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RUSSLANE's Photo RUSSLANE Posts: 401
9/28/09 4:04 P

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Aggressive goals don't bother me -- honestly, I don't think there's a goal big enough to work toward. I'm a big believer in aim high, miss high. 'Sides, . What's important is that folks are in action -- in the grand scheme of things, everything else will and usually does get sorted out in time.

Aggressive methods, however, do give me pause. Particularly with weight loss -- the difference between ambitious and over-aggressive is whether the goal/method actually lights you up vs. stresses you out.

In my mind, goals (weight or otherwise) are best when they provide a sense of freedom, of being engaged. They should expand your life, in other words.

The problem comes in when the begins to feel like some hellbent obsession, it actually contracts your life, makes it smaller and less engaging.

As the latter example applies to weight, it doesn't surprise me when I'm so hellbent on some goal (particularly in losing the mom death weight) that it actually makes loosing the weight almost impossible.

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LEELYNN2's Photo LEELYNN2 SparkPoints: (43,883)
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9/27/09 2:06 P

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having a family wedding to go to doesn't hurt either. lol

"Motivation is not something you find or lose, have or don't have. It is the product of how you see yourself in the world: active or passive, effective or ineffective, powerful or victimized, normal or pathological."
Coach Dean

"I hold this jagged stone in my chest of keepsakes" AUNTMOUSE


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LADY_DONKEY's Photo LADY_DONKEY SparkPoints: (63,429)
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9/27/09 10:24 A

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Actually, this HAS been very helpful. I'm struggling to get back down to my goal weight. As I get closer to goal, the weight gets harder to take off, especially as my body seems to hit several "comfort weights" along the way to goal.

I realized this morning that it might help me to make very small goals, to help keep me motivated. I don't know if this would have occurred to me if it hadn't been for this topic.
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Lady Donkey (you can call me LD) is 5'3"

Hope is not a plan. --- Oprah Winfrey

What people say about you is more a reflection of what is in their hearts than what is in yours. --- Lady Donkey

Success is the best revenge. --- Lady Donkey

Unhappy women do dangerous things. --- Desperate Housewives


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TRYINGHARD1948's Photo TRYINGHARD1948 Posts: 19,906
9/26/09 5:50 P

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I'd just like to thank Analvy for this thread. It really has aired many ways of how support can be given to those starting out.

Sandy



"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them -- every day begin the task anew."
Saint Francis de Sales


 
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KAYOTIC's Photo KAYOTIC Posts: 12,536
9/26/09 4:58 P

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I agree with what has been said here already, and would just add, that there is a different choice you can make besides keeping your mouth shut. You obviously are concerned for those you think are choosing goals that may be too much for them, however, I think that you can offer encouragement even in the face of that. People will have goals realistic or not, and in all actuality, even though those goals may be lofty, and the chances of achieving them slim, who are we to say what someone else's goals should be. On the other hand, I have seen people set long term goals, with no short term goals defined, and try to encourage them to break those big goals down, so they can have small victories along the way. This way you can be there to cheer on those victories, and be a shoulder to cry on when things go awry.



highest weight ever:202, SP starting weight: 143

New goal: more practical new goal, 129, update ticker to reflect that goal.

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LEELYNN2's Photo LEELYNN2 SparkPoints: (43,883)
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9/25/09 9:20 A

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instead of "giving advise" I often offer a story of my own experience just as blondie just did.

"Motivation is not something you find or lose, have or don't have. It is the product of how you see yourself in the world: active or passive, effective or ineffective, powerful or victimized, normal or pathological."
Coach Dean

"I hold this jagged stone in my chest of keepsakes" AUNTMOUSE


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BORN2BLOSSOM's Photo BORN2BLOSSOM Posts: 924
9/24/09 9:47 P

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I understand where you're coming from and agree with you, but I also agree with the majority of the opinions here which is to encourage everyone no matter their goal (as long as it's healthy, even if it seems unreasonable) and only offer advice when asked.

I find for me personally, the easiest way to approach weight loss is by focusing on smaller goals and then creating new ones once the original goals have been met. I had 150+ lbs to lose at one point to even enter a healthy weight range and I just thought it was impossible and I would get so overwhelmed, that I gave up before I ever really gave it a fair shot. I think most people are like that too and that's why whenever I'm asked, I try and encourage people to focus on smaller goals and not to get too wrapped up in specific numbers be it clothing size or the number on the scale.

I never thought I'd go from a BMI of over 50 down to 22 (or a little less), but I did it and I would have been pretty discouraged if someone had told me it was unrealistic/not likely. I've only been maintaining since June so this is relatively new to me so ultimately I don't know what the future holds, but I'd like to think that I'm capable of maintaining this new healthy weight range for the long run, despite being obese for the majority of my life.

When other people have similar goals, even if they seem really out there, I still think those hopes and dreams of getting down to their dream goals should be supported. I understand almost wanting to protect people from being disappointed (which may lead some to get off track or give up) but hopefully throughout their experience they will rethink their goals if necessary. I changed my goal weight/goal jean size I can't even say how many times! It was a learning experience for me and only through trial and error did I figure out how far I could/should take it.

"Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live" ~ Dorothy Thompson

"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring." ~ Marilyn Monroe
RAYLINSTEPHENS's Photo RAYLINSTEPHENS SparkPoints: (176,635)
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9/20/09 5:39 P

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Somewhere on SparkPeople is the SparkPeople Policy about how we are supposed to reply to people. We are to remain positive and not try to discourage.

For your exact question, encourage and do not offer an opinion unless you are asked. This is really easier said than done. There is a woman that I hurt for every time she must restart her program. She is in a sort of denial and is forever claiming that "this is the real time, before wasn't" when she falls off the wagon. I broke the cardinal rule but did it in a sparkmail so as not to embarrass her. It didn't go well.

Now I just encourage and hope for the best.

Like you my goals were doable - I went from obese to overweight and finally to normal and now to mid-range normal.

Personally I think a goal from 230 to 120 is admirable but very difficult to do. But it isn't about us. If this person needs to focus on 120, we really can't tell her what to do.

On a personal note, just FYI, I went from 210 and was hoping to reach 165 and maintain. Then I wanted to reach 148 and maintain. Lastly I tried for 135 to be a normal weight and maintain. It was only after reaching 135 that I chose to continue to see how low I could go and maintain.

Just encourage them until if and when they come back frustrated about the last 20lbs? And many do get frustrated with the last 10-20 lbs. If asked, offer your opinion. My recommendation at the last 20 lbs is to try for 5 at a time. (I'm giving my opinion here because this is sort of hypothetical.)

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TRYINGHARD1948's Photo TRYINGHARD1948 Posts: 19,906
9/19/09 6:01 P

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Don't be so hard on yourself. You just care about them and that's good. Gentle nudging instead of a full frontal assault often has better results. It's amamzing how many of us start off with unrealistic goals but with Spark we learn as we go what is realistic and how to do it the healthy way that will stay with us for life. You will have plenty of opportunity to support on the threads as you no doubt do already.

Sandy



"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them -- every day begin the task anew."
Saint Francis de Sales


 
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ANAVLY's Photo ANAVLY Posts: 2,426
9/19/09 10:32 A

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So I guess the consensus is I should keep my mouth shut unless it's a question like "Is this a reasonable goal?" or they're looking for help due to feeling overwhelmed?

I've lost about 35lbs and gone from slightly over "obese" by BMI to just into "healthy"!

And I can now run for over 5k!

#1 rule about losing weight:
It's about making progress, not being perfect
MGIRL22's Photo MGIRL22 Posts: 101
9/17/09 4:12 P

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Hopefully these people realize themselves that they have crazy goals. The way I ended up achieving my goal was losing 5 pounds at a time. I couldn't do it any other way because you get SO overwhelmed with all the work that you have to do! So I lost 5 pounds, patted myself on the back, then lost another 5 pounds, said "good job," then lost another 5 pounds and so on. That way I ended up losing actually more than I originally wanted to in the first place! You have to look at it differently then "I have to lose 50 pds" or whatever. You have to take small steps! (in my opinion anyway)

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LEELYNN2's Photo LEELYNN2 SparkPoints: (43,883)
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9/17/09 9:24 A

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I'd like to add that it may be helpful for a significant portion of the weight loss community to know that it's OK to have smaller goals. That it's better to have smaller goals that you can achieve and maintain than to yo yo.

I wonder how many of us hit that magic goal weight and found out that it wasn't so magic after all, ended up putting 5 or 10 lbs back on and are content with what we now have to do to maintain as opposed to the constant all consuming attention that it takes to loose or maintain at a really low BMI.

"Motivation is not something you find or lose, have or don't have. It is the product of how you see yourself in the world: active or passive, effective or ineffective, powerful or victimized, normal or pathological."
Coach Dean

"I hold this jagged stone in my chest of keepsakes" AUNTMOUSE


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TRYINGHARD1948's Photo TRYINGHARD1948 Posts: 19,906
9/16/09 5:38 P

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I agree with Lady Donkey, to leave them be unless they ask for help. The main impulse behind Spark People is to be positive and it is difficult to be positive if you are being critical. I do understand how you feel though. This journey to get to a healthy lifestyle is one of a huge learning curve and it is amazing to see how people's views change as they progress towards a healthier lifestyle.

Sandy



"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them -- every day begin the task anew."
Saint Francis de Sales


 
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SERENE_ME's Photo SERENE_ME Posts: 603
9/16/09 2:32 P

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I understand what you mean ANAVLY - I personally had to make really tiny goals to get started and get moving. Having been obese for almost all of my adult life, I couldn't imagine getting to where I am now when I started. It would have been too overwhleming for me to think about 85lbs.

Still, there is no right or wrong approach. Everyone sets and approaches their goals differently. I think some people are really motivated by a big challenge and can envision themselves doing what'll take to make that big goal come true. Me, I'm more of a minute by minute girl - small things that I can achieve relatively easily are more motivating to me.

Whatever it takes to make this happen for yourself is the right thing to do. I wouldn't question anyone's goals - that might be demotivating to them.

Edited by: SERENE_ME at: 9/16/2009 (14:37)

"The miracle is not that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start." John (the Penguin) Bingham


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SHEL151's Photo SHEL151 Posts: 1,132
9/16/09 11:52 A

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I agree I would not say anything to them. If they realize that thier goal is too much than it is up to them to make an adjustment. At least they are striving for something right now.

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LADY_DONKEY's Photo LADY_DONKEY SparkPoints: (63,429)
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9/16/09 11:28 A

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Just my 2 cents, but I would leave them be until they ask for help or insight or vent their frustration.

Who is one to judge another person's goal, ambitious or otherwise? I have been chunky for most of my life but I do know that I can get down to THIN if I put 110% effort into it. The downside is I can't stay at that weight for any length of time without making sacrifices to my sanity.

I'm just saying that whatever the goal may be, the real struggle is to KEEP the weight off PERMANENTLY.

Lady Donkey (you can call me LD) is 5'3"

Hope is not a plan. --- Oprah Winfrey

What people say about you is more a reflection of what is in their hearts than what is in yours. --- Lady Donkey

Success is the best revenge. --- Lady Donkey

Unhappy women do dangerous things. --- Desperate Housewives


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CAPECODDOGFISH's Photo CAPECODDOGFISH SparkPoints: (250,004)
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9/16/09 10:24 A

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I don't know whether I am right or wrong but I point out my original goals-mistakes made-modified goals- and what I went through to shed those last few pounds
I also use BMI as it is a range not a set number and it does account for height.Beyond that all I can do is give encouragement and offer whatever help I can as people will do what seems right to them at the time.

Bob from Cape Cod





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MOMMYFITNESS's Photo MOMMYFITNESS Posts: 12,317
9/16/09 10:20 A

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I guess each person has to make their own goals and figure out what works for them through trial and error. Certainly if someone asks for help I would give them your opinion.

"Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food."

Romans 14:20a (NIV)







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ANAVLY's Photo ANAVLY Posts: 2,426
9/16/09 10:08 A

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I figure by posting here I can get opinions from people who have successfully lost weight with varying attitudes, including some who have had attitudes like the one I'm talking about. I do want to make it clear that I want to see what others think about this and not say that my attitude is "right" and the other one is "wrong".

Sometimes on the forums, I see people who have goals to lose something like half their body weight and wind up in the lower range of healthy by BMI. (I'm using BMI here as it's a bit better than using straight weight since it accounts for height). The particular person who prompted this post has a goal from the 230's to the 120's and she thinks she'll be in her old size 7 jeans in the 140's, so presumably she's not short enough for her ultimate goal to represent the high end of healthy - but I've seen this sort of post many times before. In this case, at least she's set out a lot of smaller goals for herself along the way.

I guess my view on it is that if you've always been heavy, I don't really feel like a long term goal of a BMI of 22 (or lower) is really all that helpful when you're sitting at a BMI in the high 30's to begin with. It comes down to, I suppose, the lighter you want to go, the harder it is to get there and stay there, and that thinking in these sorts of terms can leave people feeling dissapointed when they lose a lot of weight but can't lose the last 20 lbs to get to their long term goal, which can sometimes leave people feeling like "failures" because they focus on the 20lbs they didn't lose and not the 90 that they did.

It's not that I don't think it's possible for larger people to turn into thin people (I'm sure there's more than a few here who have done it), it's more that I feel like you should focus on getting to "normal" before you even think about getting to "thin", so that when you do get to "normal" you can be satisfied with that.

This, I suppose, comes down to the way I've personally viewed this process. I've never been one to really idolize thin models/actresses, and I've never been that unhappy with my weight, I just got to a point where after a while of "I'm ok with where I am now, I just don't want to gain more", I realized I'd gained 20+lbs and was now obese, and that I mainly wanted to change the direction I was headed so I didn't have to start shopping in the plus size stores. My attitude was, basically, "I want to lose weight, and get into the "healthy" zone by BMI, but I don't really care how fast". Now, I'm "healthy" by BMI, and I'm staying really active, and we'll see where that takes me, but I'm ok as long as I stay "healthy".

So, I guess, ultimately, my dilemma becomes - should I respond to people who I think are setting overly ambitious goals from the beginning, and encourage them to focus on something smaller and then re-evaluate the situation, or just leave them be until if and when they come back frustrated about the last 20lbs?

I've lost about 35lbs and gone from slightly over "obese" by BMI to just into "healthy"!

And I can now run for over 5k!

#1 rule about losing weight:
It's about making progress, not being perfect
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