Friday, August 27, 2010

Weight Loss Success Defined

I have talked to lots and lots of people about weight loss...and weight gain...and the challenges that we face in truly having long-term success in achieving our health and fitness goals. We all have one thing in common--the desire to have this success, that most of us find to be elusive.

This common desire got me thinking about how I define "weight loss success." In discussing the idea with others I have heard so many different ways we choose to define success and I wonder how YOU define it.

  • Is succeeding at weight loss only realized when you reach a specific number on the scale or clothing size?
  • Is success lowering cholesterol or percent body fat?
  • Is success for you fitting into a special outfit--your wedding dress, for example?
  • Do you measure success with a tape...your waist or hips have gotten smaller by so many inches?
  • Does success mean that you have more can walk or run or swim or bike more easily? further? faster?
  • Is success only achieved when you can eat whatever you want without gaining weight?
  • Do you deem it a success because of how others view you--that others think you are more beautiful? healthier?
  • Is your success about how you feel physically? emotionally?
  • Is success only achieved at the reaching a specific goal? by reaching and maintaining it (for how long)?
  • Or is success the daily journey, seeing healthier habits evolve, maybe even before you see results on the scale?
  • Can you deem your weight loss efforts successful if you reach your goal even if others think you weigh too much?
What is your definition of weight loss success...and why? Let me know how you determined what gauge you are using to measure your success (or lack of it!)

I don't know that there are any "right" or "wrong" answers or is, as one of my cyber-friends and fellow recovered dieter, Karen Anderson, says..."whatever works" I do think it helps us to look at how we define whether or not we are successful--and how we measure whether we have achieved that definition or not.

Are we placing such a tight definition on the term that it is next to impossible to achieve? Are we setting ourselves up to fail because of how we define success? Or is our definition a kick-in-the-pants goal that inspires us to make healthy choices? Or is our definition so relaxed we don't make any changes in our lives at all?

I'm looking forward to hearing what you have to the meantime, I'll think about my own definition of weight loss success!

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