Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Last spring, before all the madness of my husband's near job loss and our big move to Texas, I had hit my original goal weight of 160 pounds and felt it wasn't enough to satisfy me. I decided to re-set my goal to 150. OK, that was going fine.
Until my entire life got upended and became a mad scramble just to survive day to day, let alone count calories, exercise regularly, and work toward more weight loss.
At 160 pounds, I am at a "normal" BMI. My clothes fit nicely. I'm actually happy with the way I look. (People tell me I look fantastic, which is nice to hear!) Would I prefer to get rid of the little "pooch" beneath my navel? Sure. But, honestly, when you hit your 50s, it's not so bad to harbor a little "survival fat." As a nurse, I've seen how ridiculously fast people can waste away if a major illness or injury strikes. If your body fat percentage is 4, you don't have much to work with during a health crisis.
Not trying to rationalize the extra body fat. Just sayin'.
Anyway, I weighed in today: 164.7. That's down from the 167 peak I'd hit due to self-medicating my stress with food, and it's pretty close to my original goal weight. As I looked at that number on my start page today and compared it to my 'new' goal of 150, I felt oddly anxious. I hadn't realized how much stress that little number -- 150 -- had been adding to my daily life.
So I made a change: I set my goal weight back to 160. Now, instead of sweating over losing 15 more pounds, I only need concern myself with 5 pounds. With the click of a button, my weight loss anxiety dissipated into thin air.
Before, I'd been eating and exercising out of desperation. Desperate to not only stop gaining weight but to lose an additional 10 pounds on top of that. Desperation is not good motivation for exercising or eating right.
Today, I feel a sense of playfulness towards the idea of exercising and eating right. I have a lighter attitude toward it. I feel confident about being able to shed the 5 pounds to hit my goal weight, and I won't be surprised if my continued efforts take me lower and lower, until I glide into the 150 range. Won't that be nice?
I obviously wouldn't recommend resetting one's goal weight if they weren't at a healthy BMI. Resetting the goal weight to one's current-ish weight in order to give up on trying to lose is folly. But I think in my case it was kind of a shrewd move. I don't need the extra stress right now, and I already feel the burden has lifted.