Battle Plan #1

Goals: short term, mid-term and end goals

What is it you are looking to obtain? Why do you want to lose weight? What is the incentive to change your lifestyle? These questions are at the heart of the metamorphosis that you are about to start or are currently going through. The answers need to be meaningful enough to you to make this change; otherwise you will be setting yourself up for failure.  And this failure could happen at the beginning phases of your change, in the middle or at the very end when your final goal is within reach because you didn’t set up the proper goals to start with.

How do you make goals?  Well first they have to be realistic and measurable. I will use myself as an example. I am 53 years old, have a heavy frame and started my journey at 306 pounds. Would it be realistic for me to say that I want a 21 year old’s body, have 6 pack abs and be the envy of the all the guys at the beach?  No.  For one thing I am not 21. I am twice that age, and although there are some amazing stories of 50 plus individuals that have maintained a body of a much younger individual, I am not one of them.  Plus I never was one to be blessed with the genes to have that type of body.  But here is a goal that is more realistic and true to what I am trying to accomplish and get across to you:

I want to reach a goal weight of 240 pounds.  Yes this is a lot of weight, however, I am stretching it over many months, and with an average and safe 1.5- 2 pounds lost per week, I can reach my goal over a 5-10 month period. Currently on I am on track to reach my goal in Aug/Sept of this year.  Just in time for my only son’s wedding.  That is the big picture goal…the end goal. 

Along with this big picture goal, one needs to look at the benefits beyond the goal. With weight loss there are many health benefits. There will be less stress on the body’s joints and a more efficient running human machine in all aspects.  There could be a possibility for decreasing the use of some or all medications, which results in less medical bills.

You should also write the end goal down and put it some place where you can see it on a daily basis—refrigerator, mirror in the bathroom, on your smart phone or in the calendar as a daily reminder.  Then note how much you currently weigh, and watch that gap widen as you lose the weight.  But to reach that end goal, there needs to be things to keep you motivated and focused along the way. We will need to set up smaller, mid-range goals.

The situation calls for the old adage:  How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.  This is not insinuating that anyone is as large as an elephant, but the problem could be so overwhelming that you don’t see how your end goal could be accomplished, and therefore you don’t even try.  The thought process here is that if you reach your smaller more frequent goals, the end goal will be achieved.

Again using myself as an example, for every 10 pounds that I lose, I reward myself with a massage.  So every 5-7 weeks I have been getting a massage. Yes a personal pleasure, but also a healthy choice and not a reward of food (like a whole pan pizza or night out with the boys drinking beer and eating fried foods).  Other examples could be: date night with your spouse, going to a movie (eat dinner before you go, and stay away from the popcorn), travel to a place you have never been before or stay home and schedule some individual time to do whatever you want; but make it rewarding enough so that you are looking forward to it and making efforts to make that goal.  One very important reward could be new clothes.  As you lose the weight, you won’t be fitting in the old clothes.  If you celebrate enough of the achieved small goals, the elephant in the room will soon be gone.  Then the only thing left is the new and improved you. Less weight, healthier, maybe fewer medications, lower blood pressure, better cholesterol control, stabilized blood sugars and more energy to do those things you used to enjoy but gave up. Your self-esteem might be higher, and you will become an all-around happier person that others will migrate to… and they’ll want to know how you did it!

You can do this.  Maybe you are already making it happen…  I hope so.

Next up is Battle Plan #2: Pictures, weigh ins and measurements.  Stay tuned!