My Preferences Matter
- POSTED ON: Jan 16, 2018

Research indicates that 95% of all dieters regain their lost weight within 5 years. 

I am  a “reduced obese” person who has been maintaining my body at or near a “normal” BMI for the past 12+ consecutive years, so I am one of the 5% who has maintained their weight loss for more than 5 years.

Long-term Maintenance of my very large Weight-Loss requires me to Diet continually. By this I do NOT mean that I “Yo-Yo Diet”. I mean that I must CONSISTENTLY Diet.  Minute-after-minute, hour-after-hour, day-after-day, week-after-week, month-after-month, year-after year.

I am not, … nor will I ever become, … a “normal” eater who can effortlessly maintain a “normal” weight.  Even after all these years of consistent weight-loss maintenance, I've found that as a "reduced obese" person, I must fight my body continually in order to keep it from taking me up back into morbid obesity.

Basically, I engage in ongoing calorie restriction.  Over the years I’ve chosen to experiment with a variety of diets, ways-of-eating, lifestyles, and diets-that-claim-not-to-be-diets.  However, every one of these eating variations involves restricting calories in one way or another.

I log all of my daily food in a computer journal, and keep an eye on my calorie intake. 

Generally, I follow some basic eating guidelines which tend to give me freedom from specific diet rules, in the following ways.

My preferences matter.  I get to say what I like and what I don’t, and I can’t be wrong.

I manage my eating in a flexible way, similar to the way I budget my money, — not spending an absolute set amount every day, but keeping an eye on the bottom line.

Financially, I live within my means.  Although I don’t track every single purchase, I do look at price tags, comparison shop, and have a general idea of whether I can afford something.

I do the same with eating,
… paying attention to:

    ▪    The energy value (i.e. calories) in the foods I eat, or think about eating;

    ▪    My own energy needs (i.e. calorie burn);

    ▪    The health effects of certain foods (i.e. I have some protein every day; avoid foods that upset my stomach; etc.)

In this way I am able to make wiser decisions about which, and how much, food is appropriate for me and why.  I choose to eat the foods I love in small amounts, while I choose to do without the foods that I don’t love or need as much.

As a grown-up, I understand that Living Life involves a multitude of basic ongoing tasks. 

    ▪    I have to shower or bathe frequently if I want my body to be clean.

    ▪    I have to keep up with my laundry if I want to wear clean clothing.

    ▪    I have to perform various household tasks if I want to live in a clean house.

    ▪    I have to keep putting fuel in my car, if I want to drive places.

    ▪    I have to pay my utility bills if I want access to water, electricity, gas, and garbage removal.

    ▪    I have to diet if I want to maintain my body at a size which is considered to be “normal” in our culture.

Dieting consistently to Maintain my Weight-loss is simply one of those basic ongoing tasks.

Status Update - January 2018
- POSTED ON: Jan 05, 2018

Where the rubber hits the road” refers to the Moment of Truth of something.
The point at which the Theory is put into Practice. 
The point in a Process where there are Challenges, Issues, or Problems.

Most people understand that the process of Dieting to achieve a large weight-loss is difficult.  However, Long-term Maintenance of a large-weight loss is the real Point in the process of Dieting where the rubber hits the road.

26 years ago, (Dec. 1992) my weight was 271 lbs.  I’m 5’0” tall, so that’s a 52.9 BMI = Stage 4 obesity = Super-obese. After an open RNY gastric bypass which allows 100% of all calorie intake to still be absorbed, I lost down to 161 pounds, which is a 31.4 BMI = Stage 1 obesity, and maintained near there for a couple of years.

But then my weight began creeping up, and it became necessary for me to start dieting again to avoid a rapid regain. 10 years later, I was dieting to maintain my weight in the 190s, which is a 37 to 38 BMI = Stage 2 = Severe obesity, near the top border between Stages 2 & 3 = Morbid obesity. 

DietHobby’s “ABOUT ME” section provides a summary of my weight history details.   BLOG CATEGORIES, Status Updates contains many articles that share an ongoing record of my weight and calorie numbers.

13+ years ago (Sept. 2004)  I began logging ALL of my daily food intake into a computer food journal which provides me with a calorie count; and I used a scale daily to see my early morning weight, unclothed, immediately after urination, which I recorded immediately.  The chart below is a compilation of that data.

13 Years of Weight-Loss and Maintenance

The chart above shows my total daily calorie amount for an entire individual year, averaged out.  It also shows my total daily weight amount for an entire individual year, averaged out, and my corresponding BMI.  It also includes the lowest recorded weight for each individual year. 

This chart demonstrates that during the 16 month weight-loss phase, my body behaved just as one would expect.  My calorie average of around 1,200, led to a large weight-loss.

During the first two years of my maintenance phase, my body also behaved as one would expect.   A calorie average of around 1,400 resulted in a stable weight-maintenance.

However, during the third year of my maintenance phase the situation changed, and a new Pattern emerged.  I started re-gaining a bit of weight each year, even though I kept lowering my calories.

This pattern of an upward-weight-creep, despite consistent-very-low-calorie-intake, feels precarious. My Maintenance path has now narrowed to a point where sometimes I feel like I’m walking a tightrope, struggling to keep my balance in order to avoid falling all the way back into morbid obesity.

I’m growing weary of living at the place where the Rubber Hits the Road.  This is my current Reality, and the Truth about how maintenance is going for me at the start of 2018.

Many of my previous status update articles discuss details about my weight history, my food and dieting involvement, as well as specifics of this situation. For more detailed information about my current situation, see my recent status update: Why Is This Happening? - October 2017” which goes into great depth about this issue, and provides many links to relevant articles posted here in DietHobby.


You Don't Understand & I Can't Explain
- POSTED ON: Nov 19, 2017

It is difficult to communicate the Realities of Long-Term-Weight-Loss-Maintenance.  I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.

I am a Reduced-Obese person who has been successfully maintaining a large weight-loss for more than 13 years, which is a very long time.  For the past 7 years here at DietHobby I’ve been demonstrating my involvement with that maintenance process.

One idea that seems to be uniquely my own was the choice to consider Dieting as an ongoing Hobby, and I’ve written a lot about that already. In fact, I’ve written a great deal about most of the Dieting issues that interest me.  I’ve posted hundreds of articles, pictures, videos which are all still here, indexed and available for review Individually, in the Blog Archives, in the Blog Categories, and also under specific Section Headers.  See the Contents Directory for more details.

Just like there are different stages of Dieting, there are different stages of Maintenance.

Unless you’ve actually spent a lengthy amount of time on one or more Diets, you cannot truly UNDERSTAND the experience of Dieting. 

Understanding Maintenance also requires ACTUAL LONG-TERM EXPERIENCE of being personally involved with the Maintenance process.

In all this time, I have not personally run across any other “reduced-obese” person who has lost from a “super-obese” BMI, down to a “normal” BMI and has been successfully maintaining that weight loss for 10 or more years. Not in person, not diet-book authors, and not online.  And yet I’ve been diligently searching for quite a long time.

People who are NOT involved with dieting … either on a diet or planning to be on one… are seldom interested in receiving extensive information about the benefits or pitfalls of dieting, let alone the maintenance issues that occur after successfully dieting.  

Most of the people who ARE involved in the process of dieting, focus on their weight-loss goals; hope for an easy “maintenance”; and don’t want to face potential maintenance issues until after they cross their goal “Finish Line”. 

The task of Maintenance during the first few years immediately after a large weight-loss is usually more difficult than most dieters expected, and the last thing new MAINTAINERS want to hear is that the process is not going to get any easier … and that, in fact, it will probably become MORE difficult as time goes on.

So… I’ve learned that most people NOT dieting don’t want to hear about the realties of long-term Maintenance.

Most People ON diets don’t want to hear about the realities of long-term Maintenance. 

Most People WITHIN the first, second, or third year of reaching their weight-goal don’t want to hear about the realities of long-term Maintenance. 

It is difficult to find a successful dieter who, after many years of morbid obesity, has been maintaining a “normal” BMI for more than three consecutive years. Such people are rare and therefore almost impossible to find and connect with. This sometimes causes me to feel very alone.

Posting here at this DietHobby website is a part of my personal dieting hobby.  DietHobby is an online Scrapbook of information that I find to be personally interesting and helpful.  For more than 13 years, as part of my dieting hobby I’ve involved myself with various online diet forums, and one of the main reasons I created this DietHobby website was so that I could easily explain myself in depth when participating in various discussions by using links to helpful articles that I had previously researched and written. 

Over time I’ve discovered that doing this isn’t as simple or as helpful as I expected.  Various forum members (usually those who were not involved in the original discussion) sometimes erroneously considered my linked articles in DietHobby to be “spam”, and objected to them. 

Members who were involved in discussions with me often ignored the links, or chose to read only a few highlights of an article which caused them to miss the point entirely. 

I’ve had many years of involvement with numerous diet groups and online forums, and at present, most of the time I find that involving myself in forum discussions results in a lot of repetition about issues that I no longer find interesting or personally helpful to me. This past year I’ve been reducing my engagement in that sort of activity, and expect that I will continue doing so in the future.

My dieting hobby appears to be working, in that I am still successfully maintaining a very large weight-loss.  I plan to continue on …working to restrict my food intake while logging it all into a computer journal; tracking my calories and weights; experimenting with various diets;  reading books and articles;  following the various online posts that I find personally interesting or helpful; and posting here in DietHobby whenever I wish to do so. 

Although I expect to greatly reduce my VISIBLE online forum involvement in general, I plan to stay personally available to interested members here at the DietHobby website, through posts, comments, and private messages.

At age 72 I am becoming more and more weary of the entire maintenance process, however, I plan to continue on with it as long as I am able to do so. 

Many of you have followed me and my progress for a very long time, and I will continue to occasionally provide updated personal information here at  DietHobby.

Today’s post will be included in the BLOG CATEGORY, Status Updates, which exists to make it easier for those who follow me to watch how things evolve as time passes. I recently ran a diet experiment from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and will soon be doing a Status Update post about that. 

Although Today I am feeling very alone here in long-term maintenance, I do appreciate and value each and every DietHobby member and visitor, no matter what your current dieting status might or might not be.

Originially posted on 9/4/17.  Bumped up for new viewers.

Why Is This Happening? - October 2017
- POSTED ON: Oct 06, 2017

During the this past 12 years of my weight-loss maintenance, I’ve been collecting data about my food and weight. This provides me with a great deal of personal information, and that data tells me that … over the years … my weight is continuing to creep upward, even though I keep reducing my calorie intake.

I find this fact very annoying, as well as perplexing.

Until I was faced with this personal information, I believed what our Culture teaches:  “If Fat people cut back on their food intake enough to reach a “normal” weight, their bodies will become like the bodies of “normal” people. To maintain that weight loss, they need to eat more than they did to lose the weight, but not go back to eating as they did previously: in a gluttonous manner.”

Essentially, I thought that you diet down to your goal weight number; cross the finish line; and from that time on you will maintain your weight-loss by eating like normally thin people do.

This is NOT what has been happening for ME. So, I began wondering why? What’s going on?

I spent a lot of time studying books, and articles, and research about this issue, and learned that as a “reduced obese” person, what has been happening to ME, personally, seems to fall within the theories of Set Point, and Biological Adaptation. 

My History

I’ve spent my lifetime dieting, from my youth into my old age. I’ve lost, and regained, hundreds of pounds of fat.  About 25 years ago, at age 48, I had an open RNY gastric bypass surgery, which - at the time - was still considered experimental.  This forced me to eat in a way that dropped my BMI from a 52.9 BMI = Stage 4 - Super-obese, down to a  31.4 BMI = Stage 1 - just over the border of obese.  After a few years I began actively dieting again in order to avoid a rapid regain.

About 13 years ago, around age 60, I was back up to a 38 BMI = Stage 2 -Severe obesity. I began logging my food and daily weight into a computer software diet program.  I begun losing weight, and about 16 months later, in January 2006, I reached my goal of a 22.5 BMI = in the middle of the "Normal" weight range.

During the 12 years since that time, now almost age 73, I’ve continued using a computer program to log my food and daily weight.  As a result of that effort, I’ve maintained my weight at-or-near a BMI range of “normal”. I now also have 13 years of records showing my personal daily food and weight data.

1993 Weight-Loss 

About 25 years ago, I actually experienced an open RNY Gastric Bypass surgery, after which I ate tiny amounts for many months,.... estimated amount is from 300 to 600 calories daily. “Cheating on that diet" was physically impossible for me.

The calculations in this chart demonstrate that one could reasonably assume that during that 30 week period in 1993, my body’s estimated average daily calorie burn was somewhere around 2100 calories.

2005 Weight-Loss

About 13 years ago, I dieted from 190 down to 120 lbs over a 67 week period. At that time all of my daily food was logged into a computer program, which demonstrated that my daily average calorie intake was 1224.

The calculations in this chart demonstrate that one could reasonably assume that during that 67 week period in late 2004 & 2005, my body’s estimated average daily calorie burn was somewhere around 1746 calories.

12 Years of Maintenance of Weight-Loss

Here’s a chart of my past 12 years in Maintenance.  It shows my total daily calorie amount for an entire individual year, averaged out.  It also shows my total daily weight amount for an entire individual year, averaged out.  It also includes the lowest recorded weight for each individual year.

One would expect that my average yearly weights, and my average calorie intakes would be directly proportional, in that as my average calorie intake decreases, my average weight would also decrease.  Instead it appears that those values are inversely proportional: while my calorie intake has been decreasing, my weight has been increasing.

Even with my detailed records, my exact current total calorie burn still involves a lot of guesswork, but at this point, it appears to be somewhere around 25%-or-more Below the Average BMR for a female my same age, size, and activity level.  Since I am a small, inactive, elderly female, that is a Very Small amount of food. Frankly, eating little enough for maintenance is quite hard to do, and I’ve been finding additional Weight-Loss to be nearly impossible.

To provide perspective:

 BMR (basic metabolic rate - without activity) according to Mifflin formula,
       1058 calories for an AVERAGE 60 year old female, weighing 125 lbs
       1008 calories  for an AVERAGE 70 year old female, weighing 125 lbs

Calorie Error

When looking at these ongoing calorie numbers, the first thing that comes to mind is unintentional calorie error. 

An important relevant fact is that these foods and amounts eaten were recorded at the time they were eaten, therefore the calorie counts provided are not based on inexact memories.

Calorie counting is never an exact science, and at the low calorie numbers required by my metabolic rate, an unwitting daily 10 to 20 percent error could account for a 100 to 150 calorie deviation from the actual amount.

However, another important relevant fact to recognize is that during all of these past 13 years I weighed and measured and recorded my foods in the same way.  Therefore, any inadvertent calorie error due to my methods of measuring and counting would have been consistent over time so it is unlikely to account for the calorie average deviations shown over time. 

Correlation is Not Causation

The common Scientific Belief is that that weight-loss is caused by a calorie deficit, and weight-gain is caused by a calorie surplus.  I feel certain that this is true.


  • It is a fact that I was previously morbidly obese, and that I lost down to a normal weight.
  • It is a fact that my weight has been going up during my past 12 years of maintenance.

  • It is a fact that the calories of my food intake has been going down during my past 12 years of maintenance.

  • It is a fact that I am older now than I was when I originally lost the weight.

  • It is a fact that I am less active now than I was when I originally lost the weight.

  • It is a fact that during the past 4 years my recorded calorie intake has been less than the BMR calories for an AVERAGE 70 year old 125 lb female.

Correlation is not causation. Each of the above mentioned facts are variables, and there appears to be a correlation between these variables, however, this does not automatically mean that the change of one variable is the cause of the change in another variable.  Causation indicates that one event is the RESULT of the occurrence of the other event. .. That one thing CAUSES the other.

I am able to REPORT here what I’ve seen happening with my body, but I am not able to actually KNOW what is causing this to happen. I’ve thought about this issue a great deal, and I’ve done as much research on the issue as has been possible for me. This has led me toward certain general opinions and beliefs about the subject, but I have no True and Ultimate Answer to what, for ME, is a genuine personal problem.  I also have no Ultimate Answer for other people who appear to have a similar problem.

There are many articles here at DietHobby about me and my own weight and calorie History. See:

    ⁃    ABOUT ME. 

    ⁃    How Fast…How Much…Weight Lost After Gastric Bypass?

    ⁃    BLOG CATEGORIES, Status Updates.

Here at DietHobby I’ve posted a great many articles on the difficulties of long-term weight loss and the subject of Biological Adaptation. Most of them are located in the section BLOG CATEGORIES, Research - Science.   

Below are several links to some articles on the subject that I’ve found especially helpful.

    ⁃    Running down the Up Escalator

    ⁃    Set Point

    ⁃    Our Weight is Regulated by Our Biological System

    ⁃    Happily Ever After & Neuroscience

    ⁃    The Secret Life of Fat - Book Review

    ⁃    Body of Truth - Book Review

    ⁃    Biological Adaptations that Promote Weight Regain

    ⁃    Long-Term Weight-Loss Almost Impossible

The following statements by obesity specialist, Dr. Freedhoff  M.D. make a great deal of sense to me.
He says that:

Physiologically, Plateaus don't exist. Unless it's a temporary trick of the scale, . . . if you're not losing, either you're burning fewer calories than you think; you're eating more than you think; or some combination thereof. 

There's no Plateau, but there IS such a thing as a "FLOOR". If you've truly stopped losing weight, there are really only two questions you need to ask yourself.

    1.    Could I happily eat any less?
    2.    Could I happily exercise any more?

If the answer is "yes" then you can tighten things up, but If the answer to both is "no", there's nothing left for you to do. 

This is because if you can't happily eat any less and you can't happily exercise any more -- then it's unlikely that this will ever become part of your permanent behavior. 


Here is my ongoing personal solution to the problem addressed in this article.
Work to ACCEPT the reality of the situation while, at the same time, do my best to FOLLOW THROUGH WITH DOING THE INDICATED THINGS which are required for long-term maintenance of my large weight loss.

It is what it is.

Weight Range Mantenance Plan
- POSTED ON: Oct 02, 2017

I created a Weight Range Maintenance Chart
in order to make my maintenance weight goals clearly visible. 
This is my Current Chart. 

Here is a scale photo of my current weight. 

I have been successfully maintaining a very large weight-loss for many years.  You can find my history in the ABOUT ME section which contains a great many links to detailed weight and calorie charts.

I reached my goal weight of 115 pounds in January 2006, and since that time I’ve been making ongoing, consistent, diligent efforts to maintain my weight near that number.

I work to keep my weight within a certain number range, rather than at an individual “goal weight” number. 

I find this necessary because my body has frequent large weight bounces due to salt/water/waste issues. 

Despite my best efforts, during any one-month period, my daily weight tends to bounce back and forth inside a 5 to 8 pound range.

For the past 12 years, I’ve been able to keep these bounces between 115 and 135 pounds. 

On occasion however, my weight has BRIEFLY been as much as 10 pounds below and 5 pounds above that basic bounce range.

The yearly weight chart posted here shows my very lowest yearly weight during each of the past 12 years.

In order to demonstrate that the increases in these yearly lowest weights were NOT due to periods of inattention or a lack of effort, I’m also posting a corresponding yearly calorie chart showing my average daily calories during each of these passing years. 

I’ll be writing more about this issue in an further article on the subject of Biological Adaptation to Weight Loss and Maintenance.

My current Weight Range Maintenance Chart shown at the top of this article is a modification and simplification of this previous chart. 

During my 12 year maintenance period, although I’ve kept the Basic weight-range maintenance chart format, I’ve made several modifications to it.

If interested, you can read about it in the following articles.

Setting a Goal Weight Range
Change in my Weight Range Maintenance Plan
Weight Range Maintenance Plan Changes Again

You can also find further charts and detailed information about my weights and my food intake in the BLOG CATEGORY Status Updates.

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