What challenges did you face after reaching your goal weight?
The first major challenge was eating enough. My daily calorie range increased by about 400 calories, which was like a whole extra meal! So I made sure to track my food intake every day for four months, giving myself plenty of time to adjust and learn what the "right" amount of food was for me to maintain my weight. I ended up increasing my portion sizes a little bit to make sure I got the right amount of calories each day. And I actually lost another 10 pounds beyond my end goal, over the course of a few months.
The second challenge was to just relax. Yes, maintenance is still work, but as long as you've made real lifestyle changes and created permanent, healthy habits, it's not so bad. I did gain a little weight over Christmas and on vacation (a recent cruise), but it all came off again very quickly when I got back to my regular routine.
Are there any strategies you currently use to help you maintain your weight loss?
I just keep up with the healthy habits I developed when losing the weight. It helps that my husband still wants to lose another 50 pounds himself, though—that keeps me in check. I remember that he's still trying to lose, so it helps me to continue to make healthy choices.
Has the SparkPeople Community helped you keep it off so far?
Yes, I think the Community has been VITAL to my success, both while I was losing weight, and now while I am maintaining my weight. Initially I joined the site to join a specific SparkTeam (BNL Buddies), so the Teams have been important to me since day one. In addition, helping others in the Community, whether it's answering questions or just offering support, helps remind me where I was, and keeps me where I am.
Which SparkPeople tools do you use now? Do you still track all of your food and exercise?
I tracked my food for four months after entering maintenance, and then decided to experiment with not tracking anymore, to see if I could do it on my own. So far, so good! I do still track my exercise, though.
''Helping Others Reminds Me Where I Was''
Keeping the Weight Off with SparkPeople Member SUEBEE42
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