AIM: Are We There Yet?

logo: Adventures in Maintenance with photos

This month’s AIM topic comes from the AIM: Ask Us (Almost) Anything responses. (We love when you ask us questions!)

How did you know when to transition to maintenance from loss mode? Was it a number or a size or something else? Did you struggle to not want to “lose a little more”?

Such great questions, and I’m not just saying that because I know the answers. :)

Way back in 2008, around the minus-75 pound mark, I started thinking about how far I wanted to take the weight loss. I hadn’t set out to lose 100 pounds; I’d just wanted to lose “some weight” while I built a life based on healthier eating and consistent exercise. In fact, when I first started working with a trainer, I was asked to set my goal weight. I told them I had no idea, that I’d know when I was there, but size 12 or 14 sounded good. (I honestly didn’t think single-digit sizes were within my reach.)

Since I was still considered “overweight” at minus-75 pounds, I continued doing what I was doing. I felt great and loved the improved appearance of my body. As I told several people at the time, if my weight loss stagnated at any point in that range, I’d have been more than satisfied. (Yes, I do use words like stagnate when I’m talking, which explains, to some degree, why people think I’m weird.)

Eventually I chose 100 pounds as my loss goal, just because it was a nice, round number. As I got closer to the goal, a few friends made remarks that I should stop losing, and I was noticing a drawn appearance to my face. I can’t describe it well, but it was enough to know I was done. Fortunately, I figured this out just as I reached my loss goal. :)

Looking back, I can’t say with absolute certainty that I’d have transitioned to maintenance even if I hadn’t reached the 100-pound mark. I’d like to think I would have accepted it and continued on with my life, but that same stubbornness that served as an asset while I was losing might have turned ugly there at the end. :)

Have you given any thought to your own transition phase? How will you know you’re ready?

Or, if you’ve already made the move to maintenance, feel free to share your story!

If you haven’t done so already, be sure to check out the other AIM bloggers to read their stories:
aim logoLynn @ Lynn’s Weigh
Lori @ Finding Radiance
Debby @ Debby Weighs In
Shelley @ My Journey to Fit

AIM: Adventures in Maintenance is Lynn, Lori, Debby, Shelley, and Cammy, former weight-loss bloggers who now write about life in maintenance. We formed AIM to work together to turn up the volume on the issues facing people in weight maintenance. We publish a post on the same topic on the first Monday of each month. Let us know if there is a topic you’d like us to address!

16 thoughts on “AIM: Are We There Yet?

  1. I never really set a GOAL either outside of fitting into interview suits (which were outdated by the time I got there. oops :-)) BUT BUT BUT definitely noticed what you said about the drawn face here too–and my bod naturally bounced back up to pad it a bit more :-)

    • Did you know that you were one of the friends I referred to in my post? When we met in Austin that time (OMG, back in Toddler Tornado days), you very tactfully said, “You’re not losing anymore, are you?” Part question, part suggestion. Nicely played. :)

  2. I think it is really hard to find a real goal weight when you have a lot to lose because you have no idea of what you will look like. Even if you were thinner when younger, that doesn’t mean you look the same at that weight when you are older.

  3. I have not always had weight to lose but I’m not sure I know what is a good goal anymore. I know when I was 20, 30, 40 and even 50 pounds lighter than I am right now, I wasn’t satisfied. I often look back at old photos and think I wish I was as thin now as when I thought I was fat.

    • Oh, I hear you, Helen. Thanks to an active lifestyle, I was a very fit size 11 during my teenage years, but I felt like a big blob compared to my petite friends. I’d love to have the same shape now that I had back then! (As Murphy Brown once said, “My contents have shifted during flight.” :) )

  4. If more people focused on healthy eating and consistent exercise rather than a goal number, we’d have a lot more happy people on this earth, I’m sure (present company included…lol).

  5. The drawn face observation is interesting. Perhaps you felt you were going from healthy to less healthy? I know on Biggest Loser finales I see some that seem TOO thin and look unhealthy (my personal opinion).

    Yes, I’ve thought about maintenance, though that’s very future. Some anxiety there as I have lost weight several times before and gained it all back, plus plus. I’m working on getting my head in the right place and acquiring tools to make adjustments. Hey, you guys are one of the tools! I’ll scrunch you all up and put you in the toolbelt where the measuring tape usually goes. LOL.

    • You’re a tool, too, Jeannie.

      Hmm, that didn’t come out like I intended. :) We’re all in this together is what I meant!

      You’re right about the healthy to less healthy observation. When the chubby left my cheeks, I discovered that it had been filling in wrinkles. LOL I looked tired, almost haggard, even though I was bursting with energy. NOT the look I was going for, at all.

  6. I had that drawn face thing going on, too – but it was (honestly) too early in the process for me to stop losing…my face just seemed to lose weight easy (why oh why that didn’t translate to my thighs I’ll never know!). I think you’ve done a fantastic job of maintaining. How long were you overweight before this, anyway?

    • I was overweight for most of my adult life and dieted my way to obesity by the time I reached my 40s. I lost some weight in my face early on, but I didn’t start looking tired/drawn until the last 5 pounds or so.

  7. Just an observation–I think the drawn face thing can happen to a lot of people, and then your body adjusts. I don’t think its necessarily a sign that you’ve lost too much weight.

    Oh, and I do remember thinking that wearing a size 14 would be a fantastic miracle!

  8. Great topic. A number of years ago I actually lost weight and got to maintenance with a goal weight of 125. I got down a few pounds below that, but basically found it impossible to sustain. 125 was my fantasy, ideal weight and I set that goal from the outset and went for it with laser like focus.

    And, when I regained I ended up weighing more than when I started. This time around I am doing it more in steps. I’ve set a goal weight of 146 which is the start of the normal weight range for my height. I sort of think I might end up a little below that, but I also figure I don’t really have to decide right now. I plan to get to the 146 and see how I feel then and maybe lose a few more pounds, or maybe not.

  9. I have loved reading the different perspectives on this in the posts! I was so young when I lost my weight that is was more like I was just trying to get thin. I did & too thin at one point & worked my way back. As an adult, it has been more about doing whta feels right for me to stay here…. :)

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