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Old 12-11-2007, 10:02 AM   #1
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Default Unsure about realistic goals.

I'm not in this for the first time. I"ve battled 10, 20, 30, now 40 pounds all through my adult life. I'm 46 years old in a month. Somewhere around turning 40 years old, it just fell part, probably due to depression and hormones, but the good news is, I'm now coming out of depression and ready to do something. I never took drugs, or programs. All that I do, I do because I am learning baby steps with my behavior. My biggest goal is to be a reasonable weight for my age , and to maintain it with healthy behavior. I do not want to lose weight by any method that I can't maintain for life. So, I have less instant gratification, but that's okay. I have been on 3fc for months now, still at the starting gate of the weightloss adventure. Oy.

I gauge my ideal weight on when I felt the best ever, which was about 10 years ago (35 years old), at about 125 pounds average, race fit, snug size 6 (I'm very muscular, a tad stout, even when my ribs show). I know that 125 pounds is likely not reasonable for me now, because I'm not only 10 years older, I'm just not so into riding as much as then , when I was in a bicycling club, and hanging out with a lot of serious cyclists. Now I'm a housewife, and I hike mostly, and life is a little less demanding on my body. (I do hike the back country every morning 30 -60 minutes, sometimes twice a day, with our young dog. )

The thing is, I really don't know how long it takes to realistically lose 40 pounds. I need best case scenario against worst case scenario and to average. 40 pounds.... a year? 6 months? Is it even healthy for me to be making long term goals when in fact, I struggle with goals and resent them. Perhaps one pound at a time is all I should do, but on the other hand, I think fantasizing about "Next Summer in shorts" (which I haven't worn for about 5 years) helps a little. It's when repeatedly, 'next summer' keeps showing up and I'm not at all able to wear shorts... over the years, it can be self destructive to forecast unrealistic goals.

I need advice from the people who have been doing this a long time, who aren't first timers, and can relate. Thank you....
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Old 12-11-2007, 10:18 AM   #2
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Well....

My doctor wants me to lose about 3 pounds a month. I'm 44 and have also upped my "realistic" weight from 130 to 140. I believe that I can maintain 140 at this point in my life. So she said take 6-8 months to lose the 20 pounds. So maybe 1 year would be a good average measure for 40.

I know when I was younger (33yo) , I lost 45 pounds in 9 months, but I don't think I could do it that fast now.
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Old 12-11-2007, 10:31 AM   #3
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In my case, I kept hoping that if I just changed a few things here and there, my weight would drop. I came to find out that, for me, it wasn't going to work that way. I really did need to have a structure so that my efforts weren't inconsistent.

Again, in my case that meant planning my foods and tracking my intake. Now wait, read on! It also meant getting serious about exercise--and what I mean is, I joined a gym. There, I found out that exercising 4-5 times a week is the minimum to support weight loss. OK, so that did away with my thoughts that 3 times a week was enough. That might work for maintenance, but not for loss.

If you are used to hiking every morning, then what you're doing is maintenance exercise for the amount you are eating. Sad, but true.

A reasonable rate of loss is 1-2 pounds per week. In 6 months, say, 26 weeks, you possibly could lose between 26 and 52 pounds, so it is possible. But, it means consistent effort. It took me 10 months to lose 30 pounds, but I am older than you are.

I'd suggest that if you want to find out what's really going on, you use a tool like FitDay and list what you eat and how much, every day for awhile. NOT to change it! Just to see what's what, as an experiment. From there, you may see some things to change.

Good luck!
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Last edited by JayEll : 12-11-2007 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 12-11-2007, 10:33 AM   #4
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First of all, wear shorts next summer regardless of what you weigh. By the end of the first day you'll have lost the "everybody's looking at me" feeling and be wondering why you suffered in pants all those summers. Really, that might be your best goal of all and it's very easily achievable.

If history has shown that you don't do well with mini-goals, then skip them. Worry about the next pound and when you lose that one, worry about the one after that. I think a lot of people do put a lot of unnecessary stress on themselves by worrying about what they may weigh months from now instead of concentrating on making better choices right now.

If you have to give yourself a number to work towards, make it something readily achievable. Reaching mini-goals consistantly can really give you a sense of momentum.

Good luck!
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Old 12-12-2007, 09:45 AM   #5
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I'm 40 and I've been up and down for years. The think what helped the most was finding something I could live with the rest of my life and taking it from there. Concern yourself with a program or lifestyle, or make something up that easy for you, that doesn't cut out your favorite things. Then go about your business of change.

The weight will come off and you will be in shorts again. However you have to focus on changes you can sustain for life. If you resent setting goals why set them? Work your program and let your body decide when they are ready for shorts. Otherwise you'll end up spinning your wheels again. It took me far to long to come to this conclusion.

You are already down 7 pounds, that's great! I personally believe you will be where you want to be by summer. Good luck
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:05 PM   #6
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I find that the often quoted "1-2 lbs per week" doesnt work for me unless I look at it as a DIET. It almost always requires far more restriction than I could live with for a lifetime. If I go for lifestyle change then I have to be comfortable with less. 0.5lb a week on average, maybe 1-2 lbs occasionally.

Personally I would not make a 40 lbs goal. I would focus on small goals and lifestyle changes. Make the goals about your behavior, not scale related. If you feel you need weight goals, focus on small goal 5-10 lbs max, give yourself the opportunity to succeed often!
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:22 PM   #7
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I am 65 and just under 5'2". I sort of arbitrarily chose 130 as a goal. For many, many years I weighed 110 naturally, but I just don't feel like I can get back there. I didn't start gaining weight until I was 40 or so and I have been on lots of diets. I was too thin as a child and young adult. Go figure. It sounds to me like I am smaller boned than you are. If my ribs show, I look like an anorexic.

This time, I started on 19jan2007. I have lost 38lbs in that amount of time. I have taken super baby steps in the exercise area, but I believe in it! I have not starved or suffered in any way. I started out by cutting out the really bad junk food. I ate lean cuisine and stuff I prepared myself. As I continued to read 3fc, I got interested in eating food with minimal additives.

I made up my own diet based on the principles of Barbara Rolls' Volumetrics book.

My eating/health goals are the same as yours. I would have liked to loose 40 lbs by one year, but I never set that as a goal, so if I don't, I don't. I believe that I can reach my ultimate goal of 50lbs lost by 19jan2009. By working at it in a "kinder, gentler way", I don't have to be obsessed with food, hunger etc. all the time. I can have a life, too. Also, I believe that two years should be long enough to establish some really good eating habits.
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Old 12-12-2007, 02:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimmieone View Post
The think what helped the most was finding something I could live with the rest of my life and taking it from there. Concern yourself with a program or lifestyle, or make something up that easy for you, that doesn't cut out your favorite things. Then go about your business of change.
Thanks Kim! I do believe this part to be true

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Originally Posted by kimmieone View Post
You are already down 7 pounds, that's great! I personally believe you will be where you want to be by summer. Good luck
Oh, see, the ticker doesn't tell the truth entirely. I lost 23 pounds from June to December of '06, and have spent most of 07 gaining back. I now am starting all over nearly.... ::sigh:: But thanks!
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Last edited by Hermit Girl : 12-12-2007 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 12-12-2007, 02:23 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ennay View Post
Personally I would not make a 40 lbs goal. I would focus on small goals and lifestyle changes. Make the goals about your behavior, not scale related. If you feel you need weight goals, focus on small goal 5-10 lbs max, give yourself the opportunity to succeed often!
I couldn't put it more perfectly myself! Thank you!!!
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Old 12-12-2007, 02:29 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by gailr42 View Post
I am 65 and just under 5'2". I sort of arbitrarily chose 130 as a goal. For many, many years I weighed 110 naturally, but I just don't feel like I can get back there. I didn't start gaining weight until I was 40 or so and I have been on lots of diets. I was too thin as a child and young adult. Go figure. It sounds to me like I am smaller boned than you are. If my ribs show, I look like an anorexic..
Heh, heh... that's funny, how 'big boned' is the expression. I have tiny bones actually, but am very hefty in the muscle department, especially butt & thighs. If I were to be really thin, that would be around 120. 130 gives me lots of room to feel bolstered.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gailr42 View Post
My eating/health goals are the same as yours. I would have liked to loose 40 lbs by one year, but I never set that as a goal, so if I don't, I don't. I believe that I can reach my ultimate goal of 50lbs lost by 19jan2009. By working at it in a "kinder, gentler way", I don't have to be obsessed with food, hunger etc. all the time. I can have a life, too. Also, I believe that two years should be long enough to establish some really good eating habits.
I agree! Thank you!
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My goal weight is now the weight that puts my BMI out of 'obese' range , into just overweight, and I'm fine with that.

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Old 12-12-2007, 04:22 PM   #11
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When I said "big boned", I knew that wasn't exactly what I meant. I am a fat ectomorph.
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:05 PM   #12
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When I said "big boned", I knew that wasn't exactly what I meant. I am a fat ectomorph.
heh, heh... and I'm a 5'2" "hobbit mesomorph"
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:47 PM   #13
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Hermit
Right off the bat we have a couple things in common I turned 46 in November and I am not very tall lol, I am also a house wife. My children are now 20 and 17 so they don't take a whole lot of my energy.

The idea weight only exists on the charts at the docs office lol. What you feel comfortable with is the ideal weight for you. 40lbs 40 weeks is a good goal, 40lbs in 4 years is a good goal too. Making changes that last a life time is more important than how fast the weight is lost. I know, everyone wants to take it off fast. Wish I could but about 1lb a weeks is all I am losing, oh well that is how it goes.

I never had to lose weight before, lots of illness and meds put going on 80lbs on me. I have been doing this for 29 weeks now. It is easy, don't make it so hard on yourself. Lower portion sizes, watch what you take in. I happen to use fit day. I can see at a glance what I still need to eat to get the required amounts of the four basic food groups in and how many calories, fat and carbs I have taken in. I happen to follow the " Rennie " plan which has some basic amounts ( very basic ) of calories, fats and carbs. I don't do without a thing, just watch what I eat. I even have my mountain dew time at least once a week and always have enough left to have a snack everyday if I want one. There is no going back to the way I was before because I don't do without a thing. I know if I have something I really want today for a snack I have to wait until tomorrow to have something else I really want as a snack or I might have to wait a few days depending on what the snack was. I also do a 1 mile walking/aerobic video each day somewhere between 20 to 30 min and a couple of times a week do an upper body work out with 1lb weights only takes about 20 min. Seems to be working for me. Of course as my lungs get stronger I will add or replace videos in my exercise routine. Exercise is good for the body.

I am not saying this is what you should do but it is a food style plan I can live with. I never thought I would worry about calories and such but fit day makes it so easy.
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:18 PM   #14
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heh, heh... and I'm a 5'2" "hobbit mesomorph"
I think you are talking about me I'm half an inch taller with a huge rib cage that sits right on my hip bones.

I started out about 10 pounds heavier than you and changed my life completely in the summer before I turned 46. Completely. Initially, I followed the SugarBusters diet plan, which is very similar to South Beach, but really emphasized whole foods and stayed "aware" of calories and fat even though that is supposedly not necessary as written. I really had no goal weight in mind until I joined this site and everybody was posting their goal weights. I just wanted to feel and look better. I was deathly afraid of diabetes and just somehow knew that I was getting dangerously close to a point of no return health-wise. Like you, I walked and hiked every day, and also played tennis 2-3 times a week. So for me, that was a maintenance level of exercise.

My goal was truly to get through each day eating right for me, and doing a daily weight/cardio circuit workout in addition to my walking. I didn't have weekly or monthly poundage goals, my goals were behavioral. And much to my amazement, for the first time in my life, I did it! I lost about 50 pounds by Thanksgiving, and I remember that I started July 22. So that's about 12.5 pounds per month on average. It was much faster in the first few weeks and slowed down considerably as I edged towards 135. I honestly never thought I'd see that number again in my life. 135 was the number that I pulled out of the hat for a goal, and I stopped losing because I started having lots of "cheat" days, not because I felt that my body was a finished product

Once I'd hit my self-proclaimed goal weight, I realized it really wasn't about a scale weight, but my body composition. I started seriously lifting weights and doing separate intense cardio sessions. Even without losing any more pounds on the scale, the difference in my body over the first 3 months was incredible. I went form a loose size 8 to a loose size 4.

Over the next five years, I really haven't changed much. I still eat the way I lost- lots of vegetables, lean protein, some complex carbohydrates and some fruit. A splurge meal here and there...but infrequently. I never eat wheat based products because of an allergy so that cuts out a whole range of other people's temptations, but I'm a peanut butter and apple addict to make up for it! I still lift 4-5 times per week and do cardio 5 times per week. My dog died and I couldn't bear to walk without her, so I gave that up. 15 more pounds slowly left, and I maintain between 120-125. I feel good, I love pulling clothes off a rack and having choices, and I love being strong!

I think for a lot of women, mid-forties is a perfect time to get serious about weight loss and fitness. For most of us, our kids no longer require quite so much hands-on attention. We are old enough to hopefully not fear peer pressure to bring the biggest, chocolaty-est, gooey-ist dessert to the party. My friends are now quite used to me bringing a platter of shrimp and cut vegetables with hummus. And that's the food that disappears first!

My best advice, as someone who has been there, is concentrate on behavior changes. Don't worry about what your goal weight is or how many pounds you plan to lose each week. Take it one day at a time. The days are going to pass, whether you are making good or poor decisions, actively pursuing your goals, or just watching the time pass.

Go for it! Don't over-analyze

Mel
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