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Picking A Goal Weight: Did you pick your maintenance weight, or did it pick you?

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Old 04-22-2008, 10:23 AM   #16
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I picked my goal weight (130) by looking at the BMI charts and picking a number in the middle of the "healthy" range for my height. I managed to maintain right around there for quite a while, but then injuries/major life events/thyroid problems led to some gain. I'm trying to get back to 130 but I've been pretty much maintaining 138 lately. The pants-o-meter says even though the scale's at 138 I'm approximately the same size as I was before, so maybe I built up some muscle? Ultimately my secret wish is to be 125, but I have doubts that I could maintain that, and right now I don't seem to have the motivation to lose much.
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Old 04-22-2008, 02:00 PM   #17
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I've been watching this thread for the last several days. Wondering to myself if I had picked my maintenance weight. I thought I had. I thought I had picked 170. That would be in the healthy range of BMI for my height, it would be less than half of my starting weight (a secret, yet useless goal ), and I had hoped it would put me in size 8/10. But as I struggle over and over to stay at my current ticker weight, I'm just not sure I can sustain anything lower than what I'm at. Really, I'm quite envious of those of you who thought you had found your maintenance weight and then kept losing. WOW! What a different reality you and I have had!

So, I'm thinking my maintenance weight has picked me, and I want to run from it! It's higher than I had hoped, yet much lower than I used to dream of. All in all, it's quite a let-down feeling; feeling that I never really made it to my goal.

It's interesting to read of everyone's experiences. Good question Apple.
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Old 04-22-2008, 09:10 PM   #18
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I have also been following this thread with interest.
While I am sort of maintaining (if I don't lose more weight, it's not the end of the world), I would like to be 135. That magic number is what I weighed when I got married at age 20 (almost 21 years and 2 children ago). I am getting very close and I may still go a little lower, but I am eating OP and exercising almost every day, so going lower may not be reasonable for me. I will have to see in the long run. I still have a tummy paunch that I'm working on-- I don't know if I will ever get rid of it after 2 c-sections, gaining and losing weight, etc., but I will keep working. I look good in clothes now, but can still be very critical of myself naked.
I find it interesting that many of our goals are so "mental". When I weighted 135 at my wedding, I hardly ever exercised and I ate mostly what I wanted (the joys of being young). I was never thin, but I obviously had to work much less to maintain then. I know that I'm much healthier now and that should be what is important, not a number on the scale. Oh well....one of the many mental things to overcome on this journey called life....
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Old 04-23-2008, 03:34 AM   #19
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It picked me. When I started, I didn't have a goal. At first, I wasn't even trying to lose weight. I'd heard the stories and read the articles about how it is impossible to maintain weight loss and that our bodies naturally gravitate towards a certain weight and I thought it wasn't possible for me to lose weight. Then, after working out with a trainer for a month or so, I decided to try limiting my calories and see what happened. I gave it four months to work and I had no goal at all. Once it became clear to me that I could lose weight, I think I set my initial goal at 135. That was pretty easy to get to and it definitely wasn't thin enough, so I dropped my goal to 125. That was also pretty easy to get to but I am also not happy with myself at that weight, so I dropped my goal to 115.

I thought for sure that I would be plenty thin enough at 115, but when I got there I discovered two things: (1) I still have a small pot belly and other spots of flab, so it's still not thin enough, and (2) I could actually get my weight lower if I continued to restrict my calories. So I dropped my goal to 110.

110 has proved to be impossible. Once, I saw 111 on the scale but I never got down to 110. And I only saw 111 that one time. Also, I want to be able to occasionally eat off plan--for a night out with friends, for a special occasion, for vacations and business trips. I can't do that and maintain a weight of under 115. So I've decided to try to maintain at below 118. It's been a really struggle to make that decision, because, like JTammy, I feel like I failed. I set a goal and I didn't make it. And I'm not 100% happy with how I look. It's a struggle to get out of the house because I still have to try on 100 different outfits to find the one that I think is most flattering. I made the decision only a month or so ago and every morning it is touch and go as to whether or not I will stick by it. I keep trying to tell myself that I look "good enough."

I also have to say that at my current weight of 116, which I seem to be able to maintain, I still have around 21-22% body fat. So it seems like my body fat could be lower. There are definitely other women on this forum that are my height, weigh more than me, look fantastic--much better than me, and have a lower body fat %. So my hope is to maintain my weight but slowly replace a little more of my body fat with muscle through strength training and cardio intervals. I'm skeptical that it will work, but then I also didn't think I could lose weight at all and I was wrong about that, so maybe I'll be surprised with this as well.
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:39 AM   #20
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That's interesting - I still have a pot belly (a lot of it is loose skin) and spots of flab (including a left saddlebag that is noticeably bigger than my right) but I always thought I looked SO MUCH better than I used to, I'm usually very pleased with my body. Plus, I'm a pear and my face and shoulders are very slender (my collarbones literally stand out like cheese graters), if I were to get the bottom parts as thin as I might want, I worry I would emaciate the top part of me!

I've looked at your before/after pics and you are a tiny person - are you sure you're not being hard on yourself?? According to the web, 21% is the body percentage of a "fit" woman (athlete = 14-20, essential fat = 10-12).
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Old 04-23-2008, 11:47 AM   #21
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This is a very interesting and timely thread for me as well. I weigh less than I have since 1995. I was heading toward a totally random scale number that met BMI requirements, but I realized that the number itself was meaningless. The reality is that I have no idea what my body is capable of maintaining at a goal weight. I know I am building muscle mass and losing pounds of fat. My clothes that I bought about 6 weeks ago are already loose. Do I aim for a size? A weight? What if I undershoot or overshoot?

Right now I have 2 immediate goals: a body fat % of 17 and continuing my exercise and nutrition plan for the next 25 years. I won't shrivel away to nothingness any time soon. I think I've taken a page out of Mel's book. I have a goal body in mind more than anything else. What size or weight I will hit on this journey is anyone's guess but I am looking forward to finding out.
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Old 04-23-2008, 12:12 PM   #22
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I picked my goal weight based on a previous journey on which I sustained a long period at that weight or thereabouts. However, like JayEl, my body seems to have picked a different goal and I'm hanging out quite a bit higher than my goal.
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Old 04-23-2008, 12:27 PM   #23
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I've been following this thread with a lot of interest. I have just picked an arbitrary number to reach for goal. It is in the weight range for my height, and I come from a curvy line of women, so I chose the higher end.

Having never ever been thin - even as a child, I have absolutely no clue about what I will look like at 135. I do strength train, and consider myself pretty fit now.
I wouldn't dare buy a size goal outfit - because I wouldn't even know where to start.
I feel like my true goal is some nebulous poof of fuzz that won't become clear until I reach it.
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:34 PM   #24
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I've been watching this thread with interest too. I have a goal weight in mind, but it's also flexible in my mind - either up or down. That all depends on factors like how hard it is to sustain, if I am able to treat myself sometimes and how I feel at that weight. I really like Mel's plan of having a goal body. I think that might be more what I strive for going forward.
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Old 04-23-2008, 11:36 PM   #25
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Hmmm. Starting out I didn't have a certain weight goal. My main goal was to become athletic and healthy again. And as I was doing that the weight was coming off and I thought well 150 sounds good.

Then I got to 150 and I was like well I still got some fat on me so I upped my exercise and strength training routine and I started shedding more poundage. Now I'm at 134 and I seem to be hovering there so I might play around a little bit. But I'm happy of where I'm at and staying here has been very doable so far.

So, I guess you can say it picked me.

(FYI: My true starting weight was 190)
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:39 PM   #26
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Another lurker on this thread. I picked an initial goal weight (140) based on BMI charts and what I thought would be achievable for a 50+ person post-menopause. At 160, I realized that 135 would be more realistic. Is that my final goal? Time will tell. Maybe, maybe not. At my age, having been obese for half of my life, I'm not really concerned about my BF % or six-pack abs or even loose skin. I'm aiming for fit, healthy and being comfortable in my own skin. I'm actually feeling that I am getting close to that place.

EDIT: My goal weight definitely picked me. At 135 I moved into "maintenance mode". During the next 4 months, while trying to find the right mix of calories/exercise for my body, I settled into 120 lbs in October of 2008. I finally adjusted my ticker to reflect the new goal.

It seems to be where I can maintain without difficulty. I have stayed within +/- 3 lbs. ever since.
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:14 PM   #27
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Thumbs up My goal weight chose itself.

My goal weight chose itself.

My total plan was to shift from a continuous grazing mode to a healthy set of 3 meals a day that I would be willing to eat for the rest of my life. So, I chose my food and watched the weight drift down over 18 months from 239 to 158. When the weight stopped going down, I called it my maintenance weight.

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Old 04-24-2008, 10:43 PM   #28
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Wow awesome thread here ladies, don't really have much to add as I am far from my goal, but I really enjoyed reading everything. Thanks!
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Old 05-13-2008, 04:47 PM   #29
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absolutely brilliant thread... it has truly made me think less about the number on the scale... i have a picture in my mind and when i pose in front of the mirror (anyone else do this for hours imagining?) and that is what i want to get to... its me, my shape only slightly slimmer and smoother if that makes sense...

great thread again, kudos!
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:10 PM   #30
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Well... I wasn't going to post here at first, because I was kinda depressed at the REALLY low (it seemed to me) weights that some people were managing to maintain. A number of people are the same height as me and some STARTED at my current weight (173lbs). Mind you, that current weight is actually up about 5lbs due to water weight (salt and hormonal), but I am still not far off 170lbs. Some days I look at that weight and look in the mirror and go WOW! I believe that I look fantastic and could take on the world. Other days, I read about what weight I possibley COULD and SHOULD get to and I just get depressed, and no image in the mirror can take that away.

Anyway... getting back to how we decided on our 'goal' weight. Funnily enough, when I started my journey at 353lbs+ I didn't even have a goal weight in mind. I just had the goal of becoming healthier so I could live longer. After about 6 months someone asked me what my goal weight was and I kinda made up 80kg (176.5lbs) as it was just a number that jumped into my head. It was also half my original weight, so maybe that was something I was subconsciously aiming for. I had never been much lower than 100kg (220lbs) in my adult life, so had NO idea what to aim for.

Then I made friends with a lady who was a dietician and she thought that my goal should be 68kg (150lbs) so I trusted her judgment and set that as my new goal. Still, that goal weight didn't really mean anything to me. I didn't know what it would LOOK or FEEL like. It was just a number that someone had set for me as a 'healthy' weight. It didn't change how I went along on my journey... until...

I reached 73kg (161lbs) and my weight loss just stopped. I had been losing weight steadily for two years, then things slowed gradually, then they simply stopped. Well, I decided to fix that by over-exercising and that caused a WHOLE new set of problems. I was mentally a wreck. Then I realised that my dietician friend hadn't accounted for loose skin. She never really has accepted that, I don't think. I have a LOT of loose skin. I hear other people talking about having loose skin and I can't work out how they can be such low weights if they have a LOT of loose skin. I have so much loose skin on my stomach area that when I am dressed it looks as though I have a fair sized pot belly, but when I lie down my stomach concaves between my hips and pelvis. It all just droops to the sides. When I hold my legs or arms up, if I am laying down, they look slim and muscular, but when I stand up there is loose skin everywhere and it affects the size of clothes I wear. The only places that have recovered quite well from my weight loss are my hands, feet and face/neck. From comparing myself to what I have seen (in magazines and on TV) of other people who have had loose skin removed after weight loss, I would say that I have at least 20lbs of loose skin. One lady I saw had 13kg (28.5lbs) of skin removed and in the pics it looked as though she had a lot less loose skin than I currently have.

Now... I just have to get my head around the fact that I have to account for this loose skin when I decide on a 'goal' weight for myself. I KNOW that I am not going to get as low as perhaps the charts or medical professionals say I should be. (By the way, my own doctor has told me that I don't need to lose any more weight.) I don't plan on having the loose skin removed at the moment, for a number of reasons. I am very pleased with my health and fitness at the moment. I pass medical tests with flying colours. Blood pressure 100/60, cholestrol 2.7, good cholestrol (can't remember what it is called) is up nicely. We measure our blood glucose differently over here and mine was low to mid 3s, which I think is 80 or just below in the US measurement. Maybe a little low for my liking, but doctor says it is great.

Anyway, I have REALLY gone on a little here, but I just didn't know how to tell my story. I set a 'goal' of 80kg thinking that it was just a number anyway, but I have actually decided that this is going to be my TOP marker for the moment. I don't want to go above that number, even with water weight or hormones messing me around. Around Christmas I went over that number by about 5lbs, and I have worked to get that off, plus some more since then. I have a mental argument with myself regularly, trying to convince myself that I have to account for the loose skin, but I still have that goal that 'charts' and others say I should reach to be 'healthy'. If I was talking to someone else with the same problem I would want to slap them to make them realise how silly they were being (and I am a VERY non-violent person), but I still can't get it all organised in my head.

Well... that was a very long way of saying that everyone is different and I believe that where you come from (as in 150lbs, 250lbs, or 350lbs) may make a difference on how you set your goal. Whether you have actually been a slim adult before, or how much excess skin you have at the end, can also make a huge difference in setting and keeping a goal. Mine has changed quite a bit over time.

As you can see, I still have a lower weight than 80kg on my ticker. I am almost afraid to change it, in case I actually stick to it, so I'll just keep that number in my head as my 'upper limit' and strive for the lower number to keep me on track.

Thank you all for making it this far if you have. I'm not sure I was still making sense after a while. The fingers just kept tapping away and the mind just kept running and I just kept blabbing. I don't think I will even go back over it to see if I should edit it. Just keep in mind that these are the ramblings of a 46 year old woman on a relaxing Sunday morning, who should actually be doing housework rather than posting here. My mind is all over the place.

Take care,

Zelma
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Last edited by ZedAus : 05-17-2008 at 09:16 PM. Reason: Put current weight at 273, not 173 - oops. And I wasn't going to reread it!
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