Skinny Daily Post

Invincible.

“I’m five pounds from goal.”
“I’m ten pounds over my goal.”
“I got to my goal, but then I gained some back.”
“I just can’t get to goal.”

Goalspeak. Goals. What are they? What are they good for? Who gets to decide what our goals should be?

I’ve just kicked my old goal to the curb. Juliekins of Throesofwhatever.net, a blogger with an attitude about getting to goal, made me do it. Well, that is, she made me realize I long ago achieved the only goal that really, really, really matters to me. My blood pressure is back under control, my resting heart rate is normal-low, diabetes has been stopped, I have energy and much better health than I’ve enjoyed for years. I’ve done what I need to do to push off some really nasty health issues.

But. I don’t fit into the size I covet, a goal of mine dictated by… culture? I’m not sure. I haven’t reached the BMI number that tells me I’m safe, a goal dictated by a chart on a wall. I don’t weigh what I did when I reached my lifetime goal in WeightWatchers when I was 23.

Have I failed?

Juliekins talks about the problem of the “last 10 lbs,” those incredibly hard pounds to lose, the pounds that, if you never lose them, may flatten your ego, but may not make much significant difference to your health.

If I lost a few more pounds, the size-of-my-dreams would fit. But to maintain it, I would have to eat less than I do now, and also work out more. Is it worth the tradeoff? I don’t think so. Will my health statistics improve? Not by much. And they are already really good. So I wouldn’t get enough improvement to make the difference worth the effort. What is a smaller size worth? For me, it’s not worth giving up the occasional ice cream cone. Not worth the grind. Not worth stepping up my workouts still more.

So I’m refocusing on my original goals, my own goals. They have to do with bloodwork and blood pressure, resting heart rate and wellbeing. And staying the size I am now so I don’t have to invest in yet another wardrobe.

Let’s remember that the body mass index, the diet program weight tables, the insurance charts, are all guidelines based on averages. You are not average. You are you. Your skeleton, your muscles mass, your heritage, your family, your life, your way of being in the world should all factor into your goal that you set for your self.

So, if you’ve struggled for months and months to lose that last five pounds, you might ask yourself if you really need to lose it and why?

If your goal is your health, body weight isn’t a very good measure of your goal when the issue is a few pounds.

If your goal is about beauty, about a size, think some more. Consider what you need beauty for. Exactly how beautiful do you need or want to be, and why? How beautiful do your friends think you already are? What does beauty mean to you? What does it get you? What is it good for? It’s probably naive to completely dismiss beauty as a reason to get fit. Few of us can ignore it in others much less ourselves. We may wish it didn’t matter, but millions of years of habit says it does matter. But it matters in different ways and in different degrees depending on your stage and station in life.

Understand this, though, beauty isn’t a size. Beauty can’t possibly be a number on a scale, because no one but you sees that. If beauty is the reason for our fitness efforts, then we owe it to ourselves to be specific about what we want, and be honest about why we want it, so that, at the very least, we know when we’ve arrived, and won’t spend a lifetime perpetually feeling we have never arrived because “thinner is better.”

Above all, let your goals be clear and be your own. And try to know when it’s time to change that goal to one that makes more sense for who you are now.

I will if you will.

Meet Juliekins at Throesofwhatever.net

7 thoughts on “What Goal?

  1. Dana says:

    This is a paste-on-the-wall-next-to-my-computer post, Juju. Thanks. Your words have been good to me this week — and have been challenging me to think, think, think, and write it all out.

  2. Chris says:

    THANK YOU… Sometimes it takes someone else to point out the obvious for it to sink in. I have been to my WW goal and now am over by about 7lbs, but have stayed there for about the last 4 months and have been HAPPY. I haven’t obsessed about what I wasn’t going to eat, I just followed what I learned, splurged alittle now and then and have felt bad for not being “at goal” Maybe I am truely at my goal now.

    You always seem to hit the spot!

  3. Jonathan says:

    The caveat I would add is that releasing a scale-oriented goal probably ought not to release us from having some other very SPECIFIC goal in mind. After all, people who are clinically obese can claim to be in good health if blood test and cardio fitness results are in the “normal” range.

    Seems to me like beauty is a perfectly acceptable goal. For example, when I weigh at my Lifetime goal, I have washboard abs and my trousers hang just so, in a comfortable way. Even five pounds over that and the abs are gone and the pants are straining at the waist.

    Do I think being trapped mentally by a specific number on the scale will help people? Not necessarily. Do I think that saying “ah, those ten pounds don’t matter to me as much as that next batch of cookies” will help with long term health? Hmmmmm.

  4. Mercury says:

    Definitely food for thought, so to speak. I’ve struggled two years with twenty pounds, and I never got quite to goal (I was within 3 lbs). The thing is, I know I am at a healthy, nice-looking weight. I’m a large frame 5’7, and I wear size 10 pants. All my friends are skinnier than me, though, which gets me right in the ego. I feel like I’ve made progress mentally and behaviorally – I used to struggle to maintain this weight, and now it’s my “sloppy” body. And I can accept that I look nice. But I’m still not ready to completely finally let go. I looked SO GREAT before! No, definitely quite ready.

  5. Mercury says:

    Oops, little Freudian slip there. I meant to say I WASN’T quite ready to let go!

  6. dietgirl says:

    you’re a legend juju… really truly. very well said!

  7. Kim says:

    Girl, I just found you through Callipygian… just checked out your before and after pictures… and I am BLOWN AWAY.

    Congratulations to you, you look sensational. Looking as good as you do, is MY goal!

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