Beeminding weight maintenance

Hi all,

I’ve reached my goal weight using Withings and Beeminder (with a few days to go until the goal date) and I am wondering about the best way to go about Beeminding my weight maintenance.

I kind of like the idea of letting the weight loss goal be separate to the maintenance goal - mostly so I can feel like the former was a success - but I am not overly attached to that idea.

With maintenance what is a good time frame to aim for using Beeminder? I get that maintenance is forever, but how should I start with Beeminder?

I did look for a blog post about this but didn’t turn up anything in my quick poke around so if any of you want to direct me to that post that I didn’t find, I’d be most appreciative.

Thank you!

Mel

https://www.beeminder.com/autonomouse/goals/withingsweight

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HI Mel,

Congratulations on reaching your goal weight, that’s amazing!

The obvious suggestion for maintaining a particular level indefinitely is to set the goal’s slope to zero and push the end date out to forever.

That doesn’t help much with posterity, and it may not help enforce the behaviours that led to your success.

Screenshots can make for good mementos. And you can easily save the graph image from the website. Or if you really wanted, you could spin up a new Withings goal, and put the old one on the ‘back burner’, below the line on the website, kind of like a trophy cabinet.

People who stop weighing-in often find that their weight goes back up again, so definitely keep a Withings goal going. But also consider adding goals to keep your eating and exercising on track. That’s point #5 of @bee’s guide to beeminding weight.

In maintenance mode, none of those goals need to be aggressive, just giving you gentle (but firm!) reminders to keep favourite jeans from getting too tight.

Let us all know what you come up with!

Philip

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Hi, Mel—massive congratulations on meeting your goal! Well done.

Here’s my report from the field as someone who is using Beeminder to maintain rather than lose.

I’ve been tracking my weight with Beeminder since last November, purely out of interest (I’m heading toward menopause, and also making some fitness changes I hope will help me sail through the last half of my life—oh, the optimism; of course I’ll live to be a hundred!—feeling great and being able to do everything I want to do).

I have a “ceiling weight” that is higher than I expect normal daily fluctuations (including those after, say, a weekend trip in which I ate and drank to my heart’s content, etc.) to go, but not so high I can let my weight creep up very far before I get slapped on the hand. If you look at my graph, you’ll see that I’ve moved that “ceiling weight” around a bit, working to find the place that hits that sweet spot. I expect it will continue to move from time to time, depending on how my fitness and diet changes (and menopause) affect the weight I can reasonably maintain.

To TL;DR it:

— weighing daily and seeing that on a graph is rewarding, and keeps me in control
— setting a realistic “sweet spot” ceiling weight that allows for reasonable fluctuations but doesn’t let me creep up too high has been effective, and I haven’t needed additional goals on exercise and eating to help me stay mindful of my weight (though I do have an exercise goal, because I effing hate exercise :wink: )
— I use the tip @philip showed me here to make stepwise changes to the ceiling weight when appropriate
— I like having a distant goal date; for me, it reinforces the idea that it’s for life; mine’s set for some time in 2020; other goals have 2026 dates, and I wouldn’t mind it being even later

Good luck!

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Stories like this make me so happy you have no idea! (:

As to your first quasi-question, I personally like having everything on one graph. You can always zoom in (currently cumbersomely done by setting x-min) if you only want to see the part since hitting your goal weight. And it will probably eventually be interesting to zoom out and see your entire history over years or decades. There might even be important weight loss insights to be gleaned from that. Like if maintaining is a struggle it might be valuable to notice how long you’ve been maintaining vs how long you were at a higher weight. Like has your body had time to find a new equilibrium or is it still trying to get you to put the weight back on? Seeing the whole history visually could help with that.

I guess you have all the data regardless and could always recombine the graphs.

I’ll defer to @philip and @grayson on the more interesting aspects of your question! Thanks for asking it, and for sharing the success story!

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Thank you all so much for your helpful suggestions.

Grayson, I really like the idea of having a ceiling weight - I think I am going to go with that. And I love the idea of really distant goals and how that reinforces the idea that weight maintenance is for life. I have the Withings scales so tracking is really easy.

I love exercise, so I don’t think I’ll need to set exercise goals to keep me on track in that regard, but it’s a good idea and if I find myself getting lazy, I’ll certainly set a few.

I’m going to go with what Phillip said and take a screenshot of the page when I reach the goal date on the 1st so I can have a momento of this success. And then I’ll go with what Daniel said and keep the whole lot on one graph. I guess I’ll have the option of continuing once I get to goal date - I forget since it’s been a while since that’s happened on any of my graphs.

I agree with you Daniel, about the benefits of seeing the whole history and that there might be some interesting information/lessons in that. A couple of months ago, I managed to cobble together a graph (in Excel) of my weight history for the majority of my adult life (from bits and pieces of data hanging about in various places). There are gaps but still I think it’s useful to be able to visualise the 17 year story like this. It makes it clear that while I have been successful at losing weight on a number of occasions, keeping it off has been a problem. I think I am getting better at catching it before it gets away from me.

FYI: The weights are in kilograms and the green background represents the healthy BMI for my height, orange - overweight, and red - obese.

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Awesome graph! Maybe there’s a BMI-coloured #UVI in Beeminder’s future.

If you want to get that into Beeminder, you can email the historical data to the bot, with your username/goal in the subject. (And then possibly email support when it goes horribly wrong and we’ll fix it… so probably best to wait until after capturing your trophy shot.

Import: You can paste historical data into the Advanced Entry form using a format like this:
2014 06 28 123 "optional comment"
You can also email your data to bot@beeminder.com.

Also: you don’t have to wait for your goal to come to an end before changing the road dial. Though if you wait until the goal date, there should be a big happy face on your captured screenshot…

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Thanks Philip.

My goal just ended and I restarted it. Unfortunately the centre line is based on my current weight - a big downward fluctuation - which is lower than the centre line of the weight I wish to maintain. To fix this, I just set a goal for a week’s time. Then I’ll aim to keep it flat there.

I was kinda hoping for more excitement on my success - some streamers in the email would have been nice. :slight_smile:

https://www.beeminder.com/autonomouse/goals/withingsweight

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