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Maintaining isn't really like Losing, Yet it is

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

There has been a lot of wonderful discussion on the At Goal and Maintaining + Transitioning to Maintenance Board, as we try to figure out what maintaining really is. The keeping weight off part is pretty obvious, but the attitudes are very different and not discussed often enough.

I remember years ago when I decided to have a facelift. I went to interview several surgeons. One of them asked me why I wanted it done. He said that if my answer had been to get others to like me more, or to get my husband to love me more, he wouldn't have done it. Anything you do for the sole purpose of eliciting a certain response from another person will never work out the way you think. I know people who buy expensive cars so that people will look up to them (they won't) or put in a dream kitchen to impress the neighbors (it won't) are doomed to serial disappointment.

Most of us started the weight loss process to just lose the stupid weight. Which is fine. But along the way we got a lot of appreciation for something obvious to others, even if their assumptions of how we did it were wrong. We all love positive attention. But if we lost the weight thinking that we would finally live a life with no problems (and that's what any long term, hard fought goal looks like waaaay in the future), and a life of constant adulation, we are doomed to disappointment.

When I first started in WW I was told that I would learn patience; I would learn discipline and know it wouldn't kill me; I would learn that there is life without Reeses. And even though I was busy weighing and measuring and writing things down, and drinking that milk and eating that fish, and going to meetings even though there might be something better to do, I was learning all those things below my radar.

And I learned to have faith in myself. I learned that if I listen to people who know more than I do and listened to them (remember that ago old lament "If only I knew then what I know now?") I would be able to handle life as it came at me, rather than thinking that a certain weight would make me immune to life's challenges.

There are people who keep getting advanced degrees in order to avoid going out into the big, unfamiliar world. We don't have that choice: we CAN"T keep losing weight. We MUST make the transition to doing all the work without all the outside applause. But we have a group right here on Spark to hash it all out with.

Pour yourself a cup of coffee and check us out.
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