Making a Goal and Deciding to Do It

Last month, I made a decision to lose 94 pounds by my next birthday.  No special diets, no gimmicks, just healthy weight loss bringing me to a healthy weight goal.  Honestly, I thought it would be a hard decision to make, but it’s like my body has been waiting for me to do this.  I’m a month in and I’ve already lost 7 pounds.

That doesn’t mean that it is easy—it is hard work, but most of the time, it’s invigorating, it’s challenging (in a good way), and it’s so so worth it.

How I made the goal:

On January 30, I ran out of soda.  As I dumped out the last dregs of flat Dr. Pepper, I thought about when I could go to the store to get more.  I’d have to go soon, but I’d need to shower and get dressed…that’s when I realized that I was planning an entire trip to the store just so I could get soda.  There wasn’t anything else I needed, no other errands to run—I was living my life around how much soda was in the house.

Later that day, I became entrenched this blog; the woman who writes it was about my size when she started and lost 125 pounds! I sat down and did some math and realized that I could get down to a healthy weight in less than a year by portion control, no soda, and exercising.  After laying down a concrete plan and seeing the example of people who have done this before, I haven’t looked back.

I took some before pictures for comparison in the future.  I didn’t feel the need to pick the most unflattering picture of myself I could find.  In fact, I took these pictures when I felt rather pretty.  I’m not losing weight because I hate the way I look now; I’m losing it because I love myself enough to want to be healthy.

How I do it:

By sticking to my plan.  I haven’t had soda since that day, I’ve been tracking everything I eat, and I’ve been getting outside and walking every day.  I’ve been keeping it as simple as possible.  Like everything else in my life, I didn’t want some complicated program that I would never keep up with.  What I needed was something that fit my simple lifestyle.

Thankfully, the whole idea of eating healthily and exercising falls right in line with simplicity. Simple, whole foods and water are what is best for the body, and exercising, even as little as a short walk or jogging in place, are very beneficial.  I saw the story of a woman recently who lost over 300 pounds; she couldn’t move from her chair, let alone exercise, and she started simply by moving her arms and legs in a small pedaling machine.  She just had to start somewhere.

I started by: drinking a lot of water.  buying healthy foods and cooking at home as much as possible.  writing down everything I ate (counting calories when I could) in a small journal. getting on the wii fit every day.  walking nearly every day for as long as I was able.

Eventually, my goals will increase: I’d like to start running at some point. But for now, it is mostly about perseverance and forming good habits.

What I do when it’s hard:

And it is hard.  The first step toward not giving up is avoiding pushing myself to the breaking point.  I wanted this to be a slow, deliberate change; there are no quick fixes for lifelong problems, so if I’m making goals that are out of my reach, I take a step back and see if there is something more doable that still challenges me.

I also don’t deprive myself.  I limit what I eat, but if I’m craving chocolate, I eat some chocolate and I don’t feel guilty about it.  The point is not to overeat.  Eating junk food now and again won’t have much effect in the long run, but bingeing will.

I don’t give up, even for a little while.  The blog I mentioned earlier has a great post about the difference between motivation and determination (found here).  Even when I don’t feel particularly motivated, my determination is what keeps me going.  I have made a firm decision, and I’m going to do what it takes to get there.

How do you stick to your goals?

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6 thoughts on “Making a Goal and Deciding to Do It

  1. 94 pounds! And you’re down 7 already? Way to go- that is really inspiring! I love the simple and sustainable approach you are taking. It honors your body and your emotions as you take this day by day and week by week. Good luck! Can’t wait to read more.

  2. Yeah Jennie! I’m trying to be more healthy, too. I actually feel better emotionally and physically when I’ve eaten healthy and been active. This weekend I ate HORRIBLY and wasn’t active, and by Sunday night I was feeling crappy. THAT is my motivation — to FEEL good!
    That’s awesome that you’ve lost 7 pounds. Keep it up. I haven’t had soda since New Year’s Eve, and it’s so worth it. I hear that drinking one can of diet soda a day adds up to 15 pounds gained in a year. Wow!

  3. Good for you! I have been doing weigh watchers for the past 3 months and am down 18 lbs. I have60 more to go! Its awesome, and the only way to do it is to make it a lifestyle change! Go you, I am rooting for you!

  4. Jennie, You’ve got this. Way to go. I know from personal experience, that once it’s time to lose, it’s time, and your body and motivation with do the rest. Good luck! You’ll rock it.

  5. Pingback: Creating Memories Before My Children Even Get Here | The Color of Souls

  6. Hey this is awesome! I try to be healthy too, our body and spirits are so intertwined. When it comes to paying for healthier food, I tell myself that I have my body forever so it’s worth the investment. Throughout my life I view myself as a pretty healthy person, but I have always had a sweet tooth. I’ve tried lots of different things, from going on “off sugar” competitions with my sister. to one treat a day, to a treat a week. but those have always ended for me and i go back to eating sweets.

    Long story short, i started something new in October 2010. It’s worked amazingly well for me. I didn’t view it as a diet, but a lifestyle change. I decided that to have moderation in all things, i would only have two treats a month. My trick is to pick the treat out that i want BEFORE the month starts. If something came up during the month that I wanted, I would put it on the list for the next month. You can choose for yourself what moderation in your sugar intake means for you, since it is such a vague term. It may be once a day, once a week, whatever. But in order for the trick to apply you have to choose the treat the day before or the week before etc.

    An experience that really solidified how well this works happened while I was out for dinner with my family. Everyone was ordering this “amazing” lemon cake. the server was talking it up. everyone in my family who had previously had it was talking it up. I wanted that cake sooooo bad. I almost gave in. But i told myself, if you really want this cake as bad as you are saying you want it, then you can have it for your treat next month. By the next day, i realized i didn’t really want that as my treat for the next month, but that I had only wanted it impulsively. This really made me want to stick to my goal and lifestyle choice because it felt so much more healthy, not just physically, but emotionally.

    I love how you talked about, “Simple, whole foods and water are what is best for the body.” By making the change to eliminate added sugar in my diet i know i’m much more healthy. I eat a lot more fruit and veggies. I also love the challenge it presents in finding healthy foods that taste delicious! as you begin to explore different things to eat a whole new world opens up to you. your taste accumulates to the richness and pureness of whole healthy foods.
    I’m really excited for your goal because this is something that i love making a priority in my life. Best wishes. and if you ever want any ideas for what i eat when i need a treat let me know. there are also tons of blogs about this, that i’m sure you’d love reading.

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