GOING4HEALTHY, a member of the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance (AG&M+TM) team recently described what used to be her annual loss and regain cycle:
- Dec 31: begin weight loss
- March: achieve goal weight
- Sept: lose all motivation
- Oct, Nov: pack the pounds on
- Dec 31: let the games begin...again!
How many of us can relate to this? I sure can. My own Gain-Loss-Regain experiences haven’t always been annual in nature, but I’ve definitely experienced what she describes, in terms of waxing and waning motivation. And we’re not alone, because 80-95% of people who reach goal weight don’t manage to stay there, either.
Not only does this yo-yo take a toll on us physically, but as GOING4HEALTHY said, even *thinking* about this cycle can be exhausting.
So, how and when do you get off?
One option is to simply give up and get off at the top of the cycle. I’ve done that. Where I landed wasn’t pretty. Or healthy. Life was easier in the sense that I didn’t bother much with thinking about what or how much food I ate, or what kinds of physical activity I did.
Life was harder in a bunch of other ways, like trying to find chairs that wouldn’t collapse and without arms, asking for seat belt extenders on airplanes, the pain of arthritis and plantar fasciitis, etc. I lived there for about 15 years.
Another option is to get off at the bottom of the cycle. I’ve done that too. It’s actually kind of hard to get off at the very bottom, because there’s usually a little bounce ~3 lbs when I go from a deficit into maintenance. Down here, I definitely have to stay on top of my food and exercise to avoid sliding back onto the ride. On the other hand there are lots of cool things I can do here, that I can’t do at the other end.
And then you can also get off in the middle somewhere, either on your way back down or on your way back up, where you might not need to be so vigilant about your food and exercise, but yet life can also be somewhat manageable.
All of these options are choices. None of them are a failure, as long as you’re DECIDING that’s where you want to be. If you find you are NOT where you want to be, then you need to get back on, and choose your stop. And then get off and work to stay there, if it is a stop that requires work.
You don’t have to do this alone. Most of us have been through this, ourselves. In fact, 80-95% of us are STILL going through it.
The remaining 5-20% of us who are NOT going through this anymore are a minority, but we’re right here on SparkPeople.com, and we want to help.
The AG&M+TM team has lots of people who understand what this cycle is like, and we also understand what we’ve needed to do to break it.
- It requires wrapping your mind around maintenance, well before you reach your goal. The ride isn’t going to stop for you, so you have to plan where you’re going to jump off and how, without hurting yourself.
- You will be dizzy and need to sit down and wait a bit for the world to stop spinning.
- Then you will need to start taking the first wobbly steps you planned for staying at your desired place.
We can help you with all of that.
And we can help you (as we routinely help each other) to stay focused and engaged so that all of us are less likely to slide back onto that exhausting ride. And if we start slipping, everyone reaches their hands out to help pull us back onto solid ground.
Come see us.
And bring your friends. We may be a minority here on SparkPeople.com, but what we have to offer is huge. We can offer our help and experience with the one thing that ALL of the weight loss folks here aspire to - a way to get off and stay off the merry-go-round.