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Why I Don't Set Long Term Goals, and Other News

Thursday, October 04, 2012

I like to read fitness blogs. Coach Calorie, SparkPeople (of course), and pretty much any other thing I can find on Pinterest. (BTW, if you have not joined Pinterest yet, it would seriously change your life. Not necessarily for the better, though. I am an addict.)

These blogs have a variety of opinions and tips, but they all have one common thread: set goals. Not only that, but make them in a way where there is a time-frame you'd like to achieve them in, and have at least two levels of goals (long-term and short-term).

Of course, when I started my weight-loss journey, I hadn't thought to set a goal. It was just after New Years, and my boyfriend of the time (more on him later in this post) and his family were going to start losing weight, so I said, sure, I'll do that too. I was 272 pounds then. Initially, I lost about 30 pounds before starting to maintain and gain a bit back.

In round 2 of my battle for health, I decided to set goals. Lots of goals. So, so, so many goals. I had a specific time frame in which to lose x amount of weight, and I set my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. Well, actually, more around that weight. I wanted to be in the "healthy" BMI range (yes, I know BMI is pretty much a terrible indicator, but that was my goal). And I had short-term goals as well, losing x amount in x weeks, or x amount per week.

I have failed every single health/fitness goal I have ever set for myself. Have my expectations been too high? My motivation too low? Who knows? I just know that failing to succeed in reaching the goals I set by the specific time I wanted to was killing my motivation. Week after week, I would be just not where I should be, and it was more than mildly depressing. Confidence spiraled downward. Motivation was nowhere to be seen.

So now, I have next to no goals. Earlier this year, I had set a goal to be 191 by December 14, so I would be only considered overweight (not obese) by BMI standards. It is now next to impossible for me to reach that goal. And, you know what? I'm fine with that. I have exercised about 3 days a week for the past 3-4 weeks. My only goal now is to feel confident in a bikini. Even if I never achieve that, I will be fine. I know that my body is changing. I've even lost all the weight I gained being at home over the Summer (and then some). I am thisclose to being in the 210's. And I am happier than ever. But, that's not just because I'm feeling stronger and healthier. There's also another reason.

This is where that "boyfriend at the time" comes in. After 5.5 years of an awesome relationship, he is now my fiance!!!!! I would put more exclamation marks, but that would be obnoxious. It will be a long engagement, since we want to wait until I am graduating/really close to graduating, but it is so exciting to finally be able to say, with certainty, that I will be spending the rest of my life with him.

It just happened Saturday, and I knew it was coming, but initially we said that nothing had changed. I know now that it has at least changed a little bit. He goes out of his way to make sure his "i love you too"s are the same number as my "I love you"s. He's flossing (trust me, if you knew his typical dental habits, you would be absolutely shocked), and I even think he's going to start trying harder to get healthy. Since we already share nearly everything else, it would be great to work out together, too.

Wish me luck on my wedding planning!
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.