Setting goals is not as easy as it might sound. As we flip through magazines, we are led to believe we are supposed to look like the 102 pound models with the perfect abs and tight tushies. The reality is that very few people are meant to be or are physically capable of being that size and shape.
The first step to setting a weight loss goal is to be realistic. There are many factors that we must take into consideration including body type, whether or not we have had children, and age. At 51, having had 2 children (ok, 26 years ago but the effects never went away!) and being a solid 5 foot 2.5 inches, I am never going to look like the 24 year old, 5 foot 9 inch fashion model who has never been pregnant and who spends her days in the gym! It’s just not feasible. Instead, I choose to look at myself in the mirror and envision me, but in smaller jeans or a cute little black dress. Then I decide, using the mathematical calculations as a guildeline (but not the gospel) where I would like to set my FIRST goal.
In my case, the math says I should be between approximately 120 – 125 pounds. Although that sounds fantastic, and maybe someday I will get there, I am going to add 10 pounds to that and make 135 my starting goal. When I achieve this level I will look in the mirror, try on my jeans and try on some little black dresses. If I like what I see and I am feeling fit, then I will be happy and work to maintain this level.
If I still feel there are some trouble spots I will set my goal down another 5 pounds to 130. I will adjust my workouts to focus a little more on the “problem areas”, and continue with a healthy eating plan until I reach my second goal. I will repeat the assessment at 130 and decide whether to continue on at that point.
I find that taking the last 10 – 15 pounds in increments reduces the chance of being frustrated and discouraged in the final stretch. It’s all a mindset. If you feel like you have already achieved your goal, then you are less likely to give up.
Remember – dieting is one of the few things in life where being a LOSER means you are successful!