AIM: Changing the Plan?

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This month we are musing over whether or not change is necessary in maintenance, and how or if we have changed our own maintenance plan over time. There are a couple of other changes happening at AIM, but I’ll get to them at the end of this post.

Is change necessary? IMO, if your maintenance lasts long enough, your body’s needs will change over time. You know, aging and all that jazz…

Has my own maintenance plan changed over time? Do birds have wings? Do fish like water? You better believe my maintenance has changed over time! Sometimes it has changed out of necessity (I don’t need to eat as much. You know, aging and all that jazz…) Sometimes it has changed for the better (I eat more whole foods now than before.) Sometimes it has changed for taste, or convenience, or just for fun.

Here are just a few examples. I used to be the Queen of Cool Whip Lite. I never ate fruit without Cool Whip Lite. I regularly mixed it into my cottage cheese fro a delicious tasty snack (or breakfast or lunch.) EVERYTHING could be improved with a little Cool Whip Lite.When I switched to eating more whole foods I stopped buying Cool Whip Lite (is there any real food in Cool Whip Lite?) For a while, while I was learning about eating whole foods and eliminating processed foods from my diet, I increased the amount of healthy fats that I ate. That resulted in a weight gain for me. There’s nothing wrong with healthy fats in the diet. But when you are a volume eater, it doesn’t work so well. For a long while I subscribed to the “you shouldn’t drink your calories.” But I found that a protein smoothie was a simple and satisfying way to get lunch in. With low calories and at least 20 grams of protein per serving, a smoothie will keep me satisfied for several hours. I still drink protein smoothies for lunch most days. Oh, and speaking of processed foods (we were speaking of them, weren’t we?) most days I eat at least one Quest bar. For me, they satisfy my sweet tooth without any sugar, and they provide 20 grams of protein, thus keeping me satiated. I’m not recommending this to anyone in particular. Just keeping it real and telling you what is working for me right now.

My exercise has changed over time as well. That is partly due to my body’s limitations (bad knee and back) and also just for the sake of staying interested in exercise. As much as I like things to stay the same, its fun to try something new once in a while (and according to the experts, its good for you too.)

Is there anything that has not changed? If I were to hazard a guess, I would say that in general the calorie count has not changed. For my particular form of obesity, it seems I just need to limit the amount of food I take in. Choosing the RIGHT foods makes maintenance more enjoyable (and successful.)

Our AIM group is going to changed things up too. Our good buddy Shelley is leaving our group (but she won’t be far away–over there at My Journey to Fit every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday!) And we are going to change our AIM posting intervals to quarterly posts. We’ve covered a lot of maintenance ground in the last year or so. This will give us time to identify new and interesting topics related to long term weight loss maintenance, and bring some interesting conversation to you about that.

Be sure to visit my AIM friends to see what’s changing in their world.

Lynn @ Lynn’s Weigh

Lori @ Finding Radiance

Cammy @ The Tippy Toe Diet

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10 thoughts on “AIM: Changing the Plan?

  1. You took the words right out of my head: “Sometimes it has changed for taste, or convenience…” In the 8 years I’ve been doing this, I’ve lost my taste for foods I thought I’d never lose a taste for and have adopted new foods I never thought I’d like. I used to be such a hard-nosed foodie, but I’ve learned that balance and moderation is a much kinder way for me to eat. (And as for convenience, I think I will try that Quest bar sometime!)

  2. Really enjoy your posts. I’ve struggled with weight issues for a very long time. Lifestyle changes and learning. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Such a great post, but why oh why does this seem to get more challenging as we age (and all that jazz)?? Argh!!! I love that you continue to tweak your food and exercise and make everything work for you in that particular moment.

  4. Is the Pope Catholic?

    I’m not sure I like aging – and all that jazz. (Oh, thanks for THAT earworm.)

    I’m glad you realize what you need and work with that. I hope to report some miraculous back stuff to you in a month or so. Until then, keep on keeping on with your most excellent work at maintenance. Seriously, I know that looks different for each of us and I so admire your dedication to never, ever being seriously obese again.

  5. You’ve captured one of the keys of successful long-term maintenance and that’s a willingness and desire to go with what works right now in keeping us healthy and motivated. Now, if we could just figure out how to *anticipate* when something’s going to stop working and adjust before it affects us, we’ll have it made. 🙂

  6. I think being willing to change is really important and that is why a lot of people fail at maintenance and weight loss. If it stops working, it’s okay to change! Of course, accepting what has to change is maybe harder than you want, though LOL (less calories, Lori, less… )

  7. You mentioned your “form of obesity” in this post, Debbie. I’m interested to hear more on this topic. I guess I’ve never really heard that phrase before, but it says to me that there are more than one forms of obesity. Can you speak to the “form” you struggle with, and what other “forms of obesity” you have knowledge of–it would help me a lot, I think. Thanks for this post. Great, as always!

    • That is a very good question. I don’t have any “expert” reference to point you to. Debra SY wrote a very good blog for a year or so, and she pointed out that there was good evidence that there was more than one type of obesity, and so doctors should not be trying to treat all people the same, and it should be termed “obesities”. Here is a link to her blog: http://justmaintaining.com. As far as my specific type or form of obesity, I would just say from my own experience, that having been “morbidly obese” for over 20 years, and then starting to lose 100 pounds at the age of 50 is a whole different type of problem than the 20-something who gained 30 pounds in college, and then lost that three years later. Just my cheap opinion, of course : )

  8. I can understand you all cutting back on the frequency of the AIM posts, but I really hope you don’t stop them altogether. I’m always very interested in all of your perspectives and strategies. Interestingly, I rarely comment because reading them gives me so much food for thought (thought for food?) that I go away and mull it over and by the time I get back … well it just seems silly to make delayed comments. A key part of my effort to lose weight is maintenance as I don’t want to put ANY pound lost back on whether I’m at my future staying point or not. Every AIM post gives me hope and inspiration that maintenance IS attainable and that people can live healthily and happily ever after. Or mostly so. 🙂 Just want you to know how helpful and appreciated your efforts are.

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