Tuesday, March 27th will be my Tenth SparkVersary. Wow! Ten years is an awful length of time to contemplate. I have seen so much on SparkPeople over the years, and so many changes. Many who joined and who started with tremendous enthusiasm, lost a lot of weight. They proudly showed off their before and after pictures in their public blogs, and more often than not, many of them have disappeared without a word, nor a trace. Some return many, many months later having regained almost all or even more than they lost prior to their sudden departure. Most do not mention much about this fact at all. But they do know the positive influence SP was during their weight loss journey and so have returned, ever hopeful that “this time” is “it”.
Truth be told, weight loss is not truly a community activity. It’s nice to support each other, but the hard work is surely internal. Weight loss has very little to do with actual weight. The reasons behind the excessive weight are many and learning exactly what that is, takes a long, long time to contemplate, and perhaps even longer, to correct. The path that we take to lose weight is not a straight line, starting with an “aha!” moment and moving linearly. It is fraught with “plateaus” and stalls as well as hard-won successes. More like this:
But on the positive side, what I have seen in the successful ones are the following:
- They are mindful
- They persevere
- When they have a weight gain, they immediately get back on track
- They celebrate who they are
- They are kind to themselves
- They are forgiving of themselves
- They know how easy it is to gain the weight back and even in maintenance, check in
daily for group support and for logging
- They keep logging their caloric intake even in maintenance
- They keep up their exercise and good habits they developed while losing the weight
- They are more consistent than inconsistent
- And probably most important of all, they maintain balance in their lives
If I can remember these pearls that the maintainers have shared over the years and act on them for myself and incorporate them into my own lifestyle, then I have hope that I, too, can join them at the Maintenance Table and be one of the 5% that can maintain their weight loss for life.
Hope is the Spark. Action is the Deed.