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How do you know when to stop?

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Old 03-13-2013, 10:41 PM   #1
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Default How do you know when to stop?

I am currently at about 177 lbs, give or take a pound or two based on water weight, TOM, scale imperfections, etc. I started my journey wanting to get to 170 then changed to 164 to reflect the maximum "normal" BMI weight for my height.

I have to temporarily maintain for therapy purposes (it is strange though that I'm losing now when I'm trying to maintain,NAND when I was actively trying to lose a few months ago I couldn't shed much weight at all). Maybe it is the body image therapy I'm going through, but I'm starting to feel like I can live with myself at my current weight.

I'm just tired of putting so much energy and thought into weight loss and thinking about my weight in general. While I still have a gut, I will probably still have it 13 pounds lower. And I worry that I am starting to look older, tired, and sort of worn down. While the stomach is bigger than I would like, I can see all the rib bones in my chest area. My upper body, while saggy, is rather muscular and lean.

On the other hand, getting to 164 would be good because it would get me in normal weight territory - important for insurance purposes. And for all I know, I will look better, and I will be able to possibly shop in the Misses section rather than the plus size section. I am sort of at an awkward size now; 16W is a little too loose but I'm not quite ready for 14 regular.

And 170 is a nice round number

My vitals (blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, triglycerides) are all good.

How did you decide when to just stop and work permanently on maintenance? All I know is that I can deal with 164, or 170, or 177...I just never want to see 331 again!
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:59 AM   #2
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I have found, for insurance at least, that there is no cost penalty so long as the BMI is in the overweight range or lower. Just FYI, it may vary between providers and states, though.

As for how to decide, that is a toughie. If getting the additional weight off isn't an epic struggle I'd do so, see if you like that size, and then adjust as needed. If it is proving challenging then I'd be much more cautious in pursuing that number, when in reality the one you are at is not far removed and seeking something lower may cause you more stress than needed. That's my .02
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:52 AM   #3
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I agree with Arctic Mama one hundred per cent.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KittyKatFan View Post
I'm just tired of putting so much energy and thought into weight loss and thinking about my weight in general.
I hear you! I've been feeling like this for much of 2013. It's really difficult to get closer to the end and realize there's not really a definite bright line - only an ever-changing notion of what you can live with. The squishy ambiguity - "stop here? keep going? stop here?" is hard. Though I'm within normal BMI limits now, I really relate to what you've written - I'm feeling a bit stuck between sizes, and though I can tell there's plenty left to lose, I'm lookin' at my bony collar bones... but most of all, while I have all this back-and-forth going on, I've become okay enough with what I see in the mirror that it's hard to keep going. And I'm just drained of having this be the #1 focus.

I think diet burn-out is a very real thing and can often be the precursor to big regains. Recognizing a certain level of mental exhaustion and stepping back to just maintain for a bit may be the healthiest response one can have at that point. At least, that's what I tell myself.

I've been in this spot for about 2 months now and so far I've been maintaining great. It's been a good learning experience/training for the long haul. It probably depends highly on what someone's triggers/trouble spots are, but for me, learning to maintain has been as important (or more important) than learning how to lose.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:57 PM   #5
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I can't speak from personal experience, but from reading here, it seems like a lot of people find their body balances out over time after a large loss. So things that seem overly thin and bony will still change a bit as your body adjusts to your new weight and size.

As for whether to stop - for me, clothing size will be a very big factor. I definitely want to fit comfortably into non-plus sizes. However, it's possible that a good approach for that might be to work more on fitness rather than worrying about the scale. You may be able to lose enough of a clothing size to get into those 14s regardless of whether you continue to lose scale weight.

However, having said all of this, I'm not sure that maintenance will equal no longer having to put a lot of thought and energy into weight. As a major yo-yo dieter, I know for me, that as soon as I stop putting that conscious focus, I start regaining. I am not saying maintenance is the exact same as losing weight, but realistically, I don't expect it to be dramatically different either.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:13 PM   #6
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It is all a matter of what you feel you can live with happily.

As long as you are healthy and your PCP thinks your weight is not impacting your health in a negative way....then it's a matter of personal preference.

The world is filled with many beautiful flowers of all shapes,textures and forms.
I enjoy and appreciate the variety ...why should people be any different.
In my garden I like diversity as long as a plant has good roots and not invading on other species and provides beauty .... I enjoy it's structure and form.

We all come in different sizes and shapes,,I can not make myself taller but I wish I could but I can reconfigure the package...and that's what I have done.
Good Luck, Roo2
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:14 PM   #7
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Here is one of the problems, I understand that you're tired of thinking about your weight, but thinking about your weight and your food intake is going to be part of your life forever if you're going to keep the weight off. Going into maintenance isn't going to magically change your thinking; in a lot of ways it's harder because there is no set in stone eating plan, there is a lot more flexibility and you get to deal with the challenges that come with that.

That last ten or fifteen pounds will result in a lot of substantial changes to your body. I looked completely different on a weekly basis towards the end of my weight loss. The whole thing was kind of fascinating and I think you're just getting to that part. I'd hate for you not to reach that. However, I'd get myself to 170 and worry about it then. You may not see enough change to make the effort worthwhile or it may be enough change that you're excited again about getting to 164.

Also consider what effect any extra skin is having on the actual number. If you have a substantial amount, then that may affect what number you should strive for.

Either way, you've been amazing successful and congratulations!
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:23 PM   #8
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There's something about the maintenance transition for me that I'm having a really hard time articulating, but want to find a way to share...

In past weight loss attempts, I regained for a couple reasons: I ran out of steam before I got to goal, and then the growing gap between sky-high desire and lower levels of action created a negative spiral that encouraged me to get away from being mindful of my weight altogether. And/or something else came up in life that made it impossible for me to devote as much time and attention to my weight loss.

In either case, it's been my experience so far that when weight loss isn't #1 for me, I regain. But I don't think this has to be true for me. I think it probably does have to be #1 for me to lose weight, but for maintenance, I'm trying out the idea that it's OK if it's not #1 as long as it stays on my list. Holding onto the thread of conscious awareness seems like the key. I'm trying to learn a middle ground where my awareness and actions are at a sustainable level.

Instead of turning off the weight loss soundtrack to life, I'm trying to just turn down the volume. I know now that for me, the music needs to keep playing - but my hope?theory? is that it doesn't have to be so loud as to drown out everything else.

For someone with a different history, the answer to "when to stop?" might be "keep going!" But it seems to me that a lot of us here are very good at learning how to lose. It's the learning how to stay in a sustainable maintenance range that proves the more elusive challenge.
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:03 PM   #9
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That is a good point, Robin. I actually think about food and weight MORE diligently when maintaining than losing, because of the balancing act of staying within my weight window. I do have more flexibility, which means I have to be even more aware of what the feedback is from my body or I can easily slip too high, whereas losing was just a matter of a simple deficit. Maintenance is like losing but with less scale victories and more 'meh, time to adjust!'
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:25 PM   #10
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Hey Kittykatfan, congrats on your amazing loss.

There as been some great advise here, but my two cents would be to remember that weight loss is a long term project. I got to 150 about a year ago, while I wanted to eventually get to 140, I maintained in the 150s for about ten months before I started again recently. One day I just realized I was ready again. For me, I think the break was a good thing and what ever you decide now doesn't have to be permanent. You can change your mind whenever you want.
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:03 PM   #11
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Just because you stop for a while doesn't mean you can't come back to it in the future.

Take a break - practice maintaining. In a week, or a month, or a year ... you can decide you want to lose more.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:11 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone.

I am definitely trying to maintain now. I didn't mean to imply that I thought my focus on weight was going to magically end when I reach maintenance; I just meant from a body acceptance standpoint that I'm tired of having the way I look be a controlling factor in my life forever, like I constantly feel the need to have to improve upon myself.

Funny, weight was coming off slowly when I was pushing hard to lose. Now tat I am trying to maintain by upping calories and reducing exercise just a bit, my weight keeps dropping! 7 pounds in just over two and a half weeks.
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