So I know it’s strange that this post is coming AFTER the plan, but I did think of my goals while making my plan. I’m revisiting my goals at the moment so it DOES all make sense…
Why lose weight? Why exercise? Why Diet?
For me it’s about health, appearance, and happiness. I want to;
- prevent pain in the present and future
- age well, keeping my independence and good quality of life for as long as possible
- I want to look good naked and feel sexy and attractive to myself as well as the opposite sex
- I want to have good eating and exercise habits because poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle make me feel sick, achy and moody.
I also have a few very specific goals such as;
- being able to wear a skirt without my thighs rubbing together (currently I have to wear bicycle shorts underneath)
- I want to be proud of showing my legs in public
- I want strong-looking upper arms instead of flabby ones
- a thinner chin
- a fit stomach
- smaller hips
- no extra rolls on the front or back
- Create a sustainable, healthy lifestyle
- Reach 143lbs (as long as I’m still a C-cup)
- Feel in control, not stressed by food, and able to deal with stress in ways other than eating
I’ve already had some musculoskeletal (MSK) issues that almost brought me to disability, and it’s really important to me to not have those issues again. I want to live a full, independent life unrestricted by poor health. I want to write and play piano and do whatever I want. So far exercise has helped with my MSK pain, especially stretching and yoga. I also have some IBS (inflammatory bowel syndrome) that would benefit from a proper diet without chemicals, preservatives, and whatever it is that is making my intestines mad at me that day. And, of course, all those miscellaneous aches and pains from working at a computer all day would be alleviated by some good exercise.
My mother and her mother have a lot of difficulty just walking, and I feel my mom’s way too young to have that problem (55). I want to always be able to walk. For my grandmother I’m sure this is due to her inactivity and poor eating habits. My mother works on her diet and exercises as much as she can, but she has arthritis in her foot and I think knee troubles as well. My parents and grandparents are showing me that it’s hard to get older; my grandfather told me it was the most challenging part of his life. It’s been difficult watching them age and lose the ability to do things that they once enjoyed. I want to start getting fit now so that I can avoid some problems that would happen later like decreased mobility and all the obesity-related illnesses like diabetes. Also, I’m sure I will always want to be fit and it’ll be easier to lose weight now than when I have arthritis and after all those hormonal changes set in.
The book that I’m basing my plan on, “The cognitive behavioral Workbook for Weight Management: A Step-by-Step Program” (or, the CBTWM) says that in order to improve your health and have less risk for obesity-related illnesses, it’s only necessary in most cases to lose 5-10% of your body weight. For me, my highest weight was 182.6lbs so in order to have health benefits I need to lose 9-18lbs or be at 173.47-164.34lbs. I’m already in this range! At my last weigh-in I was 169.6!
Losing weight would help me achieve some of my appearance goals: smaller hips, thighs, stomach, chin, and less extra fat front and back. But having real body satisfaction has more to do with how you feel about yourself than how you actually look. The CBTWM says that weight loss helps to improve body satisfaction if you lose 5-10% of your body weight, so I’m in this range already (between 173.47 and 155.21lbs)! And I DO feel more satisfied with my body although I feel there is still room for improvement. The CBTWM is careful to point out that after this amount of weight-loss, further weight-loss usually does not mean any further increase in body satisfaction. But with cognitive behavioral therapy you can achieve the same effect of better body image as with a 5-15% weight-loss. So, as well as losing weight I’m planning on doing the body image exercises included in the CBTWM.
Do I need any more reasons to lose weight? No, but there is one more issue for me to deal with: binge eating. Binge eating IS an eating disorder and I definitely suffer from it. I get cravings so bad I feel totally out of control. I eat until I feel sick and then eat some more. I use food to soothe emotional feelings like anger, sadness, and stress. I even overeat when I’m happy sometimes. I eat to deal with emotion. It sometimes helps in the short-term but has negative long-term effects like gaining weight and feeling sick, and feeling bad about being so out of control. In the stress of the moment it is incredibly difficult to say no and I actually need more reasons to help me stay away.
I’ve come up with these (with the help of this site: http://www.namedinc.org/stress.asp)
- Binge eating adds to stress which adds to binge-eating, creating a viscous cycle
- Stress depletes nutrients, causing cravings for high-carb, high-sugar foods
- It sucks to feel out of control
- A healthy eater can soothe with food occasionally without feeling guilty about it
So, basically, I have a lot of reasons to diet, exercise, and lose weight. So, I need to get going!
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