and see what would interest maintainers the most.

That would consolidate the ideas and from there it can become a plan. The other leaders around here got Sparkpeople itself covered.

Sound good?

Best,
Russ Lane

Fight for the Good Stuff

We Keep It Off.com:
www.wekeepitoff.com

Befriend WKIO on Facebook |
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8/16/12 12:52 P

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Thanks so much for the offer of help, LAURIE5658. There's still a lot I need to wrap my head around as a new leader but once we've got a solid plan together, I'll be sure to let you know how you can help us out.
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My name's Tina. I lost more than 90 pounds between March 2010 and March 2012 and have been keeping if off ever since.

Central European Time (CET), Venice, Italy


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8/16/12 12:48 P

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Tina, PLEASE consider me available for the cause.

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~*~Laurie~Moline, IL ~*~


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8/16/12 12:47 P

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI and I have been discussing how we can "take action" a lot the past few days. One of our ideas is to work on raising our profile in the hopes that if we do and get enough support behind our maintainers and our ideas, that SparkPeople.com's management will be more willing to give us some of the things we've been asking for.

We're slowly starting to put the talk that's been happening here into action as you can see from our recent messages and threads, but change isn't going to happen overnight. Hopefully as our actions begin to gain some traction, we'll be able to offer more and more to our maintainers, especially if other people on the team are really willing to step up and help out since we're all volunteers here. We'll be sharing more information very soon on what everyone can to do help and hope that we can count on your continued support.
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My name's Tina. I lost more than 90 pounds between March 2010 and March 2012 and have been keeping if off ever since.

Central European Time (CET), Venice, Italy


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8/16/12 12:27 P

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Russ, that is the 64 thousand dollar question!

I'm stuck in the consideration phase. I've reached out to some folks to ask for advice making this into a career to no avail. I've started, and then neglected, a blog. I've thought about starting up a magazine. I've looked into classes for life coaching. I've joined the Obesity Action Coalition, but have not really participated in any of their events yet.

I'm open to any thoughts!

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8/16/12 12:26 P

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Thanks for clarifying. Finding the wording is tricky -- I usually use "bariatrics" as a catch-all term when there are numerous procedures, but my mind usually goes to lapband.

I looked at all those procedures back in the day and though "Hardcore."

Best,
Russ Lane

Fight for the Good Stuff

We Keep It Off.com:
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RUSSLANE's Photo RUSSLANE Posts: 401
8/16/12 12:23 P

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Just to put an idea out there:

It's not a soapbox if you actually take *action* on it.

Then it's conviction. Then it's a commitment. And we all understand what it means to work for something we believe in despite what "Reality" (i.e. the scale) says.

When I say "fight for the good stuff," that's what I mean.

So how we can put some of this into action?


Best,
Russ Lane

Fight for the Good Stuff

We Keep It Off.com:
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Befriend WKIO on Facebook |
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If you lost 30 pounds and kept it off a year, volunteer for the National Weight Control Registry
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8/16/12 12:18 P

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I agree with everything you said.

Just as a clarification, though. The tube implantation to which you are probably referring is a Lap Band. It has its supporters and detractors, and I'll spare you all my opinions about it at this point.

But Lap Band is just one of several kinds of bariatric procedures. I had a different one that is called Roux-en-Y. It involves creating a small pouch out of the stomach tissue, sealing that off from the rest of the stomach, and reattaching the new pouch further down the intestine. It is often referred to as a "stomach stapling."

The smaller pouch limits the amount you can eat (restriction); and the bypassing of the duodenum reduces how much you absorb from what you do eat (malabsorption) making it one of the more efficient routes to weight loss. It also creates nutritional problems that require careful monitoring of protein intake and pretty aggressive vitamin supplementation. It is a big commitment not only to keeping off the weight, but also to staying healthy with this new gastric plumbing.

That is one of the many reasons I get irked when people use that "easy way out" line on me. A WW member can leave the meeting and stop at KFC on the way home for a Big Bowl or decide they are going to "start after the weekend." I have to live this choice every meal, every day for the rest of my life. Its a choice I never regretted for one millisecond and I'd do it again in a heartbeat, but it is by no means easy.

Boy, I am on and off the soapbox today!

RUSSLANE's Photo RUSSLANE Posts: 401
8/16/12 12:10 P

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Heya Carol!

Had to quote this out: "First we need for the weight loss industry and weight losers to understand that maintenance is just as much of a challenge as losing weight. We also need to acknowledge that many of the tools that helped us lose weight, help us maintain with few or no adjustments (e.g. trackers). Third as I said before just as weight loss is an individual journey so is weigh maintenance."

A lot of them understand the first one, they just prefer to ignore it (it's even worse when they talk with someone who says "you don't have to ignore it" -- they turn into children).

And looking to build something --

Because it's not just about us -- frankly, all of us have accomplished what we have with not much widespread support. I sure as hell don't use a tracker, personally, and don't even blog much.

But when I began this I ask myself "what would it take to make that 3-6 percent a larger number?" the more it occurred to me that actually having those tools available -- combine what people know with ideas they don't -- would actually make a real, lasting impact. A lot of it is teaching the transition, and also applying many of the great weight loss strategies but in a new context:

For example, I've been studying the hell out of Google Schemer and the way they've established creating and setting new goals and pairing that up with classic marketing game theory (of which SP is a genius at doing).

But the idea is to push people forward and not make choices for them, but make the choices clearer. And create (and market like hell) a space that says: you can keep weight off, and it ain't your fault the rest of the world is too scared to really talk about it.

Because for all the challenges keeping my weight off -- and by extension, leaving my old self behind mentally/emotionally -- I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Hard? Hell yeah. But way more rewarding than that initial excitement of hitting goal. Actually, looking back hitting goal scared the daylights out of me.

Best,
Russ Lane

Fight for the Good Stuff

We Keep It Off.com:
www.wekeepitoff.com

Befriend WKIO on Facebook |
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RUSSLANE's Photo RUSSLANE Posts: 401
8/16/12 11:57 A

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@Eme | That's amazing. One of the funniest things to me about maintaining is that everyone has a different idea of it. Even the research itself has no consistent definition.

Why I bring it up:

Maintaining is maintaining, doing it on your terms. That's the biggest difference between weight loss and post-weight to me: dieting, in one fashion or another, is ultimately someone telling you what to do and you do it to get the change you want. That's not easy, but then let's consider maintenance is all about learning to be in the driver's seat. No one teaches people how to do that, and it can be taught. God Knows I had to learn the hard way *laughs*

Grats and rock out those jeans, woman!

Best,
Russ Lane

Fight for the Good Stuff

We Keep It Off.com:
www.wekeepitoff.com

Befriend WKIO on Facebook |
www.facebook.com/SecondHelping

If you lost 30 pounds and kept it off a year, volunteer for the National Weight Control Registry
www.nwcr.ws/default.htm Vive La Resistance!
RUSSLANE's Photo RUSSLANE Posts: 401
8/16/12 11:54 A

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@ 4a | I maybe shouldn't say this on the board but we're all in this together now, solider: all the banging our head against the wall these last few years? All we both needed to do was get pissed off at the same time and speak up more. Go figure, huh?

@Big | One of the most fascinating things to me about post-weight life is this: No matter how you lose weight, even congratulates you for a little while

That sounds cynical: I mean it matter of factly. That's the world we live in and regardless of what other people do/say we still need to maintain, and build our lives accordingly.

I can't stand for people to call bariatric surgery an "Easy way out." You're surgically implanting a tube to limit your stomach -- I can't think of anything more hardcore than that.

And actually, it's been a while since I researched it but of all "weight loss methods," bariatrics generally have the most comprehensive followup program.

I used to get WORLDS of crap for eating low carb, then even more crap for switching to a different diet, then called anorexic. Now that I'm trianing to box even more people think I can't do it.

That's something I used to feel sorry for myself about. Not any further: in the process of getting this far with Second Helping, I realized I got jack **** to prove to anyone. And the problem was never me (though god knows I'm not perfect) -- in the weight loss world, the problem's them, good intentions notwithstanding.

The easy way out people can SHOVE IT.



Best,
Russ Lane

Fight for the Good Stuff

We Keep It Off.com:
www.wekeepitoff.com

Befriend WKIO on Facebook |
www.facebook.com/SecondHelping

If you lost 30 pounds and kept it off a year, volunteer for the National Weight Control Registry
www.nwcr.ws/default.htm Vive La Resistance!
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8/16/12 11:51 A

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Thank you Russ. I'll check it out.

By the way, you said the magic words: "owning our success/responsibility/etc." I'll be sending you an email shortly since it sounds like we are very much on the same page.



RUSSLANE's Photo RUSSLANE Posts: 401
8/16/12 11:48 A

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In my Sparkpeople Angst (LOL I'll own up to it) I haven't updated my signature yet.

When 4A convinced me to get off my butt and get back on the horse with maintenance advocacy (who'd have ever though I'd be a weight advocate) I rebirthed the site.

It was ikeepitoff.com. Now it's wekeepitoff.com.

I like the new one better: the first one was about each of us owning our success/responsibility/etc. The new one is about us doing it together, which was always my intention in the first place.

Otherwise, my e-mail is still russ@secondhelpingonline.com. Don't hesitate to use it if you have an idea and not sure how to implement it.

Best,
Russ Lane

Fight for the Good Stuff

We Keep It Off.com:
www.wekeepitoff.com

Befriend WKIO on Facebook |
www.facebook.com/SecondHelping

If you lost 30 pounds and kept it off a year, volunteer for the National Weight Control Registry
www.nwcr.ws/default.htm Vive La Resistance!
RUSSLANE's Photo RUSSLANE Posts: 401
8/16/12 11:46 A

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Hey Tina --

A lot of these things 4A's been championing on SP for a long time. I saw "maintenance anniversary" and smiled.

A lot of these things I can (or do, or have been doing) at WKIO. I'd like to increase the frequency and get a solid design rocking, but these are all awesome ideas.

And on terms of the being loud and proud maintainer *laughs*: Both 4A and I have both been on the Today Show, neither of us did it because we were interested in the attention -- we were interested in making something happen for ALL of us.

And this isn't me patting m'self on the back: in three years I've been on food stamps, lived out of my car, and tolerated all manner of nonsensecial conversations. Not because I wanted to be a star (I have MAJOR Jared Fogle anger from back in the day -- where was he to help me?) but because abandoning people who need help and HAVE ALREADY PROVEN they're unafraid to get off their butt and do something to change their lives is just asinine.

THe point is this: yes, in my personal fantasy I'd love for this group to help me make a difference in maintaining, for everyone (not just Spark). But whether it's Spark, your hometown, national media, whatever ...

It helps if you don't make it about you. Make it about the people who need the help (even if they don't realize it yet). Do it for everyone who's been struggling to make their lives the way they want them (a brave thing in this follow the crowd world we live in).

4A and I have been talking for years and both have gone through all sorts of ups and downs along the way. We talk to each like two soldiers in a war.

Helping other people alongside others is the BEST support system ever.

Best,
Russ Lane

Fight for the Good Stuff

We Keep It Off.com:
www.wekeepitoff.com

Befriend WKIO on Facebook |
www.facebook.com/SecondHelping

If you lost 30 pounds and kept it off a year, volunteer for the National Weight Control Registry
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8/16/12 11:44 A

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Hey Russ:

I'm behind you 100 percent.

I tried to click the link in your signature for ikeepitoff.com and got a blank page. Is it up and running?

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8/16/12 11:38 A

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SO many great points I'll take 'em on one by one. Big thanks to 4A for keeping me motivated and refusing to give up on this. Like I said, few people are star maintainers like she is.

@ Self_Respect |

Great question, and it's because the Powers That Be are too busy towing the line to realize it.

But the answer's yes.

Look at this Team. Spark does very little for maintainers, and yet here we are. A small percentage, of course, but that correlates well with the number of people actually managing their weight long term.

Now, imagine if you will, actually tools and infrastructure existed that help make choices more clear, problem solving more apparent, and it was marketed.

For customers you have a long-term relationship with your audience (in my own plans, I fully intend for companies supporting maintainers to be known as the pioneers -- the people who actually deserve your money. And it's not even a marketing ploy. It's just the truth). This falls beautifully in line with the relationships-building of most social networking advertising strategies.

For example:

A membership services site: with trackers, community outreach, etc., services geared toward maintainers (members having access to an organized clothing network, for example, and coupons/deals for various activities), many of the things you have here, but specifically geared toward maintaining and accommodating many diet regimes -- the research that exists shows that *How* people lost weight has little bearing on *how* they keep it off. Everyone winds up in the same spot.

Include outreach in that: a database of research specifically geared toward maintenance, advertising for the site doubles for maintaining in general.

In terms of content and design, pair the science up with the more humanistic aspects of this -- people respond to different things differently

Now pair that up with merchandising, advertising, events big and small (my dream is to do a post-fat camp here in New Orleans -- this city helped me transition in unbelievable ways) ... hell of a money maker for a lot of people.

AND in a way that actually supports people on both sides on the "Goal post," as it were.

Yes, that does sound similar to here -- that's why I came here in the first place. My original idea was to work with the Powers That Be (and, as much as they disappoint me I still consider SP the best *weight loss* Web site. Like so many others, it's crap for maintaining and they don't care).


CarolJean (I believe?) said it best: we're recovering alcoholics in a lot of ways. From a business standpoint, that's a lifelong customer. Who WOULDN'T want that if you're a company?

You CAN do the right thing and make money off it. It just requires thinking of things differently, and hell, we maintainers are forced to do that anyway.

Me personally? I cannot do that alone without infrastructural help, seed funding, an executive board and a board of directors to protect the investment, which is what I've been working on for three years now.

But yes, it is possible.

Best,
Russ Lane

Fight for the Good Stuff

We Keep It Off.com:
www.wekeepitoff.com

Befriend WKIO on Facebook |
www.facebook.com/SecondHelping

If you lost 30 pounds and kept it off a year, volunteer for the National Weight Control Registry
www.nwcr.ws/default.htm Vive La Resistance!
JACKIERN's Photo JACKIERN Posts: 146
8/16/12 10:49 A

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I am so thankful for this team! I love the ideas everyone has come up with. I especially like the idea of blogging on our maintenance. I haven't written one yet...ever...but I have been thinking about starting...I think maybe now I will for sure start. I get so, so many comments from people stating, "why do you watch what you eat, you're skinny enough already!" It is very frustrating to have to explain over and over again that if I go back to eating whatever I want, healthy or not, I will gain back all the weight I lost (granted it was only 40 pounds initially). I have finally been able to keep it all off and keep a steady weight for more than a year thanks to this team (even though I am not as active/vocal as other members). I posted a comment to a thread on the SparkCoach team asking that they include something for maintainers in the new SparkCoach program. The coach that responded said they were planning on it in the future...

"Just keep swimming...Just keep swimming."
-Dori, Finding Nemo

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8/16/12 10:10 A

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Thanks Tina for the sparkmail directing me here!

I'm a maintainer since around last August, and still find it hard to believe. I finally took my wedding ring in yesterday to have it sized down 3/4 of a ring size - that's a scary thing to do - there's always the fear of gaining the weight back and wasting the $45 for the ring size! That goes along with the insecurity that someone mentioned - that's huge. Kricket I also "only" lost 50 pounds, so not a big "loser", but going from a size 16 to a size 6 I'm amazed every day I put on these jeans!

 current weight: 4.0  over
 
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NELLJONES's Photo NELLJONES SparkPoints: (232,651)
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8/16/12 9:56 A

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Wow, where to begin. Russ, it is great to see you!! I love the way you articulate the problem.

I lost my weight back on the Old Old WW Plan. At that time they had a 10 week transition to maintenance (paying and weighing each week throughout) where you got certain foods back each week. It gave us time to see how each addition worked within our eating plans (exercise wan't part of the Plan, never even discussed back then).

The world and those of us in it DO change as time goes by. I wear different styles of clothing and make-up now than I did 40 years ago. My home looks different and I am interested in different things. I have had to adapt to eating less as I've aged, but I know how to do it and I have absolute faith that I can manage my weight. I lost 33 pounds at that time, but about 10 more recently to accommodate the changes of an old lady body.

Losing weight in a group like WW meant that I could stand up and say I didn't eat a piece of pie the night before, and I'd get applause. That doesn't happen in the real world. If I announced that to a group of people now, they'd look at me like I was nuts. I think that must be why that article said that we choose to be invisible. I don't really want to put myself out for judgement around people who don't understand. There are people who don't understand why I would deny myself something I want, and those (like my brother and sister) who just intuitively want what will keep them at a normal weight. I still weigh out my food (on a much better scale than I had 40 years ago) and some would think that's a bit much ("You should know this by now"), but no one bats an eye when I enter my expenses into Quicken to know exactly where I stand financially. I don't see the difference, but I also don't want to hear the scoffing of those who think I'm "anal".

Another problem is that after I had been at goal for a long time, there aren't very many people who remember me as fat. I don't let them see the internal monologues that go through my mind when in the grocery store or confronted by a restaurant menu. They wouldn't understand, and why should they? I'd still like to have the affirmation of a job well done, but I won't get it from the greater world. My daily weigh in and exchange journal suffices.

I don't measure calories either in or out. I don't count nutrients. I eat my allotted exchanges every day; it's comfortable, easy, and it works. Having reached my goal all those years ago many other things have emerged to take up mental space: kids, grandkids, church, caring for an aging mother. Weight loss is no longer the obsession that drives me like it did all those years ago.

But I do remember the, I guess you'd call it "separation anxiety", after I reached goal. If I'd kept up the monthly weigh ins it would have been easier I now know. WW LOVES to have its successful losers show up as a real life demo that it works. My life just didn't work out that way.

For me Spark is the place where you all KNOW what is involved, and we all share the applause for "no change".

Nell
Reston, Virginia

No one ever got up in the morning wishing she'd eaten more the night before.

Original Goal: 114. Current old lady goal: 106.


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8/16/12 9:52 A

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Nancy, thanks for your words of support.

I, too, wish there was an easy way, but I think our wishes that anything this tough (and this important) could ever be easy make us ready prey for greedy opportunists. Flip through the infomercials on any Sunday morning and you will see dozens of promises for quick and easy weight loss programs. If any of them worked, we'd all be thin and in short order they would no longer have customers.

I have come to believe very strongly in the old saw: "Anything worth having is worth working for."

In the past, when I would fail at a diet (which was often and repeatedly) I'd say "oh well" and throw up my hands. This is how I dieted my way to 280 lbs (and I'm only 5 feet tall.) Now when I see a few pounds creep on or notice my clothes getting tight, I realize I have to take a close look at what I'm doing, and then work harder. Believe it or not, that is a major sea change in my thinking.

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