Weight Loss Goals

- POSTED ON: Feb 19, 2016

Dreams and Goals are good things to have.  
Most accomplishments start out as just a dream existing in the mind.  However, Dreams and Goals need to be based on REALITY, which means they need to be based upon a sensible and practical idea of what can be achieved or expected.

While we can appreciate the Value of Dreaming about Future Goals, an emaciated Rhinoceros will never become a sleek and lean Unicorn. The Reality is that no amount of Diet or Exercise will ever turn a Morbidly Obese body into a Naturally Thin body. 

It’s not a one-size-fits-all world.  I’ve posted many articles here at DietHobby about the genetic differences of various body types.  I’ve also posted many articles about the differences between bodies of the “naturally thin” who have always been at or near a “normal” BMI weight; bodies of people who have spent a few years or so being at a BMI of “overweight” or “borderline obesity”; and bodies of people who have spent many years with a BMI of  “Morbid” or “Severe” obesity.   You can find all of these articles in DietHobby’s ARCHIVES.

People often have magical thinking about thinness.  It is common to become invested in The Fantasy of Being Thin.

The Fantasy of Being Thin is not just about becoming small enough to be perceived as more acceptable. It's Not about appearing indistinguishable from “naturally” thin people, while one wears clothing that flatter one’s body type, and which also serves to conceal existing body flaws such as loose, flabby, hanging skin, stretch marks, scars, wrinkles and cellulite etc. 

It’s a dream about one’s body morphing into that of a Goddess…, achieving the appearance of a supermodel, looking “fit”, lean with taunt, smooth skin, firm uplifted breasts, flat stomach, tiny waist, firm bouncy buttocks, slender thighs, and long lean legs.

It is often, also, about becoming an entirely different person …one with far more courage, confidence, and luck than the Fat You has. 

It’s not just, “When I’m thin, I’ll look good when I’m dressed well.”

It’s  “When I’m thin, I’ll look really good in a skimpy bathing suit.”….And that fantasy goes on to include changes in our personal characteristics ….  “When I’m thin, I will be the kind of person who struts down the beach in a bikini, making men weep.” …  “When I’m thin, I won’t be depressed anymore.”  .... “When I’m thin, I’ll start liking exercise.” ..... "When I’m thin, I’ll begin loving the outdoors.”  ...... “When I’m thin, I’ll be more extroverted and charismatic, and have more friends than I know what to do with.”

We must overcome The Fantasy of Being Thin in order to be able to do what it takes to successfully maintain a large weight-loss long-term. 
The biggest cost of dieting for weight-loss is not the financial cost.  It is the high emotional price of false hope.  Many people have been wearied and traumatized by having their hopes repeatedly raised and dashed by the False Claims made by the Diet Industry. 

I currently believe, and I think it is necessary to point out,….that once one’s obesity has become severe and long-term, no treatments currently exist that will dramatically influence the natural course of that morbidly obese body’s greatly increased set point. This means that, for such people, maintenance of weight-loss will always take a great deal of hard work.

I have also discovered that it takes a lot of Love for one’s own thinner body, along with a personal Acceptance of the …. what-some-would-consider-to-be-“flaws” ….. existing within that formerly-fat-body, to summon the sustained strength to continually follow-through with the changed eating behaviors which are required for long-term maintenance of a “reduced obese” body.  Even after 10+ years of maintaining a “normal” weight, my body continually fights to return back to its higher weight through via increased physical hunger, increased appetite, reduced basic metabolic rate and so forth. 
There will always be a vast physical difference between an emaciated Rhinoceros and a naturally sleek and lean Unicorn.  There are also many physical differences between human beings.  Realistic expectations can greatly help with achieving successful weight-loss and maintenance of that weight-loss.

I have a clear idea of my own personal weight-loss goals.  Like most people, I also have an image of how I want to look and feel at my Ideal Weight Goal, and I have an intense desire to BE there - not only Reach that Goal, but Stay there Forever.  Here is a picture showing my own personal ideal Weight Maintenance Range.

However, what I’ve learned is that Life involves Balance and Trade-offs which are based on what each of us “brings to the table” (genetically & otherwise), as well as what each of us values the most.  

There are many different definitions of what is individually “beautiful” and also of what is “healthy”, and ….for many people here on earth,….. a BMI number doesn’t define either beauty or health.  Not only do people define Beauty & Health differently, there are many differences in how highly various Food and Eating issues are valued within each individual life. 

Advertising, the media, and the Diet Industry tells us that “thin” is the most beautiful and healthiest body type. Most people who reach a weight at the bottom of their BMI range would be considered “thin”, and some might even consider those people to be the “healthiest” that they could be, because of their low weight.  However, there are others who define “Beauty” and “Health” differently, and THOSE people would prefer and choose different weight-goals.

For me, maintaining a large weight-loss involves striking a balance between how I want my body to look and to feel at a specific size; AND how little food I am prepared to eat indefinitely.

Personally, I place a high value of keeping my body somewhere inside my “normal” BMI range, and I am willing to eat very small amounts of food indefinitely to do so. 

However, …. if the only way I could maintain that body size was to eat only 5 bites of food twice a day for the rest of my life, would I be willing to do that??? ….If the only way I could maintain that body size was to entirely eliminate specific foods from my life … whether it be sweets, carbs - refined or otherwise, meat, dairy products like cheese or butter?????? 
..................… No!!!  …........

Neither of those things would be an acceptable trade-off for me.  It’s a matter of values. 
In order to be able to moderately eat those foods, I would choose to accept being a larger size.  
................How moderate? 
................How much larger? 
That’s where the individually balancing of values comes into play.

The video below demonstrates an ongoing problem with research (and popular thinking) on weight and health.

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Existing Comments:

On Feb 18, 2016 missusriverrat wrote:
I think this is a great article. I think you are so right and I appreciate this very much. I remember a magazine cover with Jessica Simpson on it. A fan said, "I wished I looked like that." Jessica replied,"I wish I looked like that!" Photoshopping just exaggerates the ideal even further. There are very few real unicorns !

On Feb 19, 2016 Kae wrote:
I enjoyed reading this post very much and I found myself agreeing with every point :) although I have a goal weight I truly don't know where I'll end up since deciding that there is a daily calorie amount that is just too low for me to sustain. If I don't reach my goal weight by eating that number of calories I think I'll chose to weigh (slightly) more than my goal weight vs constantly feeling hungry and depraved. What I consider to be low-calorie could very easily be too many calories for another person even if they were the same height age sex etc; it's what makes dieting such a personal journey. as you say what works for me won't necessarily work for you and vice versa :)

On Feb 20, 2016 AJ wrote:
Thank you for this post. I still can't believe the large amounts of food I used to eat when I was younger and able to stay at a normal weight. Being postmenopausal, short, and a lot less active, does make quite a difference in weight issues. I like the way you examine yourself, honestly, to see how much you are willing to sacrifice to stay in your normal range. I'm still debating.

On Feb 21, 2016 oolala53 wrote:
HI, Phyllis! I broke down and bought Eat Stop Eat (on big sale this month). I was gratified to see that Brad P. said that if keeping his body meant not being able to eat mint chocolate chip ice cream, he would go out and buy bigger pants. But he eats only half a cup at a time and the guy probably always looked pretty hot. In fact, he said in another blog that he never really disliked his body and doesn't fast and build muscle because he thinks he looks terrible if he doesn't do those things. I think that's a reason he can sound so chill about it, whereas some of the people he's associated with talk a lot about being "bloated" and implying shame about gains. Your blog also reminds me of another blogger, one in the "don't diet" camp who said when she tells consultees that they may not be able to be as thin as they would like permanently, she isn't saying it means they will never be happy, or really, in their minds, all the things you outlined above that people think they are going to be when they "lose the weight. " I've never gotten cosmetically thin, and I accept for now that I'm not willing to do what it would take to get there, but I also suspect from my own experience that it would not negate the rest of my troubles in life, so it would be a false idol. I would never want to go back to my old habits, but I would be very willing to regain weight if I thought it would net me some of the other things in life that I feel a lot less control over getting. But I know it won't.

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