One topic that keeps popping into my mind these days is weight loss plateaus and maintenance. When I was on the Dr. Oz show several years ago, he said that losing weight was great, but it was seeing people maintaining their weight that made him happy. And that’s exactly how I feel.
I lost a lot of pounds over the 10 years that I was obese, but I never was able to maintain or sustain the weight loss. I probably lost 100 pounds over those years but never kept any of it off!
The term weight loss plateau is accurate, but a name I like to use in addition to plateau is temporary maintenance.
You know, I’ve read a lot of blogs over the past 4 years and one thing that I notice is people losing weight at a good pace and then having their weight loss stall.
Sometimes the stall occurs when they are close to their final weight and other times it occurs when they have quite a bit left to lose. It’s a normal part of the weight loss process to have a stall. After all, it would be the rare person who loses the same amount of weight week after week or month after month.
The thing I like to see the most is that the person is not giving up in spite of the stall. I know it can be frustrating to not lose any weight for a while, but it can also be a great learning experience.
I like to call this period of time: temporary maintenance.
Temporary maintenance is a good thing. It’s a more positive phrase than “weight loss plateau.” Sometimes this temporary maintenance is deliberate and other times it just happens. But either way, it can be a really important part of your journey. Why?
Because when you are in temporary maintenance you are maintaining. Not gaining. And maintaining is your ultimate long term goal. Sure you have a long term goal of losing “x” number of pounds, but more importantly, a longer term goal should be the maintenance of the loss of those “x” pounds!
So temporarily maintaining a weight loss, be it for two weeks or two years, isn’t always a bad place to be. It can be frustrating, but if you try and look at that time as a learning experience then perhaps the frustration and inevitable temptation to fall back into old habits can be squashed.
Here are some positive things about temporary maintenance:
♥ You aren’t gaining
♥ You can focus on eating healthy
♥ You can exercise consistently
♥ You can “play” around with food intake, determining where the balance point is
♥ You can try new things
When I was losing weight that final times, I didn’t have any really long periods of temporary maintenance – but there were the occasional week or two where my weight seemed to stabilize. It seemed to stabilize about every 50 pounds. At 250 it stopped for a bit, at about 199 it stopped again. Both times, instead of getting frustrated I remembered how far I had come and how happy I was to be where I was right then. Focusing on the positive aspects of all I had accomplished really helped me.
How do you react when you hit a temporary maintenance point? Diane