Welcome, newcomers and old friends, to Debra’s Just Maintaining! For roughly a year, starting September 29, 2010, this blog set about exploring the cultural mythology and science surrounding weight-loss maintenance, especially after “radical” loss (more than 10% of highest body weight). As blog owner, I found myself moderating a discussion involving mostly weight-loss maintainers and size acceptance proponents, two seemingly disparate groups who ended up having more in common than any of us might have expected. It turns out we are all betrayed by the myth that radical weight loss is some hard-won victory, to be followed (of course!) by maintenance, a less challenging, zippy “lifestyle” composed of tips and tricks. It’s much more complicated than that.
This blog is not a “big” blog, but big enough, and certainly has much heart. Over the year it received just over 60,000 “views” of its various posts. Many were repeat visits from people I came to regard as friends, dear friends. We shared a sort of cathartic grief process as we stripped apart the mythology, and discussed from a lay vantage point some of the science surrounding weight-loss maintenance. In addition to the maintainers and size acceptance advocates, we also entertained a scientist visitor from time to time, and a couple of trolls.
The blog is now mostly defunct because I have gone on to other time-consuming pursuits, and I also need time to be a good Mom, and to continue my weight-loss maintenance, an endeavor that I regard as a third- to half-time unpaid job. To be competent at these things, something had to give.
Since the blog is mostly defunct, it’s likely that you arrived here because someone sent you here or you conducted a search for “Weight-Loss Maintenance” or some topic discussed here. A lot of people find this blog with searches to the effect: “Is obesity killing our children?” If that is you, you are looking for this post. Other people are apparently interested in a maintainer’s take on intuitive eating. That would be here and here. And a lot of people want to know what I think about journalist and anti-carb pundit Gary Taubes. Those posts are here and here.
If someone sent you here, it may be because you just lost a lot of weight and said something silly like, “If I can do it anyone can!” Then that person wants you to start with the post subtitled Skiing as Useful Metaphor.
Other reasons someone may have sent you here:
- You said something insensitive or rude about fat people being “in denial.”
- You said something insensitive or dismissive of someone who works hard to maintain a particular weight – along the lines of “but certainly the rewards outweigh any effort you expend.”
- You said something definitively naïve, such as, “science has proven people are fat because of modern breakfast cereals.”
- You announced that you are embarking on a weight-loss process/diet (what number?), and a friend wants you to have a realistic idea of what lies ahead, more so than what some women’s magazine or morning news show may be touting today as a “breakthrough.”
- You are struggling with weight-loss maintenance. Perhaps your weight is sliding. You need affirmation from a kindred spirit who knows how challenging this is, and doesn’t sugar coat it or pop off with “inspirational” platitudes. Read the rest of this entry »