AIM: Maintaining Support…Or Not?

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This month us AIMer’s (Lori, Lynn, Shelley, Cammy, and myself) are talking about support during weight loss maintenance. Is it really necessary? Is it the same as the support needed during weight loss?

To be honest, I had not given this a lot of thought. When the topic was suggested, my mind still went to the support I had during weight loss. I have said many times on this blog that I feel that “in person” support during weight loss is the best. Its so important to have that accountability and encouragement on a regular basis while you are attempting something as difficult and potentially life-changing as losing weight.

But did I need this same kind of support after I lost the weight and was just trying to keep it off? I would say, yes, definitely, I did need a LOT of support, but I had to look for it in different places.

I will be forever grateful to People Magazine. They put a little tiny box at the bottom of the page of their “Half Their Size” issue directing me to Lynn’s blog. I think I started reading her blog just as she was getting to maintenance. That was my introduction to the world of blogs.

The world of blogs, and the internets in general–they can be something of a two-edged sword. Because there are a lot of different ways to lose weight and then maintain that weight loss, and boy oh boy are people ever opinionated about “their way is the only way.” I have found that even though I don’t believe everything I read, I am highly influenced by it, and that has sometimes caused a bit of angst and confusion. I don’t think I’m alone in being influenced by repeatedly hearing “this is the right way.” After all, isn’t that the point of advertising–to convince you that their way or product is THE ONE THING you need to make your life perfect?

I have read lots of blogs. I watch you-tube videos by doctors who are 100% sure that they know the key to the only way to lose weight and keep it off. In the end, I had to decide what would work for me. Now I mostly read blogs by people who are of a similar mindset. I’m not being close-minded, mind you. Just a little self-protective.

You know, I’ve sat and thought. And in my whole sphere of people that I interact with in person, I can’t think of a single person whose “life with food” is similar to mine. By that I mean, someone who was previously “morbidly obese,” who loves good food, and who is trying to eat extremely healthy AND delicious food at every meal every day, AND still maintain a large weight loss. So that’s the trouble with finding support in maintenance. There’s just not a lot of it out there to be found. I have to go back to saying that the internet and the blog world provide the most and the best support for me. I have found support in surprising places when I’ve just been “surfing the net.” I have made some true friends, and have been lucky enough to meet some of my blog friends in person, which I think helps to cement that friendship. And I have been able to reach out to them at different times when I needed support.

I hope that by sharing honestly about my journey I might provide a bit of support for some of you. For more support, be sure to check out my AIM friends:

Lynn @ Lynn’s Weigh

Lori @ Finding Radiance

Shelley @ My Journey to Fit

Cammy @ The Tippy Toe Diet

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10 thoughts on “AIM: Maintaining Support…Or Not?

  1. I totally get that “self-protective” thing – I, too, can be reading something and think “well, that sounds reasonable, maybe I should be doing it, too” – but I think I’ve stumbled onto what works for me, and I have to remember that and stick with what I know to work.

    That said, I’m very grateful for the relationships I’ve made through blogging; it’s nice to have people who truly do understand what we have been through. Also? I’m so glad I’ve gotten to meet you in person! 🙂

  2. You know me well enough now to know that “this is the only way” is the surest way to sending me running for the hills! LOL

    Ditto Shelley! One of my greatest pleasures was having the opportunity to meet you and to scoop fro-yo with you! 🙂

  3. Oh yes – the self-protective thing. I deleted a lot of blogs from my reader because I was developing issues from reading them. I finally realized it was just not the way I wanted to view things. Sometimes the best support you can give yourself is to distance yourself from someone that is causing you grief.

  4. I get drawn in to “claims,” too! And like Lori, I had to stop reading so many blogs because it started raising too many self doubts. Support isn’t always a “feel good” thing. Some of my most difficult realizations have come about due to tough love. But that always came from people I trusted.

  5. I have adapted nearly everything I’ve ever read — especially if it came from a women’s magazine or other popular source and is written by a lay reporter (who has no clue what maintenance is). I’ve also written off ALL the “my-way-or-the-highway” proponents, especially if they deliver their message with a perpetually zippy attitude that to me smacks of denial. (It’s okay to be a happy person, but in the world of dieting there seems to be an overabundance of yippy zippy types who know it all, but don’t.) I have developed a pretty good nose and certain things don’t pass the smell test. It still makes me want to hurl something out the window, however, when I hear or read something naïve. Last week there was a big hullabaloo about a scientific study (which had a VERY small sample group) “proving” that instead of eating multiple small meals a day, dieters should be eating two large meals a day. My take away — spacing of meals is an individual thing. The old “wisdom” of YOU MUST EAT MULTIPLE SMALL MEALS A DAY probably doesn’t work for everyone, and vice versa. Also, why are we still studying dieters? We know that there are a number of great ways to lose weight. We lack info about maintaining loss.

    Back to topic. I wish it were easier to find face-to-face support, but we are pretty well consigned to the internet, aren’t we? In Kansas City I know two women maintainers. One, in her twenties, has really only been doing it for three years and is still pretty much in the honeymoon phase — she became a full-time personal trainer. Boy, is she just “awesome.” The other has a radically different life from mine (and, again, is much younger). I desperately want a peri- or post-menopausal woman with joint issues and a-sometimes-grumpy-attitude with whom I may share this experience. I come to the web.

    • Totally chuckling here with your request for ” a peri- or post-menopausal woman with joint issues and a-sometimes-grumpy-attitude with whom I may share this experience.” There’s a house for sale on my road. You could move in there and we could grouse together!

  6. I agree with you that you need to pick and choose the blogs you follow and the people you let advise you. there is not just one way and it is counter productive to try to align yourself with people who are so set on their point of view of weight loss, nutrition and maintenance.

  7. My commitment this week was to read each AIM post on support. THIS is what grabbed my attention in your post —
    In the end, I had to decide what would work for me. Now I mostly read blogs by people who are of a similar mindset. I’m not being close-minded, mind you. Just a little self-protective.
    You see, I just celebrated my 4 yr blogoversary and still feel like a newbie when it comes to support. Similar mindset as being a little self-protective…that has been hard since I SO disagree with “diets” and the power of the scale and following those focused on losing weight has been more detrimental than supportive. It’s exactly WHY I chose to give myself support by reading those that are maintaining. To me, the focus shifts AWAY from the scale to the living part. Thank you!

    • Well, thank you! And thank you for reminding me what I wrote! Just this morning I was reading some blogs that I don’t agree with, and they present their point of view regarding nutrition as CONCRETE FACT, and that bugs the daylights out of me, especially when I see others reading it and accepting it as gospel truth. I can’t change any of that. I just need to stop reading it and driving myself nuts!

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