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Update 8/26/2001

MAINTENANCE IS TOUGH, VERY TOUGH! It is, by far, the absolutely, positively, hardest part of the whole process. It's made even more difficult by how easy it was to get to maintenance,

Let's start off with some good news. I had a physical again in the summer of 2000 to see how I was doing.  Excellent I might add (see my stats on my LC main page). If there are negatives to this WOL, you can't see it by me. My doctor said to see him again at 45!  However, I plan to have a complete physical next year, just to make sure everything is okay.  Everyone should have a physical every couple of years, more often if you have a problem. This is my excuse why I need to go.

I've been on LC for over 2 years. Maintenance is the most critical part of the entire process. Although I have been successful, the body wants to go back to old habits. Here's what I've found over the years. 

Daily weigh-ins. I knew that it would be critical, and it is! This is the only way to make sure you stay where you want to. When you gain a few pounds you have instant feedback to reverse the effect. I have missed very few weigh-ins, and they are when we are on vacation or away for a few days.

Maintenance weight should be a range. It's too difficult to maintain your weight to the nearest pound. You are either under, or more likely over! It's much easier to stay within a range. In my case, the range is 140-145. Unfortunately I have been pushing 155 for several months.

The effects of eating increased carbs does not always show up the next day. Sometimes it takes 2 or 3 days. But there always is an effect!  Since I know that, simply cut back for a day or two and you'll be okay.

If you add sweets back in at all, it is VERY VERY difficult to limit yourself. Fat-type foods (such as meat) have an automatic self-limiting effect.  Candy and sweets do not have that feature. If you're going to go on a binge, set a limit (eg: ten minutes) and force yourself to stop after that.  Have a glass of water.  In another ten minutes you will be over it.

To those of you on an exercise program: Do not stop.  Ever.  I made that mistake.  I have been pretty good about staying on low carb.  However, due to several reasons, I cut way back on my exercise program.  I gained 10 pounds (155), and probably another 10 pounds in lost muscle (muscle weights a great deal more than fat). I went from a 32.5 waist to a 35. I was nowhere near my 185 start, but more than halfway to my 37+ waist. Ouch.  I have tried several times to get back on the program, and I think I'm finally there.  I feel much better and my pants are getting looser again!  I have not changed my eating throughout the process.  Now that I'm back on plan, I feel much better.  You forget how much better you feel when your exercising.  And you can blow away 80% of the rest of the population your age when you are playing volleyball or the like.

Here's another thing. Take pictures at the beginning, the middle, the end, and then if you change at all.  Last summer (2000) when I was at my all time best (145, 32 waist, exercising 4-5x week) I was still disappointed with my body.  Those damn love handles would not go away completely. I think I went to crazy trying to get rid of them, got fed up, and stopped the exercise program for several months.  Now, here I am.  Moderation did not rule. However everything is relative. I wish I had pictures to compare to now!  I think that would be a huge motivation.  Wow, that was me! I can do it again!

Over the past couple of years, a dozen or so other people were on the program with me (on and off). I now stand alone. I am the only LC person left. That tells you just how difficult changing your habits are. I still swear by it, and can't see myself giving up my meat, eggs and cheese just so I can have carbs.  For me, it's a big ol' slab of meat and a little veggies.  When I think of people eating a big ol' plate of vegies and a itty bitty piece of meat, I know that I was not meant to be one of those people. I am glad I found something I can live with.

185/154/145 (as of 8/26/01; LC since 5/21/99)