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M is for Maintenance- that is good enough for me!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

M is for Maintenance. There was a song on one of the children's tv shows that we used to watch years ago that went something like that. I have the tune in my head, but I can't think of what exactly they were singing about but I thought I would sing about maintenance this morning.
After all the work that you put into losing the weight and changing your lifestyle, you would think that maintenance is the easiest thing in the world right?
You have retrained your brain so all should go smoothly, you would think.
Maintenance is and it isn't easy.. That answer seems a bit strange doesn't it.
Let's talk about why it is easy.
You know what you should do. You know how much you should eat. You have followed the guidelines that SP set for you for how many calories per day you should eat and continues to do so during maintenance as well.
You have found a love(hopefully) for exercise and have found so many different ways to burn calories. You like to walk or run or do zumba or the elliptical.(OK, the elliptical is a hard one to love) but you do it because of the way it makes you feel when you are done, which is great and like you have had a great workout.
You have found a new way to love eating fresh fruits and veggies. You have all kinds of new recipes that are lower calorie and delicious. You know how to eat things in moderation and the correct portion.
So what can go wrong, why does it become hard?
Maybe because eating the right portion can become hard or not eating some of the types of foods you put on the back burner as only once in while items like pizza and fast food and you decide you can start eating more of those things. And you can, but keep in mind that you should still track either mentally or for real because if you start eating more than you should, the weight will come back on.
Tracking food and exercise becomes tedious.
You don't want to make time for exercise anymore because you don't think you really need to do it, the weight will just stay off.
Because you don't think you need the support of SP any longer.
I gained a couple of pounds during this time, and those 2 to 3 pounds can really play mind games with me. I know that it is just a number on the scale, and nobody but me can see those 2 to 3 pounds but it still really messes with me. I know that I have still lost between 40 and 45 pounds and kept it off, that I can run a 5K and walk/run a 10k, I can exercise for a couple of hours at a time, that I am strong and that I am healthy
So that is why I stay with SP, why I track my food and continue with my exercise. Because I need the support of all of you to keep me on track to be able to do this for life.
It isn't always easy, some days I would really like to eat more of what I am serving, but then I drink more water and say, ok do you really want more, are you really hungry, or is it just that it tastes so good. If i am still really hungry and I have the calories left for the day, I will eat a little more, usually a 1/2 portion but sometimes I know that it is just the fact that it is there and it tastes so good. So I do not eat anymore. It is discipline that will get us through this so maybe I should have written about D is for discipline, that is good enough for me!
And by the way, as I was writing this, I remember the song, it was the one cookie monster sang, C is for cookie, that is good enough for me and I think they have now changed it on Sesame Street to Veggie Monster! That actually says a lot for what they are trying to get kids to eat these days.
Have a great Sunday and keep on spreading the spark everywhere you go!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I am late in reading this blog but wanted to let you know I find it so useful. I have always been successful with dieting. I have never been successful with maintenance.

    Most of the reasons you list for why things go wrong have applied to me in the past. I think I might have finally learned my lesson. I actually spend a lot of time mentally preparing myself for maintenance probably as much time as I spend focusing on weight loss execution.
    I know I cannot stop tracking completely. I know that it's a slippery slope to give in to cravings for sweets and such. I know I need to keep a commitment to exercise. I know I need to stay connected to this community.
    I thank you and all the other maintainer's that stick with Spark and provide encouragement and advice for what I believe is the absolute hardest part. Health and fitness is truly a journey, not a destination.
    1819 days ago
    LOL I loved that song growing up!!! OH I looked it up he's not going to change to the veggie monster but he did change his eating habits...now he says that a cookie is a sometimes food!
    1863 days ago
    Very emoticon ! M is for maintenance. C is for consciousness. V is for vigilance. D is for determined. S is for success. Now I have the tune in my head.
    1867 days ago
  • EILEEN828
    I've gone through a 60lb weight loss before, kept it off for three years and then it just crept back on. I'm working on this as we speak. I've ballooned up to 247 and was stuck for a long time. Then I took off about 32lbs, and then stalled again. That would be about now. But as I read your blog, I spotted many of the tricks you've learned and so I'm glad to see them affirmed. As I reapply myself to the steps I need to take and they are many, I'm glad to know that most likely this time it will be for good. I've learned significant steps that are sometimes specific to my body only, like certain allergies to specific food items, but that make a difference. I've also had to unlearn some bad habits, like drinking too much or a least too consistently things like alcohol and sugar. These have been big steps for me to change and so I admit I had to back up and tackle them one at a time before I could take them all on in concert. I'm glad to say that I'm embarking on a new push to try the "concert"and get a few more permanent lbs off. This is slower overall and maybe not the best healthwise because very overweight should be mitigated sooner rather than later, but nevertheless I feel this slower "learn to acclimatize to the new body" is working better for me. No bounce backs just working on it till I mentally effortlessly fall into line because now it's what I know and it's my new norm. I'm working the maintenance AS part of the plan. Wrong word as I don't follow too many specific "plans", just what actually works for me. Your right about the one key tip to automatically work to eliminate any pound or two on as a step down the wrong path. It's been key to the "permanent" part. Thanks for the blog.
    1870 days ago
    Holly, you are so inspiring. I was away from Spark for a month. Just too overwhelmed with life. I did manage to stay in a 2 pound range but I am glad to be back for the support to continue on this journey! You have so much to be proud of, and you are just like all of us... knowing that we have to do this forever.

    Have a great day

    1871 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14903239
    emoticon Holly for sticking with SP! Great blog as usual!!! You are always an encouragement to all of us! Through ups and downs on all our journeys with the weight loss and maintaining we know it takes the support of others to keep us going!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    1872 days ago
    Maintenance is difficult, so I commend you for your success and for how you deal with the challenges of what seems to be a simple thing.

    I have fallen off the maintenance wagon so many times in my life. And yet, I'm willing to work toward this goal...to maintain a healthy lifestyle where I take care of me. I haven't reached my goal yet. I'm stuck, but okay with that. I made it through the holiday season without really losing ground (well, maybe two-three pounds), but I'm on a mission to make this time work.

    So, you're an inspiration (that's evident from the comments left on your blog). Thanks for sharing your journey and encouragement with all of us.

    emoticon emoticon
    1872 days ago
    Awesome blog, Holly. emoticon
    1873 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15169916
    Hi Holly,
    I am sure your words will be helpful to those who are in maintenance with you as well as to those of us who are on our journey there. I have a good friend who has gained and lost 100 pounds 3 times. I know how horrible it is on her body. I see the danger signs when she isn't exercising, or isn't logging her food. The creep happens, first just 3-5 pounds, which turns into 15-20, and then before you know it, she is right back at the beginning, and many times with even more weight then she started with. I am GLAD that you are aware of those 2-4 pound gains. I am also very GLAD that you are here at Sparkpeople. Your contributions here are valued by many, sage wisdom that is shared, friends that delight in knowing you. I look at SP as some people look at AA. People who have a drinking problem, no matter how long they stay sober, always stand a chance at relapsing. I think it is the same for those of us who are overweight, or have been overweight. We haven't had a healthy relationship with food, and even though people reach maintenance, there is always that risk to go back to the old ways. I think being here, continuing to log food and exercise is the best thing a person can do, be accountable. No one wants to go back to the way they were, and by checking in daily, it keeps us all on our toes, right where we need to be! I can't tell you how depressing it is to see these great success stories, and the people are no where to be found, not active on the site. Having someone like you around as PROOF it can be done, really lifts the spirits for those of us that NEED THAT HOPE and INSPIRATION! I am thankful for you and for taking the time to write such a nice blog!

    Warmly, Nancy in Kansas emoticon emoticon
    1873 days ago
    Great blog!
    1874 days ago
  • BLUEJAY1969
    Thank you so much for writing this. I know it's about maintaining but I needed a kick in the pants about food tasting good and this did it for me! Just because it tastes good does not mean I need to eat it! I usually do really good but just here lately...... 'nuf said!
    1874 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon Thank you for sharing.
    1874 days ago
    Everybody is saying how maintenance is the most difficult part, and I am so glad you are writing about your experience. Indeed, without discipline, it will be impossible to maintain weight loss and success... But I like how you say that sometimes, you do have a little more of what you love to eat, when you have enough calories left and you know you can... It shouldn't be about being constantly deprived either, otherwise it is impossible to stay strong.
    Here is to happily letting these 2-3 pounds go (much much more in my case, but I am so glad they are finally going!)! Thank you Holly.
    1874 days ago
    I am on a semi-spark break but I am still trying to follow my plan because u r right the weight can and will sneak right back on. emoticon
    1874 days ago
  • ANGGEL40
    Maintance is hard but so worth it....nothing is easy but making the right choices and being discipline is the key..also being true to yourself...thanks for sharing! emoticon
    1874 days ago
    Thank you for this awesome blog. It hit the nail on the head. Maintenance is not easy which really is the same as life. I too will stick to Spark People. Logging in, tracking both fitness and food intake, supporting other Sparkers as we continue this journey of keeping fit and healthy. emoticon
    1874 days ago
    Thank you for your blog. It shows the reality of being in maintenance. Not easy, but worth it. I can totally relate to what you said. Sometimes I wake up and say to myself, do I have to keep doing this for the rest of my life?!!? I don't even answer my question. Just ignore my thought and wake up to hit the hiking routine. Afterwards I feel like a million bucks. The same goes with food, only for today I will over do it! Not a chance, it has been difficult to get to this point to let it all go.
    1874 days ago
    Nice blog. One of the most confident and happy people I've known was a woman in TOPS that had been maintaining for 25 years. Have a great Sunday!
    1874 days ago
    What a fabulous blog Holly! You are such an inspiration to all of us on Sparks! I have been on maintenance around 20 years now! Maintenance for me is still very difficult! The key for maintenance for me is trying to eat healthy and logging everything I put in my mouth and logging my exercise! You motivate me every day to do better! Thank you for being you! I think you are wonderful! Wishing you and your honey a day full of lots of love and happiness!
    Hugs and love,
    1874 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/11/2015 11:51:06 AM

    Make Today the Greatest Day of Your Life

    emoticon Until Tomorrow!

    1874 days ago
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