Two of my WW Buddies shared a blog post from Refuse to Regain titled The Cycle of Maintenance, which you can read here.
I’ll admit I’m not a huge fan of Judith Beck and have never been able to force myself to read her book, which I purchased several years ago. However, I really like her recent blog post and I agree very much that maintenance has a cycle.
“A big misconception about maintenance that we hear all the time is this: dieters think that they’ll get down to a weight and ultimately stay there; they think that maintenance is a straight line. In reality, for almost everyone we’ve worked with (ourselves, included) maintenance is actually a cycle. It’s a cycle of getting down to a certain weight, which requires a lot of energy and focus. Eventually we naturally start to lose a little bit of focus and we loosen up in certain ways. After a while, that bit of loosening up starts to feel completely normal and we loosen up even more from there, and then the scale goes up by a few pounds.”
She goes on to talk about how the cycle continues between tightening up, loosening up, and then eventually what happens when you don’t stay on top of your gains. Before you know it, you have gained back most or all of your weight.
In this blog post, Beck suggests combating your gains by stepping on the scale regularly.
“If dieters aren’t getting on the scale, it’s extraordinarily hard to catch a loosening up at the two or three pound mark.”
I would agree. I admit that I’m not as diligent when I know I am not going to make it to my WW meeting. During my weight loss journey and early maintenance journey I never skipped my WW meeting. Since I’ve been really lax lately in my cycle of maintenance (ahem…50 pounds re-gained) I skip my meeting more than I ever did. This doesn’t keep me as focused and accountable as I once was.
Beck also suggests identifying the “slippery slope items” that derail you.
“Everyone has different slippery slope items. For some it may be that they’ve: started eating standing up again, have started eating in response to stress, have stopped eating very slowly and mindfully, have stopped eating in a structured way on the weekends, have lapsed back into eating snacks in the evening instead of a real meal, etc.”
I would also add tracking to the list of important tools to combat re-gaining the weight. For me I pay a lot closer attention when I am tracking my food and I evaluate my “is it worth it” meter more. I know that tracking holds me accountable to the WW program and to my healthier lifestyle.