Sunday, July 17, 2011

Turning Wishes into Goals

"Goals that are not written down are just wishes." ~ Anonymous 

I absolutely love this quote - especially as it applies to weight loss because I think it is safe to say that everyone who is on or has been on a weight loss mission, whether it be to lose 10 lbs or 100 lbs, has specific end goals they are/were looking to meet; goals that stretch way beyond simply shedding the pounds.

Personally, I've read countless articles about weight loss, many of which stress the importance of writing down goals before embarking on a weight loss journey. The physical writing down of these goals not only solidifies them as "real" accomplishments to strive for, but written goals also act as a visual compass to guide you to your end results. They keep you focused on the reasons you set out on this journey in the first place, and if you keep them close by (not stuffed in a drawer next to your secret candy bar stash), they can serve as an excellent reminder of why you should stay committed to your weight loss when the going gets tough.

I must admit for all the reading I have done on the subject, you'd think I would have hopped right on that goal-writing bandwagon. But alas, I have never been one to follow through on doing this. Perhaps this is partly the reason for my multiple failed attempts at losing weight. Maybe I didn't take it serious enough or give it enough worth to sit down and devote a chunk of time to thinking about what it is I REALLY want - beyond losing 100 lbs. Sure, I have listed things here an there in my previous blog about why I wanted to lose weight, but when I think about it they were sort of fly by the seat of my pants random thoughts - not serious contemplations about what tackling the most difficult thing in my life (and what's more, succeeding at it) would actually mean for me. Because I do know that when (notice I am saying WHEN, not IF) I do this, that life will undoubtedly change. The magnitude of these changes is what I do not know.

That's not to say I don't have goals - or are they just wishes? Whatever they are, I have plenty of them and I think about them - ALL OF THE TIME. But maybe they really are just wishes because I haven't written them down and I don't look at them everyday to remind me of why I truly want to lose weight. For example, when I stare into my closet full of clothes I love but cannot wear, I often think to myself, "I wish I could still wear these." I don't think, "My goal is to wear these again." I think that is a problem - I need to turn those wishes into goals. After all, there is no bottled up genie residing in my house that is going to one day pop out and grant me those what the hell am I wishing for anyway? I think it's time to give my goals the pen and ink they deserve. Although I am going to list them here, I will be writing them in Sharpie marker and hanging in a prominent place to remind myself of their significance.

So, I have given it some serious thought, and although I may come up with other goals as I travel though this process, here are the major players thus far:

My Goals for Wanting to Lose 100 Pounds
  • To be healthy for the first time in a long time. I want to live a long, happy life with my wonderful husband. We waited so long to find each other, I want to make sure we have as much time together as possible.
  • To avoid health related issues that have plagued both sides of my family tree.  I DO NOT want knee replacement surgery - ever! Nor do I want to have a stroke!
  • To not get winded walking up stairs (I never again want to feel the way I did during our zip line experience in St. Lucia on our honeymoon. I thought my legs were going to collapse under me and my lungs were going to explode as I was climbing the mountain. I enjoyed the zip lining but probably not as much as I would have had I not been this heavy.
  • To sit without wanting to cover my stomach with my hands.
  • To be able to kneel without excruciating knee pain when I do housework or outside yard work.
  • To be able to cross my legs (I don't think I have ever been able to do this, at 5'0" and forever overweight).
  • To fit in the clothes I REALLY want to wear - and they do not already reside in my closet. I cannot remember the last time I have shopped in a Missy clothing department - but I am pretty sure it was well before high school.
  • To wear sexy shoes again - I used to be the queen of heels. Lately, my flip flops, sneakers and "Mandals" (mannish sandals) are about the only things that don't kill my feet, and how sexy is that? I can tell you - Not very.
  • To make my boobs smaller - they are freaking out of control - I can sport cleavage in a turtleneck!
  • To simply feel comfortable in my own skin.
  • To be pain free.
  • To stop comparing myself to others.
  • To stop coveting other people's weight loss success.
  • To wear a bikini before I turn 42.
  • To feel like a wanton sex goddess!!!
  • To stop envying people that are thinner.
  • To not have to think about how my body looks when I sit down.
  • To wear calf-high boots that are not for "extra wide calves"
  • To be Carmen Miranda for Halloween - this requires a bikini top!!!
  • To have only ONE chin!
  • To eliminate swelling in my ankles and feet.
  • To be able to tuck in a shirt or not have to wear shirts that hang below my stomach, or are A-line.
  • To be able to run without feeling like I am dying 1000 deaths, or that I am going to blow out my knee.
  • To not be embarrassed when I see people that haven't seen me in a while.
  • To stop avoiding social situations where I MIGHT see people that haven't seen me in a while.
  • To prevent the arthritis in my knee from being exacerbated.
  • To make me feel confident as I interview next year for a teaching position (a new career path for me after completing my graduate degree in elementary ed in May 2012).
  • To make exercise feel less laborious and more glorious!
  • To have a better relationship with food.
  • To stop feeling like a failure at something I have repeatedly tried to succeed at, with no luck.
  • To have an "after" picture and be able to see how far I've come.
  • To say I did it!!!!
  • To feel "normal."
  • To inspire others.
So there they are - my weight loss GOALS - not just wishes - but milestones I will reach with each pounds that disappears.


  1. That's quite a list and a different approach to goals than I've seen before. Kudos to you for taking this step of putting it all down in writing.

  2. Amen to this list. I've written down many of the very same things. Especially meeting new people and/or people I haven't seen in a long time. Deathly embarrassing.