5 Years of Maintenance and 5 Things I’m Doing to Stay Here

Way back in 2007 when I started this Tippy Toe endeavor, the journal American Psychologist published a study declaring that the vast majority of people who lost weight would regain it all (and possibly more) within five years.

My initial thought was one of disappointment. Why bother? But then I got mad. I loathe labels, and my inner five-year old doesn’t like being told she can’t do something. Plus, I reminded myself, I wasn’t “on a diet”; I was changing the way I lived. Take that, you scientists!

Well, guess what? Stubborn trumped science, because as of this week, guess how many years I’ve been at, or close enough to see, my goal range?

five hands counting one through 5

Whew! I made it. Not perfectly or gracefully or entirely cheerfully, but I beat that stupid statistic.

Now I’m ready for the next five years. I’m sure there’s some study out there that says the people who didn’t regain their weight during the first five years will surely regain it by the 10-year mark. If not, I’ll pretend there is, just for the motivation. :)

The past few months of wacky schedules and out-of-the-ordinary events have left me feeling off my game. When I write it all down, I see I’m actually still on track, with perhaps a few too many indulgences while traveling the past few weeks. What better time than the passage into Year 6 and the end of my current work project to refocus and re-energize, to pay special attention to these areas:

silhouette lifting dumbbellsBack to the Gym! – Even with the travel and such, I’ve been exercising consistently, mostly walks and short bike rides. That’s a good thing, but I’ve only managed the odd strength training session here and there. I’ll feel better when I get back to working with weights 2 or 3 times each week. (In fact, I started today with a 20-minute gym session and a 45-minute walk outside!)

One thing’s for certain: lifting weights pays off when you’re working on a project that involves unpacking, lifting, and setting up a 70-pound book binding machine! It might be only 4 reps per day, but it kept the muscles working so that I didn’t have to back up on the weights in today’s workout. :)

icon: plate with knife and forkReturn to Normal Eating – While I’ve mostly been eating like normal, too many meals on the go and one semi-ugly run-in with some dark chocolate-covered caramels have me longing for the real normal.

Unless something last minute comes up, tomorrow is my last road trip for a while, one that should have me home in time for dinner (flat bread pizza and salad) and baseball (Go Cards!). Much closer to my normal schedule than the past few weeks.

hourglassTake back my 15 minutes! – I’ve had odd bits of time to relax over the past few weeks and months, but I haven’t made time to just do nothing for 15 minutes a day. I hadn’t realized until late last week that I’d let that habit slip.

Taking that little bit of time each morning to focus my thoughts, examine my feelings, and explore my dreams helps me sort out the important from the things that can wait and separate the controllable from the things I can’t do anything about. Basically, it helps me breathe.

icon bed with person on it sleepingGet some sleep – My sleep schedule, which has been erratic for a few months now, has really taken a left turn lately. Too many pre-dawn departures, dinners at 8 p.m., late night paperwork, etc. I’m more than ready to get back to a regular sleep pattern. Or to find a new one. When I get overly tired, I do NOT make quality decisions! (See: aforementioned semi-ugly run-in with chocolate.)

kermit-70116_640Find the fun in it all! – I’ve been so focused on managing (or trying to) the basics that I haven’t had much time for fun and silliness. At least, that’s what it feels like right now. I’m looking forward to finding a fun little Cammy-style challenge or two to spark the pre-holiday months.

And of course, I’ll do any and all of the above imperfectly. For me, the main thing is to focus on each day as it unfolds and not get too caught up in what might happen in the future. Welcome to Year 6!

With that, I should probably go fold the laundry piled on top of my bed so that I can start practicing my sleep skillz!

29 thoughts on “5 Years of Maintenance and 5 Things I’m Doing to Stay Here

  1. Happy five-year anniversary!! Congrats on busting through that myth. Here’s to five+ more :) I love your five-point plan…but I would request that you add a sixth one, that being you’ll still be writing your blog :)

  2. Yeah to the five year victory!!! And your ideas for staying/getting on plan are so creative, and touch on aspects that we sometimes don’t take into consideration. (sleep, I’m looking at you!)

    • Thanks, Debby! For me, there’s a huge correlation between sleep and success. And there’s a big correlation between exercise and proper nutrition and sleep. It all fits together…until it doesn’t, and then I snack too much. :)

  3. You go, girl! I’d bet on you still being at or near goal range in 20 years! Some wisdom in those thoughts for me over the next few weeks.

    • Thank you, Sharon. Yes, your next little while will have its struggles, but your faith and your tenacity will see you through. (But if you need a back-up, you know where to find me.)

  4. Congratulations on beating that statistic! Whatever motivates you, right? You are such an inspiration to me – I watch you do normal things to maintain your weight loss (eat all the foods, exercise a normal amount), and you make me believe that one doesn’t have to go off the deep end to keep a big weight loss off.

  5. I also heard a doctor say that most people who lose weight never keep it off. I don’t remember that he set a time limit on his statement. I think we can keep this up indefinitely and it doesn’t hurt that you have some great ideas for achieving the goals. :)

  6. Happy Anniversary! So glad you have beat the odds Cammy! That means there is hope for the rest of us as well!

    I gave up on trying to be perfect – although it took me a long time to get to this place.

    • Thank you, Tami! Stopping the perfection hunt was key for me, too. I had to learn that being imperfect (and remarkably so, in my case) didn’t mean I wasn’t pretty darned awesome. And so are you!

  7. Very cool! Happy anniversary! I’m a 5 year maintainer too. And I heard the same stats about regaining….I am fighting for my life, literally, to keep the weight off. I was pre-diabetic and had a whole bunch of issues so keeping the weight off is crucial!

    I do a lot of the same things you do. Keep a consistent fitness schedule, I still count my calories and watch portions. The rest just kinds of falls into place and becomes habit!

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