Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Setting Realistic Goals

Three weeks ago I began the journey of weight loss... again. 3 years ago Daniel and I joined Spark People and loved it. I lost 20 pounds before getting pregnant with Nyla and then about 10 more before getting pregnant with Naomi. Daniel continued to eat well and exercise and has lost about 60 pounds in the last 3 years and kept it off. And now, we're back on it again.

I've struggled with my weight all through my 20's. I played basketball in high school but the second that was over I quit exercising and kept eating the same foods and the same portions. This, of course, was not a good combination and I quickly gained 15 pounds. Ever since then I've just gotten bigger and exercise has become less and less.

Getting married and having two kids has made me realize that I want to be around a long time for my family. I want to have energy all day to keep up with my girls and I want to show them how to live an active lifestyle and teach them portion control. I struggle with emotional eating as well and I want to show them that you can control this and it's possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It's not all about being super skinny to me, it's about living a healthy life and being around for people. Type 2 Diabetes runs in my family and that's the last thing I want too. I don't want to have to struggle with this all my life.

In the past when I've set goals for myself it's been too many and too much. For example, "lose 50 pounds in 30 weeks" has been one. While that's definitely doable that's not giving myself any room for error. I like sweets and pizza and that's not something I'm willing to give up. But, I know I can have all that in moderation. And I do. Another one is "exercise for 30 minutes 5 days a week." While this is a goal I may try and have in the future it's again not very realistic for me. I've set that goal SO many times and SO many times I'll work out 2 days a week (which is great) but beat myself up for not working out the other 3 days. What's the point in continuing to beat myself down about it? It's not helpful to my emotional eating or my self-respect. I've set too many unrealistic goals in the past, this time I wanted to set realistic ones.

My 3 realistic goals this time are:
1. COMPLETE the 'Couch to 5K" program. That's right, just finish it. It's 3 days a week building up to run a 5k. All I want to do is complete this program. I've set no mile times or anything, just finish it!

2. Track my food intake on Spark People 5 days a week. Seven days a week would obviously be better but sometimes the weekends get away from us so I'm not so good with the tracking.

3. Lose 1 pound a week. I know that's not much but I can still eat what I want, in moderation, and not beat myself up about not losing 2 or more pounds some week. Slower is better with weight loss anyways. I'm not looking for a quick fix. I'm looking for long-term weight loss and then maintenance after that. While I would love to lose a bunch of weight quick I just don't see that helping me long term. I've set a goal on Spark People to lose 10 pounds at a time so I don't get bogged down with the 80 that I really need to lose. Eighty pounds sounds so daunting but ten pounds isn't as scary. I've set my tracker to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks and then I'll adjust. If I happen to lose 10 pounds before the 10 weeks are up, I'll readjust and set it to lose another 10 pounds in 10 weeks. It seems so simple. And I wonder why I didn't get to the realistic goals sooner? But I'm not going to beat myself up about it. I'm going to keep trekking along and lose weight.

I'm thankful for an encouraging husband too. I told him I couldn't do it alone and since he's been wanting to lose a few more pounds and get more exercise he immediately jumped on board. I'm also thankful for my sister for getting up at 5:00 a.m. three days a week to train with me. I'm thankful she's my timekeeper and encourager when those hills get tough!

I am 80 pounds overweight with plantar fasciitis in both feet and a bad left knee. I'm pushing through the pain to accomplish my goals. And it's a daily struggle to keep my eating in check. God is constantly with me and I'm praying before each run and during each run. I know He's with me through all this. How many times have I left God out of my journey? Too many, but not this time. I need Him to accomplish my goals!

What are some realistic goals you could set for yourself? Have you set unrealistic goals in the past?

Note: Check out Spark People. It's free and easy to use. You can track you food, your fitness and your weight loss goals. You set your goals and they set your calorie intake for the day. You can join teams to constantly be encouraged and find people who struggle with what you struggle with. You can read encouraging blog posts and create your personal page to connect with people. The site also has tons of information on doing weight loss the right way and making it a lifestyle change and not a diet. It's such an encouraging site!

1 comment:

erin said...

Yay, Ginny! I'm so excited for you! You are approaching this in just the right way, and I know if you keep focused and stay realistic, you will get there. 80 pounds is daunting, but that's what I've lost (and I still have more to lose). It's possible, and you're doing such a smart thing by breaking it up.