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Goal reached... Now what??

this may have been asked before, if so, I apologize for the redundance...

has anyone else experienced something like this?
I reached my goal, feel great. I continue to exercise, and am adding new exercises. I'm still eating according to my plan, but not sticking to it as closely as I had, say a month ago.
I feel like I reached my goal, so I can slack off now. I know this isn't the way to think or feel, but I catch myself sometimes. I've lost my weight, I'm eating better, I'm exercising, so what the heck... why not treat myself to a little junk food binge? I know it's wrong.
So what do we do once we've reached our goal? what happens next? I feel like weight loss, fitness, is like AA. I have to work the program every day. Just because I've reached my goal weight, it isn't over. I have to continue to find ways to eat well, exercise, stay fit, and continue to work on myself. I still want to have a firm, fit bod, and that requires more than just dropping pounds. So I guess now that the weight is gone, the hard part begins.

anyway... has anyone else been experiencing this?

Mon. May 22, 7:00am

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You are not alone. Nobody tells you that maintaining the weight is just as hard as losing it. You have done a great job so far. You need to see these changes as permanent changes and not go back. You don't need junk food to reward yourself. Now that you have changed your habits, you have to find new ways to reward yourself. One thing I do is pay close attention to thin people and their habits. Not all thin people have good habits, but the ones that I know who work at it teach me a lot.

Monday, May 22, 2006, 8:54 AM

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I have been struggling with this, maintaining my weight for several months. I exercise the same, but am gradually eating differently. Some things to keep in mind:

Eating for life is not like dieting. You can't really count calories every day forever. So, listen to your body. Eat when you are hungry. Eat foods that make you feel healthy. Stop eating when you are satisfied, not overstuffed. Tell yourself that nothing is totally "off-limits" so you never feel deprived. Let yourself have a small treat every day and you won't every need to binge. Yes, you can eat healthy 95 percent of the time, treat yourself the other 5 percent of the time and still maintain your weight. Exercise because it feels good and your body feels good.

Monday, May 22, 2006, 8:57 AM

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Maintenance == vigilance for me. I have maintained my weight loss for 2 years and I will never not think about what I am putting in my mouth. I always have a general idea for the fat, carb and caloric content of what I'm eating - it's not even really a concious effort anymore. If I eat too many treats in one day i just adjust my eating and exercise accordingly. However I'm a lot more focused on being healthy and increasing the quality of life as I age now that I'm not as focused on the weight loss aspect.

I used to have considerable debt and adopted a strict budgeting and tracking regimen to help myself pay it off and live within my means. I am now debt-free. However, just because I'm out of debt doesn't mean I don't keep a close eye on my finances anymore. I still budget and track my spending, but now I'm looking at investing and retirement and maybe even buying a house. I see maintaining my weight loss as something that I simply need to monitor much like I monitor my finances. Yes, I can treat myself, but not to the extent that I ruin my budget. And, if I keep investing in my health the long-term rewards will be greater than if I just eat myself into a hole again.

Maintenance is very much a mindset - if you do not see healthy eating and exercise as 'normal' and an integral part of your life then maintaining your weight loss will become increasingly difficult.

Monday, May 22, 2006, 11:44 AM

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I like the perspective in the above post. That is good "food for thought."

Monday, May 22, 2006, 12:57 PM

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yes, thanks for the insight. I still have a ways to go to my goal, but I've lost more with Peertrainer than I thought would be possible. The maintenance thing is something that's been worrying me, though. Because I've spent most of my adult life either overeating or starving, I get to learn a new skill called keeping it off that seems to come easier for some.
I'm thinking that it will be necessary to continue to pay attention, as has been suggested here, in a sort of fine-tuning process. Just how many carbs should I eat in a day? What's the break-even point with calories and exercise? How do I learn to trust that the new habits I've developed won't disappear overnight?
One thought is to set a gain "ceiling" past which I won't allow myself to go. Say, three pounds, and it's back to diet mode until they're gone. That will allow some leeway while I'm adjusting to maintenance but won't let me get out of control.

Monday, May 22, 2006, 7:49 PM

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OP here
great insight and comments, thanks.
finding healthy rewards is a good suggestion. I think another thing for me to look at is to continue setting goals. maybe not always weight loss, but increased exercise time, or adding new exercises.
perhaps the most important thing I have to work on is changing my thinking from diet, to eating for life. tough breaking old habits, and tough reprograming thinking, but well worth it

Tuesday, May 23, 2006, 6:10 AM

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Congratulations. No matter what you do, you need to make sure you don't gain the weight back. If you lost the weight on will power and diet food, you are highly likely to gain it back.

We see two groups of people on PT. The first make incredible progress, but have not fundamentally changed their eating.

The second group has, and while they may not be 100% where they want to be, their belief that they can stay in control is through the roof.

Here are two resources that will help you make the transition you need to make long term.

The first is a free download that will quickly teach you the basics of getting to a diet that will help you lose weight and sustain the weight loss.

This one is as close to a perfect diet as we have seen, even when you fall off track or live life normally. It is powerful.


Friday, March 04, 2011, 11:56 AM

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I long to be where you are now! Another idea- when you were losing weight, you had a goal to work toward. What if you set yourself a fitness goal? Something very specific and measurable- being able to do a really hard yoga move, or run a half-marathon, or bike in the MS ride or something. It might help if you continue to set goals for yourself to maintain your fitness level.

Friday, March 04, 2011, 12:59 PM

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