What's my goal?

Recently, when I posted about being "back on the wagon" diet and exercise wise, I meant it- and I'm doing well.  This week, I rode 6.6 miles on my bike Tuesday evening, took a Jazzercise class Wednesday, started the 30 day Shred Thursday, (and continued it yesterday) and all the while I've been doing my pushups and crunches for the 28 day challenge.  Eating wise, I've stuck to my Weight Watchers eating plan.

The big question that's currently plaguing my mind is: How do I know when I achieved my goal?

Seems like a simple question, but I'll explain why it isn't.

1. Yes, I want to lose weight, but I also want to build muscle- and I know in doing so, weight loss isn't always a good sign of success, as muscle weighs more than fat.

2. I'd like to go down a size or two in clothing, but the honest truth is, we'd still like to add to our family- and if that becomes a possibility, obviously my clothing size will increase, but I'd still like to remain/get in good shape.

So, I ask you, smart readers- how do I set a goal?  How do I know when I've reached it?


  1. Having lost about 70 pounds over the course of a year through diet and exercise, I can say that you're on the right track. Even though it is incredibly tempting to hop on the scale every day, changes in weight happen for lots of reasons - gain or loss of fat and lean tissue, water retention, bodily processes, etc. As you're already aware, it's how your clothes fit that really matter. Because I lifted weights while I changed my diet, I found my waist size shrinking even while at weights that seemed "high". Also, resist the temptation to under-eat - I plateaued for a month until I figured out I wasn't eating enough. I ate more, and suddenly started losing fat again.

    As far as pregnancy goes, if you do become pregnant, you can still eat in a healthy way and maintain a level of fitness. Your doctor could probably help you come up with a routine that is safe and effective.

    Good luck to you! It's all about creating new habits.

  2. To respond to your original question, setting goals in terms of target weight or clothing size can be tricky (and deceptive). In my case, I originally set weight/waist size goals based on what I thought was "realistic", and ended up surpassing them by quite a bit. You can get some idea of what a "healthy" weight is by using tools such as BMI, but BMI is not as accurate for people who carry more muscle than average, because it weighs more. Your doctor might be able to give you an idea of what a healthy range would be.

    Perhaps a better goal is simply to commit to a certain way of eating and exercising. If you stick with it, you will shed pounds and inches, become healthier and happier, and you won't run the risk of either setting too high or low of a goal.

  3. I like to take my measurements (waist, lower abs, hips, thighs, biceps, in addition to my heart rate) at the beginning of an exercise program, and then every 2-4 weeks during, to see my progress (trying to do it at the same time of day, wearing the same clothing etc). Since I know the scale can be an inaccurate judge of progress, I use the inches lost as more of a status report (although it's sure nice when there are inches lost AND the scale drops - since I don't have a way to accurately measure body fat, I have to just assume that if I'm exercising, meaning gaining muscle, and the scale is going down, in reality, the fat loss is greater, since muscle weighs more!). I have goals specific to the scale, and I have them for inches to lose (specific to each measurement area). I also have running goals (either time or distance). It's helped me to be doing a program, and to have someone (other than my husband) who knows I'm attempting it, so even if they're not keeping me accountable, I feel like they are. :)


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