Sunday, February 1, 2015

A "crap ton of work" approach to not regaining the weight: I weigh in my own opinion and advice

Weight loss: There are many different ways to lose weight. Pick one. Do that. Check with your doctor somewhere along the way. You do NOT have to sustain weight loss, you have to sustain weight maintenance... There! I said it.

Many people will re-gain the weight post weight loss. The Biggest Loser's are not alone, just more in the public eye. Some people will not regain the weight. 5-20% won't, so you can choose to be a weight maintainer. *** Maybe***If you are willing to do a lot or even a little work and deep digging.

*** Depending on genetics and life circumstances, it may not be a choice you can fully make. Double copies of all the obesity genetics, tossed in with depression or other diseases.. well, I understand it goes beyond choice, way beyond calories in calories out, and the low fat snack food industry will try to sell you****  = It's complicated!!!!

Read what Doctor Berkeley thinks about it here:
     Dr. Berkeley's Article - When Public People Regain

There's not enough study, self experimentation, science, support in weight maintenance- in my opinion. If you do get to a goal weight, the next steps are the wild west. You'll hear so many different opinions your head will spin, you will exclaim- WHAT THE HECK!

My Best advice:  NOTE: this is what worked for me, it won't necessarily work for YOU. That's the hard part- customizing your own approach.

1. What worked for me:  Paleo-ish/Primal/Low Carb High Fat/Abstaining from grains and sugar approach. There are many different ways to maintain your loss, but based on genetics, past experiences, past diseases, age, menopause, allergies, you WILL have to experiment. You will have to change up your plan as you age. It's complex for many people.

 My opinion: Think weight maintenance is sustainable using what you used for weight loss and early weight maintenance? Maybe yes, but probably NO WAY.  Maybe YES WAY, if you are young and genetically lucky.  Good for you, easy maintainers- high five!

I'm one of the NO WAY people. I had to do a lot of work post weight loss to make weight maintenance work. High ten to those of you having to do this sort of change management.

I made 6 key changes over 3 years. 6 shifts.

2. What worked: 6 month shifts : Each 6 months over the last 3 years, I've had to test, re-test, change up my food template, my thought process, get help, remove things that weren't helpful.  I've had to do things other people HATE. My disease is their recovery. My recovery is their disease. That's okay.  I'm alive today because I did stuff that was right for me. No apologies.

 My opinion: If we look at the rates of re-gain after major loss, NO WAY will you maintain unless you can craft something that a what works for you approach. You are going to have to do a crap ton of work to maintain until you reach 3- 5 years post loss, according to statistics, what I've observed.

Example of " My personal crap ton of work"



My advice:  Several tactics in weight maintenance will work better for you. Find a few weight maintainers who are 3-5 years into weight maintenance and they are or have been steady THAT long. About 25% of them will match some or many habits, processes, experiences that you'll need.

Take what you need for yourself, leave the rest of their plan behind. Make your own plan. 

Here's a list of weight maintainers that I follow. (link) Make your own plan, but do seek out and question other people who are 3-5 years into solid weight maintenance.  SOLID in their processes. Truth!


What didn't work for me in the past:
1. Not respecting the inflammatory and food sensitivity of grains or sugars: 

Moderating grains/sugars + Auto Immune thyroid disease + menopause+ Food Addiction = crazy high inflammation + morbid obesity+ pit of misery

2. Getting too much advise from mainstream:

Not learning about other ways of maintenance from people who were  3-5 years into it.
Also taking too much advice from people who were actually re-gaining and not maintaining. Yeah, moderators. Love you, but I can't do that... I'm done re-gaining. DONE!

3. Not changing fast enough: 

I spent way too long, way , way too long trying to make other people's plans work for me.

 Okay, I hope this makes sense... feel free to leave your 2 cents below and bring your soap box. Biggest Loser, Public Weight re-gain, moderating vs abstaining, - let it rip!


22 comments:

  1. Really good post, Karen. I think you are so right that we need to switch things up constantly. Once we get lower on the scale in terms of weight, things change and we need to be stricter and make plans for what is different. What I have found in maintenance (and further weight loss I hope) is how to deal with injuries because I have been dependent on exercise to lose weight and keep it off. I have dealt with several injuries in the past year, and these injuries have forced me to look at how I eat and modify my exercise plan. The old me would have just thrown in the towel. I know someone who recently lost 16 pounds in January alone from eating and doing a lot of exercise. With that kind of weight loss I wonder how you can sustain it in the long run. Quick fixes do not always work.

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    1. Ali, the first thing I did the first summer of weight maintenance was to boggie board in the ocean with neighbors. Broke a toe or two right off the bat! Ouch. Sometimes the injuries help us look at the other things (food template, etc)

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    2. It's like you read my mind! The blow dryer fell on my toe over two weeks ago, and I think I might have broken it!

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  2. Great post! I love all of the information you provide on how you did it and what works for you. Thanks for sharing all you do.

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    1. Thank you E.Jane. I'll miss your blog posts- read them all, but often in the carpool and not able to respond... Hope you'll stop by from time to time.

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  3. I am so proud of you Karen. I was in my goal range for 5 years and then started dealing with "bullying" at work (1 year so far) and it took me out and I gained 15 lbs. I am now "back at it" and am within 7 lbs of goal again. And you are inspiring me. I also read a LOT to keep me inspired. It IS a lifestyle. You keep on keeping on and I'll continue to follow and cheer and DO IT TOO! I'm also doing some more healing with reading "Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat" by Michelle May. I'm "back" to grain/sugar free and following my template, but I'm learning to listen to my emotions and my body's hungry/satisfied more than I ever have. It's going to be a GREAT year!

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    1. KCalla- thank you!!! Glad you are back on your food template. I find that to be one of my top tools in long term. Cheering you on for the next steps. Great year indeed!

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  4. Great post! During this 2nd year of maintaining my weight, it's coming to terms with a body that now no longer allows, happily, for any variation off my normal eating plan. I used to be able to get away with it even 2-3 months ago. No longer. Items that I can emotionally moderate (are not trigger foods for me)...I can't PHYSICALLY eat anymore. The body is too used to truly perfect/clean eating, that any variation causes a major stomach ache and therefore inflammation. Gonna write about that today myself. It is a journey. But that's actually cool; who wants to stagnate?

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    1. Gwen, I know you'll find your way! Kudos to you for the n=1

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  5. Great post Karen. Thank you for sharing your progress and stages.

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  6. I have been reading about the "biggest losers" who have regained their weight - it's all too common. Weight maintenance is hard and it is for life. Once we accept that we can never eat the way we used to then that's a start. It has to be a total life change forever. I suppose it just comes down to what is more important and for me not being obese is very important. Health is my main driver though. It can be done and it's so good that people like you are blogging about it and people can see it is possible to maintain.

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  7. Awesome post Karen. I LOVE how you break things down like this - and it's hard truth for many to take, but this is truly a lifestyle change. I will never be "done" with this. I'm still floundering a bit, and have a few more pounds I want to lose, but it's been a learning year for me. How many times do I have to tell myself that no, I can't have "just a bite". It starts off a string of cravings. It's so refreshing that you are addressing the "moderation myth". Many may be able to take this approach, but I would guess that many more can't. There are truly some things that I can never eat again. And sometimes that finality is tough to hear. But it's so true - thank you!!!

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    1. Never done! Indeed Jess. It is tough to hear. I think it took me awhile to accept it, then go through the physical withdrawals and then the emotional withdrawals... You are not alone!

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  8. I definitely agree that weight maintenance is kind of like the "Wild West"! So much has changed since I hit my goal weight... I couldn't "diet" forever. That's when I found clean eating (unprocessed) and paleo... I wasn't finding it easy to maintain on reduced portions of the SAD diet!

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    1. Oh, Yeah! Wild West Jeanette. Age, hormonal status, my own slippery slope thinking.

      I feel guilty when I think back to trying to maintain on my old SAD... so hungry!

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  9. Re evaluation every 6mos is really good advise. I have used quarterly change ups and that has really helped me.

    Yes, 3-5 year maintainers can have helpful perspectives. But very few have been making it past 5 years with their habits and maintenance intact. So have to be very careful in who one listens to. I have seen a lot who were losing when I was originally, back sliding at the five year mark.

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    1. Vickie- yes... looking at more than weight, but blood work, sleep, stress and anxiety reduction. Quarterly is great, too! Long enough to evaluate, tweek the changes a bit..

      I've got my next 4, half years in my mind- long term and short term goals. I've got to thank my maintainers in real life who told me to hop on that scale daily (oh, the people who hate that), but I'm still wearing my original clothes. I could slip at any meal or between any meal, so I'm pretty mindful. I pray that my higher power will help me see what to focus on in each half year.

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    2. Changing up exercise was one of my quarterly things. Changes fit the weather. Kept me interested.

      My quarterly thinking had me realize I needed to drop dairy for good. You are right, 6 mos is good for blood work, etc. Quarterly is good for food elimination trial, etc.

      Three days is my rule for feeling like I am sinking (blaaas, rumination, sads, nightmares, upsettedness).

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  10. Well my comment is going to be short and sweet (as the saying goes)

    Another great post Karen - thanks.

    All the best Jan

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  11. Very nice of you to share all your experience and advice! It's trial and error for all of us, but it's nice to see what's worked for others. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you Jan and HappinessSavouredHot

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