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

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Old 04-18-2008, 11:38 PM   #1
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Default Picking A Goal Weight: Did you pick your maintenance weight, or did it pick you?

I was wondering if all you maintainers picked out a goal weight and are at (or near) that weight now, or did you adjust it as things progressed?

Did you end up at a lower or higher maintenance weight than originally planned? If so, any thoughts on why?


I picked my goal weight because years ago I was able to stay at it comfortably. I was happy with my appearance, and it wasn't a struggle for me. But, part of me wonders if I could get lower than that, since I wasn't exactly a saint when it came to eating all those years ago!

If I "only" make it to goal, I will be thrilled, but I wonder if it's possible that I may drop below that since my eating habits are better this time around.

Thoughts?
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Old 04-19-2008, 02:57 AM   #2
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It definitely picked me.

I started at 200 lbs with a goal weight of 150 lbs. I thought I was just a "big girl" with "big bones" and I couldn't imagining maintaining a weight loss less than 150 lbs. I had dipped down to 140 a few times dieting in the past, but managed to stay there for like, a day.

I hit 150 lbs and the weight was still coming off and I revised my goal weight to 135 based on height/weight build charts.

I got to 140 lbs and plateaued for months, if I remember right, the plateau started in Feb 2005. I desperately wanted to be under 140, it was like a mental thing, just to see it on the scale. But by June, I realized that while I wasn't losing weight, I wasn't gaining weight either - I had maintained a weight loss for months, longer than ever in my life.

So, I decided my body was "done" at 140. I looked pretty good so I slowly adjusted my calories to a "maintenance level." Sometime around July, the scale went down to 138 which was awesome. Then, in October, I went on a 4 week business trip overseas. I didn't TRY to lose weight - I ate hotel food! I ate pizza! I must have done a ton of walking, because when I came back, I was 135 lbs.

By February of 2006, I was 127 lbs. I have maintained right around 127-130 ever since (currently up to 132 lbs and trying to fight back under 130!).

Reading your post, my maintenance habits are fairly "saintlike," I do eat "onplan" about 90% of the time. I eat a mostly plant-based, whole foods diet and I am still very careful about menu planning, food journaling, calorie counting, etc. I treat myself to at least 1 nice night a week (wine, nice dinner, dessert, etc) but I am very careful during the week to "afford" that treat.
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Old 04-19-2008, 05:21 AM   #3
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My maintenance weight definitely picked me too.

My first goal was 160 pounds, since that was the lowest I had ever weighed as an adult (like Glory said, for about a minute ). That meant a 97-pound loss and I didn't believe for a second that I could do it. It seemed impossible to lose that much weight.

But I stuck to my plan like glue and hit that original goal about nine months after I started. And realized first, the weight was still coming off easily, and second, I wasn't where I wanted to end up.

What really motivated me for the last 25 pounds was curiosity. Since my lowest previous weight was 160, I had never seen myself at a normal weight. I was curious about what I would look like! And I'm glad I stuck it out to the end because the last 25 pounds came off 100% from the lower half of my body and completely changed my shape (bowling pin). Never in a million years would I have believed that I would end up smaller on the bottom than my top!

I also remember the feeling that I wanted to -- just once -- be normal. To not ever think about/worry about being fat. My weight was ALWAYS on my mind and I just wanted to let go of the mental baggage of constantly thinking about it. I didn't know if I could stay there, but I wanted to visit the Land of Normal just once.

In March of 2002, I entered an eight-week gym contest that ended on May 11, 2002 (I didn't win). But on May 12, I did all my measurements (35" hips, 26" waist), weight (135) and body fat % (16%) and decided I needed a rest, that this was pretty good where I was.

But over the next six months, I tried to drop my weight down to 128.5 for several reasons: I wanted to lose half my bodyweight (silly) and more seriously, I had a hard time letting go of the weight loss mentality. The hardest time of my weight loss ever was those three months after I reached goal. I struggled mightily with the idea of maintenance during the summer of 2002 and really had no idea what to do -- it was a lot easier for me to try to lose weight (I was an expert) than maintain weight (I was clueless). Remember, we didn't have a Maintainers Forum back then, though I really could have used it!

By November, 2002, I got my weight to 132.5 and my body fat was 12.5% -- but that was completely unsustainable. I was doing 90 minutes of cardio per day and eating 800 - 1000 calories. Not a way to live for life and I finally figured out that the end result just wasn't worth the effort.

So I accepted that 135 - 140 was my maintenance range and have been there ever since. Which is not to say that it's easy or effortless! I'm a prime example of a maintainer who constantly rollercoasters up and down in weight, so that most of the time, I'm actually trying to lose a few pounds (like now).

Apple, I think you're smart to set your goal weight at a number you've been at before and that you know you can sustain. Since it's never written in stone, you always can get there and choose to go lower or practice maintenance for a while and then reassess. I know it seems like maintenance is a definite place, but for most of us, it's quite fluid, shifting, and not all that well-defined. The wonderful thing is that we get to figure out what our goals are and where we want to maintain!

Best of luck to you!
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Old 04-19-2008, 08:09 AM   #4
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I'm fairly new to maintenance, not yet a year and STILL don't know what my maintenance weight is.

My original goal was 125 lbs. I remember being in the high 130's in high school and in my very early 20's. Soon after is when I started to really pack on the weight. I'm 44 now. Being only 5 feet tall, I wanted to see if I could get to that 125 mark, never being happy in the 130's. A couple of months into my journey, I upped my goal weight to 135. I wasn't sure if I could get to that 125 and didn't want to be disappointed and think of myself as unsuccessful if I couldn't get to that point, seeing how I couldn't get to it as a teenager. So my target was now 135.

My body changed so much, my weight shifted so much and was so different now then when I was younger, not sure if it's due to the exercise or just that the weight came off differently then went it came on, but I am much narrower now then I was in the past. I got to that 135, actually that last week was a big losing week and I went straight to 133. That was in July 07. I stayed there til September and then went down to my secret "goal" weight of 125. Like you, my eating habits have changed so much from when I was younger and in the high 130's, that going down lower was defintely a possibility. I went down to 122, even saw 120 for a few days. I've been hovering between 122 & 127 for months now, though I have crossed over the 127 mark quite a few times for brief periods. I would eventually like my maintenance weight to be between 120 & 125. Though I'm not sure if I can get to that 120 mark again and STAY there for any period of time. Not sure if it's worth the work right now. But you know what, it's just a number, it's my body and I don't NEED to know for sure, for sure. It's definitely subject to change. So, I guess my body WILL do it's own deciding. Or my hunger level will. Or I'll decide eventually just how hard I'm willing to work to get to that level.

I know for me, staying at one single number is out of the question. Maintenace has been a 5 lb roller coaster ride for me, sometimes more, though 5 lbs is my aim. Sticking to one number appears to be out of the question for me and I'm perfectly fine with that. Perfectly.

I also think the way you picked your goal weight, or target weight as I like to call it these days, is quite smart. It makes perfect sense to me.

And of course it's just a number and it's your CHOICE and you can always decide as you get closer to that number if you want to change it up. I think you'll know when you get there. Luckily you don't need to know until you do. I wish you much continued success!
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Old 04-19-2008, 10:03 AM   #5
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I have been at goal for only 4 months and during that time my weight has fluctuated the lowest being 124 ( that lasted about 20 minutes) and the highest being 129. I loved seeing 124 on my scale but that is not sustainable , this morning I was 127. Evidently my original goal weight of 128 was the right choice as I am hovering right around that weight on most days. I will be a happy camper if I never go more than 2 pounds above goal .
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Old 04-19-2008, 11:25 AM   #6
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I'm not at goal yet, but I thought I would chime in as I recently changed my goal.
I feel that my goal has picked me. I am a muscular girl with a very athletic build and the number on the scale has rarely reflected what I see in the mirror. Even at 250lbs, I felt like I looked pretty good for 250lbs (I was about a size 20)
I WANTED to be 135lbs. part of me still wants to be 135 pounds. That's what I weighed in high school... it seems like a normal/average number for someone my height - but not for my build as it is now. high school was only 10 years ago.. and i may have been 135 then but my 169 now takes up less room than 135 did then. I also wanted to be a size 10 - again, that's what i was in high school... i'm a size 8/10 now. so my weight goal has gone up but my size goal has gone down.

and i feel that i can still change my goals - i don't have much further to go and i guess i'll decide when i get there.
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Old 04-19-2008, 12:30 PM   #7
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When I first began my last diet, I had no goal weight- my goal was just to lose weight. When I found 3FC, everyone seemed to post a goal weight so I picked the same number that others my height seemed to be aiming for: 135 pounds. I remember being 135 pounds and I remember feeling fat then, but from the vantage point of around 180 plus (I hadn't weighed myself in ages and I didn't start weighing until several weeks into my journey) it sounded pretty darn good! When I hit that magic and randomly chosen number, my image of what I would look like and what my body really looked like where vastly different. I had exercised from day one. In fact, I've exercised all my life no matter what my size.

My new goal became a goal body, not necessarily a number. I wanted a fit, lean , muscular body. My perpetually thin mother was visiting me one day and saw a copy of Muscle and Fitness magazine in my workout room with a blond boob enhanced, ripped abs cover model leaning over a lean heavily muscled man. She laughed at me and said "you think you're going to look like that?" (Amazing how mothers can still get to us; I was 46.) I think that was the point when I realized that yes, that's what I wanted to look like minus the obvious boob implants. And hair dye comes in many colors I couldn't overcome basic genetics and the shape of my skeletal system, but with hard work, clean diet, and a totally different approach to eating and exercising, I could make my body what I wanted. I'd conveniently overlooked the skin and age issue, but 6 years after my mother's chuckled remark, I'm darn close to that body and have been for a while.

Like for Meg and Robin, maintenance is a roller coaster for me. I now carry loads of muscle and at around 124 pounds am lean. I wear a size 2 on the bottom and a 4-6 on the top due to a wide back and shoulders. I've been as low as 116 and sad to say I REALLY liked the way I looked then, but it was the result of a raging thyroid that I didn't realize was out of whack- I just thought I was crazy and doing a great job of dieting! It was completely unmaintainable once I was healthy again. I'm very comfortable at 122-124 but have to be really strict with food to stay there. Workouts are no problem- I love to lift and have come to terms with the necessity of seemingly endless cardio. Food is almost alway an issue- I'm a compulsive eater and there is no such thing as moderation for me.

So...back to your original question I picked a goal weight, but it was random. I chose a goal body and that only roughly corresponds to a scale weight. It's the goal body that I choose to maintain. I know as I age (haha, I'm old now!) this body will change. I see picture and read stories of much older women who continue to lift heavy or take it up at advanced years and they still look great and are healthy. If I remain healthy and free of major injury, I hope and will make every effort possible to do the same!

Mel
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Old 04-19-2008, 12:39 PM   #8
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I've been down to less than 125 twice now. Once the wrong way and once they right way and blew it.

Originally, I thought 130 would be good. At least beat the heck outta 16?.

Now ... now ... I'm getting into the habit of going to the gym, I'm anxious to see what 125 looks like. However, the ideal for me would be to get back into my closet full of size two's smoothly

After some trial and error ... that's what I've chosen
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Old 04-19-2008, 03:53 PM   #9
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I chose my goal weight of 154 because it was the first number into the "normal" BMI for my height and because it was a weight I had maintained for some time in my twenties (20+ years ago or so). I might as well have tossed a coin or something for all the reality it represented, but it worked as a motivating force well enough.

I reached this number almost 1 year ago and then just kept eating as I had been, as I had adjusted to the amounts, etc., and the compostion of my diet was structured by diabetes issues, so that did not change. I did pick up my exercise a lot as I continued to get stronger and I learned I really enjoyed going to the gym, learning new skills, etc. My weight continued to fall to where it is now, about 126-130, and I maintain it pretty easily here right at the moment. I think I could be as high as 140 and be happy, and I accept that might happen if I cannot keep up this level of exercise for whatever reason in the future, but if it's up to me I'll just keep on moving and I hope things will stay about the same. (I've bought so many new sizes of clothes and I like the ones I have now! I do think 140ish would be very healthy for me as well as 130.

I focus on meeting my nutritional goals and my exercise goals and let the rest take care of itself. I check the weight number only weekly to help myself keep honest with those things. I find that if I stay on my plan (and I am very disciplined, I feel that maintenance is a priority for me before most other things) I feel good, have plenty of energy, good mental outlook, and these give me the strength to keep in this new path!

So I would say my maintenance number is choosing me as a result of my choosing to behave in a certain manner. I can't say what will happen later on as I don't have that much history, but that is what seems to be happening.
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Old 04-19-2008, 09:53 PM   #10
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Default I chose then decided to go lower

I chose a weight of 190 to maintain. I'm 6' tall. I liked the idea of being under 200 and didn't want to be as close as 195--too close to maybe go over the 200 mark which would be mentally devastating for me I think. I hit 190 in October 2007. Then, I started thinking about Christmas, and I wanted a bit of play space, so I decided that by Christmas break, I wanted to be around 175. I hit that weight the day before I headed for Arizona for Christmas week. I had been 175 when I was in my mid 20's (20+ years ago), but I remembered having a hard time maintaining it. I don't know why I wanted to make myself go that low when I knew it was a problem to maintain it. Anyway, I have been between 175 and 185 over the past 5 months. I like best to be under 180--guess I'm kind of making that my red line. I do exercise daily and think that's why I'm able to stay the way I am. I eat in a healthy way though there have been some slips (chocolate cake, too much pumpkin pudding--my latest addiction), but when I start hitting about 183, I start to get a bit nuts about what the scale's doing (or what I'm doing). I initially chose 190, but I like 180 better. I think I can maintain it for life. I know I can go lower. My thighs would probably be a lot slimmer if I did go down to a lower number on the scale, but I don't think I can maintain below 175 and still enjoy eating the way I do. I have found that I can get slimmer--more toned--even if the number on the scale doesn't go lower. In the past 4 months, I've worked with a personal trainer to lose a size and have done that. I'm THRILLED absolutely thrilled that I'm a size 12. I never thought I'd be that size (I started out at a size 22 which was tight, so probably a size 24) in January 2007 when I decided to lose this weight. Sure, I'd like thinner thighs, but I think that's going to take weight loss that I'm not sure I can do. I continue to try to slim them down. Right now, they're muscular, but when I sit down, the flab shows that's out around the muscles still. UGH!
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Old 04-19-2008, 11:55 PM   #11
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Mine kind of picked me.

I dropped down at my lowest to about 110 pounds which was totally unsustainable and I only stayed there through barely eating (no more than 600 cals/day) and obsessively exercising.

I came back up to about 130 where I stayed for a little while longer but then I met my current boyfriend and gained up to 145pds - bah! boys!

Anyway...I got back on track and started weights again and lo and behold my weight dropped back down to what it is now - hovering between 135 and 140 and I'm the same size I was at 130...more muscle I suspect?

Long story short my body is definitely happy at this size/weight and my head space is definitely happy. I weigh a lot more than a lot of people I know this size (US 4/6 Aussie 8/10) and that used to freak me out but I have pretty much chucked the scales and am content that my clothes fit
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Old 04-20-2008, 10:54 AM   #12
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I picked my maintenance weight this morning. Or it picked me. Either way, evidently getting to 135, my original goal weight, is not in the cards for me at the moment. So, here I am, around 150.

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Old 04-20-2008, 11:14 AM   #13
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I chose 130 because this weight gets me out of the overweight catagory, and I think I might be able to maintain at this level. Of course, I'm not there yet, so we shall see....

I weighed 110 lbs naturally for many years, but I don't think I can get there now. I would rather have a little more weight and fewer wrinkles in my face.
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Old 04-21-2008, 07:44 PM   #14
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I set an "immediate goal," a "current goal," and an "ultimate goal" for myself.

At my thinnest point without the aid of eating disorders, I weighed 125 pounds. I was perceived as thin, slim, or slender by most people. However, my habits at that point were not as healthy as they should have been.

At my highest weight, I was somewhere between 175 and 180 pounds (at 5'6 1/2" and a medium frame). My "immediate goal" was just to get down to 155 so that I would no longer be classified as overweight according to the BMI chart. It also helped me to set goal dates, though I knew that if I did not reach the goal by the date, I would not get my panties in a bunch. I started my weight loss journey on May 31st and my immediate goal was to be no longer overweight by my birthday, August 18th. I met the goal on August 7th and felt VERY triumphant.

The "current goal" I had picked was 135. I realized that with healthy eating habits and extensive exercise, I would have more muscle mass than I did while previously thin. I also realized that 125 might be an impossible goal to reach and maintain. I didn't want to be skinny; fit and healthy was my aspiration.

Once I hit 135, I decided I had hit goal and I celebrated that fact by sharing my goal story and photos with everyone here. I was pretty happy with my body, though I knew I wasn't QUITE where I WANTED to be. I decided to GO for my "ultimate" secret goal of 125 pounds... OR six pack abs, whichever came first! 125 pounds came first and I am still working on the six pack, so now my goal is just to reduce my percent body fat. My maintenance zone is between 125-130. I guess you can say it was 50/50; I secretly wanted it, but I was not pressed about reaching it... it sort of just found me.
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Old 04-22-2008, 08:55 AM   #15
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It kind of picked me too. My initial goal was to lose 25 pounds -- to go from 150 to 125. When I got there, I wanted to give myself wiggle room, so I thought I'd keep going to 120. Then, I wanted to stay below 120 at all times, so thought I'd go for 115 to give me a 5 pound window. When I got there, I decided I wanted to stay below 115, so now my maintenance window is 110 to 115. It took me a year to work through that process.

I've always had 110 lbs in my head as my "ideal" weight according to the rule of thumb: 100 lbs plus 5 lbs for every inch over 5 feet tall. I feel good at this weight, I look good at this weight (IMO), and so far have been able to sustain it without extraordinary measures. I am happy at this weight range, and don't think that going lower is feasible or desirable (but I don't want to gain any back either!!). I have to stay vigilant on maintenance, but as long as I exercise regularly and keep my calories to 1400-1600 average (liveable), then I seem to be staying here, at least so far!
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