100 lb. Club - Differences between maintenance vs. active weight loss




PeanutsMom704
01-07-2010, 04:36 PM
This is an offshoot of a post I read on a different thread.

I'm curious to know how maintenance differs from active weight loss. While I have been constantly reminding myself that losing the weight will be the easy part in comparison, I have a perception that it's mostly mental.

Meaning that right now, my motivation stays high because I'm being rewarded by having a weight loss and wanting to achieve my goal. I'm thinking that the big difference in maintenance is not that I'll be eating/moving all that differently than I do now, but that it will be forever, and the reward of the number staying the same on the scale isn't going to equal the reward of losing the weight. And I'm also figuring that there are just more times where I'm tempted to go off plan, just as a factor of the longer period of time involved (forever vs. 1 or 2 years)

So I'd love to hear thoughts on this, particularly for those who are successfully maintaining at this point.


TJFitnessDiva
01-07-2010, 04:46 PM
I'm not at maintenance yet but I am past the "got to have motivation" phase. It's a way of life thing for me and sure I have some slip ups and planned splurges but the bigger picture is always in my mind. Which for me is I'm almost at goal....why do I want to go back to the beginning?

I've been lurking a lot in the maintenance forum here on 3FC and I don't see much of a difference with either except that you get to eat a little more ;) The whole thing is intertwined and a lifestyle!

PeanutsMom704
01-07-2010, 04:49 PM
well, I guess I never scrolled down enough to realize there was a maintenance forum! lol! So thanks for that info, I'm sure I'll find it interesting reading.

And of course, I'm still interested on whatever thoughts people want to share on this thread.

and congrats on your progress - very impressive!!


Tai
01-07-2010, 08:42 PM
The biggest difference for me is definitely the calorie increase. Even though I eat the same foods as when I was losing I'm just so grateful to have more of them!

I think my experience may be a bit different from other's because I found actually losing the weight to be more difficult than maintaining. Maintenance has kind of a rhythm or pattern to it for me. It's only been 17 months though.

I find a lot of happiness in seeing the same number on my scale every time I get on it, so that's been really rewarding for me. It's not the same as losing, but still a thrill.

Congratulations on your weight loss; you're on your way. You'll be maintaining before you know it!

JayEll
01-07-2010, 09:40 PM
I wonder sometimes whether people hear "It's a lifestyle change" and think that means "It's a lifestyle change to lose weight." Actually, it's a lifestyle change Period. Because once you reach goal, you are not done. You still have the rest of your life, and with your new weight, you'll still need to be aware of what you eat, in fact, you may still track it every day. And you'll still be exercising. And you'll still be weighing regularly to make sure you know where you're at. And that is the real "lifestyle change."

That said, there are as many variations on maintenance as there are on weight loss, so again, it's a personal journey.

Some people like to keep old photos of themselves around, or old clothes, so that they don't forget what they were like when heavy. Others just want to forget that completely, but they have a weight "redline" or some other measure, like clothing size, to help keep them on track.

The important thing in my own opinion is to have a goal weight that is sustainable. If it's too low, it can be very hard to keep from gaining.

Yes, do drop in over in the Maintainer's forum. :yes:

Jay

rockinrobin
01-08-2010, 06:01 AM
I guess I do find maintenance more difficult because of the length of it. BUT on the other hand, it's also become automatic to me - the planning, shopping, chopping, cooking, eating this, not eating that, the exercise. It's all completely ingrained in me. It's automatic. It's just what I do and who I am. Completely second nature. Not an option not to do it. It's part of me now. Don't get me wrong, it still takes thought and a conscientious effort on my part, but it's part of my make up now. Though it does take effort, I could do it with my eyes closed so to speak. I KNOW, I really, really KNOW the affects and benefits of adhering to a healthy lifestyle and for me to not follow it, seems ludicrous now. So that does make it easier.

I had a blast during the time that I was losing weight. I found it thrilling to watch and experience all the incredible things that were happening to my shrinking body. I LOVED grasping that long lost control over food that was lacking for multiple decades. I loved finding new recipes and foods to eat that were both healthy AND delicious. I loved finding out about all the strength I had in me. I loved the self growth, self worth, self disciple and self respect that emerged.

But now that I'm in maintenance, I LOVE my huge array of clothing that I've gathered up. Getting dressed is a joy. I love never having to worry about what I will wear if I have to go - well - anywhere. I'm always "set". I love the continual self worth, growth, discipline and respect that's remained and increased. I love my boundless energy. I love doctors visits. I love socializing, I love living my day in day out life in a fit, trim, healthy best me that I can be body. It's an easier life. I love the fact that I get to wake up in a slim, trim healthy body and spend the day being that way and going to bed with satisfaction, then waking up and repeating the process. So though I'm no longer losing, staying the same has plenty of incredible benefits as well. Don't doubt it for a second. Knowing that I don't have to LOSE the weight, just keep it off is a wonderful feeling. Knowing that I've "done it" and don't have to "do IT" is a great feeling.

Maintenance isn't all that difficult. Certainly it has its ups and downs, which is to be expected. It's not always smooth sailing, but so what. What IS always smooth sailing???? Certainly not all the other wonderful things that matter in my life - my job, my marriage, raising my children, my friendships, running my household. I know what to do. I know what works for my body and what doesn't. And it's no where near, not even close by a gijillion miles, as difficult as being super morbidly obese, morbidly obese, obese or overweight. NOT EVEN CLOSE. Talk about difficult. Yikes!!

Maintenance is no burden, no hardship. It's a wonderful, happy place to be. It's a comfort and a joy to be here. It's peaceful, with much less worries and much more happiness.. I look forward to hearing of your progress and of hearing that you've experienced these wonderful things as well. :)

Glory87
01-08-2010, 10:49 AM
Hey Peanutsmom704 - listen to Robin!

For my own experience, I would say that maintenance is both easier and more difficult than weight loss.

1. Easier - I have so many good habits. I have a bunch of healthy recipes for foods I like to eat. I've tried different things, found out what works. I have a closet full of adorable clothes, I love looking at myself in pictures.

2. More difficult - every now and then, I feel a teensy bit "oh wow, this is forever." My healthy habits aren't a huge chore - but I do pack lunches, go to the grocery store a lot, look up nutritional info online, say no to a lot of pizza, say no to fast food, still measure some foods with a measuring cup/food scale, still food journal, still estimate calories everyday. It can occasionally be tedious, but those feelings don't last very long.

Sometimes, I think I spend too much time thinking about food. But - I remind myself, when I was fat, I spent a LOT of time wishing/dreaming/hoping/fantasizing about being thin. How I would do it, what it would be like, my "perfect" life after I lost weight. But it was just spinning wheels, I never DID anything, I just thought a lot.

Now, I put a lot of mental energy into maintaining my weight, but that energy is USEFUL. I find new recipes, I post here, I plan meals, I count calories. I think it's the same amount of mental energy I used to just waste with longing, now I am DOING.

PeanutsMom704
01-08-2010, 11:39 AM
Thanks so much everyone!

I wonder sometimes whether people hear "It's a lifestyle change" and think that means "It's a lifestyle change to lose weight." Actually, it's a lifestyle change Period. Because once you reach goal, you are not done. You still have the rest of your life, and with your new weight, you'll still need to be aware of what you eat, in fact, you may still track it every day. And you'll still be exercising. And you'll still be weighing regularly to make sure you know where you're at. And that is the real "lifestyle change."


yeah, this is along the lines of what I was thinking. I'm keeping my calories in the range of 1200-1500 (I like to try to alternate the highs and lows). I know that as I get smaller, I'll lose weight more and more slowly with that calorie limit, and then I figure eventually, I'll probably get to a point where what I'm eating puts me into maintenance rather than weight loss mode. I know activity level, overall fitness level, etc. comes into play, but just looking at a very, very high level, I feel like the way I eat right now is pretty much the way I should/will be eating for the rest of my life because when I'm 100 lbs smaller, I'll have to eat a lot less to maintain that weight than it took to maintain a 250 lb body.

PeanutsMom704
01-08-2010, 11:43 AM
Sometimes, I think I spend too much time thinking about food. But - I remind myself, when I was fat, I spent a LOT of time wishing/dreaming/hoping/fantasizing about being thin. How I would do it, what it would be like, my "perfect" life after I lost weight. But it was just spinning wheels, I never DID anything, I just thought a lot.

Now, I put a lot of mental energy into maintaining my weight, but that energy is USEFUL. I find new recipes, I post here, I plan meals, I count calories. I think it's the same amount of mental energy I used to just waste with longing, now I am DOING.

great attitude, so true!!

I love using Fitday - I log my calories, but I also plan out my day's food ahead of time, so I can tweak as needed if I'm not hitting my targets. Definitely a much, much better time than thinking about being thin but not doing anything to get there.

PeanutsMom704
01-08-2010, 11:44 AM
Knowing that I don't have to LOSE the weight, just keep it off is a wonderful feeling. Knowing that I've "done it" and don't have to "do IT" is a great feeling.


also such a great attitude - I am so glad I found this place!!!

JulieJ08
01-08-2010, 11:46 AM
Sometimes, I think I spend too much time thinking about food. But - I remind myself, when I was fat, I spent a LOT of time wishing/dreaming/hoping/fantasizing about being thin. How I would do it, what it would be like, my "perfect" life after I lost weight. But it was just spinning wheels, I never DID anything, I just thought a lot.


That's a good point, I never thought of it that way.

bargoo
01-08-2010, 11:49 AM
I find nothing is more motivating or exciting than stepping on the scale and seeing that it has not gone up.I was happy when I was dieting that the scale was going down. The feelings are the same depending on what you are trying to do and whether or not you are successful.The hardest thing about maintenace is accepting the fact that it is forever !