so it seems pretty common for people to gain the weight back after they stop MRC, how common is it really? I would hate to go to all this expense & effort to just gain it all back after the fact. I keep thinking that this plan teaches you how to eat right & hoping that when it is all said and done that I will be more trained to make the right choices. My best friend lost over 80 lbs by just diet & exercise and has kept it off for over a year now, I tried & couldn't do it which is why I am with MRC now. please reassure me that it is possible to keep the weight off long term.
07-20-2012, 05:51 PM
This has been my biggest concern since I started this program. I have talked to multiple counselors at my center about it because I see people at the classes where they say this is 2nd or 3rd time doing the program after gaining back weight. And the biggest issue is maintenance. She said very few people commit to being on maintenance for the year even though it's included and that is the big problem.. If you read any of the studies out there on weight loss, your body needs time to adjust to it's new happy place and most people start adding back in the things that got them in trouble to begin with and then it's a slippery slope... life happens, stress.. poor choices, poor planning.. and the weight comes back much faster than it came off. If you stick to maintenance you have a much better chance of being able to maintain for life. That was the big take away I got. Even the ones in the class admitted that they went back to their bad habits. This should really be a lifestyle change, not just a diet.
07-22-2012, 07:51 PM
I think a large part of it is maintenance, like aw said. I started maintenance in June of 2011, and I still weighed weekly for about 3 months, then went to 2x/month, then once a month. I still weigh once a month.
I actually started maintenance at a higher weight than I would have liked, but I was mentally "done" with the diet and we started trying to get pregnant that summer. I actually continued to lose on maintenance, as I requested a maintenance menu that was about 100-200 calories a day less than what I needed. I have since lost another 30lbs on maintenance.
I think the other reason so many people gain back is that they don't see this as a life change. They see it as a diet--a temporary way of eating until they get to the weight they want. Also, many people (like my mother-in-law) fool themselves into thinking "I"ll be sooo much more active when I'm XX pounds, it won't matter that I indulge here and there," and then they get less active and indulge more.
Finally, I think a lot of people also stop weighing and measuring their foods, and their portion sizes gradually creep up. I still try to weigh and measure everything as much as possible. I have found myself cutting off a piece of chicken or steak that looks "right size" to me, then put my plate on my scale and see I'm 1-2 oz over what it should be. Or I guess on a serving of rice, then actually measure it and see that it's about 1/4 cup too much. All of these little "overeats" eventually add up.
I remember the day (while still in the active weight-loss phase) when I looked at my food and realized THIS IS HOW I'M GOING TO HAVE TO EAT FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE (or some variation of how I was eating on the green menu), and I actually broke down and cried. Yes, I indulge (mostly guilt-free) here and there, and yes I have more options available to me than what I had on the green menu, but ultimately, I still eat as though I'm dieting. Sometimes it still makes me sad and angry that I can't eat whatever I want--but then I remember that I CAN eat whatever I want, but am actively choosing my health, my fitness, and my looks over a lot of the foods I want to eat (like, I miss eating cereal or pancakes for dinner, huge bowls of ice cream every night, pb&j sandwiches, mac&cheese, etc. as often as I want) and, in the long run, this choice will make me happier.
Basically, many people fail on maintenance on this program and many others because they have not absorbed the lessons to be learned and changed their mindset, and/or they just aren't as careful once they stop the "diet" part of the program.
07-22-2012, 10:36 PM
Teacherlady- that's a lot of great insight!
I also was told at the center that the classes are really important.. so far the ones I've been to have been great. Really looking at emotional issues of eating, etc.
07-22-2012, 11:06 PM
Thanks teacherlady for the encouraging words about maintenance. I started MRC 3 weeks ago, and right now the idea of chicken and salad the rest of my life is overwhelming. But I know some variation of that will have to be my eating forever. I have 40 lbs to lose and am 55 years old.
07-23-2012, 08:13 AM
I think you can reassure yourself by checking out the "maintenance" section of this forum. There you'll be able to find plenty of inspirational ladies/gents who have and are keeping it off.
07-23-2012, 12:18 PM
I agree - it's all about your mindset. I started maintenance last week and noticed that, with my vacation and everything, I gained weight. Now, I'm back to eating on the green menu (my comfort area) until I feel ready to start some of the "add-on" food again.
For me, I had to realize that this is my journey - no one else's. I know what I'm comfortable with... what my attitudes toward food can be and I also know that I have a slippery slope of eating where I can't stray or "anything goes". I also know I feel SOOOOO much better when fueling my body the way I should. I feel "blah" and guilty after eating badly and, most of the time, it's just not worth it. Will I have the occasional frozen yogurt? Yes. Celebrate with a sliver of cake? Yes... Have a moment of insanity when a patty melt just sounds good? Yes... but I will also get right back on with my healthy eating, rest and water and I will move on.
I think someone once talked about "auto correct"... you slide, you correct and keep going... That's where I'm at...
07-23-2012, 06:25 PM
Rachels- that's exactly the way I intend to live my life once I get off maintenance. I have no intention of eating salads forever. I will celebrate in moderation but I also enjoy knowing that I am eating healthier and that I feel better with this new lifestyle. So, it's all good!
07-23-2012, 07:25 PM
I truly believe that the cause of most regain (regardless of how the weight was lost in the first place) is the same. The feeling (not the actuality) of failure. And we're often taught to see a whole lot more failure than success - and we're even taught to see failure where there is only success.
We live in a culture that often sees not losing and losing slowly to be every bit as much a failure as gaining (and sometimes it almost seems worse. So when the weight loss stops, we stop feeling successful, and we start to feel that the situation is unwinnable - and if we're not going to succeed with weight LOSS, we might as well at least get to eat what we want).
We're not used to seeing the success, and we're also taught to see failure as virtually inevitable. And when we see failure as inevitable, giving up isn't illogical, it's the most sensible thing to do.
But it's really our false assumptions that make failure seem (and to many become) inevitable.
Gaining a little during maintenance (and even during weight loss) is not a signal that failure is inevitable - but we've been conditioned to believe that it is. If we gain a little transitioning from one lifestyle to a different one (whether it's transitioning from low-carb to calorie-counting, or from weight loss to weight maintenance or pre-maintenance), it is not proof of failure - but it often seems that way (and I believe it's because we're taught at least indirectly to see it that way).
So we start that stinkin' thinkin that goes something like "OMG, I've gained two pounds this week and a pound the week before. I'm going to gain it all back. Gaining is failing. I'm failing. I'm going to fail. I always gain it back. I'll never be thin. This is too hard. It's unfair. If I'm going to be fat anyway, at least I should get to eat what I want.
And this isn't the only failure-reinforcing mind game we play - just because it's how dieting "is done," in our culture. We do these things and think these things without even realize we're doing it because it's how we've seen it done by others, and later because it's how we've seen it done by ourselves.
Failure is built into the system. So to succeed, we have to CREATE a new system. There aren't a lot of models for that, AND those who have succeeded generally don't advertise the fact enough. We don't get to see many of the successes, and the only successes we DO see our the top 1%ers the ones who've lost much more and much faster than the modest succeeders. We tend to set the bar so high for success that most people really can't succeed and those who come in under the bar don't want to advertise their success because it doesn't feel like success.
I'm never going to be on a magazine cover, because no one wants to hear, "How I lost 105 lbs in only eight years with only 150 lbs left to go, after trying my damnedest for 36 years."
We want to hear about impressive weight loss, and we're not impressed easily. Anything less than 2 lbs per week, and anything less than reaching goal weight, and any back-tracking whatsover, we tend to see as failure.
When it comes to weight loss, there is no "partial success" in our culture. Of course, this is an overgeneralization and maybe even an exageration, and yet there's a whole lot of truth to it.
We're accustomed to seeing weight loss (if it's big enough) as success. But we're not accustomed to seeing "staying the same" as success. And gaining a little, is often seen not only as total failure, but as proof that total failure is inevitable (and many folks gain all the weight they've lost plus some, just because they're following the pattern they see others around them fall into. It's as if that's the social "rule" for weight loss, "Give up until you've gained all the weight back and then some, and then "start over" with some other plan.")
I think we'd have much better weight loss statistics if we truly saw any loss, or even "staying the same" as an acheivement worthy of celebration rather than ONLY celebrating large losses.
The turning point for me in my weight loss attitude, was gained in TOPS (take off pounds sensibly a not-for-profit international weight loss organization - sort of a cheapy WW only you can follow any plan you want).
The club helped me see what REAL success looked like. From the average amount of weight loss each week (not very much, and sometimes we have a net gain - more gains than losses - and it doesn't mean everyone who gained isn't going to ever succeed), to the fact that most people (both those wieth weight to lose and those at their goal weight) have at least one gain every month.
The club also made me see that "not losing" is as much a success as a loss if it's also not-gaining, and that gaining isn't a big deal that dooms me to failure.
We go around the room and announce our losses and gains (our club actually gives the number, which at first I didn't like, but now I love - because no one takes a stick to me if I have a big gain - everyone knows it's normal and doesn't mean I'm doomed to failure).
Whether someone loses nothing, or a lot, we applaude. We don't roll our eyes or look down our noses at the 400 lb person who lost a quarter pound - we applaud. It's an accomplishment that shouldn't be dismissed.
When someone gains, we say sincerely, "We're glad you came," not "Geez, you're a dismal failure, why are you even bothering?"
And yet we DO say those things to ourselves (well, I don't anymore - but it took me 30 years to learn not to).
And I don't think it's coincidental that I stopped regaining when I learned to see and celebrate even the smallest success, and to realize that when it comes to weight loss for many of us there is no small successes - every success, no matter how small is a freakin' extraordinary, super-amazing feat of awesomeness.
And I think THAT'S what it takes to succeed at weight loss permanently - to understand, appreciate, and celebrate the fact that every small victory is a freakin' extraordinary, super-amazing feat of awesomeness.
When you FEEL awesomely successful, you ACT in a way that meets and exceeds your expectiations of success. When you FEEL like a dismal failure, you also act accordingly. We live up to and down to our expectations of ourselves.
It isn't "fear of failure" that results in weight gain, it's the assumption that failure is inevitable, and it's an expectation that we can make a self-fulfilling prophecy. I think celebrating the success of "not gaining" is the way to MAINTAIN weight loss.
I don't think it's a coincidence that "this time" has been different for me, because from the beginning I had decided to see "not gaining" as the biggest accomplishment that even losing paled against. After all, any idiot can LOSE weight for a week or two. It's only the extraordinary that keep it off - and I think largely because we only reward extraordinary weight loss. As soon as it stops being extraordinary, we stop celebrating it. If we celebrate the "not gaining" then we make not gaining important.
It's worked for me. I haven't had a significant regain in eight years - because I stopped seeing "not losing" as a failure nearly equal to the failure of gaining. So if I wasn't losing, I might as well be gaining. Just changeing that belief to seeing "not gaining" as the primary and most important goal has made me "regain proof." Of course, I'm only regain-proof as long as I continue to celebrate "not gaining."