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The Elephant in the Room: Weight Maintenance

So, you’ve lost 22% of your body weight in 3 months, now what? I am so happy when people ask me in their initial consultation, “What is your maintenance plan?” I had a conversation with a patient the other day about the name “Rainier Medical.” I did not choose it just because we are close to Mt. Rainier. In fact, after I opened, I realized how many businesses are named “Rainier” and wondered if it was the right choice. But, I have seen that it is perfect! Why? Because losing weight and keeping it off is like being a mountain climber! It takes courage to look at that peak and decide to start. It takes planning and training and physical and emotional pain to summit. It takes heart, grit, and the ability to envision the incredible view from the top when your knees hurt and your chest burns and you are grinding away at the switchbacks in a forest. Then, when you get to the top, you get to enjoy the view for about 5 minutes until you have to start the climb down to get to the car before the sun goes down. Lo and behold, the way down is harder than the way up! Your knees hurt even more, you are mentally and physically fatigued, and you do not have that victorious peak to look forward to. Then, once you revel in the glory for a few months and you have conquered that mountain, you may suffer from the apathy of not having a goal. You may feel lost and not no where to go next. With that picture of maintaining weight loss, let’s look at how I approach weight maintenance. I have used resources to clarify a few simple rules. I am not saying they are easy, but I am saying they are simple and effective. The good news? You already learned most of how to maintain weight during weight loss, and you may not have even realized it! Remember the movie “Karate Kid?” Remember when Daniel was waxing the car and painting the fence and did not even know he was creating muscle memory? Well, you create habits during the Rainier Medical weight loss program that are the cornerstone of weight maintenance. So, the transition phase from weight loss to weight maintenance is crucial because you have to know what to change and what to keep. People who regain weight and come back frequently say the transition was what was missing. It happens when people go on vacation at the end of their weight loss and then do not return to make the transition phase.

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