Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Maintenance has been an INCREDIBLY rocky road for me. Losing thirty pounds over almost two years was "easy." Maintaining that loss, and maintaining the joy and determination that went with that process has been much, much harder.

I don't want to say that I've turned a corner, because part of the difficulty has been the need to see corners and turning points where there are none. I can't measure this process by pounds dropped anymore and other intangible milestones, no matter how much I value them, have not been the right sort of carrot.

Still, I'm feeling optimistic today and part of it is being able to say it: Maintenance is hard. What helped me this week was finding a particularly inspiring blog post (not on Spark) by a girl about my age who is also in the maintenance phase of significant weight loss. I was looking at a recipe on her blog for mini homemade cinnamon rolls (I'm having a dessert party for a friend's wedding this weekend) and I saw that the blog sidebar included a section titled "My Exercise History."


Reading her story, I felt like I was reading bits and pieces of my own. The advice that hit me the hardest comes at the end of the series. It's long, but read the whole thing. It is worth it if you're in maintenance. It is worth it if you'll be there one day. I would repeat the words here, but they have a particular impact in the context of this wonderfully candid and encouraging story.

I have to be candid...I do not think Spark has enough resources for maintenance. I don't say that to excuse my difficulties, I say that for put those difficulties into perspective. Spark has some resources and what is there is thoughtful and good. And of course the trackers and community are still here for anyone, maintaining or losing. But maintenance is not a focus of this site, and it is such an important part of being healthy. Even a lifestyle-change focused diet changes in all kinds of complicated ways when maintenance starts. If you are in maintenance or if you will be there, start imagining it now. And read the blog series!
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  • no profile photo CD12445598
    You can do it!
    3242 days ago
  • _CYNDY55_
    I reached my goal weight in December of 2011. Maintenance has worked well for me. It isn't complicated at all.
    My nutrition tracker keeps me right where I want to be, along with walking...and exercise.
    There are a few articles and topics about maintenance on the site.
    You are right it is not a focus of the site.

    Great emoticon blog!
    3286 days ago
    Spark is all the motivation I need.
    I've been maintaining for several years.
    No, it's not easy, as there definitely are different "tricks" for maintenance than there are for weight loss, but I found that if I adjust my calorie range for maintenance I do just fine. And no, I haven't tracked in a very long time, but I've learned to gauge it pretty good.
    This journey continues, but I have to say, it gets better the longer I'm in it. Hope you'll find your balance.
    3286 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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