How Long Do You Maintain Before You Celebrate?

When do you celebrate your weight loss success? When do you declare yourself “cured, and fit, and whole?” We’ve all read the many stories of regular people and celebrities who have lost significant amounts of weight, and then gained it back. And the poor celebrities like Kirstie Alley lose and gain weight over and over again and everyone feels they have to comment about it.

This is a question I struggle with myself, because while every pound lost is a victory, should there be a measure of “wait and see” before we celebrate in earnest? I don’t have the answer to this question, but Mary Hartley, a registered dietitian who I met when I spoke at the New York Health and Fitness Expo said something along the lines of : “So you’ve lost weight. Great. Keep it off for 5 years and then I’ll be impressed.”

There are people all over the world who have lost both small and large amounts of weight, and then gained it all back.

Sadly, for a long, long time, I was one of those people. Not until my final attempt at weight loss did I have any success either losing a lot of weight or keeping it off. Now to be fair, there were times during my years of dieting that I temporarily lost 20 or 30 pounds. After I lost the weight, I celebrated my success, and then saw myself regain the weight. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, but it always came back.

So when do you celebrate? Is there the perfect amount of time that needs to pass before we can declare someone an “expert” (if there is even such a thing) at weight loss? Let me tell you a story that happened right after I lost my weight.

I had reached my goal weight, and at the suggestion of my pastor, wrote a workbook and developed a weight loss class. We advertised the class, and a room full of women showed up. I got up, introduced myself, and told my story. The first class went well, and then at the very end of class a tall attractive lady asked this question: “How long has it been since you got to your goal weight?”

I said, “Three months.” She nodded knowingly and when class was over she left. She later called me, and told me that while she was very impressed with my weight loss; she felt that I should have maintained the loss for a longer period of time before I taught a class. I told her I understood, but after I hung up the phone, I got upset.

I had lost the weight. I was cured. I had changed.

But was that too soon to declare myself changed? I’m still not sure how I feel about that. For yes, I have been fortunate enough to maintain for a long time, but was I completely changed right after I lost the weight? Honestly, no.

For a period of time after my weight loss, I had to undergo a process of finding my way into weight maintenance. I still had to figure out what maintenance looked like for me. How much more food should I eat? How much exercise was enough? How much should I let my weight fluctuate?

Looking back, the lady in my class was probably right. It probably was too soon for me to say, “Yes – I can teach you. “It’s true that I could show them how I lost weight, and encourage them on their journey, but it was also true that I hadn’t proven to them, or myself, that the lifestyle change was real.

I think that every pound lost, and every healthy change should be celebrated. I always got excited every time another piece of clothing fit, or the scale moved in the right direction. But those celebrations of losses is not exactly what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the declaration of long-term success.

I’m seriously unsure about this. What do you think?  Diane

66 thoughts on “How Long Do You Maintain Before You Celebrate?

  1. Susan says:

    I agree with what Mary said if you can maintain your weight loss for 5 years without serious regain then you can celebrate that your never going back to the weight you used to be. Of course, by the time 5 years go by it will be your new normal and you want to celebrate probably.
    After 15 years now of never regaining my 40 pounds loss I feel as “cured” as I’m ever going to be. To answer your questions about weight loss maintence you can’t eat that much more food maybe 200 calories a day maybe less or more depends on the person. How much exercise is enough? About a hour a day 5x a week. For me no more than a 2 pound weight fluctuation before cutting back on calories a bit . Also if I see my weight trending up on the scale I log my calories eaten again just like in “weight loss mode”. Also, you need to surrond yourself with healthy people and a healthy support system to maintain the weight loss because the new you is very different from the old you.

    • Diane Carbonell says:

      Constant vigilance, diligence, awareness, mindfulness – those are all terms that I use when talking about weight maintenance. In a lot of ways those are the same terms we use when talking about weight loss, thus showing that weight loss and weight maintenance are closely tied.

      Susan – I am like you in having a rather narrow weight fluctuation range. I allow myself 3 pounds and then I kick things into high gear and watch more closely what I’m eating.

  2. Karen P says:

    Celebrate , along the way. I do have small celebrations each month I’m at goal weight. I have short term and long term weight goals. Short term is 1 year and signing up on the national weight loss registry. Long term is 2-5 years at maintnence. I’m a firm believer in both setting goals and deadlines and some sort of reward ( non food)

    Teaching weight maintnence. That is interesting. Probably depends on the person and the person’s experiences and effectiveness BOTH as a triner and as a weight maintainer And the type of group the person will be training/leading. Personally for me, 6 months -1 year at goal weight or longer with some of the same attributes that Norma listed. You may be an effective leader it trainer with small community/church groups at 3 months. Maybe if you are being paid, then longer? Since weight maintnence support training/ mentoring is not a regulated area, the whole thing is up to what the individual group requires.

    I consider weight maintenance dynamic process. And, I also consider weight maintencnace as the management of a life long chronic disease ( whatever caused your obesity).

    Love your posts, Diane. So good to read more and Connect regularly to other maintainers at different phases and with different styles. Karen P ( 1 week shy of 6 moths at maintnence, 72 pounds down, third and final time is a charm!).

    • Diane Carbonell says:

      Congratulations on 6 months of maintenance Karen! That is something you should definitely celebrate. I too am a member of the registry and love to fill out their yearly surveys.

      Weight maintenance is dynamic because unlike some other things, it has the ability to change, shift, and redefine itself constantly. That’s what makes it so challenging, at least for me.

  3. Jennifer says:

    I really have no idea either, but 5 years sounds good to me. One year would be wonderful, too, Perhaps a person who has reached their goal could celebrate annually that milestone until the celebrations added up to a significant number?

  4. KarenJ says:

    Being older than many of the people who read these blogs gives me a different perspective. I maintained my 30 pound weight loss for 20 years. During that time, I ate the same way, exercised, overcame all my eating challenges (binging, compulsive over-eating) and I felt really good about myself. I was at a healthy, sexy weight and I didn’t think it was possible I would ever gain it back. I was wrong. I turned 52 and started menopause. Suddenly all the things I had been doing stopped working. I didn’t change a thing about my eating and exercise. I put back on 25 pounds over the course of a year and a half. I felt like my body betrayed me and I didn’t know what to do. I went to a nutritionist in October of 2010. He said I was gluten intolerant, so I went on a low glycemic, gluten and dairy free diet. I lost 18 pounds and over the past couple of months I gained 4 back. I have never felt so frustrated in my entire life. Very recentlly, I’ve started something new to lose the last 10 pounds. The jury is still out as to whether it will be my answer. The point I want to make is that you have to celebrate EVERY day you’re at your goal. There never is a “I’ll never gain this weight back” time no matter how confident you feel. I’m not trying to be discouraging, but there are some things that are outside of your control. The best advice I can give is to be vigilant, and if you begin to gain the weight back, take steps immediately even if it means changing what had worked before. But please, don’t wait to celebrate – if you’ve lost weight, you deserve to bask in the glory of that accomplishment!

    • KarenJ says:

      Norma, your post means a lot to me. Most of my friends (and even my husband) don’t understand why my current weight is not good enough for me (“you look fine, why are you trying to lose more?”). Only those who have been in the trenches can understand the extreme changes some of us have made in our eating habits without seeing results. I really feel that I can unlock the key to maintaining an acceptable weight at age 57 and beyond (or die trying:-)!

    • Diane Carbonell says:

      KarenJ – I too wanted to say that your experience is very different than someone who loses weight and then gains it back through the falling back into old habits. I am right there with you in terms of hormonal issues and already trying to figure out how to make the adjustments I will definitely need to make to continue to stay at a healthy weight and feel good about myself.

      Thank you so much for sharing – you have helped a lot of people today!!

      • KarenJ says:

        Diane, I don’t want to make it seem like I NEVER gained it back. I gained back some of the weight early on because I had an emotional eating issue that I had not dealt with. It was only through a lot of effort and “inside” work that I was able to finally get to a place where maintenance became like breathing, much as it appears to be for you now. Over 20 years, you get plenty of time to work on your eating issues. I agree with (the other) Karen that you have to celebrate every day at maintenance. Only by recognizing and celebrating your successes will you be motivated to do what you need to do to stay there.

      • Diane Carbonell says:

        Oh, I understand what you are saying. But even though you did have a regain, you still have done an amazing job with keeping your weight at a healthy level which many people cannot seem to do. And thank you for bringing up the emotional component – it is a huge part of maintaining. I often tell people that if you do not deal with the emotions surrounding your weight issues you will find it very, very difficult to keep the weight off.

        The recognition and celebration of our successes is a very important and vital component of this process – I totally agree!

  5. Dr. J says:

    I’d like to say we should celebrate “another day of living,” like the song!

    The one year benchmark is a common time frame for many things so that might be all right. Perhaps when the new “lifestyle” feels real is okay also.

    Personally, when I lost weight I just continued the same behaviors, there was never a thought of being like i was before.

  6. John says:

    I’m 2 months away from goal weight. I plan to celebrate on the day of course! But that’s probably it, although once I’m at goal weight for 2 years I’ll join up to the National Weight Loss Registry (yes, you only need 1 year but I want to prove to myself that I can do it).

  7. Jody - Fit at 54 says:

    I am always learning so I just take it a step at a time. To teach others – I think it depends but for me, I learned so much more AFTER I lost the weight & learned to maintain it… I am still learning.

  8. Vickie says:

    I guess six years, because five years is the point where a lot of people regain.

    I have often thought that a lot of your success is probably because of your pregnancies. You have had a series of recommitments over the years when you had to take the time to focus and loose weight again.

    I decided to loose my last twenty pounds two years into maintenance which was a similar recommitment.

    I am at the six year point from my original weight loss and am three years past my last twenty pounds and I can see that the commitment/exercise of that last twenty pounds really helped.

    I know people think they know after a year or two, but I am very aware of how much I have changed/matured just since last year, eight years in, and age 51.

    I also think that the lady that called you probably helped you more than you might realize.

    • Diane Carbonell says:

      That woman probably did help me realize that just because I had lost all that weight didn’t mean I had it all together or would automatically stay at a healthy weight. It definitely had an impact because I have never forgotten that phone call.

      For me, those pregnancies were a bit stressful because I was worried I would gain way too much weight and then be unable to lose it as I had with the first three pregnancies. I did have to work hard at losing the weight which may have been a positive in terms of further cementing those good behaviors.

      You have done so well at changing your lifestyle Vickie and making it permanent.

  9. Sharon says:

    I agree with KarenJ and am glad someone else said it first. For me, the answer will be NEVER. I will never be “cured” anymore than an alcoholic is ever “cured.” No matter how many years I am at goal weight, I will always know that regaining it is only a few days of eating too much of the wrong thing away. I’ve proven that many times over in years past when I’ve lost significant amounts of weight, kept it off significant amounts of time and then begun a slow regain.

    At goal now, for the first time since early 2008, I plan for this time to be “it,” but the back of mind knows I will never be cured. Everyone has a cross of some sort to bear – this is mine!!!

  10. Karen@WaistingTime says:

    For me, it is really not about the celebration, but about feeling like I’ve conquered the yo-yo business that has plagued me for years. I think it will be more than a few months for me to feel confident. Probably a year or more. But I am sure looking forward to having the long-term success that you’ve had:)

  11. Caron says:

    I thought after six successful years of maintaining my weight that I would never go back. I was wrong and I started gaining and did not get back to my goal weight for two years. I allowed the stress of my job to push me to overeat, but I did not figure that out until I was laid off. During that two years, I stayed anywhere from five to ten pounds over goal, and am glad I did not gain everything back plus a little more which was what used to happen to me.

    I have a new standard now and that is to be more diligent and to exercise more. I try to stay three to four pounds under my Weight Watcher goal and if I get within one pound of goal I really hunker down and work at getting back down.

  12. Lisa says:

    For the 1.5 years it took me to lose 100 pounds I stopped eating pizza and ice cream entirely (trigger foods). When I reached my goal weight, my boyfriend took me to his favorite pizza place in town and I ate pizza! It was awesome! I was able to eat it in moderation and not binge.

    I celebrate now because I’ve kept the weight off for 4 years. I feel comfortable in my lifestyle and my body now and I feel secure that I will keep it off.

  13. Sarah says:

    A difficult question – because for me weight maintenance is something I will have to be active of or conscious of for good. In that sense it feels like the journey never ends! I lost about 3 stone 6 years ago. I have put on, on average, just one pound a year since then. So yes, success. But now the success I’m working towards is to stop upwards creep in my weight whilst enjoying the foods I eat. I don’t want to be 10 pounds heavier in 10 years time if possible!

  14. KCLAnderson (Karen) says:

    If I had to wait until I reached a specific weight and kept it off for a certain amount of time before I started celebrating, I’m know sure I’d ever be able to celebrate. I celebrate the peace I feel around food (the vast majority of the time). I celebrate how strong I have become doing kettlebells. I celebrate the days when I walk out of the house with my head held high and not as if I had a dark cloud of self-doubt over my head. I celebrate when I think about bingeing but do not. I celebrate when I look at myself in the mirror and am sincerely happy with my reflection. But then again, I don’t consider myself an “expert” at weight loss…and it’s not my goal to become one 🙂

  15. Carrie@FamilyFitnessFood.com says:

    Such a good post. I do think the process should be celebrated, but I also don’t think that the success is ever finished. It’s been 2 years since I ‘finished’ losing weight and I’m still learning and still fluctuate a bit.

    I also think that society stops congratulating people after a certain period of time. At that point, I think it gets harder to not fall back into bad habits.

  16. LovesCatsinCA says:

    Hi, Diane. In my opinion, 3 months is too early–.and five years seems like too long to declare success–and in a weird way, anticipating failure. I think 18 months to two years is a good number.

    What is successfully maintaining anyhow? Am I a failure because I lost 33 pounds, gained 10 pounds off the lowest weight I got to, through a combination of perimenopause and some stressful events in life and am still carrying 8 of them on a “light day” on the scale? Or am I a success because five years after deciding to reduce after my highest weight contributed to high blood pressure, I normalized my blood pressure without medication, and I’m 23-25 pounds lighter than my peak weight?

    I choose to consider myself a success. It takes effort to keep my weight where it is and I have more bellyfat (and more emotional “stuff”) as my body adjusts to dropping and fluctuating hormones. But I didn’t do the yo yo thing like when I was younger… and if my weight stays where it is, it’s not the end of the world.

  17. Diane Carbonell says:

    It is a long proving ground – I completely agree. In some ways it is a proving ground that lasts a lifetime. At least for me it has been. I’m not sure I’ve ever really “celebrated” because there is always work to be done.

  18. Sarah says:

    The answer is different for everyone, it’s up to the individual to define for themselves. Conquering 2007 (most trying year of my life) with no gain gave me the confidence the weight was not returning, that was about 2 1/2 years in to maintenance. Plastic surgery also transformed the way I thought about my body at 5 years and cemented change for me. That was the winter we met at the Dr. Oz show you were at 12 years and I was in awe. As for other people when you ask about long term? From where I sit I see long term success as greater than 5 years. You have to go through life for a bit as a new person I think. There is no substitute for time.

    • Diane Carbonell says:

      “There is no substitute for time,” you said. That is a perfect way to put it. And honestly, although Mary Hartley said five years – is that even enough. I think if we really think about it the goal would be to maintain a healthy weight for our lifetime. I go back and forth on plastic surgery – I would love to take care of certain “body parts” but at the same time, I’m a total chicken.

      Congratulations on your amazing success Sarah. I applaud you for your weight loss success and for your handling difficult times in your life without regaining your weight. That is one of the hardest things to do – at least it has been for me. For example, when we lost a baby when I was four months pregnant in 2010, that was difficult and I had to dig deep to not rely on food for comfort. And that was at the 12 year point which just shows that we do have to be ever diligent no matter how long it has been.

  19. E. Jane says:

    I think we have to celebrate our achievements as we progress in this weight loss process. Losing the weight is the first step, and that is how you were helping others when you taught the weight loss class. You were not teaching a maintenance class. So many people want to know how to LOSE the weight, and without weight loss, there can be no maintenance. What you were doing was helping people with that most important first step. You did a great service for those people. You were not there to impress anyone, but to help.

    Maintenance is another step in this journey, and now that you have been through that, you are a great resource for so many of us. Think of what you have learned along the way. Thanks, Diane.

    • Diane Carbonell says:

      Thank you! And you are right – I have learned so much along the way. Not only through my own experiences but through walking alongside others in this journey. You included. 🙂

  20. I ❤ 2 Eat says:

    I don’t know if that lady in your class was right. You HAD lost the weight. You had done it through much hard work and patience, and you COULD teach people a few things, 3 months or 3 years. You didn’t go through any gimmicks to lose the weight. Celebrating as you go keeps people motivated! 🙂

    • Diane Carbonell says:

      Ah, thanks! She did have a point though because I had not really walked through life at a healthy weight, which statistically put me at a high risk of regain. I’ve read statistics that say the more weight you lose the less likely you are to maintain that loss for more than a year or too.

      I agree that celebrations keep people motivated! I see it all the time.

  21. Laura says:

    First, I just want to say how much I adore this blog. I am very near hitting my goal weight and starting maintenance (maybe as early as my weigh in tomorrow!!!!!!). Ive been researching maintenance for a little while and all the info is so negative, but this blog is so real and positive! This post could not have come at a better time. I’m excited, but more nervous about starting maintenance. A little fear is ok I think to keep me in check, but I want to celebrate, too. So reading this entry has given me the idea to think of a maintenance celebratory plan. I’m not sure of the details yet but my first rule is I’m not allowed to celebrate with food. I know for sure that when I reach my goal weight I’m going for a major new hairdo. Then maybe after 6 months I will go get a new outfit, etc, etc…….I loved celebrating my goals throughout my loss so why not during this phase, too!

    • Diane Carbonell says:

      I definitely encourage you to celebrate your success because you deserve it! But within that celebration, always stay diligent and conscious of the food choices you are making! Congratulations on your accomplishments.

  22. Deniz says:

    Hmmm, a hard one. I think lots of interim celebrations when targets are reached are good and I agree with that entirely, but… personally I don’t think I’ll EVER be able to celebrate long-term success. It feels too much like letting my guard down.

    I guess I’m right there with Sharon and Carrie. I’m all too aware that life sometimes deals out events that make the every day stuff pretty darned hard to handle. My potential for falling off the wagon faced with severe stress will never be ‘cured’ as such.

    I’m a work in progress now as much as I’ve ever been, but I’m also happy to celebrate the fact I’m still at it and trying 🙂

  23. Stephanie says:

    I really enjoyed this post and all the comments underneath. This is a very valid and also very “gray area” topic. I’m not sure I will ever feel like I can “celebrate,” because it’s always going to be a process, not an event. I liked this quote: “This is how I live. This is how I eat. These are my priorities. This is non-negotiable.” That is a great attitude!!

    I did have a mini-celebration when I finally hit my goal weight (80 pounds lighter than my heaviest weight), and I’ll probably celebrate that milestone every year after, but other than that–it’s just “stay the course” and do whatever it takes NOT to go back!

  24. Mary Hartley, RD says:

    Hi Diane!
    Tooling around, I saw your blog. Thanks for the mention!! I never know what comes out of my mouth. I think I’m channeling 🙂 But I want to go on the record as someone who lost 20% of her weight 34 years ago and maintained it through pregnancy, divorce, menopause, moves, etc. – life. Maintenance is an attitude. I am not one bit attracted to crappy packaged food or chain restaurants. I eat wholesome foods according to my appetite and try to do something active everyday. I think it’s interesting when people say, “You’re so lucky.” Lucky has nothing to do with it. Join the club. Now that I am older, I need to eat less food and be extra faithful about exercise. The only time I gained a bit of weight (5 lbs?) was when I worked a 40+ hour week chained to a computer in a cube. The weight went away when I left that job. I find that the longer the body stays at a certain weight, the more it “defends as a set point.” That means when you overeat a bit, like during the holidays, the body burns the extra calories as heat or takes away your appetite until you go back to your body’s favorite weight. Keep up the good work. Take care!
    Mary

  25. Julie says:

    Hi–What you said about wanting to be acknowledged as an expert struck a chord with me because it brought back the problems I had with doctors when my thyroid failed. Even though I had lost 60 pounds and kept it off for over 10 years, they just wouldn’t take me seriously when I told them that I was having more and more trouble maintaining and I knew that something had physically changed in me. The attitude was “well, most people gain the weight back eventually”, but I didn’t think I deserved to be lumped in with “most people”. It was so incredibly frustrating that they wouldn’t give me any credit for all those years of maintenance and wouldn’t acknowledge that I had more insight into the way my body and my metabolism worked than your average yo-yo dieter.

    It took three years before my thyroid failure was finally diagnosed, by which point I had gained back all sixty pounds. The first week that I took thyroid medication, the abnormal weight gain stopped completely. But it left me feeling very bitter (and distrustful of doctors, too), and it’s taken several years of being fat again for me to work up the will to lose the weight again.

    I’ve lost 45 pounds now, with about 35 still to go. I picked up a few more pounds over the years between–but I accumulated those pounds the normal way;).

  26. Mary says:

    In my opinion i feel that if you maintain your target weight loss for at least a year plus then you can celebrate and call yourself a success and perhaps even educate others. But then again any small drop in your weight should be celebrated at that time and considered a success; however when you do that its very important to make sure that you keep on the right track and dont fall back on your goals! But yea, the longer you keep the weight off the more you are considered a success and an authority i suppose!

  27. jeanette says:

    I am not sure either…. I guess we all have different views but after 3 years I still havent celebrated. I know that I could be back there in just a few months and maybe I think in the back of my mind if I celebrate now then I wont be as vigilent possibly. Anyhow, I repeatedly say that it is a fight forever …so maybe that means there never will be a victory dance. I dont want to seem so glum as I am so happy I am healthy and at a great weight. I love what my body can do now compared with a couple years ago….even at 48.lol.

  28. beerab says:

    I try to tell myself to not celebrate any longer with food. I definitely have changed my eating habits overall for life, but am still not near my goal, someday though 🙂

    Thanks for your comment on my blog 🙂

  29. Z says:

    I think we should focus on progress and not perfection.
    If I reach my G.W why shall I wait? I should cherish that time and celebrate. In the, fear of ‘what if’ I cannot let that moment go…you know?
    With all that said I have good 20 pounds to shed, so I’m just imagining what I may feel.

  30. Z says:

    I think we should focus on progress and not perfection.
    I cannot delay celebration due to a ‘what if” situation.
    I’m nowhere near my goal weight, but I do think I’d want to buy that S size dress and dance away!

  31. Jody - Fit at 55 says:

    I think this might be individual.. each person has to figure it out.. I do agree thought that when I see all this hoopla about weight loss & it has not been long term, I prefer to see that a person did it & kept it off like you & honestly like me. 🙂

    We can also celebrate with non food things too… but if you can enjoy & get back to it – then celebrate. 🙂

  32. Tracy says:

    Hi Diane,
    As I re-lose my weight, I celebrate about every 10 pounds. This morning on my way in to work I was actually thinking about the power we give to numbers. Why is 60 pounds lost so much better than 57? Interesting! I don’t necessarily have a goal weight in mind because I don’t know what’s the right weight for me (based on my body type, physicality, etc.). I have an idea, but having changed to my current way of eating/living, I may not reach what I think is an ideal number (a number with power!). So, I celebrate that this time my approach is different, each day. If I reach a weight and find that I don’t lose more, I feel that I’m eating enough to sustain myself, without becoming obsessed with exercise – I’ll be satisfied if I can maintain for a year, and then another, and then another. I like the suggestion someone made of annual celebrations.

    In your post you mentioned how you had to find your way into maintenance. Do you have any posts on that? Thank you for the always-relevant topics!

  33. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    I learned a lot after I lost weight. I had gained the weight during a very emotional period of my life. After I lost the weight, I still had to work on dealing with emotional issues and find strategies I could fall back on. I also had to work out if and when to allow a treat.

    I think we should celebrate weight loss but know that once the weight is lost the work is definitely not over. Also, as a previous commenter mentioned, things change again with age. So it really is about constant vigilance and being flexible to adjusting things as need be.

  34. Laura Jane @ Super Sweet Life says:

    I don’t think there is ever a point where you don’t run the risk of relapse. That’s just life. Unless something happen to my tastebuds and I find all sweets and breads repulsive, there will always some tendency for me to want to eat too many “treats.” No years of dieting, weight loss, or maintenance can completely erase that.

    That said, I think we should always be celebrating! We should celebrate each day that our eating is in control, each mile further than we were able to go the last time, each new size, each pound lost, and we should certainly celebrate like crazy when we achieve our goal weight. I don’t think celebration means that the journey is over and we can stop trying so hard. It just means we’ve made huge progress that wasn’t easy and we’re grateful for it. I think my danger is in not celebrating enough. I work super hard for weeks and months, lose weight, and instead of celebrating, I say, “I have so far to go.” I would go as far as to say that even if you had regained some of your weight, losing it was still a HUGE accomplishment that deserves to be celebrated.

  35. Samiyah says:

    I’ve thought about this too. I initially lost 30 lbs. I never got to my ultimate goal which I’m working toward right now. I kept that weight off for years though, and only gained 10 lbs between the fall of 2012 and the spring of 2013. I’ve lost that 1o lbs I gained and now I’m moving toward my final goal. To be honest I have no idea when I’ll celebrate because I didn’t celebrate the first time. Perhaps I should have! I think a year maintained at my goal weight will be it for me

  36. Kyra says:

    I think this is a life-long journey. I think there are always times to pat yourself on the back, but as far as saying you’re cured? Well, I don’t look at it as a disease, but a series of habits that we have to break. New habits, including bad ones can always be made. So, really every day doing the right thing is all anyone can shoot for whether it’s been 1 month or 25 years. There is no cure, it’s only life. In teaching maintenance, I think that at least 2 years would be good, but the truth is that we can all fall back down that rabbit hole because it’s a choice. And really, gaining all that weight wasn’t all about the food anyway, it’s about who we are on the inside with all our demons and how we deal with it. It’s so unique to each person, and I don’t think you cure yourself of that. Rather, you learn to just live.

  37. blackhuff says:

    I too don’t know when someone is an expert in the field of weight loss in years of maintaining. The longer the period of time, the better expert the person is.

  38. stephanie says:

    I think you should celebrate after losing 50% of your weight you need to shed , give your self a break from the routine but watch closely the scale. Then return to your diet & exercise routine again.

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