Maintenance is a Must

Have you ever heard someone say, “I’ve lost 100 pounds.”  When you are impressed with that large number, they laughingly say, “Well, I’ve lost ten pounds here, gained it back.  Lost ten pounds there, gained it back.  So all in all I have lost 100 pounds!”  I always laugh with the person when they tell me this, but it’s not really funny or amusing when you think about it.  After all, had they just been able to maintain that ten pound weight loss, they wouldn’t have had to “diet” time and time again.

Speaking from experience, I too have been on the yo-yo diet plan.  Sure it’s not actually a plan, but it feels like one after you’ve cycled through the pattern a few times.  You cut back on your calories, watch your portions and maybe exercise for a while, and before long you see the scale move a bit.  How exciting!  Then, because of your success, you suddenly increase your calories, eat larger portions, sit down on the couch and the weight comes back.  Unfortunately, this is so common, and happens over and over again.  The yo-yo plan is not only frustrating, it isn’t good for your long term health either.  Another downside to yo-yo dieting is that when the weight returns, it returns with a few pounds added to the total.  I remember one time when I had lost 18 pounds by joining my local weight loss center.  I went to the weekly weigh-ins and meetings, and was very proud of myself.  Like it usually does, daily life got in the way of my attending a couple of meetings and I quit.  After I quit it took me about one month to see 22 pounds come back.  That 18 pounds had morphed into 22.  That was depressing, and for a while I quit dieting.  But before long I tried again and experienced the same result over and over.

As I followed my plan, fit to the finish, I finally saw real and steady weight loss.  At the end of the 14 months, I had lost over 150 pounds and gone from a size 28 to a size 6.  The results were astonishing as you can see if you look at the picture gallery.  People I had known for years would walk right by me in the store with no sense of recognition on their face.  I could shop for a new wardrobe in a size that I was proud of, rather than being embarrassed at having to shop in a plus size department.  I did have one fear.

I was afraid that I would gain the weight back.  I knew from reading and watching television that surveys showed over 95% of people who lost weight regained their lost pounds within one year of completing their diet.  I did not want to be one of those people.  For the first time in many years I looked and felt like I wanted to.  The last thing I wanted to do was go back to being the fat girl.  So this time, I was very deliberate when it came to weight maintenance. 

I realized as I thought about it that I didn’t really need to change anything.  Herein lies the beauty of the fit to the finish plan.  Because I didn’t drastically change the type of food I ate, didn’t cook differently for myself than I did for my family, and had learned to incorporate exercise into my daily routine nothing needed to change in maintenance mode.  I just kept doing what I had been practicing for the year before.  I paid attention to the percentage of fat in foods.  I continued to watch my portion sizes and I kept exercising. And you know what, I didn’t gain any weight back!  I did increase the amount of food I was eating until I was at an equilibrium weight.  Once I figured that out, the rest was pretty easy.  What previously had seemed impossible suddenly became possible.  I had lost weight and I was maintaining the loss. 

Fit to the Finish encourages you to eat regular food, cook your favorite meals, go out to restaurants and live your life.  If you can do that and you are successful at losing weight, maintenance becomes simple.  You simply keep on with what you have learned.  Unlike other plans, which have so much emphasis on losing the weight without placing adequate emphasis on weight maintenance, my plan teaches you how to become independently intelligent.  You can maintain what you have lost, if you lose weight the right way.  If you change your lifestyle you too can maintain a weight loss. 

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