Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Magic Number

When I started Weight Watchers last December I thought about what I would set as my goal. I thought back to eight years ago, the last time I was in WW. I thought about the weight I reached before I fell off the wagon. I thought about why I fell off the wagon (more on that in a separate post to come), and I thought about how I felt physically at the weight I reached before I fell.

I had lost 25lbs and I felt great. Back then I was about 170lbs at my fittest, maybe a bit lower but I can't remember for sure. For my height, the top of the BMI range is 164lbs but the thing is, I'm lazy. I don't want to have to work out every day of my life and deny myself the occasional small treat to maintain my weight. I am confident that this lifestyle change is for well, LIFE. Something has clicked in my brain and I know I can live like this forever, but not if I have to work like a maniac to make it happen. I'll be happy working out three times a week, and I want to make sure I set a reasonable goal that I will be able to maintain.

I've been sitting here for about 30 minutes writing and rewriting this paragraph, trying to decide whether or not to actually put my weight in print, but what the hell. Like my "fat clothes," that's a place I don't ever intend to go back to so what does it matter? A goal of 170lbs represents a 53lb weight loss. For those not good at math, I started WW on December 18, 2009 at 223lbs.

I currently weigh 182lbs - that's 41lbs lost so far. 12lbs to go to my goal. Thanks to my workouts, points tracking and the wonders of breastfeeding, I am losing weight pretty steadily. I gave myself until the end of August to reach it, leaving a month and a half to practice maintaining before I return to work in October. Given that timeline 12lbs does not seem daunting, which has me wondering if I should go for the brass ring - 18lbs to actually be within the BMI range for "normal." I've broken out of the "obese" range, and am now smack dab in the middle of "overweight." Could I actually one day reach what some Belgian mathematician in the 1800's considered "normal?" Does it matter?

I guess the answer is that it really doesn't matter. If I feel good at 170lbs, great. I even have a doctor's note stating that 170 is a reasonable goal in case I get an argument from my WW leader. If I feel I can go further, I will. Either way, it will be what's right for me.

How do you set the "right" weight loss goal for you? What's your magic number?


  1. I don't have a magic number, per say, I think I will know when I get there. Maybe that is where I am today and maybe it is less. In healing my relationship with food,I have learned that my body knows best and that all of my weight represented something more than food and now that I have worked through all of that, the weight is just falling away.

    I still have really hard times, heck, the last few days have challenged everything I know about myself and my food issues, I even caught myself hand first in the gluten free pita chips but, I caught myself and that is all that matters. So, I just honored where I was and allowed myself to just be with that. And to me, that is much more important than the number on the scale.

  2. I am a junk food junkie and straight out lazy...hate to exercise. This time around I am taking baby steps. Started doing Zumba classes and I love it. If I had the time and money I would do it every day. I am walking a little bit and trying to drink water which i never usually do. If I can get a handle on working out a few times and drinking water then I think the food diet will follow. congrats on your loss and keep up the good work. its not easy

  3. I commend your bravery in disclosing your number. I am yo-yo-ing the same 40 pounds constantly and it's getting pretty ridiculous. I'm trying now to make sustainable lifestyle changes instead of participating in whacko diets that only work temporarily. We shall see...

  4. Thanks for all your comments! Christie, I appreciate what you said about your body knowing best. That's how I feel, but WW requires an actual number so they know when you become a lifetime member. Go figure. I'll see how I feel!