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A new definition of maintenance

Sunday, December 02, 2012

I guess you're never too old to learn something about yourself. I've been doing what I call "maintaining" for 6 years now. I defined it as reaching whatever my goal weight du jour was--whether 112, 115, 120, 118--and remaining relatively nearby. Here's how this definition of maintenance works: reach goal weight, over and over, then bounce up from it, over and over. Now, the weight bounces aren't that big any more--no more than 7 pounds--but this is nerve wracking and means that I'm never truly maintaining. I'm always in weight loss mode or gaining mode, never in balance.

Inspired by the folks on the At Goal & Maintaining team, here's what I'd like to try instead. My new idea of maintenance is going to consist of staying right AT goal weight. This new focus on maintenance weight has led to my changing my tracker from a pounds-on-the-scale measurement to distance from goal. I still don't know exactly how I'm going to accomplish such precision, but at the very least it should be an interesting new Spark learning experience!
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  • RD03875
    Good Luck, I know you can do it!
    1994 days ago
    Good luck with that! I changed mine to the distance from goal thing too. As long as I'm in the window, I'm a happy camper!!
    1995 days ago
    Wow, GF, I think this would be very difficult considering variables like normal fluctuation of weight due to cellular movement which is plus or minus 4 pounds due to things like variations in salt intake, retained stool, etc. I will be interested in how it works.
    1995 days ago
    I liked what you had in the maintainers thread better was it withing 3% under or over? After reading that I did the math and for me that's 4# either direction. I like that because once I hit that 140 something clicks and have a hard time bringing it back down. Having it set at 4# keeps me at 139 max. I couldn't stay right on goal if I weighed several times in the same day! I think you should allow yourself at least a 2-3# range.
    1995 days ago
    Well, just remember that you "normal" weight is and should be a range- not a fixed number. Seven lbs may be a bit wide but 3-4 lbs is totally normal.

    1995 days ago
  • GABY1948
    emoticon emoticon
    1995 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Trying to stay at a specific weight is difficult, if not impossible. Our bodies were not designed that way. We and our circumstances, are constantly changing. As its been said our weight constantly fluctuates too, even in a single day. It depends on many things like how heavy your meal was, going to the bathroom, whether or not you are hydrated properly. The last processed or dining out meal you had -the high sodium immediately sucks in the weight. Whether you have TOM. So many things. If you weigh yourself daily, all these factors will drive you nuts to be quite honest. You won't be able to tell a 'real' gain from a temporary one. The 5 lb swing either way is a very sensible way to go and one I follow myself. It will be two years maintaining for me in Feb, coming close and so far I have kept in that range easily. The thing is one day i found myself at 124, and the next, it dropped back to 121. There was nothing dramatic happening. Could be I had too much salt for that day, and then next was back to normal. I am pretty stable with it all around.
    I wish you luck, but do cut yourself a break if it doesn't go the way you want. When you commented once you kept gaining and losing the same 5 lbs, a lightbulb should have gone off -hey! That is maintenance!!
    1995 days ago
    I have thought about this also. I really wish it was my world but after tracking and really watching for 10 weeks since I hit goal, I don't think it would work for me. My scale bounces up and down around that goal weight and the pattern really is only predictable based on proteins. Lots of protein, little carbs and the scale goes down - add in very little carbs and the scale climbs. So I settled on keeping 2-3 lbs above goal knowing things have to change if I hit 4 lbs above. I also thought how it doesn't really seem like maintenance but then I remembered that even at my highest weight, the scale had a variance - the problem is I kept moving up the number that was "acceptable." It will be interesting to see what happens with you.
    1995 days ago
  • GEORGE815
    We tend to adopt a take it or leave it attitude with weight management. This in itself can lead to meantal anguish and relapses. If we are doing what we took to get to the point of maintaining, we must be doing something positive. It is a lot easier maintaining and not trying to pursue the goal weight.
    1995 days ago
    In the past, when I've been in "maintenance" (ah, the good old days!) I did the same thing. A few pounds up; a few pounds down. Of course, then the ups outnumbered the downs and here I am again!!! I would love to hear your strategies for staying AT goal! Actually, I won't need that info in the near future, but eventually.........
    1995 days ago
    That's been my idea of maintenance since I reached it, but my scale apparently has a different definition! I do like having my ticker set in maintenance mode, and I like to stay within 5 pounds up or down. Hang in there and keep on maintaining!
    1995 days ago
    That's the spirit! Our bodies are supposed to want to stay at a constant weight. They seem to do fine with that when we're at the upper end or maybe it just seems that way. The only way I've been able to keep the pounds from piling up is to weigh every morning and if the trend over several days is up, just stop it right there. Otherwise, I'm like FlamingoJan. Oh, the clothes still fit, it must be muscle.
    1995 days ago
    Good Luck with your new strategy!
    1995 days ago
    Sounds like a great plan! Getting down to goal is only part of the battle. Learning to stay there with minimal bounces is a completely different thing. This is the first time I've lost weight and haven't regained it all almost immediately. I've actually stayed in range the past nine months and my next challenge is to try to minimize that range even more. If I could keep my ups and downs to less than five pounds the rest of my life, I'd be thrilled!

    Good luck with your new plan and focus and keep up the great work!

    1995 days ago
    A change of focus can be a good thing...looking at things in a slightly different way provides clarity. I kind of need to reinvent things myself....just to keep it interesting!
    1995 days ago
  • JANEDOE12345
    You go, girl. How you have stayed where you are - or as close as you keep getting and going from - is a success story. Not every weight drama involves hundreds of pounds. Your diligence has served you well.

    emoticon emoticon

    You are doing great things and that new team may be the "spark" to get you settled at goal for good.
    1995 days ago
    I totally understand how you feel. I feel like I have been trying to "maintain" my weight for all my life - I am just always changing the maintanance number to meet the current weight that I find myself self. For example: I might be 140 for a while, then a few pounds creep on but the clothes still fit so I make the excuse that "it's muscle" and allow the extra. Then I "maintain" that until I creep up a few more pounds ...and so the cycle continues till one day I look in the mirror and say "what the heck happened? How did you let yourself get to this point?"

    The whole cycle drives me CRAZY!
    1995 days ago
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