I've been setting myself up for failure

Here's how my mind works: I want to lose 45 pounds by next July. That would be around 30 weeks from when I started (re-started) so that should be around 1.5 pounds per week. So I charted it out on a spread sheet. The red line is the goal and I can see where I am with respect to it every day if I want.

The sad reality is that the blue actual weight line is somewhat above the red goal line. I'm already failing at this. I will have to increase my rate of loss to get back on track (which is no more than I deserve for failing.) The mind is a terrible thing...

An alternate view is that I have actually lost weight, just not as much as expected. I should be happy with success, right? Instead, by focusing on my goal, I have actually made myself a failure even though my weight has gone down.

Maybe I need to dump the goal and just focus on the process: eating the right amount and getting a little exercise. If the weight goes down at all, then that is success. If it doesn't then it still isn't failure, but an indication that the process needs to be adjusted.
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Replies

  • JTick
    JTick Posts: 2,131 Member
    Weight loss is NOT linear. You can't draw a nice pretty line and expect your actual weight to fall directly on it.

    Get rid of the time goal. Make progress, even if it's slow. Win.
  • uconnwinsnc1
    uconnwinsnc1 Posts: 903 Member
    Expecting weight loss to follow a linear path is a bad idea.
  • SueInAz
    SueInAz Posts: 6,592 Member
    edited December 2014
    Your latter thoughts are the way to go.

    You are losing weight which is success, not failure because you made an arbitrary goal and didn't reach it. I think how you're viewing it is a reflection of your mindset. Really, that mindset should be that you're making these changes for life, right? I can't imagine that you plan on hitting some magical goal weight and then going back to the way things were.

    For me, there is no "end" to the changes that I've made. I'll be doing these things, or some variation of them for the rest of my life. Even though I have a "goal weight" listed in my profile, I'm not really aiming for a weight goal at all; my goals are to be healthy, to fit into my clothes, to get stronger and move gracefully into old age while being as active as my body will let me be. And I've found that the more active you are in middle age, the more active you can be later in life. And that's important. I don't want to be the little old lady doddering along with a walker I want to be the one running the half marathon.

    You're doing great! Keep up the good work and alter your goals to fit the things that you're learning as you go. It's definitely a process and a journey.
  • dawnna76
    dawnna76 Posts: 987 Member
    JTick wrote: »
    Weight loss is NOT linear. You can't draw a nice pretty line and expect your actual weight to fall directly on it.

    Get rid of the time goal. Make progress, even if it's slow. Win.

    THIS! some poeple can lose weight very fast by making minimal changes. others (like myself) have to fight for .5 a week! its has taken me three years to lose 75 pounds, i am stilll 35 from my goal. i have had a whole year stall. I made great increases in my strength and stamina and have even lost inches as my body recomposed itself, but the weight has stayed in the same 5 pound range up and down. If i went by some perfect little graph i would have killed myself in agony over the fact that I was doing it wrong. Celebrate the accomplishements you have made and take the time frame out of the picture!
  • concordancia
    concordancia Posts: 5,320 Member
    This is why my goals are to do things, rather than hit a number on a scale.

    I have a goal to bike around the bay. I have a goal to eat 5 fruit and veg a day. I have a goal to stay within my calorie limits. I have a goal to hit my protein macros. I have a goal to do one legged squats. I have a goal to do pushups and at least one pull up...

    Sure, I would love to be slim and athletic for my parents' 50th in June, I even have an ideal weight in mind to achieve by then, but my actual goals are more concrete and action oriented.
  • lthames0810
    lthames0810 Posts: 722 Member
    JTick wrote: »
    Weight loss is NOT linear. You can't draw a nice pretty line and expect your actual weight to fall directly on it.

    Get rid of the time goal. Make progress, even if it's slow. Win.

    Hmm...

    How about dumping the goal line and putting in a trend line? That way, even though my weight loss won't be linear, the trend will (optimistic) be generally downward.

  • 999tigger
    999tigger Posts: 5,235 Member
    Is there any reason why its by next july? I can see how you get yourself into trouble becayse as you fall behind your schedule you then have to adjust the figure upwards. If its just a date and number fixed by you then alter it to be more realistic nased upon your experiences so far. You definitely have spotted a dangerous way of thinking that was becoming a burden but fortunately have already identified your way out.

    If you are going to try a plan with targets, then you need to be realistic as to the control and amount of difference you can make.
  • lthames0810
    lthames0810 Posts: 722 Member
    This is why my goals are to do things, rather than hit a number on a scale.

    I have a goal to bike around the bay. I have a goal to eat 5 fruit and veg a day. I have a goal to stay within my calorie limits. I have a goal to hit my protein macros. I have a goal to do one legged squats. I have a goal to do pushups and at least one pull up...

    Sure, I would love to be slim and athletic for my parents' 50th in June, I even have an ideal weight in mind to achieve by then, but my actual goals are more concrete and action oriented.

    So, it isn't that goals are counterproductive, just that I chose the wrong goal. A good way to think about it. Thanks.

  • JTick
    JTick Posts: 2,131 Member
    JTick wrote: »
    Weight loss is NOT linear. You can't draw a nice pretty line and expect your actual weight to fall directly on it.

    Get rid of the time goal. Make progress, even if it's slow. Win.

    Hmm...

    How about dumping the goal line and putting in a trend line? That way, even though my weight loss won't be linear, the trend will (optimistic) be generally downward.

    That would be better than what you're currently doing. I use Libra on my phone to track my trend line. Just know that the first couple weeks really suck because you don't have enough data to establish a good trend. Once you've weighed in enough, the trend line is a great measure of your overall progress.
  • lthames0810
    lthames0810 Posts: 722 Member
    999tigger wrote: »
    Is there any reason why its by next july? I can see how you get yourself into trouble becayse as you fall behind your schedule you then have to adjust the figure upwards. If its just a date and number fixed by you then alter it to be more realistic nased upon your experiences so far. You definitely have spotted a dangerous way of thinking that was becoming a burden but fortunately have already identified your way out.

    If you are going to try a plan with targets, then you need to be realistic as to the control and amount of difference you can make.

    Next July I'll be taking an "active" vacation. There will be lots of kayaking and hiking and scrambling over rocks and on and off boats. So it's more important to be fit than light. I guess the weight loss goal was pretty arbitrary and even more not worth getting hung up on.

  • jgnatca
    jgnatca Posts: 14,464 Member
    edited December 2014
    A poster here directed me to this site to smooth out the lines and see the trend:
    http://www.weightgrapher.com/graphs/
    That helped me feel better.
    I still hate the scale.
    The achievements that matter to me are related to behavior change, which is directly under my control. Like exercise goals.
  • lthames0810
    lthames0810 Posts: 722 Member
    jgnatca wrote: »
    A poster here directed me to this site to smooth out the lines and see the trend:
    http://www.weightgrapher.com/graphs/
    That helped me feel better.
    I still hate the scale.
    The achievements that matter to me are related to behavior change, which is directly under my control. Like exercise goals.

    Thanks for that link!

    What are some your exercise goals, if you don't mind posting them here? I don't run or swim anymore, and my cycling speed is dependent more on traffic and riding partners than fitness. I have trouble quantifying anything in this area other than showing up for a workout so many times a week.

  • Dragonwolf
    Dragonwolf Posts: 5,600 Member
    999tigger wrote: »
    Is there any reason why its by next july? I can see how you get yourself into trouble becayse as you fall behind your schedule you then have to adjust the figure upwards. If its just a date and number fixed by you then alter it to be more realistic nased upon your experiences so far. You definitely have spotted a dangerous way of thinking that was becoming a burden but fortunately have already identified your way out.

    If you are going to try a plan with targets, then you need to be realistic as to the control and amount of difference you can make.

    Next July I'll be taking an "active" vacation. There will be lots of kayaking and hiking and scrambling over rocks and on and off boats. So it's more important to be fit than light. I guess the weight loss goal was pretty arbitrary and even more not worth getting hung up on.

    Yeah, that makes the weight goal next to useless. It's a nice, easy way to see progress, but life (and the human body) isn't nearly so neat and tidy.

    Instead, why not start doing things that will help you be able to do those things? See if there's a place you can go that has a rock wall, or check out a Parkour group in your area. Go hiking, or pretend a playground is that rocky area you're going to in July.

    Then, set goals based on what you can do with those activities, such as being able to hike for an hour with a 20lb knapsack (then 2 hours, then a Saturday, etc), or being able to climb over that giant tractor tire in the park in 15 seconds (or at all, whatever is a reasonable challenge for you).
  • lthames0810
    lthames0810 Posts: 722 Member
    Dragonwolf wrote: »
    999tigger wrote: »
    Is there any reason why its by next july? I can see how you get yourself into trouble becayse as you fall behind your schedule you then have to adjust the figure upwards. If its just a date and number fixed by you then alter it to be more realistic nased upon your experiences so far. You definitely have spotted a dangerous way of thinking that was becoming a burden but fortunately have already identified your way out.

    If you are going to try a plan with targets, then you need to be realistic as to the control and amount of difference you can make.

    Next July I'll be taking an "active" vacation. There will be lots of kayaking and hiking and scrambling over rocks and on and off boats. So it's more important to be fit than light. I guess the weight loss goal was pretty arbitrary and even more not worth getting hung up on.

    Yeah, that makes the weight goal next to useless. It's a nice, easy way to see progress, but life (and the human body) isn't nearly so neat and tidy.

    Instead, why not start doing things that will help you be able to do those things? See if there's a place you can go that has a rock wall, or check out a Parkour group in your area. Go hiking, or pretend a playground is that rocky area you're going to in July.

    Then, set goals based on what you can do with those activities, such as being able to hike for an hour with a 20lb knapsack (then 2 hours, then a Saturday, etc), or being able to climb over that giant tractor tire in the park in 15 seconds (or at all, whatever is a reasonable challenge for you).

    These are some really good ideas. Thanks!

  • jgnatca
    jgnatca Posts: 14,464 Member
    lthames, my first goal eight months ago was a 21-day challenge, 40 minutes a day on the treadmill. Did that.
    Next goal, last spring, a 5K walk. Done.
    This fall, after recovering from surgery, another 5K Walk for the Cure. Hey, this is getting too easy.
    Rode my bike for the first time. Yay!
    Video of me riding my bike.
    Did some deep thinking, and decided to take a Learn to Run class. I am halfway through the C25K. I run twenty minutes every other day.
    I am signed up for a 10K next June, and a Mud Hero 6K next August.
    I will have to train to get ready for those!

    I change up my goals if I begin to lose interest.
  • SueInAz
    SueInAz Posts: 6,592 Member
    jgnatca wrote: »
    A poster here directed me to this site to smooth out the lines and see the trend:
    http://www.weightgrapher.com/graphs/
    That helped me feel better.
    I still hate the scale.
    The achievements that matter to me are related to behavior change, which is directly under my control. Like exercise goals.

    Thanks for that link!

    What are some your exercise goals, if you don't mind posting them here? I don't run or swim anymore, and my cycling speed is dependent more on traffic and riding partners than fitness. I have trouble quantifying anything in this area other than showing up for a workout so many times a week.
    If you're planning on hiking, wouldn't running be a good thing to get back into to help your endurance? Or is there a reason you no longer run? I know it's not exactly the same but it would be very helpful. However, if you have similar places to hike locally, then by all means get hiking! Distances, finishing specific trails that are tough, etc. are all goals to work towards which will help you have a great time on your vacation.
  • giggitygoo
    giggitygoo Posts: 1,978 Member
    success-perception-vs-reality.jpg

    Stop making timeline goals! Just do your best!
  • aylajane
    aylajane Posts: 979 Member
    If you enjoy hiking, look into geocaching - hiking with a purpose, and you end up all over the place seeing new things. Keeps you distracted and some can be pretty hard to find - fun game :)
  • jomatho
    jomatho Posts: 311 Member
    JTick wrote: »
    Weight loss is NOT linear. You can't draw a nice pretty line and expect your actual weight to fall directly on it.

    Get rid of the time goal. Make progress, even if it's slow. Win.

    Hmm...

    How about dumping the goal line and putting in a trend line? That way, even though my weight loss won't be linear, the trend will (optimistic) be generally downward.

    Check out Trendweight.com you just plug in your numbers and it shows you your trend line. There are others out there that do the same thing also. Its nice because weight loss is not linear, so even though the scale may go up a little here and there, the trend continues downward, usually.
  • 999tigger
    999tigger Posts: 5,235 Member
    One of the good things about exercise is you can witness your steady improvement. I get the impression you are figuring this out by yourself and can see the trouble you were getting yourself into. If you really wnat that as a goal its possible, but you need to plan prepare and execute quite well. Why not go for 1lb a week and try to get fit as well?

    If you are going to set your holiday as an end point , then as part of your plan practice on focusing on the next hour, day or week and meeting those targets. Hit them and the months will take care of themselves.