AIM: The Last Straw


Ahhh…. the famous “What was your last straw”.  Otherwise known as “The AHA! Moment”.  You know that trigger or switch that makes you finally do something?

I had gotten up to 250 pounds.  How I hated that number. 250 was such a round number. A big number. I number that I could see double to 500 pounds and then what? Would it stop? I sort of felt like Wile E Coyote with a giant weight over his head that said 250 pounds:

The interesting thing is, while that was sort of the AHA! moment, I didn’t do anything about it right away because I knew nothing I had done in the past worked.  Then in early 2003, I read a book by Kathleen DesMaisons called The Sugar Addict’s Recovery Program.  I started to wean myself off of sugars and white stuff. This was my first foray into eating unprocessed foods.  I had to change my entire way of eating. Of course, we have already talked about what’s different now (discussed here), so I don’t need to rehash that.

I have really been thinking about the AHA! moment, the last straw, the ‘click’ – whatever you want to call it – and what it means.  I have to say that I don’t really know if that is so important because you have these moments constantly in your life in so many situations and they don’t always result in a final change. I have read some books out there from people who have lost a lot of weight and talked about the click, but then today these same people have gained back quite a bit of weight.  I don’t think the AHA! moment means anything in the long run. You can always find a motivation to start any kind of program, be it a diet, quitting smoking, learning a new skill, etc., but it is the dedication to the goal that will get you there. The AHA! moment only gets you started. You have to find the determination and dedication early after the AHA! to keep going. That’s what gets you the results.

I’ve said this before, but I get asked the question fairly often about “How did you know this was the last time?”  To be completely honest, I don’t know if this is the last time.  There were other times where I was sure it was going to be the last time down the scale – and it wasn’t. I had AHA! moments all those times as well. I know I am not the only one this has happened to.

And if you haven’t had an AHA! moment – just start anyway. Just do it. You don’t need an epiphany. It’s more important what you do after that moment for the long haul than anything else.



Just click here


Make sure you read more at my fellow AIMers’ blogs for their thoughts on this topic!

Lynn @ Lynn’s Weigh

Debby @ Debby Weighs in

Shelley @ My Journey to Fit

Cammy @ The Tippy Toe Diet

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 would like us to address!

Be Sociable, Share!

26 thoughts on “AIM: The Last Straw

  1. Lynn Haraldson

    “I don’t know if this is the last time.” Truer words were never spoken. I keep saying “this is/was my last time down the scale,” but almost in the same breath (or blog) I’ve said I want to lose 20 pounds. Both cannot be true!
    Lynn Haraldson´s last blog post ..AIM: The Last Straw

  2. Lisa

    Interesting, I don’t know that you’ve ever shared this part of the story before. Like you, my aha moment didn’t move me to make changes right away. It was a slow start but eventually I “got it”!
    Lisa´s last blog post ..Not Your Average Workout

    1. Lori Post author

      It’s funny that I always had the Wile E Coyote image in my head, too. I don’t talk about moment I guess because it didn’t seem that big a deal at the time because I have had other moments in the past.

  3. Anne

    I think the day comes when you know the “diet” will have to become your lifestyle; when you realize “Know what? I’m going to pay attention to what I eat and plan on exercising most days, because it’s good for me and I like feeling good.”

    1. Lori Post author

      Yes, it really has to be a lifestyle change and one that you can stick with forever and not just a temporary time.

  4. Cammy@TippyToeDiet

    “It’s more important what you do after that moment for the long haul than anything else.”

    Amen! Even in maintenance, there are still those moments of sudden clarity that come along. That’s wonderful as long as we do something with them. 🙂
    Cammy@TippyToeDiet´s last blog post ..AIM: The Last Straw

    1. Lori Post author

      Yes – I had that moment of clarity after getting back from New Orleans and Colorado with tight pants LOL!

  5. debby

    Isn’t it interesting that we all seem to have that thought–its not so much the moment, but all the moments after that.

    Its really been fun for me to read all of our thoughts on this.
    debby´s last blog post ..AIM: The Last Straw

  6. Jen

    Yes! I keep putting myself down because I keep trying, falling on my face, and trying again. Sometimes I ask myself why I keep fighting, because clearly I don’t have that no-matter-what-gonna-succeed mindset all of the time.

    I just can’t seem to convince myself to give up though :). I have too much hope of what life is like in a lighter, more healthy body, and I just keep pushing on. My journey is not a race, a marathon, or anything like that. It feels a lot more like learning to walk, and getting a little better at it each time I fall and get back up.

    If I need an aha moment for motivation, I feel like I have hundreds of moments I can look to, but most of all, I just WANT to live a healthier life 🙂
    Jen´s last blog post ..Week Recap: Mind Plateaus, Diet Bets, and the 100 Challenge

  7. Kitty

    “To be completely honest, I don’t know if this is the last time.” And that is what bothers me. At times I feel like this must surely be the last time. Nothing can stop me. But, then, out of the corner of my eye, I kinda, sorta remember that I’ve felt like that before. I not only felt like it, I did it. I got down to my goal weight of 125 pounds. Actually, I got down to 119 at my lowest. I can still remember how happy I was, and how I was so sure that I done it and that I would never gain weight again.

    And, yet, here I am, having gained back all of it and more. And, yes, I lost about 45 pounds a couple of years ago, then regained a lot of it. I don’t know that there will ever be a time that I can know that this is the last time.
    Kitty´s last blog post ..February Goals Update

    1. Lori Post author

      You really can’t know. It seems scary, but maybe it helps if you don’t think that you have it nailed down to a science. People get cocky and gain weight back. Or life happens and weight gets put on the back burner (or out in the back yard!). You just never know.

  8. Leah

    The comment about not being sure if this is the last time really has me thinking. Sometimes I think it’s the determination to keep this the last time I lose a significant amount of weight is what keeps me fighting.

    Sugars still my nemesis, but I’m learning to care for them “in moderation”.

    Thanks for another wonderful AIM post.

    1. Lori Post author

      I think it is awareness that regain can happen that will help keep you on the right track. Maybe a little fear is a good thing.

  9. Fran

    What an honest, true and inspiring post. Yes, it’s determination that gets you to what you want. I’ve had many AHA moments but not many often was it followed by determination. And it’s very honest to say that you don’t know it’s the last time.

    This is why I love your blog and you so much: you are honest and always say it how I see things too.
    Fran´s last blog post ..Sunday March 2, 2014: Weekend update

  10. Helen

    Having just come off that dumb white diet for my procedure last week, my thought has been “how on earth do people eat like this all the time?” yet I know many people did and still do. It’s a huge change over to the dark side of unprocessed foods.

    I remember when I first started reading you regularly what drew me in was your vegetable experiments. It was fascinating to me that someone had not eaten so many of the vegetables that I pretty much took for granted lol!

    My favorite paragraph here is this one: “And if you haven’t had an AHA! moment – just start anyway. Just do it. You don’t need an epiphany. It’s more important what you do after that moment for the long haul than anything else.” Maybe because that is the theme I’ve been putting into place this year.
    Helen´s last blog post ..Fat Tuesday Ten

    1. Lori Post author

      I think when you eat a lot of white foods – your tastebuds get blanked or something. It’s easy palatable food and you don’t have to think much when you eat it. Not that food has to be cerebral, but you know what I mean.

Comments are closed.