Me: How much weight do you want to lose?
Hopeful-Weight-Loser: Well… I need to lose 100 pounds…
Me: Ok, that is going to take at least a year.
Hopeful-Weight-Loser: What???? No!!! I want it gone tomorrow! WTF?
Guess what, dudes? Losing weight, especially a large amount, is going to take time and hard work. Not necessarily hard sweaty work at the gym or mental fortitude while in front of the open fridge, but the long term kind of discipline geared towards achieving a serious goal. A magnanimous goal; the kind of goal that, once achieved, makes people’s jaws drop open and stay there because of just how awe-inspiring it is. It’s awe inspiring because so few people are able to see it through to the end. That’s what losing a lot of weight is like; truly awesome.
If you’re thinking that you need to lose 100, 70, 50 pounds, you’re probably feeling like this:
Trust me, I understand. It feels like you’re in the desert, alone, without water, with weights on each arm and you’ve convinced yourself that you’re going to die a shriveled raisin of a person! (You won’t, by the way) But, like a marathon, losing any amount of weight begins with a single step. You just need to make sure you’re moving in the right direction. One step closer. One at a time. Baby steps. (Don’t worry though, graham crackers and juice boxes will be provided along the way)
My highest weight was 255 pounds, and at that time, losing anything close to 100 pounds seemed utterly impossible. Like traveling faster than the speed of light, or creating energy out of nothing, or jumping off a building and flying over the city like a bird (Weeeeeeeeeeeee!). But 5 pounds? “I could probably do 5 pounds…”
So I did.
And then I thought, “well, that wasn’t impossible, per se, so maybe I’ll just try another 5 lbs.” And so I did. Rinse. Repeat. Before I knew it, 50 pounds were gone.
Then, you’ll hit a roadblock.
A snag. A rabid grizzly bear standing in the middle of your path. I’m not going to sugar coat it for you, the weight loss journey can be frustrating at times, and you’ll get stuck and wonder where you went wrong. Ever put together Swedish furniture without tools, useless instructions, a hand tied behind your back, while hopping on only one foot? Yea, it’s a little like that.
To overcome a weight loss roadblock, you need goals.
“If you don’t know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter which path you take.” -Lewis Carroll
We all chose to lose weight for a myriad of different reasons, but everyone starts with at least one goal in mind. Maybe it’s a certain weight when you remember feeling great in the past, or a clothing size, or a waist measurement. Maybe your goal is health related; to get off your high blood pressure medication, to manage PCOS, to eat more nutritious whole foods, or prevent pre-diabetes from becoming full blown diabetes. Either way, if you could snap your fingers and magically make it happen, you already know exactly where you’d want to end up. Hint: you’re thinking about it right now! It’s good to keep this long-term weight loss goal in the back of your mind (like in the file with your tax returns: you don’t check it often but you know that it’s there somewhere), but keep your short term goals in the front of your mind.
When I started losing weight, I had a decent set of goals. Some I never thought I’d achieve. They were my “impossible goals.” I’ve achieved many, added some, and am still working on others. These goals, especially the short term ones, have helped me bulldoze my roadblocks. One at a time.
Your goals are your currency; money you can use to hire big gnarly biker dudes who will beat up all your roadblocking bullies for you! Goals stand up strong and proud and say, “I can’t be bothered with your roadblocking bullshit right now, I have things to do! Important things. And I’m not going to waste any more of my time on you.”
MY Short Term Goals:
- Lose a pant size.
- Lose 5 pounds.
- Lose 10 pounds.
- Get out of the morbidly obese BMI range.
- Eat fewer sweets and more nutritious home-cooked well rounded meals.
- Eat at least one nutritious, well balanced meal per day.
My Long Term Goals:
- Lose half my body weight (127 lbs)
- Get out of the obese BMI range
- Get out of the overweight BMI Range
- Be under 200 pounds. One-derland!
- Reach my lowest adult weight ever, and surpass it.
- Get to waist circumference of 27″
- Wear a single digit clothing size.
Notice how many of these goals are achievable very quickly. If I eat one healthy meal tomorrow, I’ve achieved a goal already! Yay! Level 2 unlocked! If I had focused on losing half of my body weight right from the start, I would have given up under the enormous weight of discipline and time necessary to do that. But a nutritious meal? We can all do that. 5 pounds? We can always lose five pounds.
Get out a piece of paper and a pen and write down your goals! ALL of them! Especially the ones that seem impossible!
Write down all your goals and look at them. Which one is the easiest? That’s your first goal. If that goal requires losing more than five pounds, your first short-term goal is to lose five pounds. Five little pounds. You can totally do that!
Now that you have your first long-term and short-term weight loss goals, it will be very tempting to set a deadline for achieving them. Don’t do this. If you set up yourself in a calorie deficit that you can live with indefinitely, you will get to those goals much faster than you think. You will get there significantly faster when you set yourself up to succeed with a plan that keeps you from feeling deprived, and encourages you to eat foods you actually like. If you quit because your weight loss plan is too strict or unsustainable, you’ll NEVER get there. Time passes quickly when your weight loss regimen is set up well. All you have to do from day to day is follow that program. The weight will come off, and you WILL achieve your goals, even the ones that feel impossible right now.
You can do this. One step at a time. Set your goals, achieve the impossible!
“It always seems impossible until it is done.” -Nelson Mandela
What goals are you working on now? I’d love to hear from you! Like/Comment/Share if you enjoy this blog. 🙂
No fad diets. No weigh loss pills. No embarrassing meetings. No punishing exercises.
This is an invitation… Come and see. I’ll be sharing my experience losing 70+ pounds, things I’ve learned, struggles I’ve overcame, my badly drawn comics (Tales from the Scale), and doing my best to provide priceless weight loss guidance along the way. I say “fuck" sometimes, just FYI.
Once or twice a week, you get an update with highlights, a comic or two, insights, and excerpts.
Go ahead and make it official.