t has been just about 7 months since my wife and I started on our journey to a healthier lifestyle. Though we started this together and have been working on this together every day for the past 7 months we had 2 quite different strategies, just because we are 2 different people. She started without stating exactly how much weight she hoped to lose, but was hopeful for losing weight and getting healthier. I on the other hand set a specific goal, but along the way I learned that a Goal is not the finish line.
When I started attending graduate school about 12 years I set a goal of completing my graduate degree by a certain date. While in graduate school I was talking to one of the Professors one day that many people have dreams, but until you put a date on a dream, it does not become a goal. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was creating a S.M.A.R.T. goal. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely).
When I started SparkPeople last September, my goal was to lose 30 pounds by January 1, 2012. That was 16 weeks and I felt though somewhat aggressive, it would be an achievable goal. If I were able to reach this goal, I would be almost 15 pounds lighter than I had been in many years, and at a weight that I believed I would be able to maintain without a lot of difficulty. Amazingly SparkPeople made achieving this goal amazingly easy and I not only achieved that initial goal within the time I anticipated, I achieve that goal 4 weeks early. Incredibly just after the Thanksgiving holidays when it typically is hard to maintain weight, let alone lose weight. Rather than just crossing what could have been the finish line, I reassessed where I was at and decided to continue.
I decided that since my wife was continuing to lose weight and had not set a specific target weight or goal date, I would adjust my goal to a healthy BMI. For me that meant losing another 15 pounds, taking me to a weight, I probably had not been at since being an undergraduate student, 30 years ago. Realizing that it would likely be harder to lose this weight, since I was heading toward a weight I have not been at in our married life, I thought it would be wise to plan on reaching that weight about 7 months from reaching my initial goal. I achieved a healthy BMI weight in just 3 more months, meaning I had lost 45 pounds in 6 months.
Though she has continued to lose a higher percentage of weight than I, my wife was still looking to lose more weight yet. I have decided a month after reaching a healthy BMI, I don't necessarily want to walk the tight rope of staying at the top of that weight range, but do want to continue to lose some weight so that I am within a manageable range of weight and can continue to stay within a healthy BMI.
At this point, I am very happy and excited that even though my weight was up a couple pounds this morning, I was still in that healthy BMI range. I am thinking I will work at losing another 3-4 pounds have have a comfortable 8-10 pound range that I hope to maintain my weight at.
I have decided at this point that I have not crossed the finish line. Some form of daily exercise has become so much a part of my daily routine, I am not sure what I would do without at least that 30 minutes of activity every day. Prior to beginning our healthier lifestyle journey, I was having some issues with my back and some nerves in my legs. I had assumed losing weight would help take care of this. So far it hasn't. I am going to continue working on strengthening my body to try and alleviate this concern and become healthier and more fit.
Rather than thinking I have crossed the finish line, I believe that we have just begun the journey to better and healthier livers. I plan on continuing to use SparkPeople to keep on track and assure myself that the journey will be a wonderful venture that does not have a finish line but is endless.