The goal is the process

kimny72 Posts: 16,025 Member
I'm creating this thread at the suggestion of @try2again on another thread. <waves>

I learned back in the day that a specific weight on the scale is actually a pretty ineffective goal, because you don't have complete control over it during a short period of time. Typically, the advice for creating effective goals involves a time frame, but the weight isn't going to come off on schedule. And this is often why people lose their will, because waiting for a month for the scale to react to your effort can be demoralizing.

The fix is to make your goal = the process. Log every day. Hit your calorie goal. Document the bad days. Hit a number of steps. Spend 10 minutes on the bike. Eat a specific number of vegetable servings. Whatever actions you are taking to get into a deficit, make completing those actions the goal, rather than focusing on the lbs per week. Check off the behaviors, which are the things you do have complete control over.

As a short woman with only 15-20 lbs to lose, I simply couldn't do a big enough deficit to lose more than 0.5lbs per week. And that small amount can easily hide behind water weight fluctuations, undigested food, and other normal fluctuations. If I had been hanging on the scale, focused only on that number doing what I wanted it to do, I never would have made it. Instead, I focused on my behaviors - hitting my calorie, protein, and fiber goal. Getting 8,000 steps. Sticking to my workout schedule. That's what got me through :smiley:

I wouldn't say don't look at the scale, but look at the scale as data, and your successful actions as the goal. Nothing works for everyone, but if the scale is driving you nuts, you have options!


  • L1zardQueen
    L1zardQueen Posts: 8,754 Member
    Thank you Kimny! Look at the big picture!
  • abel12mfp
    abel12mfp Posts: 14 Member
    I loved this, thank you for your insight!
  • LivingtheLeanDream
    LivingtheLeanDream Posts: 13,345 Member
    Great post Kimny :smile:
  • motivatedmartha
    motivatedmartha Posts: 1,108 Member
    Good Post! For me it pushes the focus on to the changes to the healthier habits most of us are trying to make: eating for good nutrition and being more active. Even though it often doesn't feel like it (on a plateau myself just now) it is not actually about the numbers on a scale but about how we feel. Logging helps me eat better, exercise more and hence feel well.
  • misaloundra
    misaloundra Posts: 17 Member
    Great post about changing your perspective on your weight loss! It's a long process with a lot of things to do to achieve your goal, you can't focus only on the number!
  • cheery1
    cheery1 Posts: 1 Member
    Well said! This is exactly what I started 10 days ago. My goal is to stick to the plan - an easy system of walking a certain number of days per week and eating an appropriate number of calories each day. Also, I have added in "prizes" along the way for meeting my goal, at specified intervals. The first was to stick to the plan for one week! I am feeling accomplished, got a new pair of pants, and am motivated to get to my next goal. The whole plan is written out in a notebook. Then, I log calories and walks into myfitnesspal as well as weight, for reference. This system is helping me make better choices throughout the day/week and not stressing me out with a certain number of pounds lost. Since that number can fluctuate even from day to day, I got frustrated when I would hit a plateau. That is usually when I quit logging and exercising in the past. Working to change my mindset!
  • dsboohead
    dsboohead Posts: 1,900 Member
    Thankyou for reminding all of us!
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 12,071 Member
    Not only do you know your pizza @kimny72 ; but you know your goal setting too! Brilliant :love:
  • workinonit1956
    workinonit1956 Posts: 1,043 Member
    Most excellent reminder!
  • xbowhunter
    xbowhunter Posts: 387 Member
    Very well said but you can't beat that rewarding feeling when you feel you have not lost & look down & see a surprise weight

    For me I have a much better understanding of the fuel that my body actually needs. I view food mostly as a fuel source rather than eating for pleasure and have turned the corner to good solid eating & exercise habits. It can only get better from here for me... :0)
  • JBApplebee
    JBApplebee Posts: 488 Member
    Only using the scale as a goal is like choosing a baseball MVP by only using their batting average. So much more goes into it, like HR, RBI, WAR, numbers w/ RISP. Likewise, in addition to the scale, I'm getting stronger, my clothes are fitting better, my belly fat is shrinking, my blood pressure, heart rate & cholesterol numbers have drastically improved as well, so if I have a day where I'm up a pound on the scale, I'm not going to jump off a bridge.
  • walkedinburgh
    walkedinburgh Posts: 6 Member
    Thanks for the reminder, I needed to read this today! Aiming to lose somewhere between 7 and 14lbs, (slowly!) and need to take less notice of the number on the scale for a bit.