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"I Don't Ever Want to Reach Goal."

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Old 03-31-2014, 01:16 PM   #1
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Unhappy "I Don't Ever Want to Reach Goal."

I'm basically paraphrasing here, but a lady recently told me that she never wants to reach her goal weight. Why? Because it's already hard enough trying to lose weight that she has no hope for ever even attempting to keep it off (for proper context, this is in the setting of a weekly weight-loss support group).

Now I'm not trying to judge, but hearing this has been a little perplexing and sad. And I'm not even sure why I'm posting about it, except that her words have been on my mind all week. I wish I had some words of encouragement for her, but we all have to figure out our own paths, right? Because anything positive/encouraging I do say to her is immediately dismissed, and when I share any methods that seem to be working for me that she could perhaps consider (after making sure to explain that everyone has different needs), she openly fantasizes about a magic pill (her latest infatuation is Sensa) and tells me I couldn't be more off (for example, I'm going to make myself sick by exercising and eating less). She also bitterly complains that I'm "skinny enough" already, regardless that I'm still technically obese and have a 44" waist!

I know I can't single-handedly "save the world," so I just keep going and do what's working for me while trying to stay encouraging for others. I do hope she'll eventually find something that works for her so she won't be afraid of succeeding. I guess we can be our own worst enemy? I remember being there. While I've been on a good roll recently, maybe I'm afraid of reverting back to that fear myself? Or maybe her negativity is more draining on me (and the others in the group) than I've realized?
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:41 PM   #2
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I think the idea of maintenance is terrifying. I've set myself up for success by choosing a weightloss path that only includes things I'm willing to do for the rest of my life. Even though I know im losing in a healthly way I still fear that I'll regain. I've never seriously attempted weightloss before (I just turned 21) i would imagine if you have experienced failed weightlossnattempts it's very difficult to be optimistic.

You cant change how she thinks about herself or weightloss, you can only be a good example. I have found that my weightloss has spurred my mother, boyfriend, and best friends to jump aboard. I would shift the focus from skinny to healthy. If she makes comments that you are skinny enough or exercise enough or eat too little I would not engage and reply with comments about healthy choices.

"I'm just trying to be healthy"
"I enjoy being active"
"Workouts are really satisfying for me"
"I feel better when I eat healthier"

It's hard to be supportive when friends are a little toxic to your goals. I have a friend who feels that I must hate my body to be putting effort into changing it. That's just not true, I love my body, my curves, and my stretch marka, but I'm making the change because I'm young and I want to be fit.

Best of luck with this situation. Even if it doesn't seem you are being super helpful, just having a friend who she can talk to does more than you probably realize.
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:48 PM   #3
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Interesting. I think I understand what she means though. For some people the process is what is important, and the result can be such a let down. Perhaps she realizes that maintainance is not easy and is trying to be realistic about it. Have you ever heard of brides getting depressed after the wedding? Because they've spent months or years preparing for a big day and when it's all over they feel like they have nothing to look forward to anymore. Weightloss is kind of like that because once you lose weight you realize that you still have the same old problems you did before PLUS you live in constant fear of regaining.

Since I've started doing IE something strange has happened to me. I find myself conducting my life as if I'm already in maintainance mode! I just accept myself as I am today and try to have a good day, whether it results in weight loss or not it doesn't matter. Of course it's possible to shape our future but our future happiness cannot grow out of today's misery. That's just setting ourselves up. You've got to be confident and self assured today if there's any hope for tomorrow!!
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:01 PM   #4
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I agree with Wannabe that perhaps the right way to look at it is what you are doing today with food (and exercise) is what you are comfortable with from now on at to a very large degree. The concept that this is it from here on takes away the fear of the goal and regaining. In the end you will quit losing weight and arrive and "be".
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:03 PM   #5
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Elladorine, wow I had a look at your progress photos and read a few of the posts and I am looking forward to reading more! You really inspire me. I can identify with a lot of the things you wrote and I am enjoying reading your journey. I may have some questions later, I hope you don't mind.

I have friends who take a Doctor prescribed prescription(s) and call it good,
they don't even bother to try to make lifestyle changes to improve their health so that maybe they won't need that prescription.

My weight loss is just beginning, I am still trying to learn all that I can, but I know there are others out there who just want that magic answer, they don't want to put in any effort. What we are doing is not easy, but it does have many rewards, it is too bad others can't see that and make the effort.

There is comfort in what we know, and fear in the unknown. I keep telling myself that even though I don't know what to expect, it has to be better than where I was.
I think for many there is fear in succeeding because then we have to learn how to maintain that success....which leads to more fear again. We need to think of it as a challenge and not a fear.

Have you heard this before: It is easier to pull someone down into the hole than to pull them up out of the hole......negativity....positivity......so from that I find I need to surround myself with as much positivity as I can.
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:10 PM   #6
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Wow I just went and read the new posts on here.
I really like that attitude, and I think it does help with the unknown factors of what happens when goals are met or of how to stay there.
I know for myself what I am doing now to lose weight and get healthy will need to stay a part of my life for the rest of my life. I may be able to add in some other foods but probably not on a daily basis. So this is it! This is my new lifestyle...and so far it is wonderful!

Our attitudes do make such a huge difference in how we perceive things.

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Old 03-31-2014, 03:04 PM   #7
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Her goals are her own. Where and when she chooses to call it good and maintain is her business.

My personal goal weight is much higher than my ideal weight for a lot of reasons. When and if I get to that weight I'll decide whether I'm happy there or want to continue. Maybe I'll maintain that weight for a while and then decide.

I actually think it's incredibly awesome when a person chooses a still-high goal, or decides they can't reach their ultimate goal (or a goal set by someone else) but decide not to give up just because they may never reach the promised land.

For a very long time, the attitude towards weight loss has been "if you can't reach your ideal, healthiest, most attractive weight, there's no use trying at all."

While I know it comes from good intentions, I wish people with loftier weight loss goals wouldn't so often assume that those of us with more modest goals are to be pitied or converted, or that we somehow doomed to failure or don't know what we're doing.

When I started my weight loss efforts "this time" I didn't expect to get under 350 lbs, let alone under 300. I'm up a little over 300 lbs again, and struggling to lose again.

Right now, I'm only focusing on getting under 300 lbs again, and looking no further. Once I get there, I'll decide where and how to go from there.

For me, weight loss is too difficult to look too far ahead on my intended path. In fact, just watching my own feet, one step at a time (and no one else's) is challenge enough.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaplods View Post
For a very long time, the attitude towards weight loss has been "if you can't reach your ideal, healthiest, most attractive weight, there's no use trying at all."

While I know it comes from good intentions, I wish people with loftier weight loss goals wouldn't so often assume that those of us with more modest goals are to be pitied or converted, or that we somehow doomed to failure or don't know what we're doing.
No it hasn't. I've never come across this attitude on anyone. Have you really?

Lofty goals? Who are you to judge someone's goals? I'll reitirate what you said: someone's goals are their own business. Nobody has criticized you for what you want to accomplish. I don't believe that the OP pities the person she is talking about because of her goals or lack there of - actually it sounds more like the OP feels that she is being put down for having goals, being too skinny, and is dismissed.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wannabeskinny View Post
No it hasn't. I've never come across this attitude on anyone. Have you really?

Lofty goals? Who are you to judge someone's goals? I'll reitirate what you said: someone's goals are their own business. Nobody has criticized you for what you want to accomplish. I don't believe that the OP pities the person she is talking about because of her goals or lack there of - actually it sounds more like the OP feels that she is being put down for having goals, being too skinny, and is dismissed.

To your first question, yes I most definitely have, even on this website occasionally, though it's far less common here, and thankfully it's becoming less and less common.l overall. Really, it's only been in the last fifteen years that the all-or-nothing mentality has begun to die out.

Actually, I am not judging anyone's goal, only the judgement of othets. I used the word "loftier," only as a descripter and differentiater between smaller-goal and larger goals. Call it what you will - "more ambitious," "larger goal..."

FYI, I actually have been criticized for my less-than ideal goals, even on this site a few times. More than once, been "pitied" or had my motives questioned.

I did not see anything in the OP that indicated she felt put down, only that she was trying not to judge (which doesn't mean she isn't) and that she felt sorry for this woman.

My only point is that there's no reason to judge or pity anyone.
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaplods View Post
I did not see anything in the OP that indicated she felt put down, only that she was trying not to judge (which doesn't mean she isn't) and that she felt sorry for this woman.
Have a closer look at what she said:

"I'm not even sure why I'm posting about it, except that her words have been on my mind all week. I wish I had some words of encouragement for her, but we all have to figure out our own paths, right? Because anything positive/encouraging I do say to her is immediately dismissed, and when I share any methods that seem to be working for me that she could perhaps consider (after making sure to explain that everyone has different needs), she openly fantasizes about a magic pill (her latest infatuation is Sensa) and tells me I couldn't be more off (for example, I'm going to make myself sick by exercising and eating less). She also bitterly complains that I'm "skinny enough" already, regardless that I'm still technically obese and have a 44" waist!
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:31 PM   #11
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I agree with grinchygirl that maintenance kind of scares me. I mean, I've maintained my current weight range for like two years now, but it wasn't on purpose. Purposefully maintaining? I'm really, really excited for it, but also feel like it's a bit daunting...
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:53 PM   #12
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This woman has a huge defense wall built up, and each brick is made of negativity and self doubt. I could have been this woman, the negative self talk sounds so familiar. BUT, she's trying. Just by being at the meeting, she's trying. The words she's saying are only to protect her from disappointment. Inside, I very much guarantee that she's desperate to make goal and maintain.

If you can approach your interactions from a place of understanding the fear, it might make it easier (I'm sure you had that fear, but the vibe I get from you & your posts tells me that you weren't as aggressive or as negative as I was and this woman sounds - I could be wrong though). Don't focus on beginnings or endings with her. Focus on the progress, and applaud what she manages to do, even if it's just showing up. Yes, she'll probably shoot it down, but she appreciates it more than she lets on.

And you can't save the world. You can just tug on the rope with everyone else. Most of the time you'll be tugging harder, but it's worth the pull.
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:23 PM   #13
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Maintenance is pretty easy but you need to adjust your mindset from one that involves cutting food and exercising to lose weight to eating different food and exercising forever.

I couldn't maintain cutting for the rest of my life. No way Jose.
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:24 PM   #14
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Oh, where do I even begin here? I do appreciate all the responses, I really do. And I'm not sure how well I conveyed the situation in my original post.

It's not that I'm judging this lady's goals as not being "lofty enough," it's more that she appears to be so overwhelmed that she's become venomous. That's what I feel bad for her about, that she's angry and seems to have lost hope, that she takes it out on people that are making progress. I'm not even saying she needs to reach her goal weight (whatever it might be) or that she must aspire to maintain it. The issue is that she continues to tear other people down out of her own frustrations and doesn't even seem to realize it.

These are the kinds of responses I get out of her when I host a program or speak of my own journey.
  • "Oh, you started running? Good for you, you're going to blow out your knees."
  • "How could you even like veggies? You shouldn't be eating spinach every day as that's unhealthy."
  • "You're skinny now, I don't know why you'd want to keep losing."
  • "Well aren't you already healthy at the weight you've reached? Do you want to look like a stick?"
  • "Your doctor wants you to weigh what?! You can't trust anything a doctor tells you."

I suspect that she was coming from a similar angle when talking about not wanting to reach her goals.

It would be easy for me to dismiss her, but I do care about what happens to her. I can relate to being there. I've known her for 5 years and she's maintained her weight in that time, which is about at my own highest. She has a lot of trouble getting around because of it, like I once did. I'm extraordinarily careful when I speak of my past to not describe myself as "gross" or "ugly" when I was at my highest weight (I don't believe I was anyway), just that I was extremely tired, overwhelmed, and sad that I couldn't accomplish the things that I wanted. So I made a plan and fought tooth and nail to set it into motion. I do want to help others, and I understand that journey is different for each of us. I realize that whatever made me click won't work for everyone; we all have to find what clicks for us (I certainly wouldn't wish a miscarriage on anyone in order to get them restarted, for example).

Reaching my goal weight is important to me, but it's not the end-all, be-all of existence. I do try to emphasize to everyone that it really is about feeling better, gaining confidence, becoming strong both physically and emotionally. And yeah, I'll definitely take looking better along with it; who wouldn't?

She once broke down crying in front of me upon finding out her weight for the week, and I hugged her and told her to keep trying. That's all we can do, right? I'm sure I was just as negative as her when I was younger, as I spent years seeing myself as a victim (which, looking back, got in the way for any potential success). I do my best to try to come from a place of understanding, and maybe I just needed to vent a little here and get some insight from others. And I thank you all for that.

Jane, you're probably right in that she appreciates it more than she lets one. I'll do my best to keep that in mind.
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:36 PM   #15
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You may be a sore spot for her. She may feel resentment that you were able to lose weight. That doesn't make her a bad person, it's just where she's at. And it's not personal. I would suggest that you try to stay away from her. She may not want you constantly reminding her that she CAN do it, you may very well make her uncomfortable. Don't worry about her so much, just do you. Be positive, offer encouragement if she asks you for it but generally avoid her.
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