On the Menu This Week

Greek Style Cheeseburgers
Vegetarian Black Bean Chili
Roasted Cornish Hens with Quinoa and Broccoli

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Goal Setting

Setting Goals is hard, too big and you get discouraged, too small and it doesn’t feel like a victory. So I try to put a lot of time thinking about what my goals should be. WeightWatchers celebrates every 5 pounds, that’s great continual feed back but not a big enough goal for me (for some people it’s a great goal to focus on every 5 pounds, for me it’s too small and also small enough that if I don’t get it quickly I can get discouraged).

WeighWatchers has always focused on the 10% as a goal for people as there is a ton of research documenting the benefits of a 10% weight loss. This year they also started celebrating 5% as also very beneficial to your health and not as intimidating for some people. I happily celebrated both my 5 and 10 percent goals but then came time to start goal setting into uncharted territory. My next 10% was a logical choice but instead I chose 208 pounds, this is the lowest adult weight I can remember being. It was the lowest I got the last time I did WeightWatchers. I am circling in on this number but the last 4 weeks have not been stellar losing weeks for me and it feels like that goal is taunting me. I had originally wanted to hit it by July 4th. I feel confident I can hit it next week but it still sits there taunting me.

After that where do I go? My next 10% from the original number is at 199, wow kind of a significant number, I’ll be out of the 200s and will have lost 20% of my total weight. So even though its not a big loss from my 208 goal I think it’s a mile stone number and worthy of goal status.

Then my goals get really funny how they line up (yes, I’m probably thinking ahead too much but I like the big picture laid out for me and then smaller steps to get there, I’m a planner at heart.) The next 10% or 30% total will be 175 pounds, ironically 174 puts me at overweight, no longer obese, so which number do I choose? After that it gets easier and I will want smaller goals as the weight loss will slow down once I get closer to my goal. 151 is another 10% or 40% total. 145 puts me at a normal weight for my height and 135 is my current final goal weight. Each of these have meaning and each will hopefully motivate me to keep going.

I will still celebrate each 5 pounds, those are the little steps along the way that get me to my goal. It is said that every journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. To me each of those steps matter but without my eye on the ultimate goal it is too easy for me to be caught up in the minutia of the small steps. Ultimately for me goal setting is about the big and the small and celebrating it all.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I got so excited for you, reading this! Now I'M impatient for you to hit your goals. I think you go for 175 AND 174 as goals. It may only be 1 lb., but it's a symbolic and significant 1 lb that should be celebrated. I think.


My Plan

I did WeightWatchers once before in 2004-2005. I lost 50 pounds. I gained some back going through my divorce but the good news is I kept off 20 of them until I restarted WeightWatchers in January 2009.

For the first time, I have found a plan that was easy to stick to. Something just felt right this time. Before embarking on WeightWatchers I re-read some books I had found helpful in the middle of my last journey. The books are listed under "Weight Loss" Books on the side bar, and a blog post about them will follow soon. These books helped get me mentally prepared to lose weight and they are the reason I think I am finding losing to be less of a struggle. I am not letting myself get discouraged by small gains and I am seeing far more consistent results.

WeightWatchers gives you a points target based on weight and basic daily activity level. Every food has a points value based on calories, fiber and fat. Then its like a checkbook you start with your daily balance, subtract for foods eaten and add for activity done which can earn you points. Exercise=More Food. Each food point is roughly 50 calories and each activity point is worth roughly 100, I use a heart-rate monitor to calculate my activity points earned.

You also get 35 weekly points to use as you want anytime during the week. For me the most successful both mentally and on the scale is to use most of those points on Saturday night for a splurge and to then stick to my daily points fairly closely the rest of the week. It helps me to know my favourite foods are only a week away if I want them. People can manage the plan however they want but for me this is the most successful. When I'm working out a lot I try to eat some of those activity points as well. Ironically I get much smaller losses the weeks I don't eat those points on Saturday, maybe it shakes up my metabolism, who knows I just know it works

Finally my last key to my plan is attending meetings. It helps keep me accountable and on track.

Weight Loss Slideshow