AIM: What’s different this time?

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Our first AIM (Adventures in Maintenance) question of the month is: what was different this time? Between the ages of 13 and 30, there were a number of times I lost fairly large amounts of weight. Each time, I not only gained the weight back, but I added on a few extra pounds. If statistics are right, this is the experience of 95% of people who lose weight. Its heartbreaking, really.

SO WHAT WAS DIFFERENT THIS TIME?

Honestly, it was a bloomin’ miracle. The end.

What? You think there was more to it than that?

Well, here are the three factors that I think have had the biggest impact on my weight loss and maintenance:

  1. One of the things I told myself right from the start was “What you’re doing now isn’t working. You must do something different.” This proved to be valuable advice to myself.
  2. Another factor was that I knew it had to be a lifelong change. I actually knew that for twenty years before I had the gumption to act on it. 
  3. Maybe it was being humble enough to accept that I needed some help. (see #1–it wasn’t working to try to do it all on my own. I needed to do something different.)

So, let’s see. How did these three factors play out in my finally having a successful long term weight loss?

“You’ve got to do something different.” I finally gave in and went to Weight Watchers with a friend. It required me to be humble enough to admit that I could not do it on my own. Over the years the “something different” has applied to a number of things: the types of foods I choose to eat, the amount of food I choose to eat, when I choose to eat, and of course, the amount and type of exercise that I do. I have had to learn to be flexible. The body is a complex and ever-changing thing, and I must learn to adapt to its needs as time goes on. (That’s a whole ‘nother post about aging and weight loss!)

I needed some help. Along the way I sought help from a number of friends and experts. I was very skeptical of any information provided by Weight Watchers. So I did a lot of reading and research on my own (who knew–the vast majority of the information provided by Weight Watchers was true!) And when Weight Watchers was no longer working for me (and doing it all on my own was not working either,) I started working with a personal trainer. I had already changed my entire way of eating, but I learned even more from her about eating truly healthy nourishing foods, and I changed the way I was eating again. And of course, the whole blog world has brought me new friends and support, and has been a great resource for new recipes and foods to try.

It had to be a lifetime change. Like I said, I had known this for a long time. That’s why I WOULDN’T try to lose weight for a long time. I didn’t think I could give up the foods I loved so much. I really loved all those foods. But funny thing is, I loved the new foods that I tried along the way. And even now, when I have pared my foods down once again, I still love the foods I am choosing to eat. My mom and sister and I were talking about this recently. My mom made the statement about me “and she really knows good food!” And my sister said somewhat wistfully, “But somewhere along the way, your tastes change.” I knew exactly what she meant. That was the fear that kept me from trying to lose weight for so long. I didn’t WANT to stop enjoying those lovely foods. But here’s the rub: so what if your tastes change? If you still enjoy these new healthier lower calorie foods just as much as the old foods, is that such a bad thing?

In a nutshell, I think those are the things that have helped me to stay on this lifetime of  “adventures in maintenance!”

To read more about “what was different this time?” be sure to check out my friends and maintaining experts:

Lynn @ Lynn’s Weigh

Lori @ Finding Radiance

Shelley @ My Journey to Fit

Cammy @ The Tippy Toe Diet

AIM: Adventures in Maintenance is Lynn, Lori, Debby, Shelley, and Cammy, former weight-loss bloggers who now write about life in maintenance. We formed AIM to work together to turn up the volume on the issues facing people in weight maintenance. We publish a post on the same topic on the first Monday of each month. Let us know if there is a topic you’d like us to address!

 

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17 thoughts on “AIM: What’s different this time?

  1. I was just thinking about this the other day, the part about how my tastes have changed. They didn’t change easily because, as you said, I didn’t think I could give up the foods I loved the most. I don’t know what I was so darn afraid of! LOL

    I’m so glad to be on this “adventure” with you and the other AIMers :)

  2. I love this AIM series too. I need my husband to read as he is a little stuck right now in the lose regain lose regain and FRUSTRATED.
    and need to NOT HEAR A WORD from me:-)

  3. I love it that you all are doing this – someday WHEN I get to maintenance, this series will be invaluable to me. Heck, I think it’s going to be pretty darn valuable now too! :)

    I know what you mean about humbling yourself and getting help. That’s exactly where I am right now and exactly why I joined WW again. I don’t know why some people can do it on their own and I can’t, but whatever, this is what I have to do. And I know that I have to do things differently, and I am (well, I’m starting to, anyway). :)

  4. “But somewhere along the way, your tastes change.” – That’s good, though. Don’t you appreciate food more now? I do.

    • Yep, I do. And if I’m not appreciating it, I usually make myself stop and think why that is. Usually, I’m either eating something that is not worthy or I’m eating mindlessly.

  5. I need a bloomin’ miracle lol! I think for me I really just need to know when to ask for help, and not hide away when I feel like I’m failing…you can only be strong for so long on your own

  6. Love these – they are making me think right along with you. For me, what was different this time was not counting calories or really paying much attention to calories. That led me to understanding that yes, a calorie IS a calorie, BUT at least for me, certain types of calories affected my body in detrimental ways and when I eliminated those very specific calories, the weight AND the inches came right off. The inches even came off in the right places!! LOL! (Is it cheating if I copy this same comment to all your posts?? I’m not creative enough to come up with a different one since I’m already friends with all of you except Shelley and I have no idea how that’s slipped by me all this time. Gonna fix that right now!!)

  7. Just loving this series! I could not leave a comment at Shelley because I did not have one of her drop down menu options… but you are all wonderful & all finding your own way – that is what really counts! :)

  8. Great post!

    At the moment I’m back at WW and now it’s working for me but there has been a time it didn’t. Guess you have to be ready in some way for it and if not, try something else like you did.

    The fact that it’s a lifetime change is the part I struggle most with. I know it is but it’s sometimes hard to accept.

  9. “So what if your tastes change?” …. oh wow. That’s one of the biggest problems I’ve been facing lately (along with ‘I feel so good, get compliments on how good I look now, etc. etc. .. so why work on losing the last 20..).

    It’s like it was God’s perfect timing for me to read the AIM posts. Thank you for taking part. I’m looking forward to reading more in the month’s to come. :)

  10. I need to lose weight. A LOT of it. And even though I’ve only lost 4 pounds so far these AIM blogs may be exactly what I need. This is because almost every time I’ve lost a significant amount of weight I’ve gained back 1.5 to 2 times the pounds. Yikes. Therefore success, or more precisely what follows it, is my biggest weight loss obstacle and fear. I need to believe maintenance is possible and you guys give me hope. Thanks Debby et al.

    • You’re welcome. And you’re right. I felt the same as you when I started to lose weight this last time. I wanted to find out everything I could about how to maintain that weight loss this time.

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