I am glad that keeping the weight off is being addressed, this article doesn't tell you much. I weighed 335 ,on Jan. 1, 2010. I lost to my desired weight of 145 in 18 months. then the real struggle began. Do I continue to exercise 3 hours a day? How do I adjust my food intake? Can I eat foods that I avoided or ate in a limited way? There were trials and errors. I found I had to maintain a plan of exercise, track what I ate. after a while I found a happy balance. But at times illness would throw me off track. I had to remember the horrors of being morbidly obese and the joy of feeling normal to get me through some hard days. those life long habits of eating what we want, of not feeling deprived are hard to completely give up. And what works for me, might not be what someone else needs. It's a day by day learning process. You really have to want the healthy, fit lifestyle more than that pizza or chocolate cake. You have to know why food plays such an important part in your life. It's all in the mind. Everyday for the rest of my life I will be aware of what I eat and how active I am. Plus I like to look good. I love to dress in nice fashionable clothes. at my present weight I can be that women. I stopped wondering when i could start to eat normal again once the weight was lost. I realized that the way I ate now was the normal way. So for me maintaining is being aware everyday of what I eat, what I weigh and how can i get in some form of exercise.
I think this article is just carelessly written. The author contradicts him or herself, saying early on:
"They prefer to stay relatively unknown. Having discovered the prized secret to a healthy lifestyle, they tend to enjoy their status and privacy."
Then three paragraphs later, follow up with "The 5%… 1. …Make It Public. The 5% generally don’t keep their weight loss efforts to themselves. They recruit supporters. They ask for help. They swap war stories with friends. They give and take encouragement."
...etc. Though of course, the preceding section seems to be speaking about weight loss rather than healthy weight maintenance.
Yes, this article needs to come out of the rotation, or at the very least, whoever is responsible for site content should have it edited and request that some of the maintainers review it before it goes back up.
Sorry guys, there's not a polite, PR-friendly way to say it.
This article is a joke. Sparkfolks out there -- if you're going to listen to anyone, don't even listen to me -- listen to 4a-Healthy-BMI.
I promise you this: No one's done more for maintenance on Sparkpeople than 4a-Healthy-BMI, period -- that includes behind the scenes work, on Spark publicly, our own project and even national television. And our shared experience is dealing with people that are largely apathetic, frightened or ignorant, good intentions and/or business needs aside.
I'm unsure if folks can understand where 4A and myself are coming from with this: After all the support losing weight, there's very little understanding, support or tools to keep it off. It's not enough to just maintain personally -- it's our goal to make those who successfully maintain a greater percentage than 5 percent.
Playing nice with the powers that be just doesn't make much progress. It's very clear beyond "and you can do it too with this product!" people aren't very interested in what you have to say.
Then those same people want you to be their PR monkey.
Yes, that's insulting, but what's more is there are many ways to make maintenance easier, less mysterious and supported that most Diet Industry People can't understand. People need instruction and support they're not receiving.
This article does not help. So I'll reiterate 4A's point: Frankly, this article is an embarrassment. Information at this is powder-puff information, at best, with no science or ethnographic data (you need a combination of both until maintenance research catches up). That's five years old.
A few examples: distinguishing between weight loss and maintenance (picking a range and how), dietary tweaking, not only coming up with new goals, but placing them in a different context, behaviors researchers have found, and also those activities that researchers haven't thought of to research yet (but you see the trends after studying maintainers for years).
So I'm not sure what's more disheartening: the content itself, or that this lip service is the best representation of any diet company evening acknowledging maintenance.
And it's no longer acceptable or sufficient. Over the years 4A and myself have come to the realization that in order to actually bring support to people after hitting goal is going to have any serious consideration, A) it needs to be proven marketable. B) maintainers would have to do it themselves.
Not because we think we can do better -- 4A, myself, Barbara Berkeley, Dianne Carbonell, and Shira Miller make so much noise, teeth pulling, problem solving and effort because we're wondering why people like Chris and Nicole *won't.*
Frankly you two -- make maintenance "not a priority" all you want. Describe our lives as tricky. The tools you have planned aren't "bad," but they don't solve the problem. But do better than this, please. It angers me not because it's pathetic (which it is). It angers me because it's beneath you and your customers deserve better.
Maintaining for 1+ years. I am also a proud member of At Goal and Maintaining team, as well as 50+ Maintainers. WE ARE HERE!! We are active and working hard. We are not elusive and secretive. Start supporting your maintaining base, Sparkpeople!
Maintaining for 3+ years, proud member of At Goal and Maintaining! With respect, this article is dated, has more to do with weight loss than with weight loss MAINtenance. Let's see SP take a lead in recording, promoting and motivating people to MAINtain weight loss -- the MAIN goal for almost all of us. Use the resources of the At Goal and Maintaining Team which is NOT invisible or elusive or resigned to inevitable failure. We're here, we're doing it, ask us how, please. Then publish and promote the results more prominently!! SP is uniquely positioned to blow that 5% maintainers statistic OUT OF THE WATER!!
When I belonged to "TOPS CLUB" (a national organization that gets little attention), we had nine KOPS (Keep Off Pounds Sensibly) These were older people who came to the meetings ever week and weighed in. Some of them had kept their goal weight for over 20 yrs. BUT, 95% of people do give up and regain the weight, is true.
I lost a total of 42 lbs, Had a baby (at44) didn't gain weight then, but now that she is almost 4 gained, I've gained 12lbs, and I am having such a hard time loosing it. SOOO much harder when your older, but I'm never, never, ever going to give up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have not hit goal yet but have been plateaued long enough at a reasonable weight to figure I'm currently "maintaining". I expect that I will always be exercising, watching my calories and being as active as I can--or I'll gain it back. So, while I'd like a "magic" way to maintain, I think I'll just keep doing what I'm doing--allowing a few more "treats" than I get now but still living this lifestyle.
The best SparkPeople.com can do is recycle a 5-year-old column on maintenance that isn't even based on science?
And on top of it they say we aren't vocal and are hard to find?
Although I am glad they recycle this column at all (at least it addresses maintenance), it seems almost an insult to say that the At Goal and Maintaining team of nearly 16,300 is practically invisible. http://teams.sparkpeople.com/maintaining
I burned a perfectly good vacation day off work that I would have preferred to spend kayaking so I could go on national TV (at SP's request) and advertise them and address maintenance.
That doesn't include the time it took to drive an hour each way to TWO local affiliates to record the audio part of the segment, gas money for those trips and to the airport, not to mention airport parking fees.
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