You Don't Understand & I Can't Explain

- POSTED ON: Feb 10, 2018

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.

Leave me a comment.

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Existing Comments:

On Sep 04, 2017 dianne0007 wrote:
After 3 years of maintenance, I feel the same. How you made it 12 years without divesting yourself of visible online forum involvement is amazing to me. It taxes me to much and I care about myself more than that. I have always appreciated your input into the world of dieting. You have so much insight to give if one will just listen. I look forward to your update soon.

On Sep 04, 2017 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Thanks Dianne, I appreciate your comment a great deal. You are someone I've enjoyed watching in both the weight-loss and maintenance stage, and I've been encouraged by your success and by your online presence. No matter what diet you follow or what diet groups you choose to involve yourself in, I hope that our personal online relationship will continue, and that we will keep in contact with each other.

On Sep 04, 2017 herbsgirl wrote:
I'm over 3.5 years into maintenance. There's been some relapse and re-losing but I've never gained it all back. I'm currently close to my goal weight/ maintenance range. (Around 70 lb loss altogether) Maintenance is Day in and Day out. I started counting bites nearly 4 years ago and I still use this tool regularly at this time along and in combination/ interchangeably with calorie counting.

On Sep 05, 2017 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Herbsgirl, I've been following your progress for quite a few years now, first at No S, later at 5 bites, and then most recently ADF. Good Job. I saw in Facebook that you recently were able to get back to goal. Although nowadays we seldom connect online, I still read a great many of your online posts and appreciate it when you share your struggle.

On Dec 01, 2017 TexArk wrote:
I totally understand why you have backed off of other discussion groups/sites. It gets tiresome repeating yourself and the message falls on deaf ears most of the time. I am glad you have kept this diet hobby blog active and I do check in from time to time. As you know I can identify. The last 2 months I have been dealing with autoimmune liver disease issues. I have responded well to the meds and haven't had the expected weight gain from prednisone. The enzymes are back to normal range, and I can probably taper off prednisone soon. I will have to stay on an immune suppressor for life, however. I have been healthy all my life no matter my weight so this is new for me. My bmi is 26.6 at the start of this month. According to WHO I am still about 10 lbs. overweight, but I am satisfied. The goal is to hang on!

On Dec 01, 2017 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Thanks, TexArk, its good to hear from you. I'm sad that you are having health issues that require ongoing medication, but happy that your side effect isn't a big gain. It sounds to me like your weight is just where it should be. Perhaps I'm becoming a bit crochety, but I'm getting tired of the way our Culture keeps trying to steal away the right to simply exist as a comfortable old woman. I worked hard as a "Productive" for many decades, and think I've earned the right to just be accepting of what life is giving me, without engaging in a continual battle to maintain a "youthful" appearance. I don't hate my wrinkles, and what's really wrong with getting an "Aunt Bea" body in old age? History photos show this was really common, and even expected many years ago, ... WAY BEFORE there was an "obesity epidemic". I've written blogs about that before, and I suspect I'll be writing even more about that issue this next year.

On Feb 21, 2018 hazel wrote:
I AM interested in your life experience in the weight loss realm. I have followed you for many years. I am 11 years on my path. The new year brought me some extra lbs, and I continue to not let them stay. I am always working on loving me.

On Apr 14, 2018 Dr. Collins wrote:
             hazel, thank you for your personal update and for letting me know you are here. Somehow I missed seeing your comment come in, and didn't read it until this morning.

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