What is the best thing you have learned while doing maintenance?

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  • It's almost that time. The time I start maintenance!

    I've been scouring through these threads in the hopes I'll pick little bits up wisdom up from all you lovely people who are making it.

    I see people talking about their personal 'red lines', people with signatures showing the healthy weight range they stay between, everyone seems very active, and just generally healthy. It gives me some stuff to think about.

    So, with all your maintenance wisdom, what's the best thing/things you have learned on this journey?

    I await your knowledge!

    (Can you tell I'm pumped for this?!)
  • It's no different than weight loss. I still have to track my cals, I still have to exercise, I still have to keep a checks and balances on my indulgences. Other than a few extra cals and some additional splurges my life has not changed. I'm still trying to accept that myself.

    It's all worth it though, I LOVE the new me and would never ever go back for anything cookie, piece of cake, pizza or whatever!
  • What I have learned, with much trial and error, is that weight comes back on really fast if I let my guard down and lose track of what I'm doing. And it is not any easier to lose it again.

    I have also learned that the food and exercise plan, whether for maintenance or weight loss, has to be one I can live with--and that may mean having a higher weight as my maintenance weight than I had hoped. This is a very individual thing and has to be adjusted for lifestyle and work life and age and physical ability and so on.

    I may always have to count calories, for example, to know where I'm at. I tried estimating or just keeping a "head count" for awhile, and I found that I tended to forget what I had eaten, with the result that I ate too much in a day. But, perhaps I just need more practice. Hard to say.

    Also, things don't stay the same. It's an ongoing process.

    Jay
  • #1 thing I have learned: I will yo-yo if I am not proactive.

    Much like my weight loss, maint has never had one set plan. I find I have to be willing to adapt my eating, workouts, sleep, water intake as my needs change.

    What I mean by being proactive in this sense, is that I have learned I cant wait until I get bored with my workout, stop going, gain 10lbs, to realize I need a new workout plan. I try to queue them up, so I have options, and when I feel my interest lagging, I proactively switch.
  • I totally agree with JayEll. And what I know is that you cannot get complacent. Maintenance is no different than weight loss, you just don't get the same rewards.
  • I've learned that ultimately, the whole "diet" experience wasn't a temporary change. It was a permanent lifestyle change. I can't just stop my new habits, only to fall back into old ones and end up back at square one.

    I've also learned that it is A LOT easier to put weight on, that it is to lose it.

    I've learned that in order to not feel tired, drained, or just plain blah, I need to stay active, both physically and mentally.

    I've learned that I've been given this great opportunity to live a longer, healthier life, and that in itself makes the "permanent" changes, SO MUCH MORE WORTH IT!
  • No kidding on weight regain! Blink your eyes and bam!

    The most important thing I've learned in maintenance is that the body of a reduced obese person (what the medical/scientific world calls us) is not the same as a person of the same weight who was never obese. Our bodies don't react in the way a never-obese person's does. Because of the many, many biochemical and hormonal changes associated with obesity and weight loss, we're colder, burn fewer calories with exercise, have slower metabolisms, and gain weight faster than someone who was never obese (same gender, age, weight, and height).

    What that means is that the rules of the "normal world" don't apply to us. Metabolic calculators are usually way off for us. We may look "normal" on the outside, but our bodies are very different on the inside. Every fat cell I ever had in my life, I still have. And they're all pumping out hormones to signal me to "eat more! get fat again!" An obesity researcher once told me that a simple blood test (for leptin levels) would reveal that I am a reduced obese person. I may look like a fit chick on the outside, but on the inside, I'm still a fat chick.

    And I'm OK with it! Knowledge is power. If I tried to live like a never-obese person, I'd be constantly frustrated. Why do I have to eat less and exercise more than normal people just to stay the same weight?? Knowing that my body wants to weigh 257 pounds again, strangely enough, gives me peace of mind. Because I know that I'm different than almost anyone I've ever met and none of the "normal" rules apply. I know what I need to do to keep the weight off and it doesn't matter what works for other people or what they think about what I do.
  • This is from Rockinrobin, find the joy and pleasure in this new way of living. So I am constantly looking for ways to find my low cal/reduced carb approach pleasurable. This way I am less tempted to veer off.

    I also record everything I eat (very easy with an iTouch) and weigh daily when at home. No more isle of denial.
  • I've learned everything these wise ladies have already stated.

    Along the lines of what Meg said, I've learned that I can't compare myself to others... ever.. not for a second. I have to do what I have to do to stay this weight.

    I don't care how weird it seems - STILL tracking, STILL planning, STILL exercising, STILL not leaving the house with out *my food* in my pocket book, STILL having rules, STILL, STILL, STILL.. and yes, STILL eating less than *the average* person. I am by no means average. I bet there's not too many people in this world who have gone through exactly what I have. It's therefore up to me to figure out and decipher what it takes to get the job done and continue to get the job done.

    Love this quote, "If it's extraordinary results you're after, extraordinary measures will have to be taken"

    I think it's also very important to NEVER forget where I've come from and just how darn easy it would be to go back there and back there is where I never, ever want to be.

    Along the lines of what Karen said, yes, it's so important to find the joy in this. SO important. I've made this lifestyle a hobby of mine so to speak. I've become passionate about it.

    I've also learned that it must remain a top priority in order for it to work. Which is not a problem - because it IS a top priority to me. I can't possibly get across just how much maintaining my weight loss means to me. I shudder to think about the past, when my weight, my health was not a tippy top priority to me. It seems ludicrous and utterly absurd to me now.

    I have learned so much, too much to write here, but perhaps the best thing I've learned, which was the original question, wasn't it? - is that it is so worth it - and so am I. SO. AM. I.
  • I have to say one more, based on the very wise rockinrobin and Meg

    I dont think my body really has many hold overs from the obese days (hormonal, etc I mean...maybe because I was still in my early 20s??). But my head will always be that of a formerly obese person. I forgot for a few years that I really needed a support group that understand even during maint, understanding and support are KEY. I was walking around doing all those things rockinrobin says about having crazy rules. And I was ok with having them, but frankly I felt isolated and misunderstood.

    Most people that know me now have no idea I used to be literally double my size. They dont know the thoughts I have, the insecurities, the glee from seeing each picture and going "oh yeah Im still healthy and I didnt die from being obese, woooohooooo!!".

    So my big and rather recent learned lesson: seek out those who can empathize (not just sympathize) with your journey and lend you support.
  • Thanks guys

    Reading this thread is what I needed.

    I have decided to actually start maintenance early as of yesterday. I know I'll still have to eat right, I know I'll still have to work out. I just have to make sure *I* know that being at a lower weight doesn't give me a free pass to pig out again, that's how I got fat!

    With wedding planning and everything going on, I can make time for myself still to maintain my weight, I just won't be as focused on losing.

    Weighing daily is important, if I don't weight daily I know I will gain back.

    Thanks for all your wisdom! I'm going to come back and read this every once in awhile to make sure it's crammed into my head.
  • Quote: Thanks guys

    Reading this thread is what I needed.

    I have decided to actually start maintenance early as of yesterday. I know I'll still have to eat right, I know I'll still have to work out. I just have to make sure *I* know that being at a lower weight doesn't give me a free pass to pig out again, that's how I got fat!

    With wedding planning and everything going on, I can make time for myself still to maintain my weight, I just won't be as focused on losing. Weighing daily is important, if I don't weight daily I know I will gain back.

    Thanks for all your wisdom! I'm going to come back and read this every once in awhile to make sure it's crammed into my head.
    Ummm. Finding the Maintenance "sweet spot" took me MONTHS to figure out. It was harder and more time consuming than the losing stage of my healthy diet. With losing I knew exactly what I needed to eat and what I needed to do to take off the pounds. Maintenance...well not so much. Personally, I think if you are under a little stress, like planning a wedding, it's going to be easier to just keep going on your weight loss. (Also, don't forget wedding dress alterations are very expensive! and eaiser to take in than let out! )
  • Maintenance "Sweet Spot"
    Chiming in here to say that....

    I've spent almost 5 years maintaining,
    and have never yet found a "sweet spot".

    Initially I decided on a "normal" weight-range,
    worked hard to reach it,
    and have been working like Heck to stay there.
    If a "sweet spot" exists, I sure hope that someday I'll find it.
  • For me, maintenance includes a little indulgence and a good deal of abstinence.

    I enjoy my food plan and the benefits it brings me.

    As I grow older, I find I need to make sure that the foods I eat are nutrient-dense. I find my meals satisfying and my WOE calm.

    Rest, daily exercise, tending a mindful, quiet life, prayer/meditation and choosing very consciously what I eat are key.

    I have found Dr. Kurt Harris' website, PaleoNu, of tremendous help. Also, Barry Grove's site.

    I feel better than I ever have, and, find that attentiveness to nutrition and health is part of daily life.
  • Quote: Ummm. Finding the Maintenance "sweet spot" took me MONTHS to figure out. It was harder and more time consuming than the losing stage of my healthy diet. With losing I knew exactly what I needed to eat and what I needed to do to take off the pounds. Maintenance...well not so much. Personally, I think if you are under a little stress, like planning a wedding, it's going to be easier to just keep going on your weight loss. (Also, don't forget wedding dress alterations are very expensive! and eaiser to take in than let out! )
    I've been phasing into maintenance this past month, and I have to agree, it takes a lot of planning/thinking/trial and error to find the elusive "sweet spot". I've never tracked my calories, nutrient, and exercise so closely as I have now that I am trying to figure out my maintenance calorie range.