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  #31   ^
Old Sun, Sep-03-17, 05:09
cotonpal's Avatar
cotonpal cotonpal is online now
Posts: 2,987
 
Plan: very low carb real food
Stats: 245/122/135 Female 62
BF:
Progress: 112%
Location: Vermont
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambulo
'
I have been in maintenance for over 3 years: maintenance as an activity, not maintenance as an outcome - I have been gaining just about 1.3 lbs a year. I have simply carried on with the WOE that I lost with, primarily OMAD with low carb dishes. My occasional deviation is fish and chips, maybe once a quarter. My OMAD tribe does not weigh or measure food, but we eat to satiety. I will not countenance imposing any portion control unless clothes get tight. As an Abstainer I am happy to live by my simple rules and make zero food decisions most hours of a day.


I eat two meals a day rather than one but otherwise I agree with Ambulo, maintenance for me is just a continuation of everything I was doing while I was losing weight. I've upped my carbs a bit in the form of low carb above ground vegetables but I just stay the low carb course. I think of this way of eating as much more than a way to lose weight. It is also a way to regain and then maintain health. Weight loss may be the most obvious benefit but there are so many other health benefits that it simply makes no sense to me to change things even though weight loss is no longer a goal.

Jean
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  #32   ^
Old Sun, Sep-03-17, 07:17
Just Jo's Avatar
Just Jo Just Jo is offline
A'72 Lifer Hard Core
Posts: 13,318
 
Plan: A'72 Induction Lifer + IF
Stats: 265/114/130 Female 5'4"
BF:Not so much now!
Progress: 112%
Location: South Central New Mexico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cotonpal
maintenance for me is just a continuation of everything I was doing while I was losing weight.
That's how it is for me too...

Dr. A said this in A '72 page 263:
Quote:
The best decision is probably to stay pretty much on the very low carbohydrate diet on which you lost; only now you can feel free to deviate in small ways.
I really haven't changed anything that I was doing to lose the weight; I haven't tried to increase carbs, or allow "cheat meals" etc.

I've truly been blessed since I know exactly how many kcals and carbs (my "sweet spot") I can eat daily w/o gaining weight, getting cravings etc...

Interesting that this thread popped back up b/c this is what I wrote in my journal this morning:
Quote:
Staying 100% OP has NOT been difficult at all... lately I've been eating the same things day-in and day-out.

Not complaining one iota since it means I don't have to think about food or what Imma gonna eat PERIOD! Which is one of my many food related issues!

Food really is a none-issue since it doesn't hold the same "entertainment" value it used to have when I was "Fat Jo". I really only eat to nourish my body...

Tomorrow will mark 3 years, 6 months, 2 weeks and counting in Maintenance!

Imma really proud about that since I've never EVER stayed in maintenance for any significant amount of time!

Okay, seriously, I NEVER did maintenance before which would explain my years and years of yo-yo dieting!

Honestly, it's truly easier to stay 100% OP every.single day then to have to battle "FAT Jo" and her carb addiction!

Imma gonna stay 100% OP today and let tomorrow take care of itself!
My answer to your original question, Kathleen24:
Quote:
Do you find a peace where you are no longer trying to lose, or is it an eternal-vigilance feeling?
Imma in the eternally vigilant camp b/c my past yo-yoing dieting history has taught me that if I get lazy about my eating, "Fat Jo" gets a toe hole into my reality. And I just don't have the emotional fortitude to fight her fat azz again!
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  #33   ^
Old Sun, Sep-03-17, 08:45
cotonpal's Avatar
cotonpal cotonpal is online now
Posts: 2,987
 
Plan: very low carb real food
Stats: 245/122/135 Female 62
BF:
Progress: 112%
Location: Vermont
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I think it is a mistake to think of low carb eating as simply a weight loss strategy. It is a health strategy that includes weight loss so that even if weight loss is no longer a goal, you continue eating the same way because health remains a goal no matter what you weigh. Then there's that nasty fact that if you revert to your old habits you will gain back the weight and then some and your overall health will decline.

Jean
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  #34   ^
Old Sun, Sep-03-17, 12:51
kathleen24 kathleen24 is offline
Monday came.
Posts: 4,029
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 275/161.6/155 Female 5'4"
BF:ummm . . . ?
Progress: 95%
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Lovely to see the action on this thread; thank you all for your thoughtful replies.

I had plateaued for about a year and a half, about 50 pounds down from my high weight, then started tightening up my focus back in March and dropped about 30 pounds. You may know how that goes--no one notices the first 20-30-40 pounds.

Then I spent the summer traveling, and only had access to a scale a few times over the summer. I had felt like I was losing, and the clothes I had seemed loser, but when I got on a scale on the last night of my trip and saw I'd dropped another 25, I was surprised to say the least.

I really hadn't wrapped my mind around getting under 200 (194 when I left this spring), but just got on with having a lovely summer, eating LC as best I could, walking a lot, being happy. And frankly, if I was low on cash and had to chose between spending 10E on food or on a book or CD, I would tell myself that I'd be hungry again tomorrow, but I'd have the music for a lifetime, so it was very easy to make those choices. Also, I think the quality of the food was better there, and I didn't need as much to meet my nutritional needs.

But when got on a scale that last night, and then got off and on and off and scribbled on the back of an envelope converting stones and kg to pounds to make sure I understood correctly, and found myself at 170, it was a total shock.

That was two weeks ago, and I'm down another 5 pounds since then. So when I returned to work, people finally saw the difference that all that weight loss made. (Most common response? 'You've lost a ton of weight.' Umm--thank you?)

Coming back here and finding that I could fit into clothing and seeing numbers on the scale I haven't worn for years leaves me with a sense of unreality about it all. It's as if I'm living the teenager-y dream of going to sleep fat and waking up thin. I am used to micromanaging the process, and this time more or less skipped the dreaded 180's-doldrums, and good riddance to that. But then missing the journey through the 170's? And continuing to lose? Wows. .

I am so grateful to be here, don't misunderstand. But I'm doing my best to try to own this, to accept this as the new normal. I spent last weekend going through my closet, going through The Boxes, and was stunned to see that almost everything I'd set aside because of weight gain fits now. I have two totes left of clothing that doesn't fit, but it's only a size or two too small. I confronted a lot of emotion in that process, and a lot of fear--if this is coming off this easily, might it come back? Decided I just can't think like that, and took bags and bundles to the charity shop and drove away without looking back.

I've got a pair of jeans, size 13 Zena `mom pants' that are my iconic `I feel like I look good in these', which I wore out in public yesterday. I didn't think I'd be anywhere near fitting them when I unpacked them, but they went right on.

I was at 164.4 this morning. And I think, imagine that--five more pounds and I'll be in the 150's! My 155 goal was set more as a distant Holy Grail than any clear knowledge of what will look and feel right to me. I'm aiming for functionality as my touchstone: where do I feel good, where am I most strong and fit, what weight can I maintain without it being a white-knuckle struggle?

I don't even know the difference between loose skin and rolls of fat--I can see and feel the muscle underneath, and I see sploodge on top of them, but how much of that is skin? Looking pretty good now fully dressed, otherwise not so much. And ladies, to be honest, I would like to also look good without the clothes.

Did your skin tighten up and you lose subcutaneous fat in the years since you hit maintenance?

Sorry to ramble on and on, but this is stuff I'm trying to work out instead of acting out, if you get my drift.

ETA: to clarify, I have no intention of changing the way I eat. I feel like I've finally stumbled on the way that works for me, natural, easy, satisfying. I wait until I'm hungry to start eating, eat what I'm hungry for, stop eating when my body says `enough', and don't eat again until I get hungry. I plan my shopping for the week, package good stuff for my frig at work and eat from that. Lots of fresh and cooked veggies, good fats, some chicken, fish, eggs, limited dairy, nuts, berries. What's not to love? I figure that at some point my body will hit a plateau, and I will assume that's my new goal, achieved. So I am definitely not thinking about changing that up when I hit some arbitrary number on the scale.

When I go to a new place, I ask people who live there to talk to me like I'm five years old. What are the rules? What do I need to watch out for? Don't pick up the snakes? Don't walk in that neighborhood at night? Okay, I can do that. That's what I'm trying to get a sense of here. I've lived in the other place for so long. I know how to live as a fat person. And I've been here before, but not for long, and not for a long time. And I'm still in that fat-zone of wanting to lose another ten pounds, and maybe then another. Still betwixt/between. But I can see landfall from here.

Last edited by kathleen24 : Sun, Sep-03-17 at 13:09.
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  #35   ^
Old Sun, Sep-03-17, 13:13
cshepard cshepard is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 340
 
Plan: Atkins - maintenance
Stats: 156/122/120 Female 64"
BF:
Progress: 94%
Location: BC, Canada
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What does maintenance feel like?

For me it feels "active". I've been maintaining for a few years now and I still check my weight regularly and make conscious food and fasting choices daily. I feel like I am guarding my weight loss and health gains with my life! I still eat at induction levels with an occasional higher carb foray (like acorn squash), and have no interest in returning to any consumption of grains, potatoes, processed food or sugar.
As the years have gone by, my attention has shifted more and more towards health goals, in particular the concept of longevity and reversing the ageing process. So many of my health issues (albiet minor compared to many) have resolved on this woe, that I am running out of things to fix! Arthritis, chronic heartburn, all kinds of miscellaneous aches and pains due to 'old age', seasonal allergies - all completely gone. I am stronger and healthier at 59 than I have been since my late 30ís. Each of these items gets added to my active maintenance list, I am highly motivated by success to not backslide on any health issue.

So, whats left? How much younger can I look and feel? There are so many avenues of exploration and n=1 experimentation! Autophagy and HGH production, gut microbiome improvement, Immunology, Telemere lengthening ....
I am currently correcting my need for reading glasses with Natural eyesight improvement (Bates method), I've already had success eliminating my myopia and disscontinued use of progressive lenses, and am seeing some promising results with lymphatic system stimulation through accupressure, dry skin brushing and rebounding for excess skin reduction, dark eye circles and nightly leg cramps, believe it or not!

However, I truly believe underlying groundwork needed for all these benefits and improvements is, first and foremost, the diet. After the success of reaching my target weight and becoming 100% comfortable and adapted to the woe leaves me with the time, motivation and an important foundation to concentrate on even loftier goals.

My birthday is coming up next week. This year I am going to start counting backwards. ( :
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  #36   ^
Old Sun, Sep-03-17, 13:26
kathleen24 kathleen24 is offline
Monday came.
Posts: 4,029
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 275/161.6/155 Female 5'4"
BF:ummm . . . ?
Progress: 95%
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That makes sense to me: you're not `cured', you are managing your recovery with specific goals in mind.


Quote:
However, I truly believe underlying groundwork needed for all these benefits and improvements is, first and foremost, the diet. After the success of reaching my target weight and becoming 100% comfortable and adapted to the woe leaves me with the time, motivation and an important foundation to concentrate on even loftier goals.


This also resonates. I have to remind myself sometimes that my weight loss takes time, energy, and patience, and occupies mental, temporal, financial, and sartorial space in my world. I look forward to being able to turn some of that elsewhere. Again though, grateful to be finally here, doing.

And I'm with you. I have soooo much I want to do. I need around another forty years at least. Ironic, as that's about how long I've spent being or fighting fat. Anyway, the future is that way, and that's where I'm headed.

Thank you for your post.
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  #37   ^
Old Wed, Sep-13-17, 17:37
Mycie14's Avatar
Mycie14 Mycie14 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 468
 
Plan: Dr. Bernstein, IF
Stats: 200/157/155 Female 68
BF:
Progress: 96%
Location: Southern California
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I love all of this discussion of maintenance!

Kathleen, I so relate to your feelings of wonder at finding yourself almost at goal, looking at your new body, going through clothes, wondering what is next. It is hard for anyone to relate who has not been there, I've found. Enjoy this time of discovering and adjusting to the new you!

I'm sort of in year 2 of maintenance. After a lifetime of struggling with my weight, year 1 of maintenance was easy. I just stuck to LC. Didn't think about what or how much I was eating as long as it was low carb. I made a few changes with reducing Splenda intake and fasting to work on blood glucose issues, but mostly ate the same foods. I enjoyed looking good in clothes and having a normal blood glucose.

My second year has been a struggle, too many "little" cheats with bites of this and that. That has made it harder, I have to think about what I am eating again. I am currenly 5lbs over my goal, but 10lbs over my lowest. After knuckling down lately, I am feeling back in the groove now and want to get back to my low of 150.

Intestingly to me, that 10lbs has a very psychological effect on me...I feel much fatter now than a year ago. However, my size 8 clothes still fit, albeit maybe a bit tighter. Sometimes in the mirror I see fat me, other times, I see that size 8 body. I didn't really have that issue 10lbs ago... I always saw the size 8.

For me, maintenance feels like a mental game of me versus carb creep (which is really me versus me!). It also feels great to be able to go shopping and the store always has my size!
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  #38   ^
Old Wed, Sep-13-17, 21:21
Mama Sebo's Avatar
Mama Sebo Mama Sebo is offline
Posts: 4,453
 
Plan: lc, highish fat,
Stats: 224/150.5/124 Female 64 inches
BF:44%/29%/20%
Progress: 74%
Location: Gaborone, Botswana
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Yes, I started at the beginning just reading your post as usual, and then looked at the date !!! WOW! Speaking to your previous self!
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  #39   ^
Old Thu, Sep-14-17, 04:41
teaser's Avatar
teaser teaser is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 11,070
 
Plan: ketosis/IF
Stats: 190/158/154 Male 67inches
BF:
Progress: 89%
Location: Ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mycie14


Intestingly to me, that 10lbs has a very psychological effect on me...I feel much fatter now than a year ago. However, my size 8 clothes still fit, albeit maybe a bit tighter. Sometimes in the mirror I see fat me, other times, I see that size 8 body. I didn't really have that issue 10lbs ago... I always saw the size 8.


This sort of makes sense. At a certain body weight, I start to imagine I can start to see abs. Ten pounds up from there, and my imagination fails me. Ten pounds down, and I might actually see them. In theory, I've never been willing to starve myself to the point of rippedness.
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  #40   ^
Old Thu, Sep-14-17, 07:26
khrussva's Avatar
khrussva khrussva is online now
Posts: 5,617
 
Plan: My own - < 30 net carbs
Stats: 440/210/210 Male 5' 11"
BF:Energy Unleashed
Progress: 100%
Location: Central Virginia - USA
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Yes - thanks for reviving this thread. Timely for me as I struggle to get a handle on maintenance. I can relate to what many of the 'maintainers' posted here. To me it boils down to a few simple truths:

1) I have to remain low carb to have any hope of maintaining the loss. Low carb healed my broken metabolism and so much more. It was eating too many carbs that broke it in the first place. But as healthy and active as I am now - I am still carb sensitive. If I exceed my carb limits on a regular basis I will gain. If I return to my old WOE I will get fat and sick again.

2) Within my LC WOE, I still have to pay attention to what works and doesn't work for me. We have different bodies, tendencies, habits, food triggers, stress factors, and food environments. And these things can change over time. So perhaps there are things that I could have gotten away with in maintenance while I was in my 20's that no longer work when I am in my 50's. I try not to be 'boo hoo - it's not fair that they can have XXX and stay skinny, but when I have XXX I gain.' I try to see it as simple truth about myself. It is what it is. If I recognize that, then I can make the right choices and make maintenance work.

An example of my own current maintenance issues: I can eat extra dark chocolate on occasion. It is best if I don't have it everyday, otherwise the anticipation of having the daily treat becomes an expectation. If no dark chocolate is around, then I'm looking for something else to fulfill that want feeling. That is when bad choices can be made. The same is true for me and all natural peanut butter. I can have it. I consider it an on plan food. But it is calorie dense and it has more carbs than most foods that I eat. It can easily be overdone and will lead to a slow but sure gain over time if I don't stay on top of it. It is best if I don't have PB everyday. Now if I smear some PB on some dark chocolate, then I have a new problem on my hands. Those two things together form a trigger food for me, maybe because one of my old carby favs was peanut butter cups. What ever the cause, PB + chocolate fires off those 'more, more, more' cravings again and it is too easy to go overboard. These cravings are not overly intense. I still have the ability to cut it off if I have a mind to do so. I'm not always in that mindset, though. If I choose not to fight this desire for more, I will overeat that day. String days like that together and the gain is on.

I still eat PB on dark chocolate every once in a while. I probably shouldn't. Maintenance over the past year has included some undesired weight creep. I'm finding that maintenance is easier when I get satiety from what I eat. I get that with good, 'real food', low carb eating. I have a short list of gray area OP foods that don't fit that bill. I know what they are and more than likely this list is specific to me and my situation. If I want to be a successful maintainer, then I need to stay alert to the foods that cause me problems and change my diet accordantly.

So what does maintenance "feel" like? Work. As I've said before, maintenance is a job - not a picnic. Successful maintenance requires continued diligence, dedication and work. There is no coasting in maintenance. Living in a true maintenance mode is less work than bouncing back and forth between low carb "dieting" and what I used to consider "normal" eating. Getting back on track after getting fully derailed from low carb is very hard to do. Staying in the low carb zone consistently makes the job of maintenance tolerable. I'd prefer using terms like 'easy', 'automatic', or 'a piece of cake.' But that is not what maintenance is for me. It is, however, a job worth doing. I like being small again. I want to stay here.

Last edited by khrussva : Thu, Sep-14-17 at 08:27.
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  #41   ^
Old Fri, Sep-15-17, 10:49
Mycie14's Avatar
Mycie14 Mycie14 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 468
 
Plan: Dr. Bernstein, IF
Stats: 200/157/155 Female 68
BF:
Progress: 96%
Location: Southern California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teaser
This sort of makes sense. At a certain body weight, I start to imagine I can start to see abs. Ten pounds up from there, and my imagination fails me. Ten pounds down, and I might actually see them. In theory, I've never been willing to starve myself to the point of rippedness.


My ideal weight is probably in the 140-145, but it would take a lot of work to get there. And I worry that those lbs would not come from the places I want them too (upper arms and knees of all places!). At 150, I could just start to see my ribs in my upper chest, not really what I was going for!

The 150-155 range was easy to stay in, provided I stayed away from off-program food. Right now, it's work enough for me to get back to that range.
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  #42   ^
Old Fri, Sep-15-17, 12:18
teaser's Avatar
teaser teaser is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 11,070
 
Plan: ketosis/IF
Stats: 190/158/154 Male 67inches
BF:
Progress: 89%
Location: Ontario
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If you can even tell that I have ribs, my little sister wants to do an intervention. Normal weight looks like underweight to a lot of people these days.
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  #43   ^
Old Thu, Sep-21-17, 06:57
Enomarb Enomarb is offline
MAINTAINING ON CALP
Posts: 4,715
 
Plan: CALP/CAHHP
Stats: 180/130/150 Female 65 in
BF:
Progress: 167%
Location: usa
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Hi-
this is a great discussion. Thanks.

I've been maintaining for 13 years. This is how I have to eat to maintain my HEALTH. I really believe the research that insulin and inflammation are the issues behind lots of health problems as well as being fat. So I have a lot of motivation to stay OP. I just feel BETTER eating LC.I feel NORMAL. For me, maintaining is work on a daily basis. Some days are easier than others, and being able to plan helps me a lot. In our society, carbs are everywhere. It's easy to get food when you are traveling, or when you are working- but that 'easy' food is usually carbs. And there is such an expectation that you should and will use food to meet emotional needs- movies and tv shows and commercials and ads show women eating ice cream and chocolate when they are sad/happy/angry/lonely/stressed/depressed. Food is also how we celebrate, have fun and mark occasions. And the food is typically carbs and sugar. So it takes vigilance and effort for me to stay OP. There are no foods I crave, but for me carb creep or feeling deprived are danger signs. I am very sensitive to alcohol- and I love a drink or a glass of wine- and sugar. I have to set limits of these to be OP. But I made a decision that this is how I eat and take care of me. I don't go off plan. This is it.
I was amazed and afraid when I lost the weight. It seemed too good to be true- and I was afraid I'd wake up one day and it would "stop working". I didn't feel comfortable in my body- bones were sticking out in ways I wasn't used to having them. Clothing fit- and I could walk into any store and find lots of clothes- amazing. But it was like a joke- I'd go to a rack of size 8 or 10 and pick out the one thing that was size 16! I somehow found my old size. I didn't know what looked good (still not sure!) and still tend to be most comfortable in larger clothing. Things that are too tight (that actually fit!) are very uncomfortable for me, emotionally not just physically.
I learned SO MUCH from this site- and used dry brushing for my skin and both cardio and strength training to firm up. My skin and body shape continued to evolve as I lost the weight and for at least a year after losing all the weight. Those strange bones just became normal, my body felt 'right', some lumps just went away while others stayed, and as I've gotten older gravity has also shifted some things lower.
People commenting on my weight/weight loss/body have always made me very uncomfortable, so it's nice that after 13 years most people don't say anything. It's really amusing to me when I meet someone new or have a friend who never knew me as fat if they say something like "you have always been naturally thin"- WHAT?? I still don't think of myself as thin, but now I think of my body as 'normal' and 'healthy' and ME.
That being said- I LOVE this WOL. I am so grateful that I found LC, that I trusted myself and not my doctors, that I found this site, and that there is now so much available to support LC/LCHF eating. YouTube lectures by major researchers and clinicians, websites like DIET DOCTOR, podcasts, medical journal articles and books by authors like Gary Taubes have been game changers for me. My motivation is my health, and I'm in it for the long term. My eating LC is making an investment in me, my health and my future.
I can't really tell you what your journey will be like, or what you will experience, but I am so glad to be here. Thank you for restarting this thread. And congratulations on figuring out what your body needs to thrive. I wish you only the best!
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  #44   ^
Old Thu, Sep-21-17, 08:49
bkloots's Avatar
bkloots bkloots is offline
Posts: 8,756
 
Plan: Atkins/LCHF
Stats: 195/149.7/135 Female 63in
BF:
Progress: 76%
Location: Kansas City, MO
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Hello, everyone. I enjoyed visiting this thread that popped up in my email feed. I plan on a long post on my own journal about recent events. However, I think coming to balance with low-carb eating as my personal "normal" has been the most helpful "achievement" over fifteen or so years. When I make exceptions, for longer or shorter periods of time, they are just that: Exceptions. Choices. As with all choices, I am keenly aware of consequences.

Nobody knows "Fat Me" from way back in 1996. So there's no thrill in being transformed anymore. It's just a way of life, with a bit of a "dark cloud" hanging in the background that I never forget.
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