Weight Loss Support - Do I need smaller goals if my big goal is right around the corner?




ForTheFifth
05-25-2013, 03:44 PM
Ok, maybe not around the corner but surely within the next 365 days.

For the first 50 pounds I was just so eager to lose SOMETHING that I never made the effort to create small goals. I think choosing not to focus on the little things helped me, but I'm not entirely sure.

If I continue to lose at least 2 1/2 pounds a week for another year I'll hit my goal before my 21st birthday (I cannot wait for THAT day!), but Im not sure if I want to check off 2 pounds every week.

I think it would get annoying. And then some weeks I lose MUCH more or MUCH less, and I can see that fact alone stressing me out.

I'm more into the numbers. If I loose 4 pounds one week it's cool if I lose 1 pound the next; as long as I dont go into the negative I'm on track. But if the 2.2 pounds IS my goal..,well I can say goodbye to flexibility, and I end up starving myself because one week was off :/



Have you guys had greater success with creating bite-size goals, and every few weeks checking them off?


kaplods
05-25-2013, 04:23 PM
What do you see happening if your weight loss average starts dropping (it will), what will you do if it drops to 2.0 or 1.5 or even less?

Every pound you lose makes the next pound harder to lose. The difference is negligible until the effect snowballs and suddenly isn't. The slow down could be drastic or sudden and might not concern you for several months, or could hit next week. Are you prepared for long-term stalls, do you have back-up plans ready?
What are you willing to do, what are you not willing to do?


You can set your goals any way you like to, but if you're counting on a weekly average loss of 2.2 lb per week, you might be setting yourself up for failure if you're results stop meeting your expectations.

I think time-based goals often backfire because they can make success seem like failure. I think more weight loss attempts are abandoned not because of failure, but because of success that felt like failure because it didn't meet expectations.

geoblewis
05-25-2013, 04:47 PM
It is realistic to expect weight loss rates to vary from week to week. Early on, we lose more quickly, and as we continue, that rate of weight loss will slow. In fact, as we get closer to goal, it'll slow down A LOT. That is normal. You will notice, over time, that when the scale doesn't seem to be budging, your clothes will surprisingly feel looser. When we burn fat, water is also released. In fact, we lose more water than actual fat from our fat cells. So the days when the scale really moves, that's more about water, but the days when the scale doesn't move, but we know we've stayed on track with deficit eating and our clothes are looser, it's the stored fat that is getting used up. And fat is less dense than water, per volume.

It is also normal to have stress over the whole process. We set up expectations, do our part, things go as planned and we are elated. Things don't go as planned and we are crushed. Keeping your head in the game is about being realistic with your expectations and developing a level of emotional resiliency. And then maintaining will be about not falling into old habits and kicking yourself hard if you "fail".

Your long term goal is a great goal. Always keep it there. But it can seem overwhelming when your rate of weight loss drops over time. Smaller varied goals, in addition to the ultimate goal, are very helpful with motivation. When I didn't make my mini-goals entirely about weight loss, it felt so much more rewarding when I achieved them.

As an example, I am training hard to build muscle. It's something I can do right now with relative ease because I am obese. That means I can eat at a caloric deficit, lose weight and still workout hard and gain muscles. I know that when I get closer to goal, I can't lose weight and gain muscle at the same time because it doesn't work like that in that state. Now is the time to really build the muscles for me. So I set mini fitness goals for myself. I have increased my bicep curls from 12-lb. to 20-lb. dumbbells over the last year. I've increased the number of squats that I do over the last year. My next goal is to increase my triceps and my scapular stability so that I can do a proper push-up. I am considering increasing my cardio from 20 minutes, three times a week to 20 minutes, five days a week. But that's not really important to me at the moment. Maybe it'll be after I lose another 50 lbs. and it gets a bit easier. I'd prefer adding two more days of Pilates to my week over adding the cardio.

I really only concentrate at losing 5 lbs. at a time, with a longer-term goal of 10% of my body weight. I set daily food goals of keeping my carbs to under 50 net grams/day (I'm a type 2 diabetic and manage my blood sugar with diet and exercise). I concentrate on eating only when genuinely hungry and eating very slowly so that I don't go past full. I have already achieved cleaning up my diet for life (I've cut out all processed foods and now eating a lot more vegetables) and that will serve me well for the rest of my life.

All that is enough to keep my ADD brain happy with mental activity. Some people would be stressed with that level of tracking. Some need less to keep them engaged in their efforts. You need to make goals of what is most meaningful to you so that you're motivated to the end.

I wish you lots of meaningful goals!


Amarantha2
05-25-2013, 05:09 PM
I don't really have an answer but wanted to tell you congratulations on your weight loss & happy birthday in advance.

You can set your goals however you like. This is your journey.

ikesgirl80
05-25-2013, 09:36 PM
I picked a handful of specific weights and those were the ones I looked at as mini goals. They were numbers that had significance to me, not necessarily evenly spaced. I picked:
Highest/Starting weight: 350/338
1st goal: 299.8 (out of what my friends and I deemed "heart attack range")
2nd: 280 ( my highest weight during college drinking days)
3rd: 250 (half way to 200 and my "norm" through college)
4th: 238 (100 pounds from this start
5th:219.8 (the lowest I ever was in college, for 1 day)
Once I got here, it was 5 pounds at a time, because I graduated high school somewhere between 220-235.

I found that every 10 pounds, I would have a stall. For example: I started at 338, when I got to 329, I stalled for a week, then went over 330 for a week, then all the sudden (about 2 weeks or so), I would be 320! The next day I would be 319, then up to 322, then 2 weeks later 309, repeat, repeat, repeat. But the more I lost, the slower the cycles would run. So where I could easily lose 20-30 pounds a month at nearly 350 pounds, the last 20 pounds have taken me about 5 months! Which is still a decent loss, but when you are used to more, it FEELS painfully slow!

I would always give myself a goal date for each mini goal, but EVERY SINGLE TIME I missed it. But it did give me something to keep my eye on. The only 2 I really stressed myself out about was staying under 220 for 7 consecutive days (to receive a almost free trip to 6 Flags courtesy of my mom and the former regional manager of my gym) and when my plastic surgeon told me to get as close to 180 as I could before my surgery on June 6th. Although I saw him Friday, and he was so proud of me, and said that I actually have more loose skin than in February, and I don't have to go lower than 190 if I don't want to!

SO... to answer your question... It's up to you. Try it one time. Pick a number and a goal. Say 27 pounds (10% of your current weight) by September 1st. That is 2.5 pounds per week, plus a "cushion" of 1.5 weeks. If it helps you, do it again. If it doesn't, don't! Unless you have numbers that are "special to you", I would do 10% at a time. (I usually round to either .5 or a .2, depending on your scale)

10% = 27 pounds = 243
10% = 24.5 pounds = 218.5
almost 10% = 19 pounds = 199.5 ONE-DERLAND, and then I would switch to either 5% or 10 pounds at a time (just under 5%, but keeps the numbers even). If you can stay motivated when the percentage takes longer, awesome. I had to drop to 5 pounds at a time, because it was moving SO SLOW!

Good luck with whatever you choose!

Chris

elvislover324
05-25-2013, 10:38 PM
Mini-goals were the key to my success. If I started out saying I needed to be 50% (or less) of my starting weight, I would have lost my mind and not a single pound.

I am down 135lbs and still doing mini-goals. I'm down to doing 5 pounds more or less. Some months the losses were GREAT, some months not so much. The important thing I learned here at 3FC is to keep on plan and trust your diet will work assuming you stay on that plan. I had some recent frustrating weeks that in past weightloss attempts would have derailed me and ruined my progress, not this time. And then the scale catches up and you know it wasn't all for nothing.

I wish you a lot of luck! 3FC changed my life and I can't thank the men and women here enough, I hope you get the same experience!

elvislover324
05-25-2013, 10:43 PM
I end up starving myself because one week was off :/



And I meant to say...starving yourself no matter what happens on the scale isn't going to solve anything. If you go off your plan, get right back on it. Don't play games thinking you might trick the scale into a loss by starving yourself. It's not going to work and you are just wasting precious time. I mean that in the nicest kind of way, I promise.

ForTheFifth
05-26-2013, 12:31 AM
Thanks for all of the support guys!

I think I'm just going to stick to one big goal, rather than 10 small ones.

I think some of words were a bit confusing; In my op I was insinuating that setting small goals was equal to "checking off 2 pounds a week", and making the claim that bite-sized goals make me want to starve myself. (which was a joke in itself, elvislover324!)

I failed to mention it, but I also use clothes as a goal. A month ago I all of my clothes were [Literally] falling off of me, and I got to go shopping for some size 20 goal jeans!

For me goal jeans are motivating, and give me an easy way to measure myself without stepping on a scale (I weigh-in every month).

I think mini goals fail to work or me because I am not as aware of the "outer" world as some people are. I'm an introvert, and spend most of the time in my head. I eat, I work out, I plan my days, then I check out, without even attempting to get on a scale.

Now, being detached was horrible when I was binging, but since changing my lifestyle It has helped me stay cool-headed and rather happy during my weight loss so far. ^_^


What do you see happening if your weight loss average starts dropping (it will), what will you do if it drops to 2.0 or 1.5 or even less?



Well, nothing more than switch up my workouts. Thats why I dont want mini goals; because they will force me to measure my progress on the weeks, days and months that I am not on track.



It is also normal to have stress over the whole process. We set up expectations, do our part, things go as planned and we are elated. Things don't go as planned and we are crushed. Keeping your head in the game is about being realistic with your expectations and developing a level of emotional resiliency. And then maintaining will be about not falling into old habits and kicking yourself hard if you "fail".


Emotional resiliency. I initially started my Journey with one goal: Get in shape, and lose weight happily. It wasn't until I lost 40 or so pounds did I pick an actual weight-goal!

About a year ago I was recovering from a disc herniation, and the pain and agony of that circumstance made me realize I'm too young to be sick, depressed and out-of-shape. It was motivation to take care of my mind and body, together.



Your long term goal is a great goal. Always keep it there. But it can seem overwhelming when your rate of weight loss drops over time. Smaller varied goals, in addition to the ultimate goal, are very helpful with motivation. When I didn't make my mini-goals entirely about weight loss, it felt so much more rewarding when I achieved them.



See, I have mini body goals; just not mini weight goals. Unlike my weight, I can better control my body and strength. Like going from 1 set of 10 girl-push-ups to 3 sets of 10 regular push-ups.



As an example, I am training hard to build muscle. It's something I can do right now with relative ease because I am obese. That means I can eat at a caloric deficit, lose weight and still workout hard and gain muscles. I know that when I get closer to goal, I can't lose weight and gain muscle at the same time because it doesn't work like that in that state. Now is the time to really build the muscles for me. So I set mini fitness goals for myself. I have increased my bicep curls from 12-lb. to 20-lb. dumbbells over the last year. I've increased the number of squats that I do over the last year. My next goal is to increase my triceps and my scapular stability so that I can do a proper push-up. I am considering increasing my cardio from 20 minutes, three times a week to 20 minutes, five days a week. But that's not really important to me at the moment. Maybe it'll be after I lose another 50 lbs. and it gets a bit easier. I'd prefer adding two more days of Pilates to my week over adding the cardio.


I wish you lots of meaningful goals!

I think it depends on your body type. When I was MUCH smaller (And within 35 pounds of my goal) mom sent me to a fat camp, and just like the folks on biggest loser, I was losing weight and gaining muscle. For me, it was all about working my body as hard as I could; If I slack off, at all, my body says "F U" and reverts. :/

I think when I get down to 185 again I'm just hiring a personal trainer, if I dont do it sooner. Let them and my nutritionist handle everything.


And cardio, I prefer to do it 4 days a week, and I often break it up into 3 or four parts per day. What kind of cardio are you doing?




I don't really have an answer but wanted to tell you congratulations on your weight loss & happy birthday in advance.

You can set your goals however you like. This is your journey.



Thanks!


I picked a handful of specific weights and those were the ones I looked at as mini goals. They were numbers that had significance to me, not necessarily evenly spaced. I picked:
Highest/Starting weight: 350/338
1st goal: 299.8 (out of what my friends and I deemed "heart attack range")
2nd: 280 ( my highest weight during college drinking days)
3rd: 250 (half way to 200 and my "norm" through college)
4th: 238 (100 pounds from this start
5th:219.8 (the lowest I ever was in college, for 1 day)
Once I got here, it was 5 pounds at a time, because I graduated high school somewhere between 220-235.

I found that every 10 pounds, I would have a stall. For example: I started at 338, when I got to 329, I stalled for a week, then went over 330 for a week, then all the sudden (about 2 weeks or so), I would be 320! The next day I would be 319, then up to 322, then 2 weeks later 309, repeat, repeat, repeat. But the more I lost, the slower the cycles would run. So where I could easily lose 20-30 pounds a month at nearly 350 pounds, the last 20 pounds have taken me about 5 months! Which is still a decent loss, but when you are used to more, it FEELS painfully slow!

I would always give myself a goal date for each mini goal, but EVERY SINGLE TIME I missed it. But it did give me something to keep my eye on. The only 2 I really stressed myself out about was staying under 220 for 7 consecutive days (to receive a almost free trip to 6 Flags courtesy of my mom and the former regional manager of my gym) and when my plastic surgeon told me to get as close to 180 as I could before my surgery on June 6th. Although I saw him Friday, and he was so proud of me, and said that I actually have more loose skin than in February, and I don't have to go lower than 190 if I don't want to!

SO... to answer your question... It's up to you. Try it one time. Pick a number and a goal. Say 27 pounds (10% of your current weight) by September 1st. That is 2.5 pounds per week, plus a "cushion" of 1.5 weeks. If it helps you, do it again. If it doesn't, don't! Unless you have numbers that are "special to you", I would do 10% at a time. (I usually round to either .5 or a .2, depending on your scale)

10% = 27 pounds = 243
10% = 24.5 pounds = 218.5
almost 10% = 19 pounds = 199.5 ONE-DERLAND, and then I would switch to either 5% or 10 pounds at a time (just under 5%, but keeps the numbers even). If you can stay motivated when the percentage takes longer, awesome. I had to drop to 5 pounds at a time, because it was moving SO SLOW!

Good luck with whatever you choose!

Chris


The staling! See, Im totally fine with it! My body can do whatever it wants to do, as long as I KNOW Ive been sticking to my workouts and diet. If I haven't had 6 cheeseburgers, I know that weight gain or stall is not due to me being negligent Or worse, inactive)!

And I dont have a special number. To be totally honest 150 is just my sipping-tea-on-a-beach-in-Barbados goal; Meaning, if Im sipping tea (or lemon-water) in a bikini on a hot sandy beach in Barbados by my 21st birthday (Which surprisingly is more likely than it sounds ), I would have reached my ultimate "goal".

Its like when people ask you "so, what would you do if you had 1 million dolars" except change "1 million dollars" to "the perfect body".

150 is great, but 170 is personally where I see myself. Just because I know my body at 185-190, and it was never far off from my vision of what my "perfect" body looks like.

So, I set my ultimate goal to 150 just for the heck of it. If I lose less than 2.2 a week, Im still on track.

Being an underachiever is where its at, for me. :)

dragonstar85
05-26-2013, 01:48 AM
If it will help you keep focused and on track I say go with it but if it'll discourage you then don't. I find setting up goals always help. Right now my goal is 10lbs a month but since weight loss slows down as you lose weight I'm sure I'll have smaller goals. Like maybe 5lbs a month.

FrecklesTX
05-26-2013, 01:49 PM
This is such a mental game for me. I cannot process a 158 lb weight loss goal. It overwhelms me. I gotta do the 5 lb increments. Right now I'm smack dab in the middle of one.

Just 2.5 lbs to go! I don't celebrate these teeny weeny goals except for screaming, doing a happy dance and telling my best friend. :)

Her and I have a 50 lb loss we are working towards. I have never been competitive but for some reason, I'm feeling it this time. I want to beat her!! So i think of this 50 lb goal as another mini one.

Then I have a mid-size mini of 297.6 (my previous lowest weight) and 286 (my 100 lbs lost marker), 275 will be meeting my goal with my friend, 247 is the point where I move from morbidly obese to obese - I'm sure I'll come up with more!

So yeah - I definitely need 'em. When I think about 154, it just seems so out of the realm of possibility, it'll just stop me in my tracks. Most likely because I haven't weighed that since 5th grade.

tehshort1
05-26-2013, 02:12 PM
What's worked well for me is 5% goals. I started weight watchers at 209. Roughly every 10 pounds I lose is 5% of my starting weight. So I celebrate those victories. I just reached my 20% goal this week and now I'm focused on meeting my 25% goal - 157 pounds. That's less than 10 pounds from where I am right now. I find the mini-goals keep me motivated and excited to meet the next challenge, whereas if I simply said I need to lose 34 more pounds, that number goes down much slower than 10 pound increments. Find what works best for you and celebrate each small victory. I see it as the War on Fat, which is won through many small battles - Currently for me it's The Battle of the 160s. Good luck and congrats on how far you've already come!

FrecklesTX
05-26-2013, 02:16 PM
"The Battle of the 160s"

lol..Love it!