One of the things that I still do on a regular basis is read all the boards that talk about regain. Then I try to figure out the poster's history. I am looking for patterns of behaviors, thoughts and feelings and habits that lead to failure. I do this to try to learn from other people's mistakes. I think one of the key's on this journey is finding people that have what you want and doing more or less what they do and also finding people that are not where you want to be and learning from them as well. Of course we all have our own story and our own history and we have to understand ourselves as well as others, but seeing patterns and following success has always worked for me. So far, this is what I have observed from successful maintainers:
1) Almost all of them continue to be observant and mindful of what they are eating.
2) Most of them weigh themselves regularly or measure themselves.
3) They seem to have an internal locus of control. That means they take full responsibility for their mistakes and own their successes. They know that they are the ultimate decider regarding the efficacy of this surgery.
4) They have a plan and they modify the plan as necessary. They have flexibility in their thinking and allow themselves to take in new ideas and to grow with the process.
6) They either already have or form a strong support system to help them through the tougher times and to be accountable to on a regular basis.
7) They exercise. I don't think the calorie burn is the biggest issue here. Yes, you build muscle and burn calories but I think the most important thing about exercise is that it forces you to continue to focus on your body. Most of us have learned to separate our head from our bodies, and exercise forces us to stay connected.
8) They have a goal range and when they go even a little bit out of their goal range they go right back into the losing phase.