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Day 1: I reset my goal weight

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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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Sometimes life gets in the way and we need to focus again on the smaller things. Sounds like you are doing what you need to do for you. That is a positive thing. Great job on recognizing that!
    968 days ago
    Life changes can really mess with your health in so many ways. God for you for realizing that you feel good at the 160 weight. Sometimes we get so obsessed with the number, we forget how good we feel and how healthy we look. Congratulations on a terrific blog and having an "ah-ha" moment. Great perspective!
    969 days ago
    I loved your perspective and I think you have found your number so to speak, when you feel good about yourself and things are clicking along, I often wonder why we tinker, but its human nature!

    Inspiring thoughts, thanks
    970 days ago
  • OOLALA53
    Actually, being okay with where I was even when I was overweight helped me stick with my new eating life that began 4 years ago. Without having weight loss as my gaol, I've lost weight into the normal BMI range. Every time I think I can purposely try to aim lower, I get backlash!

    There are definitely other priorities in life than losing weight, but it turns out most of them are better supported when we are eating sanely. emoticon
    971 days ago
    I was just thinking the same thing. I got down to a very low weight recently because my husband died. But the truth is that though I've been binging and there are many reasons I've gained a lot of weight, the number I am trying to get back down to is unrealistic. So I'm thinking of resetting my goal as well.
    973 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    973 days ago
    You are a wise woman! This is exactly what maintenance is all about. Finding a healthy weight and lifestyle we can live with and "doing it." I needed this blog today as I truly think my metabolism is slowing down. emoticon
    973 days ago
  • MAMMAC66
    Thank you so much for writing this blog and sharing your thoughts and decision. I have been wrestling with the same issue. When I got close to my original goal and decided to go 5 pounds lower, then decided to go another 10 pounds. I got to my original goal and lost three more pounds, and just decided I was tired of the struggle and decided to maintain there. I have been staying within two or three pounds of that weight of 162 for a little over two months now, but have continually struggled mentally with whether I should lose more and feeling like a failure because I quit before getting to my adjusted goal weight, which I know is ridiculous considering I have lost 128 or so pounds. My husband keeps telling me I am fine where I am, and everyone says I don't need to lose more. I am 65 years young, I feel great, I am now completely off blood pressure meds with a normal blood pressure. My cholesterol levels are good. I eat healthy and exercise regularly. So, maybe I should just be happy right where I am and if I lose more ok and if I don't ok. Thanks for helping me sort it all out. emoticon
    973 days ago
    Thank you for sharing! I like how you named the "survival fat" I have learned not to stress over it either. Makes life a little calmer :)

    973 days ago
    Congratulations on prioritizing your life goals. It is hard to move and even harder to move someone else in with you. It is great you know what is important right now and can make that change. You are doing awesome. Linda from bean town emoticon emoticon emoticon
    973 days ago
    life is a balancing act.
    you seem to have found your equilibrium.
    thanks for sharing your insights!
    973 days ago
    And who knows - maybe you'll be like me and after maintaining at 160 for a while decide to just SEE if you can go lower by changing up a few things. My original goal weight was 145 - I reached it in Nov. 2011 and stayed there for about 10 seconds before my weight began to creep back up.

    Then I maintained between 147 and the low 150s for a bit, feeling like a failure every day. So I decided to CHANGE my goal weight to 150 (and feel successful again - like you that was still a normal BMI.) After staying in that range a while I decided to try a new eating plan and brought my weight below 145. I waited a while to be SURE I could maintain that without stress and did!! So I reset my goal to 145 before the beginning of the BLC24 round.

    Now my body is happy at this weight and its easy to maintain. So I say GO FOR IT!! Find your 'happy weight' and enjoy life!!
    973 days ago
    Good for you! Keep up the good job and glide on into the 50's before you know it. Woo Hoo to you.
    973 days ago
    Congratulations on a great attitude and a great decision! Your decision is healthy and wise.
    973 days ago
    This is why my goal is my Day rather than a number on a scale. Today is something concrete, something I can do now, rather than pining for something far, far away. One of the things about getting older is that those Days go by faster and faster each year. Best to do what I can each Day. After all, that is all any of us can do.
    973 days ago
    Much wisdom in your words. I'm with Mobycarp...almost two years into maintenance, and I'm still tinkering with where I want to be, but it's all in a 10-pound range, so yeah, it's stressful to gain a few pounds from my lowest, but I also know that lowest was not sustainable for me.
    974 days ago
  • TORTISE110
    HI Semisweet, So good to see you again! I thought I'd lost you (-: Kudos on holding your own with all the changes in your life.
    974 days ago
    This is ever so enlightening...thank you for this and brilliant blog!
    974 days ago
    Hello there, that is a very freeing move! I haven't reached my goal weight yet but DH & I were discussing it and he said he,d be happy if I stay where I am now.
    I have a plan which is to reach a point in a healthy BMi where I can gain a little without it having health consequences. But I do wonder when I get close to it, not long now, will I want to lose even more?
    Part of it is because I have been in weight loss mode for so long, it takes a bit of readjustment. And, you know, we moan about our plateaus, and what is maintenance except a plateau?
    Congratulations on being sensible and confident about where you are at.
    974 days ago
    i can only reiterate what has been said by others--brilliant! wise! inspired! thanks for sharing such a fabulous epiphany. ahhhh, to wear life lightly. i only have glimpses of that state of mind, and not frequently, but oh, the deliciousness to be in that space. enjoy.
    974 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Way to go being sensible about your goal. Something along the lines if it isn't broke don't fix it. Looking and feeling good is worth its weight in gold. A Spark article said your goal weight is that which you achieve when living a healthy lifestyle of eating moderately and exercising regularly.
    Keep up the great work!
    974 days ago
  • KANOE10
    Great decision. You are healthy and feeling happier. I changed my goal weight also.

    You are doing a wonderful job of staying healthy with all of the changes this last year has brought.

    974 days ago
    Setting that goal weight is *THE* major decision of maintenance. I changed my goal weight several times during the first year after I hit my initial goal, and two years after the last time I changed it I'm still not sure I got it right.

    Good for you, recognizing that you don't always have to lose more weight to be healthy and happy! I hope you have found your ultimate sustainable goal weight.
    974 days ago
  • DALID414
    Absolutely brilliant!
    974 days ago
    So wise. Priorities have to shift to accommodate more important realities from time to time: and unnecessary stress is never good for anyone. Well done!
    974 days ago
    Oh you are SO singing my song. All January and most of February I was in a swivit about the 5 lbs I'd gained over Christmas, while my husband had a heart attack and my son got married - and well, duh. yeah.

    You were so smart to put your priorities straight and know that healthy is what is non-negotiable. Vanity is fine but not if it starts to beat you up. You go girl!
    974 days ago
    I think you are are at a good BMI and you look and feel great, so why put yourself through the added stress...stress usually just ends up backfiring and making us gain! So good job on re-evaluating and bumping your goal back up to the original amount...and the thought of keeping some body fat...very thought provoking. Thank you for that! I've been at goal for about half a year and I work out hard...but still have a lot of flab. I look good, feel great and am happy with my weight. But I strength train and do my cardio so I wonder why the flab isn't firming up! Now I will try to think of it as insurance in case of a future health crisis!

    974 days ago
    I can agree with your decision more. Stress is very bad and as long as we are healthy BMI and looks good, it is great idea to re set our wight goal. I may consider doing same. Best wishes to all of us maintaining. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    974 days ago
    You're doing a great job! emoticon
    974 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/26/2014 7:52:24 PM
  • HOLLYM48
    Great job and well done on finding a happy number! I too decided to start maintenance at about 145 because I didn't want to stress about losing 5 more lbs and it seemed hard to do so after being in maintenance for a few months, I ended up losing a little more weight while I found the right calories to eat each day but I wasn't stressed looking to get there, it just eventually happened. Best of luck with your continued journey!
    974 days ago
    Great blog! Good choice. Thanks for sharing. I may change my goal weight, too.
    974 days ago
    You used a lot of common sense when you changed your goal weight. You've got a great attitude, much less stress and a bright future which just might include the extra weight loss you originally wanted.
    974 days ago
  • MOMMY445
    what a great decision! wishing you great success! have a wonderful day!
    974 days ago
    Having the right attitude helps and you've got it.
    The healthy BMI range is so broad (40 pounds at my height).
    Find the place in it where you can happily maintain.

    974 days ago
    Way to take care of your emotional health while keeping your physical health in tact. You are a great example to your patients, other nurses, and your family and friends.
    Good luck on your journey in life. It is quite a ride, isn't it?

    974 days ago
  • GEORGE815
    Very interesting!
    1007 days ago
    LOVE to hear this, thank you! I just reached a "normal" BMI and am younger but still cursed with the pooch and hopeful for achieving something more like I'd envisioned rather than just the same me, smaller emoticon

    I am focusing right now on just keeping steady trying to stabilize my low thus far (which fluctuates a bit), and I will think about a new goal weight when I am ready-- not too low.
    1010 days ago
    1010 days ago
    Great decision. Great success to you.
    1010 days ago
    Good for you for recognizing what is right and best for you in a goal weight.

    1010 days ago
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