Tricia Voss

Tricia Voss, 3-year maintainer and mother of one

You lost weight. Now what? We Keep It Off.com (WKIO) culiminates eight years researching the last blind spot in weight loss — how to keep weight off.

WKIO is a Web site championing weight maintenance — and actually having the amazing life we were (sort of) promised when dieting. It’s written primarily by author, personal chef and food personality Russ Lane, though across eight years, a small army of talented maintainers have been alongside him with a shared mission: support and highlight the needs of men and women, post-weight loss.

 

 

We bucked the statistics by learning the hard way, and rather than advocate a particular diet or exercise regimen, we examine what makes maintaining so elusive and how we might address those issues — be they physical, emotional, economic, psychological or existential. And do so with the same aplomb we devoted to our weight loss.

What we do, why we do it, and how we do it? WKIO is an acronym for We Keep It Off, but here’s what it really stands for:

Russ Lane, 11-year maintainer. He discovered hats, and a neckline! 

A) The statistic varies by study, but generally only 6 percent of people who lose weight keep it off within three years. Maintaining is a completely separate skill from losing weight and should be treated and discussed as such.  This means weight loss method or the bulk of obesity research is largely irrelevant to maintenance.

B) The body or fat acceptance movement claims you should be okay with your body regardless of weight. It’s true: Maintaining, like even choosing to lose weight, is a choice, and people should feel supported and personally empowered in that choice.  It should be as viable as “healthy at any size,” and the current obesity landscape does not make maintaining viable but only the smallest percentage of people.

C) You often hear from maintainers they “were lucky.” They weren’t lucky to “maintain”  per se — they were lucky to have figured it out for themselves. We argue that anything learned can be taught, our focus is in working amongst ourselves and with medical professionals to develop given proper tools, attention and teaching.

D) To function, most maintainers often learn to adjust to status quo shifts or outmaneuvering circumstance . To that end, we focus on re-imagining troublesome skills such as cooking/food relationships, or how to achieve your optimum support structure through clever combination of existing resources, professionals and products.

Sarah Quina, Social Media (with daughter Brie)

Sarah Quina, with daughter Brie, and no amount of knee surgery stops her.

After years of personally being sold and/or promised “the answer” to lose weight, we wound up figuring it out on our own. So we won’t promise to have all the answers. We do promise to find some answers, even if that means simply bringing clarity to the questions.

It’s all a very “grown up” way of saying there’s more to maintenance than showing off the fat pants indefinitely,  and our best option was to get out in the world and say so. We’re a business to prove a point to the diet industry maintaining’s worth investing dollars in. But what’s at stake is our own lives as much as yours.

We didn’t lose weight just to regain it all again, (or again again) or resign ourselves to a dreary “thin” life.

We did it to feel freer, more vibrant and more true to ourselves and our loved ones. Dieting doesn’t teach that per se — maintaining (happily, anyway) demands it.

We’re here to support men and women on all aspects of the weight loss process — before AND after. With panache. That’s how we keep it off.