When someone sets a weight-loss goal (or any goal), it needs to be realistic because that is what sets us up to succeed. If we set some wild and crazy goals for ourselves that is too difficult or that we know cannot be achieved, we are setting ourselves up to fail and that doesn't get us any closer to where we want to be.
When it comes to weight-loss, many people have a certain number in their mind of what they want to weigh, whether it is because we remember being that weight at a certain time in our life, it is what we think is ideal, or any other number of reasons. For me, I had a number in mind, but I honestly don't know where that number came from. So I had my goal weight in my mind and like many others, I wanted to get to that number fast. But after reading some articles on SparkPeople, I realized quickly that the weight wasn't going to be lost as fast as I would like. I was still feeling ambitious though and set the maximum weight-loss goal of 2 pounds per week. Was that a realistic goal for me? No. Was I defeated? No way! Although, most of the time I was lucky to lose a half pound per week. Even though I did everything right (eating healthy and exercising), I never had a week with a 2 pound loss.
A few months into my weight-loss journey, I realized that I needed to change my outlook on the whole process and come to terms that I needed to update my weekly weight-loss goal with something more realistic. I eventually took my goal down to a loss of 1 pound per week and focused less on the number on the scale. Once I did that and started focusing more on how my clothes fit, along with other things such as my energy level, fitness improvements and other things that are more ideal to work on for a life-long healthy lifestyle, the better I felt and the more I started to see results. Strange as it sounds, when I stopped being so worried about that number, things started to fall in place for me. I not only found a way to set a realistic goal, but I also found a way to not let the scale (or the number on the scale) dictate who I was or how I felt about myself.
I eventually reached my weight goal, but found that wasn't a realistic goal for my body. While it was exciting to reach that goal weight that I had in mind, I would have had to go through drastic measures to stay there, which I wasn't willing to do since it wasn't healthy or realistic. I did find a good weight range for me and I am happy to say that it is realistic for me to stay here with all the healthy habits that I have learned and managed to keep throughout this entire journey. Of course, this all took quite a bit of time and trial and error for me to learn what was realistic and what wasn't. It turns out that creating/maintaining healthy habits and living a healthy lifestyle are more important and realistic than playing the number game with the scale.
Click here to take a quiz and find out if your weight-loss expectations are realistic.
10 Tips for Starting a Wellness Program Today
4 Steps to Lasting Behavioral Change
Goals that Help, Goals that Hurt
Find Your Perfect Weight
If you took the quiz above, are your weight-loss expectations realistic? What tips do you have to offer for setting realistic goals?
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