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Going on a diet - to a certain point and no more

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Old 03-12-2014, 02:38 PM   #1
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Default Going on a diet - to a certain point and no more

My wife has finally decided to drop her weight after years of denying it. However, she's only wanting to get down to about 15-20 lbs. above where she would need to be (to be at her recommended height/weight) - because she's afraid that she won't be able to maintain at that weight.

Let's say that her ideal weight is 150, which is what she was in her 20s (she's 5'7" and average, not petite, build). She only plans to get to around 170 because, in essence, she can eat more calories at this weight than the other to maintain. I just don't understand this logic. She's already committed to being on a very restrictive diet for months on end, and she's doing great so far (22 lbs. gone). So she'll be content to still be overweight (admittedly not as much) when she hits her goal? She doesn't yet know that she won't be able to maintain 150-ish before she even gets there. It seems to me to be defeatist thinking - admitting failure before even starting. I guess there's some logic to it, but it almost seems like a fear of failure.
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Old 03-12-2014, 03:08 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by tricon7 View Post
My wife has finally decided to drop her weight after years of denying it. However, she's only wanting to get down to about 15-20 lbs. above where she would need to be (to be at her recommended height/weight) - because she's afraid that she won't be able to maintain at that weight.

Let's say that her ideal weight is 150, which is what she was in her 20s (she's 5'7" and average, not petite, build). She only plans to get to around 170 because, in essence, she can eat more calories at this weight than the other to maintain. I just don't understand this logic. She's already committed to being on a very restrictive diet for months on end, and she's doing great so far (22 lbs. gone). So she'll be content to still be overweight (admittedly not as much) when she hits her goal? She doesn't yet know that she won't be able to maintain 150-ish before she even gets there. It seems to me to be defeatist thinking - admitting failure before even starting. I guess there's some logic to it, but it almost seems like a fear of failure.
So let her! Instead of judging her and giving her unwanted advice, why not encourage her and if she asks for it, help her when she needs it?

Encourage some fun exercise you can do together. Help her plan healthy meals for the two of you to eat, try new recipes together, but never ever criticize her for how she plans to lose and how much.

Perhaps when she gets down to that weight, she might decide to try and get the last 20 off herself, or maybe just a few more pounds. If not, if she is comfortable at that weight and is healthy, let her be.
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Old 03-12-2014, 03:56 PM   #3
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I've not said a word to her about it, nor do I intend to. I understand how necessary encouragement is. I wasn't "judging" her; only making an evaluation. Judging implies condemnation, and I'm guilty of enough weight loss failures to not go there.
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:03 PM   #4
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How far away is her first goal? It's REALLY HARD to know where you want to end up when you've just started. I'm sure her goals will morph and change many many times as she progresses.
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:36 PM   #5
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I wouldn't worry about it. Cross that bridge when you come to it. There's no use borrowing troubles.
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:37 PM   #6
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How far away is her first goal? It's REALLY HARD to know where you want to end up when you've just started. I'm sure her goals will morph and change many many times as she progresses.
This.

I wouldn't worry about your wife's goal weight at all, tricon. When she gets closer to whatever weight you think a healthy weight for her would be, she may very well find that she's on a roll with the weight loss and is ready to go further. Or, she might find that it's hard enough to maintain at that level and is content with whatever improvements she has made to her health and well-being. There's no way for either her or you to know, at this stage.

I have always said - and I still do - that my goal weight is the weight I am when I find that going lower (and staying there) is more work than I am willing or able to do. I don't see any reason for choosing a goal weight any other way than that for myself. And it doesn't have to be a static number, because the amount of work I am willing and able to do at any given time can vary.
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:54 PM   #7
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First - She is likely going to change her mind at least a dozen times between now and goal. So don't worry about it

Second - What does it matter to you what her goal weight is?!?!?!?! While I'm sure you're coming from a totally supportive place and whatnot I just can't help but want to yell in your face to MIND YOUR OWN DAMN BUSINESS!
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:54 PM   #8
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Your wife's weight is nobody's business but her own and she reserves the right to her own logic. And by her own logic she has put up with a very restrictive diet and will only do so for X amount of time/results. Seems perfectly logical to me.
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:58 PM   #9
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How far away is her first goal? It's REALLY HARD to know where you want to end up when you've just started. I'm sure her goals will morph and change many many times as she progresses.

I completely agree. When i first started out (had 100 lbs to lose) i thought well, i'm giving this my all but i am not sure where i'll end up and it would be AWESOME just to lose a couple sizes, even getting some of the weight off would be great because truly i didn't know where i was going to end up at or how i was going to stay there, i only knew at the time what i knew and was going to be very happy with any weight coming off. I was as dedicated then as i am now and low and behold, i am as slim as i've ever been in my life. This is a journey.

Also.. i did it ALL WITHOUT ANY input from my husband other than him saying how proud he is of me and that i look great (at all stages). I would have been resentful of any other input than that and the more he stayed out of it, the better. Words of wisdom i hope you take and that you find something else to focus on.
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Old 03-12-2014, 05:43 PM   #10
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Yeah- I agree with everyone... setting weight loss goals is such a personal thing and we all go along this journey in different ways.

For me- it is good to have a big goal- and mini goals along the way. Other people need one, easy (in their mind) goal. Once they reach that, they can re-evaluate. I have read books where they suggested setting very modest goals primarily because most people never reach their "goal" (which they often set out of reach) and then feel like failures instead of celebrating their success!

But since it is all in the head, it really doesn't matter.

Even a 10% loss leads to improved health. Shrug.
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:07 PM   #11
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I've revised my goal weight. I'm 54 years old, I have spent a lifetime being overweight. My first goal was to lose the first 10% I've revised it to the next 10% goal a couple of times. I'm not sure how realistic it is for me to get to 140, I haven't weighed that since grade school but I can do 10 percent at a time. Just because your wife has decided on a number, doesn't really mean she is locked into that number. It may be the number she can do mentally at this time.
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:26 PM   #12
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I understand where you're coming from: It's a very logical and very male concern (and I don't mean that as a jab). You're thinking completely makes sense.

However: Everything above is true. She'll probably change her mind. She may look fabulous 20 pounds higher than ideal and stop there. She may, at this point not be emotionally ready to commit to anything lower.

Let her get there and decide where she wants to go. In the meantime, I can put you in touch with a few other males that don't understand feminine weight loss logic.
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:55 PM   #13
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My wife has finally decided to drop her weight after years of denying it. However, she's only wanting to get down to about 15-20 lbs. above where she would need to be (to be at her recommended height/weight) - because she's afraid that she won't be able to maintain at that weight.

Let's say that her ideal weight is 150, which is what she was in her 20s (she's 5'7" and average, not petite, build). She only plans to get to around 170 because, in essence, she can eat more calories at this weight than the other to maintain. I just don't understand this logic. She's already committed to being on a very restrictive diet for months on end, and she's doing great so far (22 lbs. gone). So she'll be content to still be overweight (admittedly not as much) when she hits her goal? She doesn't yet know that she won't be able to maintain 150-ish before she even gets there. It seems to me to be defeatist thinking - admitting failure before even starting. I guess there's some logic to it, but it almost seems like a fear of failure.
This is according to what you and certain BMI scales say she "should" be. She may be happy at 170 - and it is not up to you to decide what her ideal body weight should be. I feel great at 180 (being 5"8), and was told by many that I looked anorexic at a smaller size. It's up to the individual to decide. If she has voiced she decided that number out of fear, fine - but don't assume.

Personally, the fact you used a "smug" smilie when your wife finally stopped denying she needed to - shows me that your concern is not entirely from the right heart. You should be happy she wants to lose any at all and encourage her - not try to force her to your ideal. And from a woman's perspective, telling a woman she needs to lose weight does not encourage her- it does the opposite and tears down whatever confidence she has.
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:05 PM   #14
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She doesn't yet know that she won't be able to maintain 150-ish before she even gets there. It seems to me to be defeatist thinking - admitting failure before even starting. I guess there's some logic to it, but it almost seems like a fear of failure.
I think your wife has a very balanced attitude. She wants to be slimmer and healthier, but also wants to enjoy life. So she's looking to strike a balance between the joy of having a trim, healthy body and the joy of eating. She wants to ensure she has some latitude in her eating style. To me it seems very sane and not defeatist at all.

F.
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:00 AM   #15
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Agree with everyone here plus something else very important. BMI sucks basically. Makes no distinction between fat, muscle, and bone.

Many female and male athletes would be overweight or obese with BMI.

So yes cross that bridge when you get there but also remember how crude and misleading BMI is. Especially for active people.

Last edited by diamondgeog : 03-13-2014 at 10:16 AM.
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