South Beach Diet - What is an attainable goal for me? An attainable, realistic goal?




Fat Melanie
07-01-2008, 05:24 PM
Sorry, yet another thread from me! But it's only because I really do want to do this thing right. Hope everyone will bear with me, lol.

Okay, I know there are a lot of people (not on this forum, but just people in general) who are like, "I wanna lose 20 lbs in like a month!" Why do I know this? Because I used to be that person! But over the past year or so I have realized that is something that's probably not attainable nor healthy. If I did attain it, it'd be through serious crash dieting which would be horribly unhealthy and eat up any muscle that I may have... and then it would all come back on times three.

So... what's a good range for me? I know that no one can exactly predict it, but was just wondering whereabout is a good range for me. Say by Thanksgiving... what would be attainable or maybe attainable? Thanksgiving is... let's see... there's July, August, Sept, Oct... then November (I'm counting that month, because Thanksgiving is at the end of it.)

So that's about 5 months. If I did everything right this time (or as close as possible), and exercised as much as possible, what is a healthy goal for me?

Is 30-40 lbs a healthy, realistic goal? Or no? Or a higher number? What do you guys think?

I heard metabolism is higher when you're in your teens and early 20's, I am 22, just for some extra info that might help you guys in your reply. But I am lazy and probably won't exercise everyday although I would like to.


greeneyes490
07-01-2008, 05:32 PM
Hi Fat Melanie, from what I have read a realistic goal would be 1-2 lbs a week for long term weight loss.....the slower it comes off the more the odds are that it will be easier to keep off in the long run. We didn't gain it overnight :) my problem in the past was expecting it to come off quickly :).....I now realize I need take it slow and make sure I am eating enough so I don't go into my binge mode etc......hope that answers your question...

kaplods
07-01-2008, 05:33 PM
Personally, I don't believe in "goal by" dates. I still can't help but do so occasionally (such as boy, I would love to lose 50 lbs by Christmas).

Even when the goal is reasonable, they can backfire, for many people. I'm sure there's nothing wrong with them for people who you can keep their goal in perspective (I can't). For me, if I set a goal-by date, if I fall behind "schedule" I start to want to make up time, which tempts me to consider irresponsible methods of dieting. And likewise, if my goal was 50 lbs by Christmas, if I lose 40 or maybe even 48, I'll at least be partially disappointed.


Fat Melanie
07-01-2008, 05:57 PM
Hi Greeneyes, I also have a 'binge mode' I tend to go into. It's a really hard habit to break. We sure didn't gain it overnight, I remember being a thin 18, and then slowly, that year, I started gaining weight (and didn't even realize it!) and then at 19, people started making comments about how I gained weight and this one rude woman that always came into the store I worked at, said something about "you really have gained some weight haven't you? Look how thick your legs look from behind." I was like no she didn't! Lol. But, she was right.

Hi Kaplods, you also make a really good point. Because everytime I have set goals for myself, it's always backfired! I would lose to lose 50 lbs for Xmas though as well, I'm with ya! And I don't know that I could keep my goal in perspective either. But I do so badly want to be able to lose a certain amount by a certain time... it's just in me, no matter how much I try to change the way I think. I don't want to meet my exact goal by then, but basically, I just wanna have lost enough so I look pretty good at Thanksgiving so my family is like, "well look at you!!!!" My skinny sister's always getting props just for being thin, and it's so not right. Sigh. I dunno. I wish I wasn't so goal centered, because I might be setting myself up for dissapointment.

RealCdn
07-01-2008, 05:57 PM
I avoid 'goal by' dates myself. A good, reasonable weight loss is as said before is 1 to 2 pounds per week (harder to do as you get closer to your goal though). I'm not quite sure which week US thanksgiving is, but let's say that's 20 weeks away. So 20 to 40 pounds would be a reasonable goal.

Weight loss is probably 90% diet, so keep your diet on track. Hard exercise can make you hungrier (ie. more likely to cheat). I'm not saying you shouldn't do it, but be aware that it will affect your hunger. As well, if you work out and then do nothing for the rest of the day, well, that's not a good thing either. Moving around more in the long run is likely more helpful.

So make an eating plan (just saw I'm in the South Beach section) and follow it. Commit to moving around a little more. Work in more exercise than you might normally do. And if you were only 20 pounds lighter by Thanksgiving would that really be a bad thing? :)

Fat Melanie
07-01-2008, 05:59 PM
Just wanted to add though, just to be clear, I want to lose weight not just for vanity purposes, and not just to be admired like my thin sibling, but because I've got a 5 month old and I want to be a healthy and fit mom. I don't want to end up having heart problems, hypertension, high cholestrol, and stuff like that. I want to be the one who's able to chase him around the playground without keeling over of a heart attack. But I'll be honest, vanity and looking good is part of it.

greeneyes490
07-01-2008, 06:04 PM
Hi again Fat Melanie....yes I am a huge binger and it usually sabatoges my efforts (in the past :)...I really want to try to break that habit).....I also was about 125lb-132lbs until I was 19 when my dad got sick with cancer and ended up passing away....from there is was all down hill until I find myself here at 39 years old and 227.5 lbs.......so now it is time for change :).....

Fat Melanie
07-01-2008, 06:05 PM
I avoid 'goal by' dates myself. A good, reasonable weight loss is as said before is 1 to 2 pounds per week (harder to do as you get closer to your goal though). I'm not quite sure which week US thanksgiving is, but let's say that's 20 weeks away. So 20 to 40 pounds would be a reasonable goal.

Weight loss is probably 90% diet, so keep your diet on track. Hard exercise can make you hungrier (ie. more likely to cheat). I'm not saying you shouldn't do it, but be aware that it will affect your hunger. As well, if you work out and then do nothing for the rest of the day, well, that's not a good thing either. Moving around more in the long run is likely more helpful.

So make an eating plan (just saw I'm in the South Beach section) and follow it. Commit to moving around a little more. Work in more exercise than you might normally do. And if you were only 20 pounds lighter by Thanksgiving would that really be a bad thing? :)

Nope, it would be a really good thing, because besides my post pregnancy lost (I lost over 40 lbs then), I have never lost 20 lbs before. At least not 20 lbs of fat. I would actually be really, really happy and satisfied with that. Thanks for putting it into perspective. And I appreciate your advice. :)

Fat Melanie
07-01-2008, 06:10 PM
Hi Greeneyes, I am really sorry about what happened to your dad. That sort of thing could definitely bring out the emotional binge eater in anyone. I agree, time for a change for me as well, and I wish you luck in changing your binge eating habits. I hope we can both do it. I know how hard it is! We deserve better, we have to stop letting food control us (it sounds so easy to say, but it's sooo hard to do.) From everything I've read, the SBD is a really great diet for people who love to eat. Here's to us and our weight loss journies. :D

ladybugnessa
07-01-2008, 06:18 PM
nope I don't believe in time centered goals.

this is a permanent change and therefore however long it takes is however long it takes.

i'm losing an average over the last 26 months of 2.7 pounds a month. or .6 pounds a week. I"m thrilled. this means stuff like last month i lost .6 pounds or less than a pound in the entire month but this month i lost nearly 5.

i've had 87 out of 92 clean eating days and i've been swimming and going to aqua areobics a couple of times a week.

weight loss is neither linear, comparable or predictable.

what happens if you set a goal of 20 pounds and only lose 15 or if you set a goal of 20 pounds and lose it in 3 months will you then go off because you met your goal?

your goal needs to be eating better one day at a time for the rest of your life.

nothing more nothing less.

Fat Melanie
07-01-2008, 06:25 PM
Wow, I wish I could say I've had 87 out of 92 clean eating days; that is a job well done! Hope awhile from now, I'm able to say the same. That would be really awesome.

I know you are right that my goal needs to be eating better one day at a time. If I focus on one day at a time, maybe without setting any particular goals, other than eating better and becoming more healthy, then maybe I'll see a change that will make me happy a few months from now. You put it into perspective. From now on, I'm going to try my best to think of it like that, in the way you put it. Thank you. :)

zeffryn
07-01-2008, 07:06 PM
30-40 lbs. in 5 months is....attainable, but you're going to have to work your butt off to get it. You can count on an hour or more of (hardcore cardio) exercise 6 days a week and solid, clean eating with no slips. It is possible to get through a month or more without cheating and it all centers around planning and willpower.

Fat Melanie
07-01-2008, 07:25 PM
I will scratch that then, I don't have the time or energy for 6 days of hardcore cardio. I am lazy! I admit. I do have time for 30 minutes a day though. Exercise is not my strong point at all. I have decided though, to not set a goal, I will only setting myself up for failure. I'm just gonna not think in numbers, and just do like Ladybugnessa said, take it one day at a time. So my only goal will be to change my eating habits and hope to see results from that.

kaplods
07-01-2008, 07:25 PM
I think that sometimes you can't tell if ANY goal is reasonable until you get started. You have to balance how much you can reasonably (and comfortably) change against how fast the weight can come off given the degree of change.


For example, if your goal is 1.5 lb a week (certainly seems reasonable at first glance), but on your food and exercise plan, you feel absolutely starved and exhausted, then you have to decide which is the better long-term strategy for you: suffering through or reducing your weekly goal (and therefore extending your goal by date).

I think it's best, in many ways to use the reverse approach. Push your diet (in a healthy direction) as far as you comfortably can, and do the same with exercise. Just until it's a bit challenging, but still the comfort level still is one that you really believe "I could do this forever." Not "eventually, I might be able to get used to this, but right now this is absolutely miserable torture."

Ok, now watch the scale. If you don't see a loss you can live with, then you have to push the food restriction and exercise a bit more. If the weight loss is too slow, or the plan too difficult; you're going to be frustrated, and frustration is the first step toward quitting. Make sure you have the balance right for you (tweak it, until it is a plan you can do "forever").

CyndiM
07-01-2008, 07:51 PM
I struggled with eating disorders most of my life - bulimia for about 15 years and binge eating disorder most of the rest of the time. Doing a really clean Phase 1 and slow, very careful transition to Phase 2 has made all the difference for me. I'm not saying it will work for everyone but I can't believe the difference it has made for me. I never thought it would get so easy to manage this. That's not to say I don't have slip ups cuz I do. I've also found that any amount of high fructose corn syrup will send me over the edge (took the amount in 1 margarita to discover that).

As far as goals go I'll have to give a non-answer. My original goal was 170 because that's the lowest weight I ever maintained as an adult. You can see by my ticker that my body had other ideas. If you've been overweight a long time you may not even know what weight your body wants to be. My suggestion is just eat as clean and healthy as you can and get as much exercise as you can and the rest will take care of itself.

kaplods
07-01-2008, 08:16 PM
CyndiM: My suggestion is just eat as clean and healthy as you can and get as much exercise as you can and the rest will take care of itself.
__________________________________________________ ________

Taking weight OUT of the equation may be the single best advice to give anyone who has been on the weight rollercoaster for years. Because if you do not use the scale to guage your progress, then what is there to be "frustrated" about. When your goal is to eat healthy and increase your exercise, the positive results (strength, endurance, health improvements, and weight loss) are the rewards not the basis of the reward.

When we talk about our weight loss, we act as though it is the behavior, not the reward. You cannot directly control your exact weight without liposuction (and even then, it's not in your control, but in your doctor's as he decided how much to remove).

So why do we feel bad when the weight loss isn't good enough (in our opinion), even when we worked as hard as we were able to? Because on some level, we DO think it is within our control. We "should" have done something differently.

I think why just making positive changes in the right direction are goal enough. Even if we aren't rewarded with pounds lost, we might be rewarded in ways we can't even see or feel, yet. It takes a while to realize that you're stronger or have better indurance, or haven't gotten sick as much....

Our goals really are most effective when they are goals of behavior, not goals of indirect results, because only behavior do we have direct control over.

femmecreole
07-01-2008, 09:08 PM
I didn't have a goal weight or a time to lose it. I had a goal size and it took me about a year to get there. Worth the year!!!! I rarely even looked at a scale, just went by how I felt and how my clothes fit (or how great it felt to have my clothes falling off!!) I feel 1/2 my age.

TwynnB
07-01-2008, 09:13 PM
I started SB the first week in May, so that puts it to around 2 mos. I've lost 13 lbs (with 5 of it on phase I, so only 8# the next 6 weeks or so), and am THRILLED. In one way, I think, "that's IT?!?!? only 13, for the DRASTIC changes I've made!?!", but then....

I walked/jogged/ran 65 miles (far higher than my goal) in June...I feel SOOO much better. I lost lots of inches. Almost two pant sizes!! My moods are better, I feel calmer, I have no cravings.

Now, don't remind me the guy at work, who started two weeks after I did, lost TWICE the weight....good for him. But, I guess since I'm a woman in my mid 30's with 2 young kids, I'm still thrilled with MY progress.

Point being...look at the big picture. In the little picture (the scale...which by the way, I am obsessed with), I haven't lost much. But, in the big picture, I feel like I'm a completely new person, and that has made the diet SOOO worth it. (and, my husband says my butt looks awesome :) ). My original goal, which is 128, is just on the horizon. I made it at that because I thought that I would struggle, and if I was lucky, I'd make it there. Now, I'm hoping to make it to 124 (my college weight), and....maybe beyond. I dunno, we'll see!

Big picture, big picture, big picture!!!

zeffryn
07-01-2008, 09:14 PM
I didn't have a goal weight or a time to lose it. I had a goal size and it took me about a year to get there. Worth the year!!!! I rarely even looked at a scale, just went by how I felt and how my clothes fit (or how great it felt to have my clothes falling off!!) I feel 1/2 my age.

and look it ;)

Fat Melanie
07-02-2008, 03:07 AM
Kaplods, that is a really excellent point about how you can't tell if any goal is reasonable until you get started. Because I have no idea how much my body will burn off a week, or more if that's the case, and what amount of food and exercise will keep me from being starved, and what amount of exercise is too much.. I have no idea. So you've got a really good idea to push it until it's challenging, but in a way that I feel I can do it forever, and watch the scale, and if I don't like what I see, push harder. That's really, really good advice. And I also agree with your other post as well. Question... are you a writer, or are you into writing? Because I see a writer in you, you could totally write a motivational book about diet and exercise. I am into writing, hope to have written a novel one day. You've got a way with words, I definitely see it. And thanks again for your awesome advice.

CyndiM, I am really sorry to hear about your eating disorders. I have often wondered if I have a binge eating disorder but I am not sure. It's great and also inspiring to hear how the South Beach diet has really changed your life. (Uggh, why do they put HFCS in EVERYTHING???! I just don't get it. Nasty stuff, that!) I love this idea of eating "clean" like you guys keep saying... it changes the way I previously thought about dieting; especially since this isn't some stupid diet, this is a lifestyle change and it is an attainable one. It gives me a whole new outlook. You've done an amazing job and I hope one day I can say the same.


originally posted by Zeffryn:
and look it

Femmecreole, do you have your before and afters posted on this board? I love seeing stuff like that on this board, it really motivates me to see how great someone else has done.

TwynnB, I think that 13 pounds is amazing and I think you did wonderfully. I really wish that I could sit here and type to you all that I have lost 13 lbs. Someday I will. But for right now I'm just going to be envious of the great job you did. I'm glad you're thrilled, you should be! It's a great achievement. Plus also, from the way you described your exercising, I think you are probably gaining muscle weight (which is a really good thing) and that's why the scale says just 13 lbs (not that I consider it to be *just* 13 lbs!) When you gain muscle, the scale might not move, but your clothes will be looser and you will look smaller and better. I think that is what happened with you. I have always heard that dudes usually lose twice as much as we girls. Have you seen that commercial where that cartoon woman is like "He ate subs for lunch, and lost 15 lbs. I ate subs for lunch, and lost 1." and etc. I am with ya, I am also scale obsessed. After reading everyone's great advice, I've decided to drop this idea of a certain weight loss goal, and decide to shoot for trying to change things one day at a time, trying to eat right and exercise, and push it a little more if the scale isn't moving, but I can't give up my scale! Noooo. It's fabulous that you are so close to your goal.


****
It makes me so happy to see everyone's tickers and see everyone doing so well, even if I haven't done well so far. It motivates me and gives me hope, knowing that I can do it too.

And another thing, the advice I've been given has all been so good, it has honestly changed my outlook and has changed my thinking. Right now I don't feel any need to have lost a certain amount by a certain date. The only goal I have is to eventually lose 50 lbs, no matter how long it takes, and to take things one day at a time, focusing on eating healthy and exercising. And then what happens, happens. It will be a side effect of living healthy, lol.

I can't believe that you guys have changed my thinking so much, I'm usually really set in my ways and in my opinions. But everything you're all saying just makes so much sense to me.

Whenever I've posted diet questions on Yahooanswers, I've gotten the most idiotic and simple "advice". Thank god for this forum, honestly.

Thank you guys very much. I'm feeling really good about things right now.... I feel very motivated. I'm so glad I came back (not that I was gone long or anything, lol.) All of this is honest advice that I truly needed to hear to really be able to make a change. Thanks again. Sorry for rambling on like a lovesick puppy, because I am not one to be all corny and gushing AT ALL, but I'm just really happy right now. Because I really believe I can do this now, I believe I will be able to accomplish health and fitness and weightloss with the advice and support of this forum.

kaplods
07-02-2008, 11:28 AM
Fat Melanie: Question... are you a writer, or are you into writing? Because I see a writer in you, you could totally write a motivational book about diet and exercise. I am into writing, hope to have written a novel one day. You've got a way with words, I definitely see it. And thanks again for your awesome advice.
__________________________________________________ ____________

Actually yeah, I'm a wordholic, which translates into talkativeness and writing. I have three novels started. A couple craft books idea, of course a diet cookbook, and even the diet & exercise motivation book you mentioned, well more a diet autobiography (with a working title of How I lost 250 lbs, and only took 40 years to do it).

Seriously though, most "how I lost" books are not written until after the person has lost their weight. I tend to think that such books may often reflect selective memory rather than an accurate "in the trenches" viewpoint. How I wish I still had all of the diaries and journals I ever had. It would span age 8 or so until now.

I'm not overly sentimental myself (or rather am deeply sentimental, just not often comfortable expressing it in ways that I see as excessive). I call it a sap-allergy. My all-time HATED movie was titanic (I know, when the movie came out it was practically heresy to say). But think about it, even today if an enaged friend came home from a cruise and told you she'd picked up an "artist" and he sketched her nude in the suite she was sharing with her fiance, they had sex in the cargo hold, then dumped the fiance all within a few days, most of us would find that "creepy" and scandalous not romantic. And 90 years ago? Yikes, that's not just scandal, it's perversion. Sorry, but I like at least a little realism in my historical fiction.

Off-track, I know. It's sort of gotten to be my trade-mark (and not only here, I'm afraid).

But there are two things that I love enough to gush about. This site and my TOPS (taking off pounds sensibly). To be successful, I need the support of other people. And the people here and at TOPS provide amazing support. I couldn't do it without you all.

DonnaInAL
07-02-2008, 12:05 PM
Melanie....what about setting a long term goal that you adjust monthly that is what I've done.

For ex: If my goal is 1-2 pounds (practically, allowing for fluctuations, 1.5 lbs is what I use for goal setting) a week for a total los of 40 pounds that would be about 27 weeks (40 divided by 1.5) or 7 months.

So, then I would set up my monthly goal. By the end of the first month my goal would be to lose 6-8 pounds. At the end of each month, I re-adjust my long term goal longer or shorter.

Here is my thoughts:

1) Have a long term goal. Approximation of where you want to be ...and know how long it will take. Part of this is to help you determine...that this has to be lifestyle and it is going to be a process. Slow and steady.

2) Have a short term goal (monthly). Less than that does not really allow for fluid changes, or monthly cycles...and just plain fluctuations of weight. If all you do is look at a weekly goal, you get frustrated or 'cocky'. And you have to allow for those changes to become new 'set points'. The monthly goal allows you to do self evaluation and see what is working and what is not. When you are successful month one and no results the second you can look back and compare. As you can see, I only lost 4 last month. BUT that is 4 pounds gone. No, it wasn't the 7 pounds (but 6 would have been more practical) I was hoping for. BUT it is still progress. AND this month I re-adjusted my long term goal. AND I know that one of my weeks last month was soooo off program I can't believe I stayed the same weight that week (I should have gained). Life happened...an unexpected family death. We ate meals provided by church family and ate out. My choices may not have been so off the SBeach concepts...but I ate way too many calories and I know it. SO, it was my fault I did not achieve those other few.

3) Set a weekly goal BUT DO NOT FOCUS on it. This weekly goal is a guide....most of us can probably tell you that when we are following the program strictly, even then, we have varying losses week by week. That is normal. The key is to keep it in the 'stay the same' or a1-2 pound loss. To be honest mine tends to be....3 pounds, 1.5 pound, 1 pound, .5 pound.... The next month it might be....2, 1.5, 2.5, STS.....a little lower...but still steady with a pattern. It averages out to about 1.5-2 per week...but has only been 2 once in 3 months. HOWEVER....any gain...should cause you not to be discourage but do a program check. What is not being done, what is being done wrong, Did I cheat, am I retaining water...etc. I can't get super excited about the 3... (and think oh, its working...I can allow a few more cheats). BUT then neither can I get discouraged at a STS or a 1 pound gain (unless it becomes several weeks- Then I have to re-evaluate.).

4) I actually weigh EVERY morning. Periodically at night if I ate a high sodium meal. This allows me to know what my body is doing. I have a scale that measures to the tenths. I can see minor changes. It can be encouraging, but I am not consumed with it. It is mearly part of my routine. BUT I only officially record the weight in my records for my Tuesday morning weigh in. Also, one thing I've noted...if I drink all of my water (8 -8z glasses plus one additional 8 oz glass for every 10 pounds over your 'ideal' body weight) I notice that my morning to evening weight only fluctuates about 1-2 pounds. When I don't drink enough it can be a 5 pound difference...which means it may be up the next morning as well.

I you haven't determined this....

I really encourage you to keep a food/exercise log. Do not throw them out. Keep it by week somehow and record what the weight loss was for that period. That will allow you to look back later and see what is working and is not. And when you were successful and when not.

As a fellow struggler...I can tell you this is not easy. It is an every day choice. But you are only one meal or snack away from being back on track.

BTW....wanted to say that it does get easier.

Sometimes I go into situations were I plan to 'cheat'. But I can honestly say I feel so much better mentally (after even the first month of success) and so much more in control of my eating now. I often do better than I plan. At my daughters graduation recently....I planned to have a burger...even got some whole wheat buns. When all was said and done...I ended up just having a burger, cheese, lettuce, and tomato; topped it with a little guacamole (I made it so...there was no added fat or sugar, just avacado and seasonings). I had it with some veggies and fat free dip made with greek yoghurt. I ate it with a knife and fork AND I did not feel deprived. Actually more satisfied than I would have been with a burger. Burgers seem so 'fast food' to me. I had a loaded plate. I had a meal.


PLANNING.....like everyone else said. You are more likely to succeed if you make plans. 'Winging it' just allows most of us to be caught by surprised and affected by our circumstances. Instead choose to make the right choice ahead of time. Determine and set goals weeks. Then most of the time you will be on program. THEN the times where something unexpected happens it will truly be an "occassional" instead of pattern. Remember planning becomes quicker the more familiar with the program you become. Also planning is the time of self evaluation. Planning helps you re-group and keep your eye on the goal.

Read the book. Live it. Then read the book again. I started the first of April. Since then about once a month...I pick the book up and read or scan it. This allows me to re-focus and remember some of my goals.

Best wishes for a successful journey.

abbyscoolmommy
07-02-2008, 12:39 PM
Hi! I'm a mom too so I can relate to having your schedule (or lack there of) around a baby. My daughter will turn 3 next month and it has taken me this long just to get to my first goal. That has been frustrating and why I have yoyo for the past 3 years. I've realized that mini goals is all I can handle. So my next goal...get through the 4th without breaking Phase 1. Might take a little planning, might mean passing up the chocolate cake at my parents house or the funnel cake at the fest, but 1 goal in 1 day. Have a main goal if want (overall I need to lose 55 pounds), but mini goals, daily goals can be achieved and rewarded. Hope this helps.

Marathon Mom
07-02-2008, 01:38 PM
Melanie, With any goal - Work related projects, marathon training and yes.. dieting.. To focus on the goal is important however it can be very overwhelming... Focusing on losing 30-40lbs can be daunting... Instead try taking dieting one day at a time... Focus on eating clean and working out one day at a time. I PROMISE YOU - once you lose a few lbs the motivation is self perpetuating... You'll feel so good you won't want to cheat or skip a work out...

Maybe give yourself a weight range... or your goal can be "once I feel lean and sexy in my bikini"... Sometimes putting an intangible number/weight to attain, only sets us up to fail...

cmichele1974
07-02-2008, 02:52 PM
I think it's good to set goals. I would not have half of my achievements had I not challenged myself. The key is to make reasonable goals with a made up mind to follow through with them.

Melanie, if setting goals work for you then set them. Your real achievement comes from your work in attempting the goal, but not necessarily from the end results. It's all about the enjoying the ride instead of focusing on your destination. If you lose 20 pounds by Thanksgiving would you really consider that a failure? I really doubt it. That means you should set a new goal to lose the last 10 pounds by Valentines Day (or any other marker of your choosing).

No particular way is good for everyone. Without knowing your life situation, it would be hard for anyone to tell you what will work for you. Only you have the answer to that question. Just be realistic, work hard, and have fun.