Author: J. Taylor
Be careful of focusing on one absolute number on the scale to determine your weight loss success. You may be setting yourself up for heartbreak.
Before my weight loss surgery, my bariatric surgeon and I determined a good goal weight for me to work toward. It took us a little while to agree on a number. I’m 5’4”, and he advised that 150-170 pounds would be a do-able goal weight for me. I, on the other hand, had dreams of a Barbie Doll figure, and was sure that 120 pounds was the perfect number for me.
He wisely asked if I had ever maintained 120 pounds before (of course the answer was no). Then he asked what my normal weight was during my high school years; and indeed, the answer was 150 pounds (Mr. Smartypants!).
So there. My goal weight number was set. But, two years later, that number still dangles in front of me like a carrot on a stick. I have not reached my goal weight, and am further from it than I’d like to admit.
For most of last year, I struggled with the anger/frustration of “failure”. I don’t like to fail. In my frustration, I drifted away from exercise (as it was obviously the vicious enemy thwarting my victory). In truth, I knew stopping my exercise routine was precisely what I should NOT do; but, you’d be surprised what you can rationalize when you want to.
Although I had dutifully been faithful to my workouts, the weight just would not budge. I felt as if I were banging my head against a brick wall. And that NUMBER….that stupid, stupid weight goal number drove me mad as it mischievously eluded my grasp!
Eventually, I realized I was focusing on the wrong thing, and causing myself much more anguish than need be. So what if I didn’t meet the magical number 150? I was glossing over all the improvements I HAD made. I was 80 pounds lighter than I was before; my blood pressure was normal; Diabetes was no longer looming over me ready to pounce; I felt better; I looked better; I was all-around healthier!
I’ve come to believe that although it is good to have a goal to strive toward, if that goal is too narrow, it may actually become a hindrance to my success. When I become obsessed with the scale and that one specific number, I miss many victories along the path – victories that could’ve brought me encouragement.