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Back to Beck: Stop Losing Start, Maintaining

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Beck's Chapter Eleven -- after the 42 days of the 6 week program -- is all about when it's time to stop.

When it's time to stop losing and start maintaining, that is.

And once again I suspect this is key.

And that I didn't fully "get it" first round.

I had a ridiculous idea of aiming for a new goal weight well below anything I've been able to maintain as an adult, and then trying to sustain that. Silly. Why? For the "prestige" of the number on the scale? The number on the waistband inside my pants?

Silly because -- if it's not sustainable, then I stop weighing. Stop vigorously monitoring the eating standing up, and the NO CHOICE and the hunger is not an emergency. And all the rest of it. And my weight slides up again ABOVE a reasonable maintainable weight. And I yo-yo.

Right now I suspect my weight is once again below "lowest sustainable weight".

"Lowest sustainable weight" is the weight you can sustain permanently while still following a sensible eating and exercise program for the rest of your life."

I need to wait now. Wait for a plateau. In a month or so. And then ask myself, about food:

Do I want to reduce calories even more? Would eating be satisfying enough if I ate less? Would it be healthy to eat less? Would eating less fit into my lifestyle? Could I live comfortably with fewer calories in the long term?

I'm going to pay attention this time. But I think that I do know the answer.

And: I also need to think about exercise:

Do I want to increase the intensity and/or duration of exercise? Do I have enough time and energy to devote to more exercise? Would more exercise actually be healthy for me, or overdoing it? And can I sustain more exercise intensity and time over the long run?

Again, I think I know the answer to these questions too.

I've gotta be patient. Wait. Monitor. And accept a "realistic" maintainable weight. Whether I "want" to be thinner or not.

Work in progress? Absolutely.

Just want this to be over? Yup, I do.

OK then, one more blog (tomorrow). But as for me, I've gotta keep on with this.

Trying for "too much" is in fact self-defeating. The best IS the enemy of the good.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    i am also at this point of whether the weight and exercise level and calorie level i have now is sustainable - and as you say, only time will tell, but beck (and your blogs!) give the tools we need to figure it out and NOT go back on the yoyo cycle.
    1955 days ago
    Your blogs will be in my back pocket for reference if I get going on this.
    1956 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Here is to finding your happy weight with a reasonable balance of exercise and good nutrition. I know you will find it and inspire the rest of us to shape up and get with the program!
    1956 days ago
    Excellent blog! Lots to ponder about emoticon I'm learning here!
    1956 days ago
    Yes, those are good conversations to have with oneself. I have the one about athletic endeavors on a fairly regular basis... some events are more than what I can reasonably expect of my body. I gave up on the concept of a full marathon in a single session last year. Don't know if I'll ever entertain the notion again, but I wouldn't put it past me to have another conversation with myself about it!

    Process, evolution, learning, growing... yep, we're LIVING! I've so enjoyed your journey through Beck, and how apropos that yours is coming to a close while others are just beginning, and a few are somewhere in the middle.

    Spark on! emoticon
    1956 days ago
    That's the truth . . . it IS a process, an evolution, ever changing. Wo,have to be willing to "do what it takes" and discontinue what DOESN'T work.

    1957 days ago
    I remember when you thought you might want to weigh at a lesser weight; if you check my homepage you'll see that after I hit 136 I thought I'd shoot for 124! Ha!

    Lowest sustainable weight; that's the ultimate goal and prize. As we get older it doesn't have to be the number we were at on our wedding day or any other day, for that matter. It just has to be where we are healthy and happy, looking good and feeling good!

    I love this (partial) response from MOBYCARP to another person's blog two days ago:

    "t's worth putting some thought into maintenance before you get there, and putting a lot of thought into it when you start getting close. Some parts of maintenance are similar to losing weight, other parts are different in important ways. Understanding this and learning what is different increases the chance of keeping the weight off.

    The scale goes up.
    The scale goes down.
    Making the scale go sideways is hard.
    Making the scale go sideways will be very important after you make the scale go down as far as it needs to go."


    It's never over. But "oh well"...
    1957 days ago
    What a great blog. Beck is so sensible and you are an inspiration.
    Thank you for all your hard work sharing this Beck process with us.

    I especially value your comments about how difficult and tedious you are finding this. No choice, no choice. I am finding my preread of Beck hard, the concepts are clearly right on, and the commitment is hard. Oh well, no choice. You have to chose your hard.

    I trust Beck will work for me and what doesn't stick the first time will stick the second or third time.
    Thanks for leading the way.
    1957 days ago
    Coming to similar realizations myself about the last 10 pounds to emoticon

    What is the right weight for me...the right number of calories, the right balance of exercise, right this, right that...time to turn left and make a stand.
    1957 days ago
  • GABY1948
    Oh, what a emoticon emoticon blog (that was not a mistake...I meant for two of them!). Even though I have awhile to go I have been thinking this very thing! And seen so many on spark talk about it too!

    I know I have told you that I most always "do as I'm told"...so I am watching you to maybe take my cue from you....not for the number per se but for knowledge!

    I am still dreading when your blogs stop on this! But I wish it over for you too since you do!

    emoticon emoticon
    1957 days ago
    Here's to 'right-sizing' for each stage of our journey...
    Sounds like the second take has been a successful one!
    1957 days ago
    I've been yo yo-ing for so long that I figure I need to just pick a weight and stay there. 160 was hard to maintain...180 was hard to maintain...so too will 140 be hard to maintain. I have accepted the fact that I'm addicted to food. And, as a food addict, I need to say NO to food whenever I get a craving...ALWAYS, no to eating when I get a craving.

    I do now allow myself to pre-plan the food I "am craving" for the next day...I pre-plan the food and the amount, so that the craving will not be dictating my food intake.

    I have never gone into maintenance armed with so much information about myself and "my food stuff". My goal weight of 140 is where my wardrobe fits. It fits nicely, it looks good, I don't need to worry if I have anything that will fit me in the closet this morning. Since I cannot trust my intuition about food, I'm going to trust the nutrition tracker and my scale to keep me steady...steady, and not ruled by food.

    There is no BEST in me... I'm wrinkled, wrinkled, and wrinkled...with sags and droops everywhere. So, I'm just going to go "steady"...that's the "good" I can hope for. Steady scale and freedom from obsession with food...that's my maintenance.

    1957 days ago
    Yes, have had this "lowest sustainable weight" idea in my head for some time. I want to balance what I know I need to do to attain / maintain a weight that enables me to enjoy my life, yet doesn't drive me crazy with ongoing excessive focus on food choices and exercise.

    1957 days ago
    This is where I like the BMI recommendation. Yeah, I know it's not perfect, but I'm not a muscled body builder, NFL quarterback or Olympic athlete. I'm a 67 year old grandmother with a small to medium frame. Not the large frame I convinced myself I had while I was gaining and holding on to extra weight.

    So, I see no need to get down to the very bottom of the BMI range. Middle of the road is just fine for me. It's sustainable and maintainable, Life is easier when not hauling around extra pounds. That makes up for the inconvenience of daily vigilance,

    Note: To anyone a few ticks above recommended BMI. I don't believe that's a cause for concern. Any range has to have an arbitrary cut off point. The problem comes when an upward trend continues year after year without facing and dealing with reality.
    1957 days ago
    Great blog. Knowing what is reasonable to maintain is definitely a balancing act when one has spent many years trying to lose weight.
    1957 days ago
    It's a balancing act, isn't it? Eating enough to be satisfied but not enough to gain; eating enough to get the proper nutrients but not enough to gain; getting enough exercise and activity to not gain but also not exhaust yourself.

    Life on a tightrope? Maybe more of life on a balance beam.
    1957 days ago
    All very good questions I will have to answer for myself one day. I wrote to a friend recently about my lowest adult weight and how it was not sustainable. I have been on the rise and yo-yoing ever since then so now I have no idea what my sustainable weight is, but I'm going to find out!

    I know I have some goals in the back of my head about how I want to eat and exercise on a daily basis. This journey will be to bring those two things together for balance.

    You say you have one more blog for tomorrow. I hope that won't be the last we hear from you ! emoticon
    1957 days ago
    I love this blog. Lowest sustainable weight is so different than lowest acheivable weight. I agree with everything you have said here. You have to be okay with all of these things for the long haul and realize it is for life. If you can't commit, you will not sustain that weight loss. Key for me is believing I can do it. You are doing great!
    1957 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14895051
    A doctor once gave me a formula for sustainable weight: take the lowest number you were ever able to sustain as a young adult and add a pound for every year you've been overweight, up to 20 lbs. That puts my goal weight at 10 pounds heavier than the charts, but a perfectly healthy and lovely weight for me.

    I don't know where my body will take me, but I agree that trying to get to a lower number can have devastating consequences for a lot of maintainers.

    Good job, Ellen!
    1957 days ago
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