Sunday, March 1, 2009

goal weight

I never seriously thought about setting a goal weight for myself.   In previous weight-loss attempts, it's been all about behavior (eating right, exercising) and hoping the number goes down. I'll set mini-goals for myself, like hoping that by the time that wedding comes up in 3 months, I'll have lost X amount of weight, but I seriously never considered the possibility of losing enough weight that I would be an average-sized person.

I don't know if it's because I didn't want to jinx myself, or if I thought looking at a big-ass number would be too scary, but I think part of it was lack of belief in myself.  There's no way I could do that, only a minimal percent of people are successful with weight loss, blah blah blah.  Oh yeah, and if I don't think I can do it, then I don't have to really commit myself to trying, and I don't have to live with the fear of failure.

But in the last few weeks, I've read through the entire archives of both dietgirl and pastaqueen, two bloggers who have succeeded in losing huge amounts of weight and keeping it off.  One thing they both had in common was a goal weight from the very beginning, even when their goal weight was less than half of their starting bodyweight.  I can't fathom the fortitude it took, at nearly 400 pounds to say, "Yup, I'm gonna weigh 160 someday."

It's time to pony up.  I'm picking a number, checking it twice, trusting my body to treat me nice. (Wow, soooo lame.)

Of course, there are many numbers I could pick, and one thing about the two bloggers I mentioned above is that each initially set a goal weight that was lower than the weight she ended up being happy with and maintaining.  So do I set a super low weight with the knowledge that I'll end up not reaching it anyway?  Or do I set a high weight and consider it more realistic?

Questions, questions.  This stuff isn't simple.

What I've decided to do is pick a number that sounds astronomically low to me right now, but is actually closer to overweight than underweight according to a BMI calculator.  It's kind of a fun number because of the sequence of the digits, and it's also a number that I feel like meant something to me at one time.  I have a vague memory of being in middle school and weighing this amount for a while.  Or it could be that this is what my mom has weighed her entire adult life.  It's one of the two.  Whatever.  I'm picking it, I'm aiming for it.  I'm not going to be distracted by it, I'm not going to predict when I will get there, I'm not even sure I will.  But I will get darn close!  

The magic number is 123 pounds.  If I get there, I will have lost 88.5 pounds total, and I have 74 pounds to go from where I was at my last weigh-in.  I do not have to lose half my body weight, although apparently I could and still not be underweight.  Damn.

ETA:  I'm still going to focus on mini-goals, by the way.  The first, which I mentioned in early January, is my cousin's wedding in March, which is quickly approaching.  I think I had hoped to lose 15 pounds by then, and I should hit that easily.  Then I'll look to Memorial Day weekend, another wedding and my own anniversary.

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