Sunday, September 6, 2015

Get yourself a good Weight Maintenance Support Group- one that has good internet moderation- I recommend Half Size Me Heather

* Note: I am a paying member of the Half Size Me Community and a Patreon Supporter, too. I'm making this recommendation as a happy customer. My opinions are my own.

Support: My 2 cents: One of the required critical steps in long term weight management is support.  Dr. Barbara Berkeley, MD wrote about it in Refusing to Regain (see chapter twelve)  Weight Maintenance Juniors, Seniors, and Mentors are discussed.

Overcoming 40 years of binge eating and at times morbid obesity (age 6-46) is something that requires many tools. One bite and I can be eating off the rails and killing myself slowly. One meal, one day. Food sobriety is no joke and is a matter of life or death for me. I'll have to deal with this every day for the rest of my life. I can't opt out.

One the most important tools in my weight maintenance tool box is support from other people. BOTH getting support and giving support in long term weight maintenance. Keeps your head in the game, either way.

Here are my top reasons why I would recommend the Half Size Me Community and the Weight Maintainers. It's $15 per month and well worth the money, in my opinion. 

Heather Robinson's Half Size Me Community is one stop shopping for a low price. Great Value. As I get older, I would rather pay a small amount for great value than have something free and not so supportive.

Here's what works for me in the Half Sized Me Community:

1. Good Moderation. There are no Spamers or Haterz because it is not tolerated.
2. Growing number of Weight Maintainers who are long term (2+ years into it).
3. Acceptance of Abstaining from sugars and grains, I'm accepted, Paleo-ish, Low Carb is accepted.
4. Private subgroups for many topics that are related
5. Monthly weight maintenance live calls where we can ask each other questions, live!!
6. Weekly, live calls where we can interact with all the group members or listen to topics.
7. Ability to interact with maintainers on the West Coast and Pac Rim time zones.
8. Access to people who are deep into weight maintenance.
9. Structured, predictable schedules. 
10. Good tech support, if needed.

 Here's what didn't work in the past in other groups. Not that they were bad over all, but Heather's Community is more one stop shopping for a low price. Great value.

1. Moderation of online support forums were not adequate or non-existent or worse, cult like! 

2. Not interacting with more people who were 2+ years into weight maintenance, In the past I had two other weight maintenance attempts ( after a 60 pound loss and a 25 pounds loss). 
Interacting with others 2+ years out with Honesty, clarity, and other people who seek to do the hard work are key. In the past, I sought head pats and sugar coating = weight regain.

3. Ah, abstaining. I don't eat sugars or grains. Food sobriety is key. Although many maintenance group members are moderate food eaters, some are abstainers, low carbers, Paleo, Primal, Vegan,  etc. Wide variety of food templates, as required by a wide variety of genotypes, cultures, ages, life experiences.  

I am tolerated as being me in this group. In other groups, I would get told "Everything in moderation or you will binge, eat a cupcake you are in maintenance".  Telling that to a food addict in recovery is like telling an alcoholic to drink light beer instead of Jack Daniels. Harmful and painful all around.  

4. The small break out groups are awesome. I'm sure the long term weight maintainers who are men do not want to hear about hot flashes and menopause. Vegans may not want to read much about a Paleo food template. etc. There are small break out groups on any topics or you can start one. The nice thing is that because it comes via a well curated, moderated group, the people you interact with are vetted.

5.  Oh, the live weight maintenance calls are great. And they are recorded, too

6. The weekly meetings have different topics but are timely and relate to real time struggles from other members or question answering.  Heather does a great job at staying on topic while answering questions.

7. I know I can hop on in the evening or on my commute home (vanpool as a rider, not driver) and seek support or read about the topics. I know others out there are doing the same work I am. Keeps me from my own pitty parties many times.

8. I took advice from weight re-gainers A LOT in the past. Being honest and only seeking advice from active weight maintainers- in real life and online was super key to my own weight maintenance this time around. 

Put it into other (non emotional terms)  If I had been learning personal finance, I would not seek advice to someone who just recovered from bankruptcy, I'd seek advice from someone 2-5 years down their financial recovery road who was not just scraping by, but who had full, document-able recovery.  But not a newbie. I need expert advice.

9. The meetings start on time.

10. Heather's husband is a great tech person, so if you are having difficulty, then it is readily solved.

Below is an ad for the forums. For my readers, what support do you seek?  What has worked, what has not? Have you found great value in paying even a small price for something that has basic enhancements but improves the experience?


  1. Karen, this looks fantastic!!!! Oh my gosh, thank you for sharing. I am going to check into this most definitely. When I started out I worked with an exercise physiologist. She was great but wanted me to maintain at a level too high (I was fairly heavy when I started seeing her). She did help me tremendously for about a year to get my exercise mojo back after I dealt with bad knees.

    Then I tried an online fitness trainer. That was the worst mistake ever. I had to pay money, and she and I were not compatible. I felt the exercises she gave me were way too easy and her approach was based on calories in and calories out for the most part.

    I recently joined a group program more for the fitness videos than anything else. It is a general year long program with new videos and eating ideas each month. I basically disregard the eating because the person preaches moderation and she can get great results from less exercise than I can. But the exercise videos are very good.

    This site just looks wonderful for all the reasons you listed!

    1. Ali, thanks. Don't get me wrong, it's not the biggest abstaining or Paleo or LCHF area out there. But it is one of the largest organized on line and moderated places for weight maintenance. Heather is a moderate, eater herself, yet you will find the traits that others deep in maintenance (Heather is one or two months ahead of me so 3.5 years plus).

      No matter what your style ( and there will be many due to geneotype and phenotype differences- as it should be), if you want to keep vary low variance of +/-5 or +/-10 or even +/- 15 lbs (the more weight you lost, it seems the higher the normal variance at or around goal weight) then it pays to pay a little for the experience of other maintainers.

      With that you'll get younger/older folks. Everyone is very nice. We are all focused on our own stuff. There's a lot outside of food template that is common. For example there are lots of walkers (some runners, too). If I'm having binge urge thoughts, I can say that. Or a difficult situation I don't want to put on the blog- I can talk there. We talk about goals for the month.

      Anyhoo, it is what it is. I do think Heather is also a good coach. She's really super wise to some of the family dynamics, to the sabotage, the habits that keep you at a higher weight when a few habit changes and old methods of coping are tripping you up. It's a good safe place.

      It's over due in the weight maintenance space. And affordable. And no shenanigans.

      Yeah, I can see how other groups might have pieces of what you need, but are not comprehensive.

    2. With all your caveats, it still looks great. I am doing the trial membership. Thank you again for all you do on your blog to share your maintenance. Through you I found the Low Carb Dietician's blog, which I love, especially for its evidence-based approach. She doesn't dumb things down, and I really like that. I know from her site that she is a true expert willing to admit she doesn't have all the answers (I never trust anyone--especially in their professional lives--who will not admit some degree of humility). Through her site I found Jenny Ruhl's book about low carb diets, which I read this weekend. Now that has been a game changer and eye opener for me.

    3. I'm in so now you can see my picture! : )

  2. Sounds interesting I'll have to check her out! Thanks

    1. Suzanne, I do like the format of the group. I use the FB groups the most. There are two, one for paying members only for maintenance. One for non-paying members for maintenance. Then some paying and non-paying break out FB groups.

      I find that within Paleo/Primal there is a less focus on weight, that's cool and as it should be, but I'm just so much better physically and mentally with my tiny bone frame and a middle of the BMI range weight maintenance.

  3. I am sure I have mentioned this - in (I think) 2007 I was looking very hard for other maintainers. A blog, a person in real life, a group. I just wanted someone to give me the straight scoop. I just wanted to KNOW. And at that time, super hard to find.

    Very glad you found something that works. And it sounds very interesting, good fit.

    One of the biggest issues I had was actually in 2009 when I decided to drop more weight. I took a lot of flack for that, in blog land and in real life. One of the people I had the most trouble with was an instructor/trainer I knew well, in real life. She was very fit and thin (no disordered thinking, she was just in great shape). It was as if that was okay for her, but not for me. It was as if I was to stay in the slightly overweight category and not enter her territory. She wasn't the only one. I had problems with people in the thin category I was entering, problems with the slightly overweight category. Problems with the overweight/obese category. And problems with the regainers. No, I was not finding a lot of support. (That is probably when I should have gone private with my blog).

    It might be that great groups were out there, but I was not finding them at that time.

    I learned to be a lone voice, I guess.

    1. Vickie- that must have been so hard. I learned the hard way, that by side bar blog surfing from my regular blogs I list, that all those people were not my friends. For some of them, typically ,they could not do it themselves so off to smear the others who could, would , or were making their way. Make a few suggestions and blam-o you are the weirdo. Not true. Too many miles down denial road for them and normal helpful things cause a ruckus.

      I've had more people sabotage me to my face and say just horrific things. It gives me a chance to set them straight about the facts for me. Then for me to observe their reactions and decide if I want to deal with their specific issue. Are they listening? Are they on my side? Are they operating from a place of narcissism, disorder, or basic adulting skilIs and lack even basic emotional intelligence? I steer clear of the food pushers and weird comments as much as possible

      The behind the back stuff is worse. Ladies, if you are going to the bathroom to snark on me in person, do a shoe check and see if I'm in there.

      I was an obese child in the 1970's. I was alone. Nothing anyone can say or do as an adult can knock me down. The stuff said to me then was just crappy. People meant well, but their words and actions were quite harmful. I'll blog about it at some point.

      Glad you were a lone voice. With the advances in food addiction and the shift to real, whole foods, we should not be alone voices for long. If I could require everyone who SAYS they want to maintain their weight to customize the Refuse to Regain rules from the book(Barbara Berkeley, MD), I would do that. Put the walk into the the talk. Don't TELL us, SHOW us.

      We just need better weight management tools and better customization.

      My work will discount me $40 a month to maintain my weight loss. But a 6 session free consult with a life coach is not adequate. We are talking 1-3 years of deep, deep habit changes, coaching , and customization- IMO.

      Glad you are talking about how hard it was. We all owe all you lone bloggers and long timers a lot.

  4. Hi Karen! I am still a long way from maintenance but for the first time ever I signed up for a 10-week support group with a private FB page and weekly phone-ins and text messaging. It's made a difference in keeping me on track when things get a little tough. As and when I am ready to enter maintenance I will for sure be on the look-out for a group like yours. You are a great mentor yourself!

  5. Kerstin, support is the best. My slippery slope thinking would get the best of me. Nothing like having another person to connect with and focused. Thank you very much!!!! We need more long term mentors around. Each persons's weight maintenance template will be slightly different, however there will be much overlap.

    Putting ourselves in groupings with like minded ( and likely genetically similar) folks who are getting the results that we want is important. So many times the transition to weight maintenance is muddled with challenges that must be addressed. No better people than successful maintainers that are 2-3 years plus into the process. Good luck!!!