Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Transition from weight loss to weight maintenance- tools- 90 day opt out- be a student

Transition from weight loss to weight maintenance.

Probably the one of the most important times for someone who has yo-yo dieted. The beginning of the end of weight loss. The beginning of the next phase of the rest of life as a thinner person.  Food, emotions, new habits, living life in a new body, maintaining the loss. Transition was exiting and a little stressful.

Weight maintenance was something that escaped me- for 40 years! I was exhausted from trying. People often say: "I don't want to white knuckle this". Me neither, so back to planning the first year.

Being on a packaged weight loss plan and with my prior experiences at regaining while counting points at Weight Watchers, I knew I'd have to do something different. There are as many ways to maintain weight as there are people. Lots of paths, the only one I needed to pick was the one that was best for me. Like PC or Mac- one is going to be better for me than the other.

I choose Mac, Feb 2012
  I developed plans and tools to tackle the first 90 days, 180 days, and the rest of the first year. Leave blame and failure modes behind. Look at what is effective, become a student in YOU.

Overall Goal #1 : Maintain the first year. Regaining more than 5-10 lbs was not an option.

Training tool  #1 : Book from an expert, be a student!
Planning: After reading the Refuse to Regain book (Barbara Berkeley, MD) AND knowing that gluten was likely contributing to my emotional/binge eating, it was time to plan the first 90 days.

Mini-goal #1: 90 day opt out from the Refuse to Regain book. No grains, very little processed sugar, no starchy food. BE TOUGH, not moderate. The food that got me overweight was not going to help me in the first 90 days!

Tool: Structure :I could recognize  that moderation of junk was going to get me into weight gain pretty fast. Ignoring past history would send me right back up the scales-AGAIN. Repeating the past was a form of white knuckling it. It's emotionally draining to repeat the past.  I thrive on structure. Having structure worked well for me. I started the 90 day opt out the day I hit goal weight.  No fiddle farting around, no cheese cake celebration, no snickers bars because they fit into points range. All of that got me overweight in the first place!

A few weeks after I hit maintenance, I jogged across the bridge from Augusta, Georgia into South Carolina. There is literally a line in the bridge.  I crossed that line, mentally and physically. Feeling happy, scared, but confident I would find what works.  Next up- being a student in weight transition, learning to eat real food again. That was training tool #2.
What worked:
1. Reading about weight maintenance about 2-3 months before reaching it.
2. Planning to succeed at weight maintenance. I was the 5%
3. Discarding past behaviors, habits, foods
4. Setting up a structured plan from day 0.

What did not work in the past
1. Not studying about what worked for weight maintenance (sorry a 20 page pamphlet from WW is NOT going to get me the details I need for planning to be successful  with a 95% failure rate). What. Was. I. Thinking!? I was not thinking! Not planning! I was the 95%
2. No plans for maintenance, other than going to my WW meeting. Then ditching when I gained wait. No root cause analysis.
3. Going back to the behaviors, habits, foods that caused me to gain weight!!! Huge issue here.
4. Celebrating weight maintenance with... food!

When I jogged across that bridge in Georgia, I did not know what was on the other side. I found something funny and something beautiful. I found a building that looked like the town hall from the movie Back to the Future. Then I saw a great sunset on the Savannah River.  Weight transition was so worth it.
I need a nuclear reaction to generate the 1.21 gigawatts of electricity..

Savannah River- sunset


  1. You are a Champion Karen (and not just because you chose Mac...ha!). Thanks for your many words of encouragement, and having integrity. Keep it up woman!

    And I love that Savannah River photo!

  2. I devour your information. Gobble gobble on the wisdom. :D

  3. Thanks, Becca and Marion. On the soap box a little bit. Super important for me to review what, why, and how I did it. Slipping back to the old way seemed to happen so fast. Thank you both for your blogs, too.

  4. I chose Mac too :) Interesting isn't it that prior to this we have never known how to maintain. It was simply not an option, we somehow knew we'd always regain the weight. I'm maintained now for one year and it is surreal at times. But as you say, you have to opt out of some foods. Sometimes I look around and see others who are fine who eat the foods that got me fat - that is them and I am me. I know I can't have those foods, end of story.

  5. Very good post. I hope people HEAR what you are saying, because it is very true.

    I think about the percentages a lot in daily life. Because we move from one set of percentages (who was thinner than I was when I walked into any store) to another (who is heavier than I am when I walk into any store). And then there is the maintenance percentage you mention - BEING the 5%.

    I personally think a 10 lb UP leeway is too much. I think 2 lbs is ideal in maintenance. Even 5 lbs is pushing it, in my opinion.

    I am going to give WW the benefit of the doubt and assume they mean well, but their philosophies get a heck of a lot of people into trouble. They do not take food addiction nor insulin resistance nor realities of maintenance into account (at all).