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From the opposite view, if you are at your goal weight and trying to keep it off, I would imagine that lifting something that weighs the amount you've lost would be a motivator ro stay on track!

Yes, that's one form of illustrative motivation. I've stood on a scale at various points holding X lbs. of dumbbells and seeing a number that I used to see without holding weights.

I'm more motivated to maintain by what I can do that I couldn't do when I weighed 50+ pounds more than I do. I can do pullups. I can't do pullups with 20 lbs. of plates loaded on a dip belt. I can run a 7 minute mile. I couldn't run a 7 minute mile when I weighed 15 lbs. more than I do now. (Some of the running performance will be from training, but the weight came off too.)

"Being thin" doesn't cut it as a motivator for me. But I can honestly say that nothing tastes as good as being able to run a 7 minute mile feels. Nothing tastes as good as being able to do pullups feels.

Here's a thought for when the weight doesn't come off: The long term goal, once you get your weight to where you want it, is to make the numbers on the scale move sideways. In other words, maintaining at a healthy weight looks a lot like a plateau. That's not such a bad thing; you just want the plateau to be at a level you can live with.

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