Rethinking Thin - a book discussion - Topic 6 - Goal Weights




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Meg
06-26-2007, 08:33 AM
As we discussed in the topic about the genetics of weight, Rethinking Thin comes down hard on the side of weight being determined by genetics. It repeatedly talks about a 10 – 30 pound natural weight range that we’re born with and says within the range, weight can be manipulated fairly easily. Outside of that range, the book maintains, it’s very difficult to achieve weight loss and regardless, it’s not sustainable:

People can exert a level of control within a 10- , perhaps 15-pound range … but expecting obese people to decide to simply eat less and exercise more to get their weight below the obesity range, below the overweight range? It seldom happens. Any weight that is lost almost invariably comes right back. (p 142)

Putting aside for the moment the fact that some of us are successfully maintaining well outside that “natural” range, what are the implications for selecting a goal weight?

Suzanne 3FC once told me that the average 3FC member is 100 pounds overweight, according to standard weight charts. As is apparent when you look at tickers and goal weights, almost everyone has picked a goal weight in the normal BMI range, requiring what is sometimes quite a dramatic weight loss, like losing from 300+ pounds to 140. But I think it’s safe to say that not many 3FC members make it to their stated goals.

So the question is: do we need to rethink our goal weights?

When you join Weight Watchers, you’re given a goal weight based on normal BMI. Diet books assume that everyone can achieve a normal weight. But a lot of us seem to get stuck in a 20 – 30 pound rut. We get fired up, take off 20 or 30 pounds, and then stall. We feel like failures because we haven’t lost as much as we hoped, throw up our hands, and gain it back. Only to start the cycle all over again. This was my pattern for decades!

Most people find that there is a certain weight, which some obesity researchers call the “set point”, that their bodies keep returning to. They can diet; they can lose weight, they can feel that this time they really are in control. Yet vexingly, their weight inevitably drifts back up to where it started. Research studies of weight loss programs find the same thing: people can lose a lot of weight at first, but a year or two later, nearly everyone has gained everything back. At best, dieters can sustain, on average, a 5 to 10 percent loss. (p 158)

When you do the math, a 25-pound loss in a 250-pound woman is 10% of her body weight. Is a 10% loss a resounding success or the failure that many of us perceive it to be? Is the problem us or our chosen goal weights?

In the Three Months section of Rethinking Thin, focusing on the Penn study dieters, the whole issue of goal weights is addressed. At the three-month mark, most of the dieters had lost 10% of their body weight:

The Penn researchers tell their subjects that they should rejoice if they end up with a 10% loss. The dieters say they would be devastated if they do not do better than that. (p 101)

And I daresay that most 3FC dieters would feel exactly the same way.

Other sections of the book discuss the disconnect between “dream weights” and the realities of what can be achieved in the long-term.

In a study published this month in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers found that 60% of people who had a “substantial” weight loss (defined as a mere 10% of body weight) were able to maintain that loss within 5% for at least a year. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/558092?src=mp :

Compared with their weight 1 year before they were surveyed, 7.6% of participants had continued to lose more than 5% of their body weight, 58.9% had maintained their weight within 5%, and 33.5% had regained more than 5% of their body weight.

So, of this group studied, only 8% of dieters lost more than 5% of their body weight. 60% were able to keep off 5 – 10% of their starting weight, and 33% regained all their lost weight.

Seemingly, almost everyone here at 3FC wants to be in that tiny group that loses more than 5% of their body weight. Yet statistics – and real-life experience – indicate that it’s very, very unlikely to happen. However, a 5 – 10% loss seems to be much more achievable, and more importantly, sustainable.

Is it realistic for the obese to expect to achieve a normal weight (defined as a normal BMI)? Would it be better to convince ourselves to lose and maintain just 5 – 10% of our weight? Can we -- should we -- encourage other people and ourselves to settle for a permanent weight loss that still leaves us/them technically overweight or even obese? Do we need to change our definition of "success"?


Kery
06-26-2007, 10:19 AM
My opinion is that any weight loss is worth being taken and cherished, because even 10% less is still better than nothing lost at all. But, of course, it would be hypocritical to say that nevr losing anything else again doesn't matter at all, because I'm pretty sure that for most of us (myself included), reaching a healthy, 'normal' BMI would still sound even better than that.

This said, the way I understood it, that 30 lbs range doesn't have to be understood as "a range around one's heighest weight ever", if this makes sense.

I wonder, why exactly do we stall after 20-30 lbs? Is it because it is really impossible? Because we were all fired up, did too much too soon all at once, and then burnt up just as easily (let's not fool ourselves, A LOT of people do the all-or-nothing crash course, which doesn't help)? For people like Meg, who have lost lots AND maintained for years, and still do, wasn't there a difference between the endless diets and the very last time, the one when they succeeded? (I mean, a difference in how they approached the weight loss, how they integrated exercise within it, how they viewed all of it, etc.) After all, that 20-30 lbs mark hits people with less weight to lose as well, so it's not exactly proportional to mass itself, if I may say.

I may be mistaken, or I may have read too fast, but the impression I got at the end regarding the Penn study was exactly that: those people were all fired up, put tons of hope into the program, and then a sense of burnout arose (I gathered that many of them fell back into the old Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year/wedding/birthdays/whatever trap; don't we all know that one!), and they didn't fall back on their feet after that. All the while, I kind of felt like they were letting their fate rest within the hands of the program, they wanted it to happen fast (understandable, though!), and then the slighest bump on the road was suddenly a huge deal. So maybe it's a factor, and an important one. It is a hard journey, with lots of bumps on the way, so the more aware of them we are (and to tackle them for the long run and not just for a few months), the more chances we have of 'doing things right'.

Anyway, I don't know if we need to rethink our goal weights forever, but maybe we need to rethink them in terms of smaller steps. When someone's been overweight for a long time, the body is definitely used to that weight, and perhaps a first loss of, say 30 lbs, then a second goal of 30 lbs after maintaining for a few weeks, etc., could be a worthwhile approach, depending on the people. To force one's body to get reacquainted with a more and more normal weight. I don't believe it is totally impossible to get out of that 30 lbs range, at least not when someone is clearly overweight (it's another story if you're, like, 5 lbs from the average healthy range for your size, but being doomed to remain, say, 'between 250 and 280 lbs forever', for instance? Illogical.). But it is a fact it may take time, and more time than just a few weeks or months. IMHO, therein lies the real danger: not some kind of genetic curse, but just good old us getting bored and slowly slipping.

paperclippy
06-26-2007, 11:30 AM
Here's something interesting and potentially related from the textbook of a Neuroscience class I took in grad school. I don't have it in front of me to quote, but they did this experiment where they took mice and either starved them, or overfed them (force feeding) for a period of time until their weights were either much above or much below their starting weight. They found that the mice, once they were able to eat at their own discretion again, returned to their starting weights. That is, the starved mice ate extra to gain weight until reaching their start weight (or close to it), and the fat mice ate less until they reached their start weight. This would seem to indicate that the body (of mice at least) does indeed have a "preferred weight."

However, the number of obese people seems to discount that. What happened to us? Do such a large proportion of people (more each year) have a messed up "preferred weight"? Or are we gaining past our preferred weight for some reason? Does the preferred weight then get reset to a higher level the longer we stay overweight?

It's hard to come up with answers to this kind of thing. If I eat a healthy diet and exercise, I can maintain my weight approximately where it is. If my eating gets bad or I stop working out, I will gain weight. The more I eat, the more weight I gain. I guess I'm not clear if the 20-30lb "range" is only talking about losing weight, not about gaining it. Theoretically if the body had a preferred weight, then not only would it be hard to lose much below that weight, but it would also be hard to gain much over that weight. Instead, it seems to be hard to lose and easy to gain.

I think a 10% loss of weight is a great accomplishment. There have been plenty of medical studies I've heard about where they say things like "a 10% loss of weight for an obese person leads to an X% decreased risk of (some terrible disease)." Of course by that logic, if you lose 10% of your weight your risk is decreased. Assume you are still overweight after that loss. Then the same statistic would apply, and losing another 10% would decrease your risk even more, and another 10% after that until you reach a normal weight. Obviously if that is the case then for optimal health you would have to lose down to a normal weight. However, any loss is a benefit.

I wonder how all of this is related to the struggle to lose the "last 10 lbs." As you lose weight, each pound becomes a larger percentage of your total body weight. It seems like it is harder and harder to lose as you get lighter. Now that I am maintaining, if I gain 5lbs it is a huge struggle to take them off again. At my high weight, 5lbs was 2.7% of my body weight. Now it is 3.8%. Eating 1600 calories a day I lost weight much faster when I weighed 180 than I did when I weighed 140, since my body's calorie needs were less at the lower weight. It seems like it is evident that it will always be easier to lose the first 10% than anything beyond that. It is easier to lose the first 1% than the 1% after that.


srmb60
06-26-2007, 11:30 AM
As we often see here at 3FC, many people don't know how to choose a goal. Yet we feel compelled to choose something. A target. Being smaller, slimmer, fitter, healthier is a nebulous notion and not very satisfying.
We love statistics, numbers. Look at sports. We want concrete things to talk about.
Maybe each time someone posts that they are unsatisfied with their loss so far, we should make them a percentage to mull over.

I personally don't think most folks know that the success statistics are so dire.

Are many folks concern about any loss being sustainable? Do they realise there's any sustaining to do?

Is lack of belief in oneself a factor? What difference does it make what your goal is if you know you can't do it anyway?

What about what I call 'sedentary fluff'. It's very popular right now to move a little more and eat a little healthier. If a large enough number of folks switch out fries for salad and take the stairs ... anything further would be more of an upset, a life change, more difficult???
But to me, this is a step in the right direction. If one can begin to lose by simply walking from the far side of the parking lot, why not walk around the block in the cool of the evening, why not try low fat dressing on the lunch salad?

As to why losing 10 lbs doesn't motivate people to keep going ... I dunno. But then I'm drifting back into my prejudice that what you have to do is move more and eat less. Sorry.

paperclippy
06-26-2007, 11:46 AM
Are many folks concern about any loss being sustainable? Do they realise there's any sustaining to do?

I think this is a really important point Susan!! Before coming to 3FC, I did not know that "maintenance" existed. I thought you went on a "diet" to lose weight, then you magically were thin and didn't have to think about it anymore. Obviously that's not true since the one year I did that and lost 30lbs, I gained back all 30 and more when I went back to my "normal" eating habits. It is easier to force yourself to seriously restrict eating or change your habits drastically if you are thinking to yourself "It's only temporary, when I get to X lbs I can eat normally again." It's a lot harder to commit to changing your habits for the rest of your life. I think most people do not realize that that is what they will have to do to avoid gaining the weight back.

Meg
06-26-2007, 12:38 PM
I completely agree, Jessica. :) Heck, that's what I used to think too!

ennay
06-26-2007, 07:17 PM
OK this is going to be a different perspective... How many diets were you on in your lifetime Meg? Gloria?

I havent gotten to maintenance yet so I realize I am not eligible to be a "success" by the definition of the study. But lets just assume for arguments sake that this time is IT.

Let's see...I first remember really dieting starting at about 15. I think I went on 2-3 diets a year, but some of them didnt last long enough to be worthwhile. Lets just count the times in my life that I stuck with a program long enough to lose at least 5 lbs. Lets see, I'd estimate 15?

So I have tried 15 times and succeeded once? That is a 6.7% success rate. Darn near 5 %.

So to say that only 5% of PEOPLE who lose weight keep it off may again be a (mis) interpretation of statistics. Yes some people may get it right the first time, but not many. So it isnt that 95% of us are doomed to failure. We all have the potential to succeed. It just may take more than one attempt, and I think for a lot of us, the support helps put the skids on a lot sooner and get back on track a lot sooner.

The other thing to consider is that those who ARE successful are never included in FUTURE studies on weight loss. Its kind of like the divorce statistic. When you hear the 50% of marriages end in divorce, its not exactly true. Its all in how you add it up.

Its not a meaningful number when applied to an individual.

clvquilts
06-26-2007, 07:20 PM
I think most people go about dieting as a temporary condition. They do it UNTIL they reach their goal.

What sets successful maintainers like Meg apart is she realized she had to make a lifetime commitment to a lifestyle change to remain at her goal.

I don't think that a person should be satisfied with a 10-20% weight loss if that still keeps her in the obese catagory.

3FC has scores of success stories of people who have lost 100 lbs and more and met their individual goal weights.

The question becomes, have they all been able to stay at that goal (or within a minimal regain) or have they gone back to their highest weights.

Do 3FCers as a group fit Kolata's conclusions?

shrinkingchica
06-26-2007, 09:36 PM
I agree Carolyn. :yes:

I think that one should strive for "healthy" whatever that might be. For some people it is a higher weight than others.

I would suggest that, really, a person's goal weight should be the one at which their body naturally gravitates toward when they are eating a balanced diet and regularly exercising.

And, that is a much healthier way of living than just losing weight for reasons of vanity.

*Theoretically* anyone can lose weight through starvation. Is that healthy? No. Is that person healthier than an obese individual? Probably not.

So, live healthily and let your weight be what it will be. I am sure than for many who are very overweight, just adopting a healthy lifestyle will drop the pounds anyway.

Now, I say all of this, but I struggle enormously with the balance between what is Healthy to do and what is Vain and unhealthy to do.
For instance, I went to my doctor's today and she thinks that I should not lose any more weight. But I want to because I think that it will make me "prettier." Hm, I need to start following some of the advice I dole out!

Heather
06-26-2007, 11:45 PM
I really wondered about the 20-30 pound fluctuations she talked about and wondered the extent to which it applied to people who became morbidly obese. Again I don't think we know enough! I know when I was younger I had a 'set' point around 220 and then later, around 250. Oh look, that's even a 30 pound range!

But then I kept gaining and gaining... pretty easily it seemed. And I don't think I'm unusual for those who became morbidly obese...

I even wondered when I started losing, whether I would get stuck at 220... nope, sailed right by it. I do seem to be "stuck" in the 170s, but that seems more motivational than biological.

So, goals. I never really set a low goal. I hoped to get below 200 and then below 180 (so to not be obese). I've lost nearly 40% of my starting weight and by all accounts am one of the "lucky" ones already. And I do feel that way. I may never be a normal weight, and frankly, right now I don't care. I can do so much more! Of course, I may be "stuck" here, because I don't really WANT to lose more... "food" for thought...

srmb60
06-27-2007, 12:04 AM
I may be reading between the lines creatively here but ... I'm seeing a lot of folks pointing to inaccurrate or faulty goal choosing.

If a 300 lb woman decides that many women weigh 125 lbs so she will too, then proceeds to get down to 189 ... is she a failure? I'm sure none of us think so. However her opinion and statistics may show otherwise. And what if she regains 15 lbs?
Those of us who are short and small boned know how small 125 lbs really is and understand why it shouldn't be such a common goal.

I'm going to pay more attention to goal weights as I read threads here.

AnneWonders
07-01-2007, 12:36 AM
I actually find this topic fascinating and depressing all at once because, for me, I found the whole concept of a 'goal weight' to be the most destructive and useless idea in a lifelong attempt to be 'thin'. Not hitting goal, or stalling out temporarily on the way was a failure that I could beat myself with, then absolve myself with the impossibility of it all, and please pass the ice cream. I made zero progress in getting my weight under control until I booted the whole idea of a goal weight and concentrated more on improving the quality of my life than a number on the scale. My weight is the result of my lifestyle and not the cause of it. Not that I don't monitor it as an early warning sign, but I monitor a lot of numbers (running pace, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc) as well.

The goal weight is one of the things I have a hard time with here at 3FC. I almost never go to the Goal section of the board. I actually find it sort of depressing, not because I haven't made my goals (I've made all of them I set for myself when I was morbidly obese, it's just that none of them have a weight in them). I wonder who will stick around, and who has arrived only to return to their old ways. I wonder when the inspirational stories will turn to unattainable disappointment for new users, so they too can wonder what is wrong with them for not making goal. These thoughts are not especially fair to the people who have done a remarkable job of achieving goal, but they are my thoughts all the same. Hence I stay away. I usually keep my mouth shut about it because the Maintainers boards are the closest thing to a healthy long-term approach to Weight Management I've seen anywhere on the web, and I come to give and get support and try not to start big fights or find fault with people who do things differently than me. It just doesn't work for me, and the boards are absolutely saturated with goal weights, since that is the traditional way to do it.

I'm a big 10% fan. 10% makes a huge health difference for most people (I say this with full knowledge that most people are not morbidly obese). The maintenance statistics even look good (60% vs 5%) if goal weights are kept out of the equation. Better is attainable for most of us. Perfect gets left to a few. I think this is the most positive thing I've heard about Rethinking Thin so far. Maybe I'll read it after all.

I'm sort of trying to be provocative with this post, because this topic shot straight to the bottom of the discussion list, and I find it by far the most interesting of the bunch so far.

Anne

lilybelle
07-01-2007, 01:26 AM
I find this topic very interesting. As most of you know , I lost my weight due to severe health concerns. My Dr. told me "I want you to weigh 150 lbs". "Get on a low-carb diet and walk 20 minutes 4 times a week". Basically, he set my goal weight, I didn't. As I saw that I was going to be able to make this goal, I decided for vanity reasons to try to reach 145 lbs. (Hadn't seen the 140's in about 30 yrs. and just thought it sounded great). Plus, for some odd reason wanted to impress the Dr. that I could do even more than he required of me.

I never once felt that even a 10% wt. loss would have been "good enough" for me. Anything other than meeting my own personal goal would have made me feel like I had failed. (whether this is right or wrong to feel this way, it's just my personal opiniion about ME. This in turn may be why I gave up when trying so many times before to reach my "perfect goal". When it got too tough, I'd quit (especially if I stalled for a week or 2). This time I felt like I had too much at stake to quit . This is why I pick myself back up and trudge on along even Now if I see a gain. I buckle down and get the job done. I don't think it will ever be Easy or Automatic for me. I do think that I will continue to strugge. I do know that I won't QUIT trying.

Truthfully if my Dr. had said "I want you to lose 10% of your body weight". That is probably all I would have lost. I would have still been very obese and very unhealthy. I'm glad he didn't READ this book and let me off the hook that easily.

Heather
07-01-2007, 01:40 AM
Anne -- I really understand where you're coming from about goal weights. I really resisted setting a weight in my mind. I figured that maintaining any kind of weight loss would be a success over where I was. Plus, having been obese my entire adult life, those numbers meant nothing to me anyway.

I did pick mini-goals to shoot for, but hesitantly. I think I reacted negatively when we joined our new gym last fall and everyone just assumed I wanted to lose weight and set weights for me. Inwardly, I rebelled against them.

Now... well, I know I want to continue to be active, to continue to monitor what I eat (I will gain otherwise). I do want to monitor my size and clothing. I have gained back a few pounds and would like to lose them again (I liked my clothing options better, if nothing else! :D)

But beyond that? No goal weight. Right now, I don't care if I lose more weight, as long as I continue to set and achieve other fitness goals for myself (have to figure out what those are first!!).

lilybelle
07-01-2007, 01:59 AM
I wanted to add that Please don't anyone read my post and feel that I think 10% of body weight loss is not a worthwhile goal. My post is coming from the standpoint of , I was taking 23 different medications per day when I started this journey. I now am only taking 8.

I see posts all the time from women who are at or above my starting weight that don't have the health issues that I have. A big congratulations to all of you for working on your wt. before it negatively affected your health. I sure wish I had done the same thing.

ennay
07-01-2007, 01:10 PM
Honestly I still have no clue what my goal weight is.

And goal weights are one of the reasons I could never join WW (apologies to all who find this a wonderful program)

When my 70 year old mom joined WW they told her that for her height her goal weight needed to be 142. My mom hasnt been that small since she was in her early 20's. At the time she was around 180, but very very active.

She got down to 150, was riding her bike as much as 100 miles a week, walking daily, and she just kind of got stuck. She was REALLY happy where she was and went to WW and asked for help in transitioning to maintenance and they wouldnt help her because she hadnt hit goal. And of course then she couldnt be a lifetime member and on her budget it was killing her for a program that wouldnt support her. - She did in fact try to transition to maintenance on her own and continue with ww meetings but got tired of being labeled as not succeeding when week after week she stayed at 150 +/- 2 lbs.

She ended up leaving WW because they wouldnt help and regained all of the weight. Its not (all) ww fault, but for a program that is to be about support to tell her her achievement of losing 30 lbs wasnt good enough if she couldnt lose the last 8 was very demoralizing to her. I think really if they had said, ok, goal is 150, this is how you start to add points to maintain, she would have been much better off.

My point wasnt really to bash ww, it was more along the dangers of getting attached to a number.

settie
07-02-2007, 09:58 AM
When you join Weight Watchers, you’re given a goal weight based on normal BMI.

When I joined Weight Watchers a few years back, at my heaviest weight of 233, they very much discouraged me to set a goal weight. They had my 'goal' as a 10% loss. I was very encouraged by that thinking.

Glory87
07-02-2007, 10:23 AM
Wish I had the book already :)

Just based on this discussion, I find the study to be very noninformative. People lost weight, then gained it back. The study tells us nothing about maintenance - did the people in the study change how they ate forever? Because if they didn't, of course they would gain the weight back.

I could have been one of the people in the study for 20 years. I dieted, lost weight, stopped dieting, gained the weight back. Dieted, lost weight, stopped dieting, gained the weight back back. This time, I started a lifetime "diet", lost weight, never stopped "dieting" and never gained the weight back.

This quote is very telling "They can diet; they can lose weight, they can feel that this time they really are in control. Yet vexingly, their weight inevitably drifts back up to where it started." Did they interview the people and ask how they were attempting to keep the weight off?

The only successful maintainers I know, "diet" every day for the rest of their lives. They make mindful choices and most exercise regularly.

The author should had tied this chapter back to some of the other topics (like around the increased hunger of the formerly obese) in order to make a more compelling case.

onthetee
07-02-2007, 05:48 PM
I just heard this author interviewed on a Science Friday podcast. VERY interesting, but I am a little late to the discussion and plan to get the book this week.

As for goal weights, honestly, I just picked what I thought I could maintain with some effort. I am at the weight right now that I maintain easily. It is hard for me to get over 154 and it is hard to get under it. Maybe this should be my goal.

silvernight
07-26-2007, 04:25 AM
Sorry that I am so embarrassingly late in replying to this thread but oh well. :)

I read the book and what annoyed me was how the author consistently glossed over the weight regain part. All that she mentioned was that suddenly all the weight was back and they just regained and so on (can't remember the exact wording) and she just left it at that. No word on how (or even IF) people tried to maintain their new weight, just stating that "oh well now the weight is back on again" because leaving it like that served her purpose. Sure, biology is incredibly important but so is behaviour and I refuse to believe that we are powerless automatons, completely enslaved by our biology. It's blatantly clear that Kolata did not want to go into maintenance, and how people actually do it, because that wouldn't make her glum conviction, about how it's impossible to keep weight off, as dead certain as she made it out to be.

Mudpie
07-25-2008, 07:52 AM
I picked my goal weight (125 lbs.) after looking at a bunch of people on 3FC who were the same height as me (5'4")and averaging their goal weights.

My "set point" used to be 136 lbs. Now, after a big bunch of stuff I won't go into here, it's about 133.

I lost 12 lbs in 6 months (down to 135) and then spent the next 8 months trying to get below 130. That told me that I was not realistic about my original goal weight and I reset it to 130.

I am now at a range of 130-133 and I'm totally happy with my body! I've been maintaining and will have to do so for the rest of my life. So be it! This body is worth the effort!

Dagmar

suecd
07-27-2008, 01:36 PM
I've also been reluctant to pick a goal weight. At the same time, the idea of set points really seems true for me. For much of my 20's, I weighed 150, give or take a few pounds. I thought I wanted to lose weight in a vague sort of way, but I was fit, and it was never that much of a priority. 150 suited me. But I went abroad for a long stretch in my late 20's and lost a bunch of weight--not on purpose, more circumstantial. And being in the 130s made me realize that was not where my body wanted to be, even if it's a very healthy weight for my height.

Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I hadn't lost that weight. (And really, I wasn't trying. I was living in India, it was really hot for a lot of the time, I got sick, I fell in love--you know, the stuff that makes you lose weight sometimes.) Because when I got back, eventually, over 5 or 6 years, I gained it back and then some, all the way up to 180. (And this was after being steady at 150-ish for years.)

In my whole adult life, I've never maintained at a weight less than 150, or, really, more than 180. I went back down from 180 to 150 once, about 7 years ago, gained it back, discovered I had thyroid issues, stayed set at 180 for 3 years or so, and only this spring, when I realized I was going to be closer to 190 than 180 if I didn't watch out, did I decide I had to do something.

At this point, there's no way I'd set a goal lower than 150. That seems a recipe for failure. I'd be happy with another 10 pounds off. (And I feel and look good now, at 170, though I don't really want to stop here.) Because I've always exercised, I've never had any weight-related health issues, and my numbers have all been fine, even at 180.

I think the lesson for me is that I probably can't, realistically, get any lower than 150, but I also know that my body is comfortable at 180, even if I'm not. So the challenge is keeping myself in the lower end of the zone rather than the upper end. But I do have to say that knowing what my realistic lower end weight is helps in terms of thinking about reasonable weight loss now.

SanityNow
02-02-2012, 10:05 PM
I think back on times when I've been thinner & think that the problem was having a goal weight, once I was no longer overweight. All the time spent calculating percentages and pounds. Had I just maintained healthful eating & exercise habits it would have been ok. But instead I was never satisfied with the number on the scale , even though I was fine. I never enjoyed the accomplishment of a healthy lifestyle. My body became a battleground for self doubt and underachievement. Never good enough. My goal now is to no longer be overweight. After that, another 20 pounds would bring me back to my 'fighting weight'. But that could take as long as it like- if it does at all, I just want normal labs, enjoyment in training, and a clean diet. The numbers can fall as they may.

AlmostMe
04-21-2012, 04:41 AM
I set a goal weight of 150 for myself. That's the top of the 'normal' range in BMI. But I am choosing a plan that isn't about food or calorie restriction - it's about learning to eat normally.

I know I'm not at the weight I should be because if I eat vaguely normally I start losing weight. Should I be at 150? I don't know. I know I would be thrilled to be a size 12 (US) and a size 10 in some dresses, but that's no skinny-mini. But I will NOT diet to get there. I know I can maintain at a size 14 (US) without extremes as long as I'm doing *some* exercise. I do know that I will have to forever be mindful about how I eat (though hopefully thru the system I'm using partly this will be ingrained by habit) and of course I will have to continue to exercise. OF COURSE I have to. I want to be fit and I don't believe that the human body is meant to be sedentary.

lucindaarrowspark
07-17-2014, 03:26 PM
I have changed my goal weight twice since January 2014. Initially I wanted to get my eating under control and I figured that in the past I could maintain 130 pounds and still eat all the foods I enjoyed , but then I had an epiphany! I cleaned up my act got rid of all non-nutritious concoctions from a lab( instead of food from nature) and I beat the sugar witch out of my life.
I could now begin exercising without hurting my knees and ankles and viola! the weight came tumbling tumbling off. For me exercise and getting rid of fake foods was the key.
If a food has ingredients that you can't find in a normal pantry, then I do not eat it. So no more cans of coconut milk, tomatoe soup from a can, vegan cheeses, vegan sausages. And no more booze or bread or pasta or salted nuts. But I eat so many healthy vegetables I do not go hungry.
THe only concoction I do eat is my morning protein shake made with unsweetened almond milk. It has 100% of so many vitamins that I know I am not destroying my health just to be thin...

mars735
07-26-2014, 10:45 AM
THe only concoction I do eat is my morning protein shake made with unsweetened almond milk. It has 100% of so many vitamins that I know I am not destroying my health just to be thin...

Would you be willing to share the recipe? Thanks :)