Posted on a weight loss plan forum I’ve joined. Given the semi-anonymity of the forum, I’m not going to identify the forum or the poster, and this has been edited to remove references to the weight loss plan in question. I need to remember this.
You can’t “do” losing weight. You DO eating, and drinking, and exercising, and sleeping, and reading, and thinking. Losing weight is an outcome of that, not an action itself. You need to realize that what is directly in your control are the actions that you take. And if you do all the right things today, today was a complete success, and YOU are a complete success TODAY.The weight will drift off in its own time, sometimes waymore than you expect, sometimes less, but it will go. You don’t have to wait for it to be gone to be successful. You are successful every day that you eat right, drink your water, move your body, get enough sleep, log your meals, and are kind to yourself. So you can be happy and feel great about yourself TODAY, not just in however many days/weeks/months it takes to lose however many pounds.
Someone just posted saying they were restarting the plan and setting an ambitious goal for themselves — they want to lose 50 lbs by Thanksgiving.
Eek! I personally think that setting goals in that form is very dangerous. This was my response to her:
During the 8 1/2 months I’ve been on the program, for almost the entire time, I set excellent, positive, nurturing goals. My goals were not in the form of X lbs by such-and-such date. They were about my actions, not about the outcomes. I can’t do a “lose 4 lbs” action, what I CAN do is eat right today, drink my water today, get enough sleep today, move my body today, treat myself and others with love and kindness today, etc.
So I set my personal success criteria accordingly. Every day that I ate to my plan, drank enough water, got enough sleep, moved my body some, I was a complete success. It worked beautifully.
So, what did I do? I had a major event come up, in September, that I decided I’d be at 225lbs for. Oh my GOD what a terrible goal to set. All of a sudden it wasn’t enough to have done everything right that day, instead I had to extrapolate whether or not that would get me to 225 and take the potential for stalls or plateaus into account and fret about whether or not the dress that I knew fit me last time I was 225 would indeed fit at the time of the event, and and and and. SO much stress, because I’d set a goal that wasn’t directly under my control. A plateau isn’t a failure — but it could make me fail my new goal, so all of a sudden, plateaus became scary and threatening.
On the day I flew to the event, I weighed 223. Sounds like a success? Oh, so not worth the extra stress the weeks leading up to it. I would have done at least as well taking it a day at a time and not stressing myself out about it!
I’ve made a commitment to myself, NEVER AGAIN. My goals are back to being about things I do, and it is SO much more relaxing. Sure, I *care* about the outcome, but I since I don’t directly control it, I don’t make it my success criteria, and I don’t pin it to the clock or the calendar. If I stopped losing weight for an extended period while successfully following the plan, then I’d rework what my goals were based on that outcome, but I still would have been successfully following the plan!
I don’t know if this ramble has made any sense. It’s my cautionary tale about goal setting. I would just HATE to see someone have stupendous results like losing 40 lbs, and yet feeling like they had failed, when each and every day they’d kept to their plan and done everything right.
Don’t wait until you’ve lost the weight to succeed. Don’t wait until Thanksgiving to be a success. Set your goals for how you’re going to succeed today, and meet them, and be a success now.
powered by performancing firefox