AIM: Are We There Yet?


Last month our AIM group tackled the question about that “last straw” or “AHA moment” in regards to finally losing the weight. I did a great job of answering that question. I had a very definitive answer about the EXACT MOMENT that I decided to go on a successful final diet (NOT…)

So for this month’s question, “How did you know when to transition to maintenance from loss mode? Was it a number or a size or something else? did you struggle to not want to “lose a little more”?” I will again be providing a very definitive answer (NOT…)

I love the title we chose for this question “are we there yet?”–everybody’s either asked this question or heard it asked, right? Because it almost gives me permission to be a very impatient parent who is tired of their kid asking that question. And let me just say–I am not impatient with the questioner. I am impatient with the very process itself. I am impatient with all the misinformation out there. I am impatient with the crazies promoting their version of crazy as THE ONE EASY WAY to lose weight and keep it off forever. I am impatient with the LACK of credible weight loss maintenance information out there.

Ahem… Now that I’ve got that out of my system…let me just try to answer these questions as simply and honestly as possible.

How did you know when to transition to maintenance from loss mode? I had dieted for a year and a half. It took forever to lose the last two pounds to reach 100 pounds lost. And then it took another forever to lose another two pounds. I was eating way less than was comfortable to just lose those two pounds, so I decided I was done “dieting.” But I also want to mention something else here. There is no transitioning. Whatever you are eating when you get to your lowest weight is exactly what you will need to be eating to maintain that weight. That is the truth. Do not deceive yourself otherwise.

Was it a number or a size or something else? Heavens no! (well, you know.  100 pounds is kinda cool.) But it was nowhere near my original intent. It was nowhere near my BMI or any normal weight you could find on any chart. And please. Please do not go on a diet to reach a certain size. I am still wearing clothes every day from size small to size extra large. Please do not let the size of the clothes you wear define WHO you are.

Did you struggle to not want to “lose a little more”? Yes, yes, and double yes. Sometimes I think wanting to lose a little more just helps you to maintain the weight you are! But if you want to lose a little more, and you think you are working pretty hard at that, and all you do is maintain your weight, then a certain sense of failure sets in… And that can be very discouraging.

What I want to say is this: LIFE IS FLUID. There are no concrete rules, no absolute boundaries. Because we are full of LIFE, and LIFE changes. What is outside of our life (our environment, our current life circumstances) changes. What is inside our life (our biological makeup, our cellular structure, the function of our organs, OUR AGE) changes constantly. It is frustrating, but it is what it is. Maintenance is for life. You have to adjust it as you go.

Me at my heaviest (257 pounds)

Me at my heaviest (257 pounds)

Current me, subject to change without notice.

Current me, subject to change without notice.















Be sure to visit my friends to see what they have to say about weight maintenance!

Lynn @ Lynn’s Weigh

Lori @ Finding Radiance

Shelley @ My Journey to Fit

Cammy @ The Tippy Toe Diet


13 thoughts on “AIM: Are We There Yet?

  1. Awesome, awesome, awesome. Awesome questions. Awesome answers. And awesome accomplishment Debby. It’s interesting to me that you still think about wanting to lose a little more, and that it can even be helpful. Or not. 🙂 I have a long way to go yet to be healthy and worry about maintenance, but I think this information is so ponder-worthy. Thank you.

    • Thank you, Jeannie, for such a nice comment. And I have to ask–do you really quilt too slow? Is there such a thing as quilting too slow?

      • LOL. I’m a “fits and starts” quilter and I don’t seem to get a lot accomplished. But it’s a hobby for me and supposed to be fun, so I’m coming to terms with this.

  2. Love this. I love reading your AIM posts (and the other ladies also). Even though I haven’t reach maintenance and don’t have as much to lose as your group lost, it is so inspiring to read about your journeys. Thanks

  3. Perfect: “Adjust to it as it you go.” There’s a time to change and to buck the tide and a time to accept change and go with the flow. That, to me, is the balance of maintenance.

  4. Awww, Paco! 🙂

    You said a mouthful, especially about having to eat the same way to maintain that lowest weight as it took to get there…I think there’s a reason most of us hit a low and bounced up a few pounds. Our bodies weren’t ready to be that thin – at least, not after being so overweight for decades.

    Also, I love your acceptance of everything, here, there, tomorrow…it IS all fluid and fluids are pretty hard to hold onto, you know?

  5. I love that last paragraph. As I’ve read all these testimonies of maintenance today, I’ve reaffirmed what I’ve known for a while: it IS fluid and if you can go with the flow, weight loss and maintenance are easier. The weight that was good for me 20 years ago is not the weight that would be good now. I’ve actually made peace with that. Now to just get to my new goal lol!

  6. Right on! I love your thoughtfulness and the way you are so down to earth. I have lost 55 pounds, and keeping it off is a daily commitment. Every day I eat the same way I did when I was losing all those pounds and I accept that’s the way it’s got to be. And it’s a temptation to think, well, just another few pounds, I could get to 60 lost if I just put my mind to it, but I know that’s not a healthy mindset. Thank you for your honesty and facing the reality,

  7. Great post Debby! Unfortunately my mind is already in maintenance mode but my body not yet. I mean by that that I do know I must not focus on a certain goal weight (I have one in mind but once I get close I will see if that’s it or maybe a little higher) and I do know that once I get there I have to continue. It’s too bad that overweight is for life. You always have to pay attention to what you eat.

    I find it always kind of sad when I read people saying “once I get my goal weight I …… (fill in the blanks). As if a goal weight changes your life, changes who you are. It doesn’t. If you’re not happy now, you won’t be at a lower or even higher weight.

    You look fantastic and I’m glad I found your blog because you are an inspiration.

  8. “Whatever you are eating when you get to your lowest weight is exactly what you will need to be eating to maintain that weight.” –Wisdom of Debby. Sage advice, and it’s so true. When I did WW years ago and got to my goal weight, the leader’s advice about eating was “Just eat a little more every week, until you start to gain weight.” Ha! I ate more, all right, and also gained weight! This time I know these two things: (1) It’s never over, and (2) it’s worth it to pay attention, because I feel so good.

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