Help Keep My Goals Reasonable

chubaway Posts: 1,645 Member
I understand some people believe we should throw out our scales, and that our goals and measure of success should be based on how we look, feel, etc. Nevertheless, I was hoping you people would give me your opinions about MY goals - help keep them reasonable. I do better when I have a goal to work towards, instead of simply making life-style changes and settling on "when I get there, I'll get there." I am making the life-style changes, but my personality still needs a goal, a target.

Like many of you, I also believe a better measurement of fitness, better than weight alone, is percentage of body fat, or BMI (unless you're a body builder), but the bathroom scales that measure fat% don't work with my legs because I have a neuro-muscular disease.

I'm not in good shape. Except for the last five weeks I haven't exercised in a long time; maybe years. I peaked at 224 lbs, but dropped to 220 by the time I joined MFP. So I've lost about 17 pounds in the last eight or nine weeks. Now I'm slowing down, but that's ok.

I'm hoping some of you will give your opinions about the blanks in items 4, 5, and 6. I know it would help to know how many daily calories I'm consuming, but I'm going to keep that to myself for now.

CW - 207
HT - 5'10"

My goals are to:

1. continue to log every bite, and every sip I swallow
2. stay as close to my allotted calories as I can
3. continue to exercise at least 5 days a week, mixing cardio with weights
4. drop my BMI from 29.7 to 24.9 by _______
5. drop my weight from 207 to 174 by _______
6. drop my waist from 41.5 to 35 inches by _______

Thank you


  • toutmonpossible
    toutmonpossible Posts: 1,580 Member
    Can I suggest something in between? I really don't think you can set a date certain for weight loss until you see how your body adapts.

    How about?

    I will work out five times a week, doing at least 20 minutes of cardio. I will find a basic strength training program that hits the major areas and spread that across my week as is convenient.

    I will undertake to create a calorie deficit of ___ a day most days.

    I will weigh myself once a week.

    I will take my measurements once a month.

    If I have someone who can take my body fat measurements with a caliper (assuming that method will work for me), I will record my body percentage.

    I will assess my results in 4 to 6 weeks.

    #1 is quite important, but you make it sound like OCD torture. How about "I will commit myself to tracking everything I consume in order to have a realistic idea of my calorie intake and to educate myself about the nutritional value of the food I eat."?
  • wbandel
    wbandel Posts: 530 Member
    When I started I made a graph of how many lbs I thought I'd be losing, and how long it would possibly take me to hit my goal. It started off being reasonable, but once I got towards the end I've slowed down so I'm "not meeting my goals". That can kind of be discouraging. I think it's a good idea not to get too hung up on deadlines. Right now I'm "not meeting my goals" by plateauing, but I'm also doing 30 Day Shred and building up muscle. When I first started I wanted to lose all the weight by my birthday, and that didn't happen. lol Then I wanted to lose it by my year anniversary on here, and chances are that won't happen either, but now I'd just be happy to know I've made progress and kept with it. Deadlines aren't everything, specially since this should be a life change. There is no real deadline in life.

    I'd say to stick to "I'll eat within my calories", "I won't drink soda", "I'll weigh in every week", "I'll use a tape measurer every month", etc. Those kind of goals are always achievable, and they keep you on task. If you know kind of the pace you're losing at, you can make short term goals, like if you lose about 2lbs a week, you could say you'll try to lose 10lbs that month. That's the sorta thing though that won't be as easy to guess at once you get towards your goal though, then it might be more like "I'll lose 3lbs this month".

    Depending on your exercise, you could try to have time or weight goals.
  • dangerousdumpling
    dangerousdumpling Posts: 1,109 Member
    I've found that choosing a date to reach a goal may lead to disappointment. Lowering your BMI and losing pounds and inches are all great goals, but your body may not react as you hope or match the effort you put into it. I'd suggest you keep all of those goals but lose the "by...". You will reach those goals as long as you keep trying. Often times weight loss is more of a mental challenge than a physical one because it doesn't always happen as expected or on a schedule. I think it's more important to try your best and accept and be happy and satisfied with your results having the knowledge that you're working towards bettering your overall health and well-being.

    I understand the desire to have a goal to keep you motivated. I'm the say way. Some people drop weight quickly and consistently with dietary and activity changes and that's great. For others it's a bit of a challenge and I would hate to see you give up if it doesn't happen that way for you. Just focus on goals 1-3 and 4-6 will happen in time.
  • leebesstoad
    leebesstoad Posts: 1,186 Member
    I think the others are right. Setting a target date may not be the best way to do it. Setting the target is great. Setting the date can lead to disappointment, and maybe desperation if you get close to the date and you aren't there, which could be even worse. Ask yourself this: is the date all that important or the fact that you are working toward the goal?

    I've basically given up on BMI completely, but that may be just me. I'm no bodybuilder, but in the last 5 months, my body fat has gone from 31-20%. I am fairly muscular, at least for a 57 year old guy. And I am permanently planted in the middle of Overweight on BMI. Which my trainer, my nutritionist, and everyone who sees me laughs at. BMI is, at best, a gross instrument, as opposed to a fine-tuned instrument, so I really wouldn't stress too much about that.

    The weight loss to waist size loss seems very plausible to me cause that is about what I've done. I'm shorter, 5'7" but went from 203 to 170, and my waist went from 41 to 33.5. It took about 4 and a half months. Still almost 2 pounds a week.

    Congrats on what you've lost so far. Don't sweat slowing down. Weight loss isn't a smooth straight line for any one. I know I went through a few weeks where I didn't lose much, followed by a few weeks where I was losing 4-5 pounds a week, with no change in diet or exercise. The human body is a strange and complex thing.

    Good luck, and just keep on plugging. It really is worth it. And take time to congratulate yourself on what you've done so far. It's good to celebrate your victories. It gives you motivation to want more.
  • HollisGrant
    HollisGrant Posts: 2,022 Member
    I would simply add lose the weight when you lose the weight. Eat healthy. Choose an exercise you truly enjoy. For me, that's walking (and now jogging because of C25K) in the beautiful national park near my house. You might enjoy something else, but whatever it is, if you like doing it, you are more likely to stick with it.
  • TammTammS
    TammTammS Posts: 55 Member
    Try behavior routines also
    I will take a sip of water between bites
    I will get 7-8 hrs of sleep a night
    I will always have a health snack with me
    I will eat a fruit or vegetable with every meal / snack

    Besides just focusing on weight goals try making good habits
    Hope this helps
  • chubaway
    chubaway Posts: 1,645 Member
    Thank you all very much for your ideas, and suggestions. You've either been at this a while, or you simply have an aptitude for what makes sense.

    I'm going to throw the date out of my goal, add or modify some of my goals to match some of your suggestions, and just do the best I know how.

    When I reach my target I'll look back with pride . . . even if it takes a long time.
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