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Maintenance, an ongoing journey.

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Our journey here on Spark People is never really over.
It is not over when we hit that goal number. There was a lot of hard work that got you there,
but are you prepared for the hard work that will keep you there?
Especially during this time of year where there are parties to go to, family and friends to visit,
goodies to be shared and they look delicious and so inviting.
But before you reach for too many, stop and ask yourself, is it worth it?
Sometimes it is and sometimes you have the calories left to eat a couple of treats.
But, can we stop with just a couple of those delicious little treats?
Last night, there was an abundance of food. Cakes and cookies, cheese trays and crackers,
hot dishes and cold dishes, dips and veggies and lots of fruit.
I visited the buffet table once, took a little bit of a few higher calorie items, lots of fruit and veggies with a little dip and some hummus, and one piece (very small) of a cake and left the table and didn't go back for seconds.
I drank water instead of wine because my headaches are coming back more lately and I didn't want to end up with a migraine. I made a point to stay away from the table after the first time around but of course they have food out on every surface you see and it is hard to resist. I had a few chips that were there and then said, enough.
It is not easy so say enough but my husband tells me it is the tough German in me that can say so and then do it.
There are a few times that I am out that I wish for just a few seconds that I could be that old Holly that could eat anything I wanted, pizza, fast food, french fries, sweets and lots of them, but then I regain my senses and know that I don't want to be that person.
I like where I am today, eating so healthy and exercising because I enjoy it but I do envy people that can eat anything they want and never gain weight. I think sometimes just looking at something can add a pound to me.
But the journey here is worth it and with the friends that I have made here it is priceless to have your support and know that I can always count on you!
Let's keep on walking this journey, through the good and the bad and together it will always be just a little bit easier!
Have a great Sunday and get out there and do something fun that brings laughter to your heart.
Spark on!

Me when I ate anything I wanted 3 years ago, and me this year that chooses healthy!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Oh, you make me want to choose healthy! It's always inspiring to see a success story!
    1928 days ago
    I'm inspired!
    1930 days ago
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    1930 days ago
    Congratulations on your weight loss and maintenance success. The holidays and special occasions certainly don't make it any easier.

    As a newbie to maintenance I knew it would take work; but, didn't realize it would be so challenging. I do not say this to scare people. The effort IS WORTH IT! Before, I was unhealthy and getting more unhealthy all the time. That's not a reality or path I wish to retread.

    Again, emoticon
    1930 days ago
    Holly, you did it! And you look fabulous!!

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    1930 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14895051
    That familiar feeling of wanting to go back to the old ways and eat everything is the big battle between me and my eventual success. Thank you for a sobering look at the reality of long-term success in weight loss.

    And Merry Christmas!

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    1931 days ago
    what a timely blog - thank you! maintenance is hard work! you've done a terrific job, especially with the temptations around this time of year.
    1931 days ago
    I loved your blog. I am super close to goal and the path to my goal weight is going to be quite a journey! It is great to know that there are so many SparkFriends here to help encourage and inspire as we travel that road together hand in hand. Your before and after pictures are an inspiration to us all! Congrats on your Award! :) emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1931 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/23/2014 9:52:52 PM
  • no profile photo 1HOTFUDGEMAMA
    Great job! I hope to be in your place 3yrs from now! Thanks for the inspiring pic
    1931 days ago
  • KATIE3908
    Great job!! Keep up the good work.

    1931 days ago
    Maintenance IS tough! It's even harder than losing the weight originally. You don't see that scale drop or get a lot of comments from others about your changing (improving) appearance, which always motivated me to keep going. Now, it's just the same hard work without the recognition, and that is difficult, especially this time of year. I have been maintaining with a minor blip in the screen earlier this year, for 3 years, 8 months, and 8 days. Everyday is a new journey, a chance to get it right. Somedays I do better than others, but I never never never give up. Maybe it's the German in me too?!
    1931 days ago
    1931 days ago
    You've got it! Maintenance is just as much work as losing weight...and it's forever.

    Congratulations on your victory over food. It's nice to be free eh?

    1931 days ago
    Great maintenance blog. It IS hard work to keep going and so worth it. As I said on the maintenence site a few days ago, no cookie tastes as good as I look in my skinny jeans!

    Happy Holidays!
    1932 days ago
  • MAREE1953
    What's the saying? Your health is your greatest wealth. Great job!
    1932 days ago
    emoticon emoticon I think everyone is different when it comes to indulging once in a while. If you feel you can't just eat 2, then it's best to stay away from treats all together. You are doing a emoticon job! You should be very proud of what you have accomplished! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1932 days ago
  • THOMS1
    Great job, great strategies. I know I have one heck of a time with buffets but I must say that I was at a meeting the other night and as the tins of homemade cookies and candy past me I was very tempted but I am proud to say that I held my own and just let it pass me by. It doesn't always happen like that. I wish you continued success. emoticon
    1932 days ago
    emoticon emoticon Great strategies for staying on track in the midst of so many red light foods that could sabotage our progress.
    1932 days ago
  • _LINDA
    emoticon emoticon
    emoticon on navigating that minefield of food and sticking to your maintenance. A great sign that you have got this!
    Keep up the great work, keep on inspiring the multitude of Sparkers!
    1932 days ago
    Great after picture! You both look Fabulous! I agree you did a good job of navigating around that party of food! I don't always do as well as you do. The Irish in me comes out and says why not! But I totally get the looking at the food and gaining a pound from just looking! Sometimes its just not fair! Woo Hoo you! Keep up the great job!
    1932 days ago
    Right on! I was never that fortunate that I could eat everything I desired and not lose weight. I love the photos of you and your sister-in-law, with both of you looking so much better! I'm just starting or approaching maintenance -- trying to figure out which -- but my hard-won strength and trim body are my insurance policy for my old age. On Saturday I learned the pitfalls of not eating my normal lunch before attending a very long family birthday party. But I'm back in my groove, and keeping up all my exercise, so I'll be more mindful the next event. You make a wonderful role model!
    1932 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14291083
    Very timely, especially for the season. Thank you. Right now I'm finding it hard work to maintain, but that's OK if I accept it. You do look gorgeous in both photos, and it looks as if you've inspired someone there, too!
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    1932 days ago
    Thanks so much for your timely encouragement to stick with maintenance during this holiday season! It's tough but we can do it . . . and we want to do it! And looking at your results helps remind us of exactly why!!
    1932 days ago
  • LYNCHD05
    I always try to remember just because a person is slim does not mean they are healthy. You are so dead on with this blog. I am approaching two years on maintenance and it is still work. It is never over. We always have to be mindful and really pay attention. I liked that you did not deny yourself but you were smart and made the right choices. This is so hard at this time of year.
    Great blog!!!.
    1932 days ago
    Yes to all your points. I completely understand and I've been through it, too. Your photos are beautiful, both of them.

    I agree that this journey is never really over and we must always be "thinking." I really appreciate your blog at this time. I have been struggling with creeping weight, but this helps me stay focused.

    emoticon and keep Spark'n!
    1932 days ago
    Yes, there are people who can eat anything they want and not gain weight. But that's because they don't want much. The rest of us have to control ourselves, because we can still want more than we should have.

    In three years of maintenance, it has got easier. There are some things I just don't want any more. I am satisfied with smaller portions of other things. But I still have the potential to really pig out at a holiday event like the one you describe. To be honest, I've done it this holiday season. Twice. But the amount of pigging out was less than it would have been pre-Spark (both in number of occurrences and amount eaten per occurrence), I know how to do damage control, and I know how to recover.

    Yes, maintenance is hard. But it is so worth it!
    1932 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/22/2014 2:51:23 PM
    Yep. It's never over - good thing it's also pretty fun, most of the time.
    1932 days ago
    Congratulations on your maintenance!
    You are so right about maintenance not being easy.
    I think it is almost as difficult as loosing the weight.
    I just entered this phase of maintenance and really
    enjoyed reading your blog.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Sharon emoticon

    1932 days ago
    Congratulations on keeping it all together.

    You know those "people that can eat anything they want and never gain weight?" There really aren't that many of them and those for whom it's true are still pretty young.

    Hanging out here on SP even after reaching goal is the key to maintenance.

    1932 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1932 days ago
    Congratulations on your maintenance! You are so right - it isn't easy but it is SO worth it!!
    1932 days ago
    You are doing fabulous! The mistake I always made was lose the weight but then stopping the journey once I hit that mark. I hope to work up that same determination and motivation that you have! emoticon
    1934 days ago
    holly you are doing marvelously keep up the great work. I used to envy skinny people that could eat anything but now I feel sorry for them because they will have health problems somewhere down the road. I am glad you had a good time at the party but were in moderation mode hugs
    1935 days ago
    For sure and the choices we make are those we have to live with ........... and the skin we live IN .............So Bravo you are STILL looking and feeling great and always an inspiration to all!!
    1936 days ago
    Hi, Holly! Just saw this now. You are so right on with this blog! We are not perfect in maintenance, but we know what to do and good for you for sticking to it! I really like how you mentioned that you stayed away from the wine because of potential migraines. With me, it causes insomnia. That makes me feel really tired the next day, so I usually choose (not alway, but usually!) to stay away from it, even though I would enjoy it at the time. I guess you are talking (rightly) about delay of gratification, and thinking about consequences! Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement you always provide!
    emoticon emoticon
    PS You are totally rocking that "After" photo! Fantastic!
    1938 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/16/2014 7:52:37 PM
    Never sure what to say here, don't want to jinx myself, but I do agree, we are never done with our healthy way of living, sure did not work so hard to lose the weight only to gain it al back. The holidays are a test for us. You are doing it all right too taking a little and not going back, I had trouble with parties, so now I will eat before, mostly there are fruits and veggies, if not I go around talking to everyone. If there are kids there even better, because I will play with them.
    The after picture is amazing, wow, you both look so much healthier and happier, yes younger too!! emoticon Happy you are doing so great emoticon emoticon

    1938 days ago
  • EILEEN828
    You rock! So glad to hear you learned the life lesson and you're right, it's not easy. The people that can eat any thing are only in line for when the time comes and their body has "changed."
    1939 days ago
    You did a great job of navigating those holiday treats. I just did the same thing at a holiday party. I took a few bites of high calorie foods and stopped. Yes, we may never be like other people who seem to indulge. Our holidays are healthy and work as we make the effort to make good choices.

    I had to laugh at your comment that sometimes it feels like if you look at a food, you feel like you have gained a pound. Too true. Those are the times that you looked at food, did not eat it, and still go up a pound for no good reason.

    Your maintenance is going very well. I love your pictures. You look wonderful.
    1939 days ago
  • FRAN0426
    I was at one time one of those who could eat anything and anything and not gain weight. How things change, and there I was having no rules of restraint and needing to change and get a grasp about what I was eating---more difficult than I ever imagined. So glad to hear you are doing maintenance, and know you will do great doing so. You eat healthy, and get plenty of exercise---you have grasped the concept well. All the best on your continuing journey. I continue learning and know that even at the snails pace my journey is going I too hope to finally enter the maintenance level one day.

    1940 days ago
  • BLUEJAY1969
    You were beautiful before - now you look beautiful and healthy and happy! I love that you keep posting blogs and let it all hang out for us to let us know that we must keep up the good fight! I am one of those who has a lot of that "tough German" in me to so I can be just as stubborn!
    Merry Christmas!
    1940 days ago
    Holly I love the honesty in your blogs. You just put yourself out there and let the chips fall as they may.

    I hope you are very proud of yourself for picking and choosing what you will eat and not mindlessly grabbing whatever was out there. I am trying to do the same... and as you said it's not over when we reach that goal number. emoticon
    1940 days ago
  • ANGGEL40
    So true Holly...it takes a lot to maintain being fit and healthy so our journey is never over...thanks for sharing..Enjoy your Sunday!
    1940 days ago
    Wow! What an awesome blog Holly! I am so proud of you! You are doing an awesome job maintaining your weight! You're before and after picture is fantastic! You rock girlfriend!
    Hugs and love,
    1940 days ago
    Holly you've done a great job and I admire you. You've reached this goal and for your own emotional and physical health need to stay there. A treat here and there is not bad, you are so right and I am glad you have a stop button. emoticon for sharing. emoticon emoticon
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    1940 days ago
    I wish the German in me was a little tougher when it comes to turning down food. I think I have wimpy German in me. lol

    The before and after photos of you are just amazing. You look so great. Although I LOVE the sweater you had on in the first one!
    1940 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13354694
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    1940 days ago
    So true, Holly! It's all about being mindful when we eat, isn't it?

    I'm not on maintenance yet, but am so mindful of everything I eat. I went to a holiday party on Friday, and I had treats, but limited myself. The hostess sent me home with cake, cookies, appetizers galore. At home, I tried one of the cookies which looked so good, and tasted it. All I could taste was fat, and not in a good way. I dumped all the food into the garbage. I just didn't need it to be tempting me.

    Your photo post at the end of your blog is a beautiful reminder of your hard work, your success, and your commitment to a healthier lifestyle, not just a diet. It will be a journey we'll be on for the rest of our lives.

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    1940 days ago
    What two wonderful photos!

    This is a lifelong journey through thick and thin! Temptations are everywhere anytime = time to prove how happy we are with what we've achieved and stay strong. There are so many other things than food to appreciate and savor too. I was never really happy with myself while eating all the junk I wanted. Instead it was like a desperate cry of no satisfaction with my life. So let's keep up with this journey together, moving forward (set backs allowed).
    1940 days ago
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