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Monday, September 13, 2010

Tip: Celebrate Mini Goals and Milestones

Note: The photo on the far right was taken when my sister Go (in photo) and friend Vicki gave me a birthday party in September 2009. The photo of me alone was taken a few days ago, September 2010, wearing the same shirt. I had gained even more weight between my birthday last year and July of this year, when I began my food plan, but still you can see that the shirt hangs looser in the front now, and my face looks thinner, as do my arms. One day at a time, folks.

Yes, we need to set our ultimate goal, but for me, if that goal looks unobtainable or too distant in the future, I lose faith that I can reach it. I want to reach 150 pounds, but I have a long way to go, which is why I set interim goals, as well. Every week my goal is to lose one pound. As I lose more weight and have less to lose, that weekly one-pound goal may not be attainable, so I may revise my weekly goal as my weight drops. In the meantime, though, having that weekly goal gives me something to achieve, because success breeds success.

I also set longer interim goals. For example, my longer interim goal at this time is to reach 200 or less by New Year’s Eve. So far it looks as if I’ll make that goal, and I find the prospect exciting. New Year’s Eve: what a perfect time to celebrate having lost forty-five pounds! I keep visualizing it, seeing me step on the scale and seeing it read 199 or 200. It feels good, even when I simply visualize it, and December 31 doesn’t seem terribly far away, whereas realistically, I probably won’t reach my overall goal for two years or more.

In the meantime, I celebrate reaching my mini goals as well as when I hit milestones, even if my celebration means that I just to raise a fist in the air and say out loud, “Yay me!” Today is a “Yay me!” day. When I stepped on the scale I had lost four pounds since last week, three more than my goal for the week. I hit the number 215 on the scale, which means I’ve lost thirty pounds. Milestone! Yay me!

My sister has joined me in my food plan, and she mentioned the other day that it gets easier and easier, and that she no longer feels hungry, the way she did in the beginning. Of course we get hungry at mealtimes, but we’re eating tasty, healthy, normal food, and yet we’re still watching our tummies and tushes grow smaller. What a great reward for taking care of our health!

What amazes me is that I have no cravings at all for the things I used to eat that were not the most healthy choices, popcorn, chips, desserts, candy bars, and ice cream. I know that I can eat any of that in moderation if I want, but my desire to lose weight and have long-term good health has grown stronger than my desire for temporary oral gratification. I’ve been eating consciously since mid July, and it’s become an easy, healthy habit for me.

Today the weather turned a little cooler, and I reached into my drawer to find something more substantial than the tank tops I’ve been wearing all summer. I pulled out a T-shirt I haven’t worn in years, because it was too tight. I hadn’t donated it to charity because I loved it so much, a purple shirt with bright splashes of pink and the slogan “Bring the arts to life!” Without a thought, I put it on, and it fits fine. Another milestone. Yay me!

Here are my statistics for today.

Starting weight: 245
Goal weight for this week: 218
Actual weight this week: 215
Goal weight for next week: 214
Total weight lost: 30
Overall goal weight: 150

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