Wednesday, June 3, 2009

To Lose Weight Stop Setting Weight Loss Goals

I realize that this goes against just about everything you have ever heard about accomplishing anything. I mean, "everyone" says you have to have goals, right?

Those same people say that goals have to be measurable. In other words, some sort of number.

What I have discovered is that when we set goals around our weight--for most of us--we are actually setting ourselves up for failure!

Why? Because we are focusing on the number on the scale...or a waist measurement...or a dress size...whatever that measurable goal is. If that is our focus we stop paying attention to how we are feeling, why we are eating in the first place.

The other part about setting goals is you are supposed to have a specific time to achieve that goal. My goals always seemed I'm going to lose 10 pounds over 2 months...well, mine were usually more like I'm going to lose 100 pounds over the next year!

I would end up starving myself for a couple of days before I was supposed to weigh in for my goal...then go crazy eating after. This is not healthy behavior--I knew it, but did it anyway--because I wanted to reach my weekly or monthly goal. I just couldn't seem to keep a healthy pattern of eating going all the time, so I started binging. Ultimately I just gave up and felt worse about myself with every failure.

Weight loss goals are really just a way of trying to diet! You are going to limit yourself or work out more...or try to reach that goal. And hey--if that works for you, then go for it!

But if you are like me...someone who set (and broke) the same goal over and over and over and over...then maybe it is time to rethink the whole weight loss goal idea. At least in terms of a measurable number.

I think the best weight loss goal is one of achieving better health. I know that is vague...but it is realistic and it is attainable. What this goal does for me is it gives me the freedom to eat consistently and to be forgiving of myself.

Now I am able to focus on why I am wanting food, getting in touch with what is going on "behind the scenes"...inside my mind. By working on that, I am able to change that programming.

The ironic thing is...once I stopped setting number goals and focused on having a goal of health, my weight started to drop immediately! And even better it has continued to that I have now lost 120lbs and I haven't binged in years!

I can truly say that stopping setting weight loss goals has brought me to my biggest goal: better health--both mental and physical!

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