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Losing vs. maintenance

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Today I was reading, not for the first time, 4A-HEALTHY-BMI's blog on the need for evidence based weight management programs. I'll go ahead and link to her blog on WeKeepItOff.com since that's where I was reading it:

And the thought that congealed in my head as I got to the end was:
"Weight loss is about getting there as fast as you can, maintenance is about staying there for as long as you can." Put another way, loss is about dating, maintenance about marriage. Loss is about the hunt, maintenance about planting and gathering. Loss is about competition, maintenance is about emulation.

When you were a kid, do you remember the day you told your older sibling or parent that you were growing up, and someday you'd be bigger than them? And they explained to you that they're getting older every year too. The gap between you might shrink, but you will always be younger than them. That's kind of how it is in maintenance. The people I'm counting on for support, they will always have been in maintenance longer than me. At least, I hope so because I don't want anyone to fall out or drift away. I want this to be working. I'm counting on the system.

It's not like in 28 days when Daniel is checking out and Oliver observes something to the effect that since only 1 in 10 of them are going to make it, it's actually better odds for the rest of them if he relapses. I really believe that the more people maintain successfully, the better the odds get. I'm not too interested in the odds anyway, except as far as they inform me of technique.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • TANYA602
    What great analogies. Marriage vs dating really hit home to me. I guess I'm engaged with a date in mind! hehehe
    1853 days ago
    Your blogs are fascinating! I love reading them.

    Today a co-worker called me "Slim" and asked me if I was still trying to lose weight. I told her I'm working to increase my fitness and stamina, but I'm not micro-managing my calories. For me, weight loss is a side-effect of increased activity and cleaner eating.

    Thanks so much for including the links to what you're reading. I really appreciate your thoughts.
    1854 days ago
    So glad I read this today. Amazing post, thank you for sharing.

    I just started maintenance three weeks ago. The weight is still going down. Now that I am happy with it I really want to stabilise it. So I am adjusting here and there. But I also realised that my mindset has to change. For example I went to the gym this morning and asked myself the reason I am going. Before the answer was : well to loose weight. This morning it was: To keep fit. I was so proud to have reached the goal. I am determined to be a long term maintainer and wish you all the best of luck too.
    Take care
    Thank you again for this.
    1854 days ago
    Great blog thanks for sharing.
    1854 days ago
    Great thoughts....I'm still a few months away from maintenance, and it's encouraging to read the comments of so many who are there. Thanks for sharing.
    1854 days ago
  • POPSY190
    Well said!
    1855 days ago
  • KANOE10
    Good article. Thanks for sharing. Great points on maintenance.
    1855 days ago
  • SUGAR0814
    Thanks for sharing!
    1855 days ago
    This is really good stuff you guys are blogging and posting about. The reality of it is helping me face what this is really about, long term, and my "Never Quit" pledge is clearly a good foundation cuz it is gonna take a lot of determination.
    1855 days ago
  • RUSSELL1960
    Thanks everyone! I'm in the process of learning how to shift from weight loss to maintenance and I also want to beat the odds and keep the weight off. I welcome advice and support.
    1855 days ago
    Great article. Very timely for me as I just entered maintenance, so it reaffirmed what I am doing are the right things. Thanks!
    1855 days ago
    Thanks for sharing! I have really appreciated the SP community support, in particular the maintenance support.
    1855 days ago
    Great blog! Yes, I've read 4A's blog before, but it never hurts to read the numbers again and again. And thanks for the analogies between weight loss and maintenance.
    1855 days ago
    That's awesome, Tina Jane, since you are my trailblazer! I think your 6 months at maintenance post was my first intro to AGAM+TTM. And it made me so excited to get to goal weight!
    1855 days ago
    I remember reading a fitness blog once that talked about the role models we emulate. It said something to the effect that we should copy the habits of someone who's currently at where we want to be. While there's lots of room for personalization in the process of weight loss and maintenance, that idea really struck a chord with me and made me realize that maybe it was time I actually started listening to what successful long-term maintainers are doing to ensure they stay successful. The idea that maybe I could learn a thing or two instead of constantly feeling like I have to go it alone shouldn't have been a novel one, but I had pretty much been tone-deaf to a lot of advice that could have been quite helpful to me in the past because I was somehow convinced that others' experiences couldn't possibly be quite like my own. Sounds pretty egotistical when you think about it, right? I think I just wasn't prepared for the sustained commitment that's necessary in maintenance and dismissed ideas that could have been helpful to me because they might actually involve some effort on my part. (Now I sound pretty lazy as well, lol!) So I guess you could say I've checked my ego at the door a bit more this time and have really rolled up my sleeves to put in the work of figuring out what maintenance is all about.

    I've never seen a community of maintainers like the one that's developing here and it's so encouraging. As a group, I think we are getting better at this and I'm hopeful that this will translate into greater long-term success for everyone. It's certainly helping me with my own!
    1855 days ago
    Thanks for sharing the links
    1855 days ago
    I meant to make a self-deprecating comment about stalking you. :D
    1855 days ago
    Thanks for the shout out!

    For the record, that was originally written in June, 2010.

    Science agrees with you about those odds.

    - The likelihood of regaining weight when you reach goal is 80%+ to 95%.
    - When you've maintained for 2 years the likelihood of regain drops to 50%.*
    - When you've maintained for 5 years the likelihood of regain drops to 27%!*


    No one really knows, though, whether it means that the strong will survive and the weak just eventually drop out, or whether people actually learn as they go and get better at it.

    I obviously hope it's the latter, rather than the former, because I want to believe I'm in control of my destiny (at least for my weight and fitness). If I didn't think so I wouldn't be doing all of this in the first place! LOL

    Also, I'd like to say that we are finally starting to see papers in the literature that describe the subtle but important differences between weight loss and weight maintenance.
    1855 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/26/2013 10:31:50 PM
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