''I'm an Obesity Survivor''

Heather (MSUMOMMA) is down 75 pounds and says she's committed to her new lifestyle! Learn how she has maintained her weight loss for eight months and counting.

Heather Before Heather After

What challenges did you face upon entering “maintenance mode?”

The biggest challenge I faced was overindulging and gaining a little weight, and then having to get back on track for weigh-in day. Keeping it all balanced is a struggle.

Are there any strategies you currently use to help you maintain your weight loss?

I don't think of my weight as a single number. Instead, I try to stay within a 5-pound maintenance range. This allows for monthly fluctuations, and also allows me to indulge at times. It's hard to go from the weight loss mentality to the weight maintenance mentality, so I am trying to deal with that right now.

Do you feel like the SparkPeople Community has helped you?

Yes, I feel the SparkPeople community has been a HUGE part of my success. I have some Spark friends who I check in with every day. As a binge eater trying to recover, I am a very active member of a few SparkTeams, including one that I lead called Taking Back Control. The Teams lend me support, guidance, and inspiration to continue on in my obesity recovery. I think of myself as an obesity survivor, so the continued support from the SparkPeople community has been vital for my continued recovery and success.

What tools on the site do you use to help you maintain? Do you still track all of your food and exercise?

I read the emails daily, all new articles, and still use the Fitness Tracker. I do not track my calories on SparkPeople. I use another site to do that, but don't track my calories daily anymore (although I used to track them daily until the last month or two). I also love SparkRecipes.com and browse the site often for meal ideas.

Do you have any advice for someone who's about to reach their goal and enter into maintenance?

You can eat more calories! Yes, you can! But that's not an excuse to overindulge. Take pride in your accomplishment.