Weight Loss Support - Afraid I won't ever reach my goal

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01-09-2013, 08:12 PM
I've recently developed a fear of never reaching my target weight.

I used to weigh 140 when I was in middle school but that figure shot up to 160 by age 19. I lost 30 pounds and then immediately began putting it back on through stress, Depression, and a misunderstanding of how this weight thing actually works.

I ballooned up to 181 pounds but am now somewhere near 140. My ultimate goal is 120 or at least somewhere in the 120's but I haven't been that low, since, God...elementary school? It seems unreal to think I could ever be that thin.

I think part of the problem is watching how my roommates struggle with their own weight. Everyone is different, I know, but roommate A is a total BAMF. She's so incredibly active that I don't think I know anyone who is more active than her. She's also a vegetarian and while she's not perfect, her eating habits are better than most.

Roommate B is very active herself. She can run a mile in a little over 8 minutes and while neither her nor roommate A are overweight, they're also not skinny and they're constantly frustrated by this.

So then I look at myself...I'm the same height and general shape as A but my body composition is definitely more on the fatty side than hers. I'm less muscle by far. I lift less and I run slower. I don't think there is one single exercise I'm better at which is fine, it doesn't bother me.

But I can't get over the idea that I won't ever make it and I'm scared to even look at the scale. What if I do and I still see 14X when I've been trying so hard to reach 13X since the first of the new year? I know it's irrational to worry, that all I can do is my best, but the fact that these two women, who are by all means stronger than I am, can't lose more weight worries me. :(

01-09-2013, 08:29 PM
Ultimate goal weights are difficult because everyone's different, and even though you may have been that weight before, bodies change as well as metabolism.

To spare yourself disappointment and possible regain, why don't you set mini goals? Shoot for 10 lbs, then 10, then maybe 5. When you get down to 150 or so, see how you feel, let you body adjust. You may not get down to 120 but you'll only hurt your chances of getting there is you start out disappointed.

Also, even if they are roommates, it's hard to know whether these women are stronger than you. Can they lift more, run more? Maybe. But maybe they're secret binge eaters, maybe they have medical issues, maybe a thousand things. Strong is hard to quantify. Don't be so hard on yourself and try not to compare yourself to others.

ETA: I see you're already down to 140 but most is still valid, just keep going a few pounds more and find somewhere to settle that you feel you can maintain for the rest of your life.

01-09-2013, 08:32 PM
Most of my life I have had this fear, and I let this fear become so powerful that the fear became a self-fulfilling prophecy. I'd decide that I wouldn't ever reach my goal, and that if I couldn't reach my goal, I might as well give up.

Now, when I feel that fear and doubt creep in, I give myself a more practical answer than giving up.

When that little pessimistic voice inside my head says "You're not ever going to reach your goal," I answer it, forcing myself to answer with confidence (inside my head - so others don't hear me talking to myself).

So what? Maybe I won't ever reach my goal, but I'm not going to let that stop me from moving towards my goal and refusing to backslide away from my goal.

Just making that one decision has changed my life. I'm losing slower than ever (by so many factors of ten it's ridiculous). But while I'm not losing a pound a week or even a pound a month - I've put a complete stop to the gaining and serious backsliding (of course I go up and down the same 5 to 10 lbs over and over again - but at least it's not the same 100 lbs over and over again).

Just refusing to slide backwards, just deciding to work at "not gaining" puts you ahead of the game. Most people regain because they do fall into the trap of believing that if they can't make it to their goal, they might as well not even head in that direction (and might as well even run in the opposite direction).

If you were saving for a big trip to Hawaii or Europe and decided that you weren't going to be able to afford the trip afterall would you burn all the money you had saved, or would you choose to keep saving or to choose a more modest vacation goal?

We set up weight as an all-or-nothing, pass-fail endeavor, when it's none of those things. Even if you never reach your goal, you're still succeeding if you're facing and moving in the right direction. You're only failing when you turn tail and run in the opposite direction.

Even standing still is success in comparison to that.

01-09-2013, 08:41 PM
Well, you lost 41 pounds already, so you're doing something right! :hug:

And no matter how active your roommates are, it's still a calories game. The healthiest food in the world still has calories, and when you don't have much to lose, every little bit really counts. As your deficit gets progressively smaller (if your intake/activity level hasn't changed much), it just gets easier to eat your way to not losing.

If you can stay organized and accountable (by whatever method you use), the chances you'll get to your goal are going to be higher. You might also need to take breaks where your goal IS to maintain, rather than lose. The mental burnout is a pretty big factor for me, personally.

I have the same problems in believing in myself, too. I've gotten to goal before and regained, only to wonder if it's ever possible for me to get back there. It's a hurdle I struggle with daily. All I can do is arm myself with the facts and keep going, no matter what.

01-09-2013, 08:42 PM
Thank you kaplods, that really helps. =) Between May and August I lost 5 pounds, after which I went into an early maintenance and you're right, that's still good.

Ado Annie
01-09-2013, 09:15 PM
Don't drive yourself crazy comparing yourself to your roommates! Maybe 120 isn't possible for you, but it also could be. Keep going for it -- and if you find yourself happy before that

And you just never know about people and their habits. My best friend is the most ridiculous active person I know -- she climbs, she runs marathons, she spends basically all of her free time doing something active AND she has an active job. I don't think anyone would call her fat (she's a muscular size 6), but she still, like your roommates, has bouts of insecurity because she's not skinny. I don't think "skinniness" is compatible with her body type or lifestyle -- she eats a LOT. And despite the insecurity, I think she knows that.

On the other hand I'm like you, with the ballooning starting as far back as middle school. I don't know if "skinny" is a thing that's possible for me, but I also don't know that it's not. I have absolutely no idea what my body will look like if I lose 30 pounds -- I can barely remember being below 150. I think the key is to eat well, keep ourselves active, and wait and see. And then not beat ourselves up if it turns out that skinny isn't for us either.

01-09-2013, 09:28 PM
I have struggle big time with the box I've put myself in. The thought of being below 142 pounds (my all time low adult weight from 2006) for me has been a dream that has seemed completely unachievable. The absolute only way I've gotten past it is to keep going as I have been going, with no change, despite the numbers being in uncharted territory. When I started I had a goal of getting into the 160s. I thought that was all that was realistic for me. But somewhere along the way I started to wonder why I was selling myself short.

IMO many of us put a label on ourselves and refuse to try and take that label off out of fear of failure, or some other fear, or some other issue. This time I decided I didn't care if I failed, it was better to fail then to not try. And OMG I'm under that 142 mark, I'm talking just recently passed it! I haven't weighed this much since probably middle school when I was much shorter than I am now -- so I have literally never been this small!

I bought a pair of freaking size 4 jeans today! I amaze myself! YOU CAN AMAZE YOURSELF! Keep going, doing think about it. Seriously, what is the absolute worst that can happen!?!?!?!

01-10-2013, 04:33 AM
If this can be of comfort, from what you say in your post, I think you and I must be close in terms of height/body type/what we used to weight when we were younger. And I did manage to reach 120ish lbs (I hadn't had such a weight since elementary school either). So, who knows? It may still happen. On the other hand, it took me years—or, rather, it took my body years to adjust (considering I also developed BED in the meantime, and this seriously f***ed my work up). I had almost stopped caring at that point, just thinking "as long as I eat healthy foods and don't binge, I'm happy with that". And then, it happened.

I'm not deluding myself, I know I'll never be skinny as in "48-kgs skinny" (I'm 5'2" too, so I suppose it'd still be a healthy weight if I had never got fat in my life at all?). But I'm positive it *is* possible to reach a weight that is totally in the 'normal/average' range, even if we were already overweight in middle school.

Hope this helps. :)

01-10-2013, 05:07 AM
I've been over-weight my entire life. I thought it was since I was 5, but then my Grandma and Mom said my weight problem started when I was 3. My Mom and I moved in with my aunt and they only had full fat milk, so they think that is what started it. So I totally understand what you mean. I sometimes feel like there's no hope when people who use to be skinny even have trouble being a normal weight sometimes.

I hate the idea of working hard only to still be fat in the end. But you'll never know until you try. So try, and if that doesn't work, you can always go to the doctor or try other things. I think it's possible for anyone to reach their goal, even if it takes longer. At least, that's what I'm counting on!

01-10-2013, 07:52 AM
I ballooned up to 181 pounds but am now somewhere near 140. My ultimate goal is 120 or at least somewhere in the 120's but I haven't been that low, since, God...elementary school? It seems unreal to think I could ever be that thin.

So that begs the question: are you afraid of never reaching your target weight, or are you afraid of what reaching that weight brings? Essentially, are you afraid of being thin?

It's really something to think about, and I believe that a lot of people completely dismiss the notion without considering it. It's very easy to dismiss—why would you be afraid of being thin? It brings with it a bunch of privileges that being overweight or obese doesn't...but it can also change your entire life around and that can be hard to adjust to mentally if you're not used to it.

I was overweight/obese growing up, never thin except for the few years between my birth and kindergarten maybe, when I was actually underweight. On the way down I had several freakouts along my journey because being thin was just something I couldn't handle mentally! I had never been there before so I didn't know what to do. Men noticed me, people were nicer to me, others asked me for advice on nutrition and fitness, suddenly I was privy to all of the conversations about "needing to lose my butt" that I had been excluded from.

My goal was to never be thin, but to just be a "normal size," but I sort of found my way down to 112. If you had suggested that as a goal weight I probably would have laughed and never believed I could attain that weight. After all, the last time I was 112 pounds was probably, what, when I was 8?

But I got here. I'm comfortable here. I can maintain here. It's still difficult to wrap my head around being thin, but after a year I'm getting there. It's a process!

Explore yourself a bit. See if you're afraid of reaching your target weight, or if you're actually afraid of what getting there brings. You've lost 40lbs! No reason why you can't lose another 20 and get down to the weight you want...so perhaps there is something else at work here :)

01-10-2013, 10:28 AM
@sontaikle Nope, not afraid! I was 130 before, my lowest adult weight, but that's when I totally fell off the wagon. So I've been within 10 pounds of my overall goal already. I'm just looking at my body thinking...holy crap, look at that stomach...is it even shrinking at all? Are my thighs getting smaller?... My problem areas are making me worry more. I doubt I'll ever have a flat stomach and that's okay but I can't remember the last time my gut wasn't just...blech. It's just too big, plain and simple, and I'm afraid it will never shrink to a more reasonable size.

@Samantha I'll be rooting for you, I wish you the best of luck. =)

@Kery That really does help, thank you for sharing! Same to you LockItUp, that is really encouraging to hear. Thank you to everyone who took the time to help, it's greatly appreciated!

01-10-2013, 07:06 PM
Great thread! I really needed to read this right now.

01-10-2013, 08:54 PM
Kaplods is definitely onto a big something there! I, too, have historically been EXTREMELY all or nothing. I ate a brownie? ****, might as well eat the whole dang tray.

When I'm afraid that I'll 'never make goal,' I have to shut those thoughts out. Because otherwise I'll end up using them as an excuse to not even try. Now, I try to tell myself that even if I don't make my 'ultimate goal,' I'm still well on my way to being healthier/lighter/whatever. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and you'll get there.