I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again here: there’s much more motivating weight loss goals than pushing for a number on the bathroom scale. Here are 5 different goals that you can focus on as you continue on your lifestyle journey.
1) Bitch stole my look!
Inspiration rules our plans when it comes to weight loss and lifestyle shift. When I started on my weight loss journey, I spent a lot of time looking at Before/After pictures of other people who had accomplished what I wanted to do. Thanks to the Internet and social media, we can find these people who came, saw, and kicked ass before us. We can ask, “What did you do to get these arms? That ass? How long did it take? What did you eat? Any advice you can give me to do it, too?”
One thing to remember here: seek out people that you can communicate with, not some Photoshopped model from Cosmo. This one Reddit post is a great example that’s got my partner Jen inspired right now. Find real progress stories that inspire you and follow them.
2) Be a size queen.
You have that special dress or pair of designer jeans that’s been lurking in your closet for years. Maybe there’s the shirt size that you haven’t bought since college. Imagine how confident you’ll feel whenever you slide that outfit on once again and hit the town to show off your hard work. Just remember that the journey, not the clothes, make the person.
Be realistic, though: choose an adult size that makes sense. You don’t have to fit into your 8th grade school uniform or kid’s onesie to feel like you’ve made it. Fitting into an outfit that’s 1-2 sizes smaller than your current size will make you feel just as smashing as your prom dress.
3) Leap tall buildings in a single bound.
Maybe your goal goes beyond what you wear on your body to focus on what your body can do for you. After I lost 30 lbs (out of an eventual 100), I set a goal to accomplish something I’d never dreamed of before: run a 5K. For you, it could be a goal as grand as running a marathon or as gratifying as playing with your kids all day at the park without needing to rest. My client recently played basketball with her son for 30 minutes, whereas a 10 minute walk had exhausted her just weeks before.
Figure out first what you can do, then look one step ahead to see what your goal should be. Want to train for a marathon but all you can do is walk around your yard? Start there and build on that; it’s how Jen’s aunt made it to her first marathon. Of course, consult your physician before beginning any new strenuous exercises, especially if you have preexisting conditions.
4) Goin’ to the chapel, and we’re gonna get…
This is a tricky goal to pursue for weight loss. Planning your health towards an event can lead to risky patterns like crash dieting or extreme exercise. To reduce this risky business, plan for an event far enough in the future that your “bikini bod” comes from a greater lifestyle change, not just short-term fixes. Going on a beach vacation or looking grand at your wedding make for great milestones on your lifestyle journey, not end goals themselves.
Here’s a hint: you know when you graduated high school. Your 10th/20th/25th reunion shouldn’t sneak up on you. Set realistic goals between now and that event so you can get there in the proper way—with baby steps. In fact, set realistic goals, period. Your beauty is in your health, not your dress size.
5) Scale back.
Did you think this wouldn’t show up? As the most obvious measure of weight loss, the bathroom scale had to make an appearance on this list. It’s the last one because it’s the least important in determining effective lifestyle change. How you feel, your health, and overall physical capacity should always trump what a scale tells you is the “right” number.
For me, losing 100 lbs over 2 ½ years wasn’t about waiting for that magic number on the scale to tell me that I’d made progress. It was about lowering my blood pressure below stroke levels. It was about wearing a pants size that I hadn’t seen since high school. It was about running my first 5K, then my second. It was about my first Spartan Race. It was about being around to see my nieces and nephews grow up.
As you can see, there’s so much more to weight loss and lifestyle change than the bathroom scale. Keep those goals in perspective and pick the ones that take you where you want to go.
For more tips on transforming your body one “baby step” at a time, be sure to Follow me on Facebook or Twitter, check out my blog archive, or send me a message.