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It’s good to have goals. Goals are important. As Captain Ron says, “They teach you that in rehab.” I actually believe that a large part of my success in weight loss has been from basic project management. One of the first steps of project management is to identify the goal of the project. For me, it was to lose an amount of weight. I had to declare a goal. I thought this was going to be easy, because it’s a pretty simple thing. It’s just a number of pounds that I want to lose. How hard can that be to figure out?

Declaring a final goal is where my quandary has come from. For about the last year, the people around me have regularly asked what my “final” goal is. I have learned to be vague. My current answer is that I want to get back to my original weight, “8 pounds 6 ounces”. The reason I need to be vague is because I am so damn sick of hearing, “You don’t want to lose too much”, or “you need to be careful you may be anorexic”. I am here to tell ya, I am a long way from anorexia.

If one more person says that I look too skinny, I am gonna punch them in the throat. I do look thinner that what I used to look like, but that is not difficult. I weighed 600 lbs for crying out loud. I recognize that I look better than I did, but I still do not look good. I want to make the jump from looking good to good looking. At the end of the day, it’s all about vanity. Yeah I know, health, long life, and quality of life are a nice byproduct of losing weight, but it’s really about my own personal vanity.

At first, I decided I was going to lose 300 pounds for my goal. My plan was to lose that and then “figure out” where I needed to end up. I tried not to look at the full 300 as my goal. I took it in smaller chunks. I looked at it as losing it in 50 pound steps. Somehow, in my military mind, it was easier to lose 50 pounds 6 times than to lose 300 once.

My original plan was to try to lose 100 pounds per year. This would give me a 3-year timetable. In the beginning, it seemed like 3 years was forever. I am very American in that I want results NOW. A friend pointed out that if it took me 40 years to get to my starting weight, it’s going to take some time to drop it. I found that very profound. I don’t think many people noticed that I had lost the first 150 pounds. Part of that was due to the fact I didn’t buy new clothing until I had lost that weight. I just looked like I was wearing my big brother’s hand me downs. I can distinctly remember having a conversation with a couple of friends of mine and telling them I had lost 140lbs. From their reaction, I don’t think they really believed me.

I then went out and purchased new clothing. That’s when people started to see the difference. Even now, when I move down a size in clothing, people seem to notice it. I had several people then stop me and ask me, “What changed?” I always smile and tell them, “I got a haircut”, then they look and say “Have you lost weight?” No, she is just a really good barber.

It’s kind of funny that even after almost 350 lbs lost, I still get asked if I am losing weight. Some of the defective detectives I work with are just now noticing. I guess it’s understandable since I am only losing about 4 ounces at a time. So, the change to someone that sees me every day is very hard to detect.

When I lost 300 lbs, it was a big deal to me. The problem I had was that I was no closer to figuring out where I needed to end up. I knew that I would need to lose more beyond the first 300 but didn’t know how much more.

Even though I don’t have a final destination, I am moving in the right direction. As long as this movement is positive, I think the rest will come.

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