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The Value of Staying Committed

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

I read Boss61's blog today about how 90% quit Sparkpeople in 3 years or less.

I was going to comment on his blog, but my thoughts were a bit long and not restricted to the statistics, so I decided to make my own related blog today.

His statistics, observed from his own Sparkfriends, are that 9 in 10 Sparkpeople are gone within 3 years. The National Weight Loss Registry reports that weight losers "in general" overwhelmingly don't continue to keep the weight off. They say that only 5-15 % of those who reach their goals initially will keep the weight off. If someone has kept the weight off for 2 years, they are 50% likely to keep the weight off. It takes 5 years before they are 73% likely to keep it off. Sigh. There's never a 100% certainty to keeping weight off.

This is my 2nd time losing the weight with Sparkpeople - the 4th time in my life. Each other time, I'd get to my goal and think I could manage from there, so I'd quit the diet or system I was using. Eventually I'd gain most or all of it back. For most of my life my "scream weight" was about 5 pounds lower than my highest ever weight. It was the weight at which "I have to DO something!"

I lost weight with Sparkpeople in 2009, reached my goal in 2010 and left soon after. I came back to Sparkpeople in 2012, embarrassed by having regained, but determined to lose again with a different result. I reached my goal in March 2013, and
1. I don't plan to quit Sparkpeople.
2. I don't plan to quit tracking food.
3. I don't plan to quit exercising.
4. I don't plan to allow my weight to creep up above my MUCH LOWER "scream weight."

I have hit that scream weight once since March, and it was successfully repelled much less painfully than waiting for another 30+ pounds to respond!

Back to thinking about another part of Boss61's blog: I was culled from many of my first Sparkfriends lists by the time I returned. Some of them have graciously added me back and continue to be an appreciated encouragement to me. Others have disappeared themselves. Of course I've added new ones! I do miss some of the friends who are gone. I would definitely miss those who are still here if they disappeared.

When I left before, I was only thinking of myself... gaining time to do other things. (Like eat, it turned out.) In staying, I help myself stay on track, but I also have a bit of an effect on others. I hope it is a positive one!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • BOPPY_
    SP is a great resource. People can use it to advantage or to waste time.

    You've chosen an admirable path.

    1631 days ago
    Yep, I fit the spark leaving statistic . I lost 20 pounds and left. Now the 20 pounds are back. Sigh. I hope to lose that weight back and stay on for maintenance support this time. I like the idea of having a "scream weight" as a goal! Cute.
    1631 days ago
    I am just catching up with blogs, and I love this blog of yours -- very introspective but you could have written it for most of us, I suspect. I have gained and lost weight several times since I joined in 2009, but I'm always trying, and if I hadn't have stayed on Spark the weight gain would have been WORSE.

    I have lost lots of Sparkfriends and it makes me sad. But I am so grateful for you, and for the friends I have met thru you. I am going to work hard to make this year the year I begin maintenance in earnest. Thank you for all of your kind support.

    Happy 2014!
    1632 days ago
    I am glad you decided never to quit, because you are so helpful to me and all the others, and it is good for you, too. The world is so full of weight loss schemes and misinformation. Real life successes like you who share day to day struggles and thoughts are an invaluable resource and support. I see a common thread among the successfull maintainers - you all seem to exude a calmness, a joy - determination and balance. I am so grateful for your example and support.
    1636 days ago
    I find SP so valuable that I can't imagine doing without it. I might be less active sometimes, but maintenance is so much easier with a little help from friends, old and new.
    1636 days ago
    When I was doing WW, they constantly told us that one of the best ways to keep the weight off was by being involved in the weekly meetings. Those who stopped coming after they reached goal weight often put it back on if they stopped the meetings. I found this to be true of Sparkpeople. Once you leave or become complacent with your weight, it is easy to stop focusing on the things that got you there in the first place. For me, WW became a source of stress because I put so much emphasis on what the scale said. But this has always been a source of stress for me. I think just staying active on Sparkpeople helps you focus on what is important and that helps you keep the weight in check. Thanks for a great blog.
    1638 days ago
    Of course we welcomed you back. And of course you have a major impact on your friends here.

    Maintaining weight loss for me also involves maintaining my SP involvement and trying to support those of us in this together. For life. Eternal vigilance!!!
    1638 days ago
    I've been here since 2007, with only one break somewhere in 2008 or 2009, can't really remember exactly. During this time I have seen many SparkFriends come and go. Some returned, usually much heavier than when they left, some never did. It makes me sad to see people go and I wonder what happened to them.

    SparkPeople definitely is my foundation and my motivation to continue on my healthy journey. As you know, reaching goal weight is not the end of it. The journey continues and support is needed.

    My scream weight is actually right at the top of my set maintenance range, and my happy weight is a couple of pounds (2 or 3) below that. I have found that I don't have to spend excessive amounts of time online every day in order to get the help and benefits SparkPeople provides. In the end it's all about balance.

    Having said that, yesterday I weighed in 1.2 lbs above my scream weight. With Christmas safely behind me I am planning to be back down to a more comfortable weight by year's end.

    Glad to have you here, SparkFriend.
    1639 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/26/2013 12:58:17 PM
    I am one of your new friends, and I'm glad you're here! This is my third time on SP (back 3 mo. now) and I haven't lost the weight -YET- but I am on the track to doing so and will. It really helps to have mentors such as yourself because I realize it's not just about getting the weight off, it's about keeping it off for good. I've made many subtle changes and finally outlined a plan on my spark page that I am sticking to. That's been one of my issues, not sticking to eating/exercise changes long enough to make a difference. 'Tis trite but true, really is a mind set and a lifestyle change. emoticon
    1639 days ago
  • KANOE10
    You have a great impact on people here. You are a warm supportive friend and offer positive encouragement. I have lost and regained many times in my life. This is the first time that I have remained stable for 3 years. I agree with you. Staying on Spark, tracking food, exercising, and working off those up pounds that creep on are truly the way to maintain. Commitment is everything.

    I know you will continue to be successful!

    emoticon emoticon
    1639 days ago
  • BOPPY_
    You can and will do it!

    Why? Because, now, you understand!

    Lee emoticon

    P.S. I'm having my own troubles with calories, this holiday season. Tomorrow is a another day ... BETTER DAY! ... emoticon
    1639 days ago
    I'll definitely agree...I can't say I've ever reached my goal on SP, but I either maintain or lose...only to gain a bunch when I leave. I, too, want to stick with SP.
    1639 days ago
    I am with you on this.. I was on Sparks and lost 40lbs only to leave Sparks and gain all back.. so now I am back and I need to get serious with weight loss and fitness life style and never leave again...
    1639 days ago
    You most certainly DO have a positive impact on others! I'm so glad you decided to come back and that you don't plan on going anywhere. Like you, this is the first time I've managed to keep my weight off so I'm here to stay!

    Great job keeping up the good work. I know that 2014 will be a great year for both of us as well!
    1639 days ago
  • BOSS61
    Who is that goofball anyway, with the hyperlinked blog?

    Spark is not a diet or a short-term game. It's a paradigm shift.

    And from the goofball, thanks for the shout-out!
    1639 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    emoticon Merry Christmas emoticon
    1640 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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