On Maintenance: I Never Want to Start All Over Again

Yesterday, as I walked back to the office with my lunch, I was thinking about maintenance.

I got a turkey burger, broccoli and brown rice for lunch. Sure, I “can eat whatever I want.” Eat whatever I want if I don’t care about maintaining my hard work.

Generally, people who have lost weight say it’s harder to maintain than it is to actually lose weight, but I was thinking about my weight loss process:

Giving up nights out with friends in favor of workouts.

Being really strict with what I ate.

Creating brand new habits.

Struggling through tough, fat-burning workouts.

The hard work has already been done, and the habits have been created. And I don’t ever want to have to do that again. It is so much easier to just keep at it, then to start all over again.

It’s why I keep running.

And keep ordering vegetables. (Most of the time.)

And keep strength training.ƂĀ  Um, working on that.

I know myself, and I know that one chicken parm sandwich and fries (that is what I would order right now if it had no calories and didn’t make me feel gross) leads to a chicken pad see yew leads to some other form of carb and cheesy goodness.

I obviously indulge sometimes (I mean, you read this blog. You know my penchant for french fries and beer) but I rein myself in before things get out of control, because I never want to have to start all over again. I know the feeling of letting myself go too far, and I never want to feel that again.

This post is sort of serious, so here’s a photo of a puppy. He’s in NJ right now because I think a sea of boxes would be really overwhelming to him. Yes, we did FaceTime the other night.



20 comments on “On Maintenance: I Never Want to Start All Over Again

  1. Mattie @ Comfy and Confident

    It is hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle all the time. As long as if you do let yourself go for a meal or two, you bring yourself back, you are all good! There is no reason to beat yourself up. Drinking beer, eating some french fries and being social is all part of the game!

  2. Sara

    I’ve been struggling so much with this during the last few weeks. I’ve lost 76 pounds since the beginning of last year and still have a bit more that I’d like to lose and it’s getting to the point where I have to work even harder and control my eating even more. Work has been crazy and I’ve felt myself slipping into old (not good) habits and making excuses and reading this was a nice little reminder of how hard it was just to start and how much i never want to go back to where i was.

  3. Beth @ Beth's Journey

    See I am in the camp of thinking that weight maintenance is harder than weight loss! I think its easier to be focused on the lose part and when the weight comes off, it just reinforces your behaviors and makes you want to keep going. There’s not the same reward with maintenance, and I have been struggling with it so much!

    1. Theodora Post author

      @Beth @ Beth’s Journey: Up until this weekend I would have agreed with you, but I was talking with someone and remembered how much I had to sacrifice to lose the weight. I think that it takes more willpower to maintain, but it’s easier to actually do it–if that makes sense. (Maybe not.)

  4. Ari @ Ari's Menu

    I actually feel like the hardest part comes before a single pound is shed- choosing to make a change. It’s so hard because there is no magic switch you can flip in your brain, and I often try to make it happen for others but I feel like it takes so much strength and determination and humility to choose to live a better, healthier life. That said, I 100% agree with what you said and I never, ever want to go back and have to start all over. I feel like maintaining is only difficult if you lose on restrictive, unreasonable diets, but when you make a true life style change, then maintaining so much easier.

  5. Maria Revutsky

    i LOVE your serious posts. I think these are the most helpful, especially because you’ve been so successful at your maintenance mode. These are good reminders.

    It’s much easier to HOLD what you have then start all over.

    Trust me ,I know it!

  6. lauren

    It’s the starting something that’s always the hardest for me. Once I’m there, I’m good as long as I keep myself in check.
    3 years ago I realized I’d gained some weight, ~15 lbs, and it would have been too easy to just let that be my new “normal”. It is so easy to just adapt that “go with it” mindset, and that attitude is such a derailer. It took me a year to lose it, I will not be derailed again šŸ™‚

  7. Lizzy

    Such good points Theo! I can’t wait to get back to a happy weight with working out and healthy eating because even though I’m pregnant and can’t exactly control my weight gain, I do know I would never want to weigh this much again (without being pregnant). And I will fight like hell to get to a healthy weight because truthfully, it’s less to me about appearance and vanity and more about feeling good about myself. You found something you love- running and working out and that’s why maintenance has worked so well for you. I’m proud of you, a different girl from the girl at Lindsay’s wedding!

  8. Gwen

    I am doing it all over again after losing 135 pounds on WW and gaining 120 back and it sucks. I sometimes say I don’t know how I let it happen, but I pretty much do. Starting again is so scary and hard. KEEP IT UP GIRL! I’d never wish anyone to be in this place!

  9. Don

    At one point I dropped over 100lbs over the course of a year, and from my perspective that was much easier than maintenance. When you are in “weight loss” mode you check the scale, you progress is measurable. However, when you are in maintenance mode you don’t really have that feedback, and your goal is for the scale not to sneak back up. That’s a little less motivating for me personally. I have been using the Wendler 531 program, and being consistent with my food. As with anything else, consistency is the key.

  10. Melissa @ Live, Love, & Run

    I think this is a great post on exactly why most people continue to be strict on themselves, even post-loss, is that they’d rather work hard than start all over. I think that’s something I try to remind myself of most days…until vacation comes around. Then I need to work off a few pounds of water weight. šŸ˜‰

    PS: Totally love that you FaceTimed with your pup. Haha.

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  12. Nicole

    I read an article last week (of course I can’t remember the source!) about weight loss maintenance…people who were most successful were people who maintained a very steady diet. Meaning that they stuck to a plan of foods that worked and do work for them. Sounds like it could be boring, but by sticking to a plan there was a higher rate of success.


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