AIM: Are We There Yet?


This month’s topic came from the “Ask Us Anything” files. The question is:

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?

Well, the short answer is that I never really transitioned from loss to maintenance on purpose.  It just happened.


My end goal was kind of nebulous. I sure had a number goal in my head that I wanted to get to, but I honestly had no idea of what I would look like at that number on the scale. I kind of decided on it arbitrarily based on a range of what I was supposed to weigh.  However, I never got there. I just stopped losing.  (And I gained back 15 pounds.)  I consider myself to be an accidental maintainer.  My body seems to be comfortable, even though *I* am not comfortable right now. Of course, I feel a under some stress right now between the house and my job, which for whatever reason makes me focus more on not having gotten to goal yet. Not necessarily a good combination.  But I digress…

I think you just have to decide where you are comfortable being and living in a way that doesn’t drive you crazy to keep up. Do I struggle with wanting to lose more? Yes. Could I eat 1200 calories a day and exercise for 2 hours? Of course I could. Do I want to do that forever? No, I don’t.  I think for me maintenance is a constant thought process of what I am willing to to do versus how happy that makes me.  Even if I lose more weight – it really means nothing in terms of the kind of person I am.  Yes, I have lost a lot of weight, but it doesn’t define me.  

Every person is different. Everyone’s maintenance is different. The only way you really know when you are done is when your body tells you it’s done. It may not be where you want it to be  – or it could be right where you planned. The tough part is accepting it.



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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!

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26 thoughts on “AIM: Are We There Yet?

  1. Helen

    Your last sentence is interesting to me as I just commented on Shelley’s blog that acceptance = maintenance. Otherwise, you will continue to diet. I can say that because that’s where I am. I’m not ready to accept that this is where I should be, especially as I never was until my thyroid whacked out several years ago. I keep trying to figure out the magic formula. I’m just not willing to be fat but fit for the rest of my life.

    I do believe that the older one is, the higher that goal number probably should be. I’ve seen some older folks get back down to their high school weight (or whatever) and they look terrible.
    Helen´s last blog post ..Paint Palooza

    1. Lori Post author

      I agree on really thin when older is not always attractive – and probably not as healthy! If you figure out that magic formula, let me know.

  2. Lynn

    You nailed it on the head. It’s all in what we’re willing to do to stay at a particular number. I worked my butt off, literally, and at my lowest weight, I was – in a word – exhausted, physically and emotionally. What good is a size 4/6 if you spend every waking moment thinking about how to stay 4/6? Made no sense. While I may still want to lose a bit, I’m not willing to do it the way I did before.
    Lynn´s last blog post ..AIM: Are We There Yet?

    1. Lori Post author

      I don’t know if I can do it the way I did before, which was eating less. I guess I could and I don’t know why I don’t really really want it enough to do that.

  3. Linda E.

    This topic is too close to home. I know what my weight range should be for height, age, etc. So I tried to divide that by an even number- I will never see that number on the scale. I am as close to the middle as I can be. It is diffucult to get on the scale and see it stay the same after so many times it was going down. But, I have come to KNOW that being healthy is more important than being skinny. There are some pretty skinny pople out there, not so many who are healthy. Thanks for this topic.

    1. Lori Post author

      Healthy is more important than thinness, that is for sure. It’s hard when society pushes very thin images at us to not want to strive for that, sometimes to our detriment.

  4. Shelley B

    Another accidental maintainer, HIGH FIVE!!!

    Yes, it all comes down to what you are willing to do in order to *be* at a certain weight…and personally, I’d pick stronger and a little heavier over thinner and frail – I wonder if you would have the energy to bike 30 or 40 miles if you lost 30 more pounds?
    Shelley B´s last blog post ..AIM: Are We There Yet?

    1. Lori Post author

      I could bike faster if I was lighter and hills would be easier LOL! One thing I will never be is frail. Not gonna happen.

  5. Biz

    Yep, I think that is exactly it – an “accidental” maintainer. I’ve maintained my weight for almost six years, even with all the working out, eating right, etc., and while I wish I was 30 pounds lighter, had I not done all that exercise, just think of where I would be!

    Great job getting out on your bikes for the first time this year – seeing your face on Facebook with your bike helmet on made me smile!
    Biz´s last blog post ..Easiest Biscuits Ever

    1. Lori Post author

      It’s true – even if you aren’t at your goal weight, just think were you would be (and me, too!!)

  6. Jeannie/Qlts2Slo

    Okay, you stopped losing and are unwilling to live in a more restricted way. That sounds incredibly sane and realistic. Praise-worthy actually! But I assume there were plateaus along the way. What was the difference those times?

    1. Lori Post author

      The plateaus I had were at a much higher weight and not a healthy range. It just wasn’t a question of being done at all. Of course, the key when I had a couple of plateaus is that I didn’t manage to maintain, but gave up out of frustration and gained.

  7. Cammy@TippyToeDiet

    “Could I eat 1200 calories a day and exercise for 2 hours? Of course I could. Do I want to do that forever? No, I don’t.”

    Heck, I wouldn’t want to do that for a week! (Well, the exercise would be okay if I was on my bike or walking somewhere nice. But even then, not every single day.)

    One thing I said at the beginning of my loss phase was that I didn’t want to be one of those women endlessly obsessing about weight, body, or appearance. I know that my value/worth isn’t in any of those things, but I do have my moments. Some of them, really long, drawn-out moments. 🙂
    Cammy@TippyToeDiet´s last blog post ..AIM: Are We There Yet?

  8. Satu

    Good discussion Lori. When I lost weight with WW over 10 years ago and reached my goal weight I decided I want to lose 3 more kilos. And I did.

    I’m not anywhere near my goal at the moment but I just asked myself if I want to shift to eating a more restrictive diet so I could lose weight (I mean fat) a bit faster. I thought about it and mulled over the eating plan and then decided against it. I like my more relaxed and varied diet – even though sticking to it means I lose weight very slowly.

    I seriously don’t know where I end up weight-wise with my current eating style. I’m probably

    1. Lori Post author

      Well, I don’t know if it is the right way. I just want to be sane about it and not crazy – because it’s easy to be crazy obsessive about weight loss.

  9. Lisa

    I think it’s great that you point out that your body wants to be where it is. I think when we try and lose weight, we have a number in our heads and it’s not always realistic. My body is like yours–it just stopped losing once I got to a certain point. I had to make peace with the fact that I’d probably not lose those few pounds…
    Lisa´s last blog post ..Sunday Festivities

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