That Elusive Goal Weight

Goal Weight. It’s such a loaded phrase. What is Goal Weight?

Well for two years, goal weight for me was 150 pounds. It was a reasonable number I thought I could achieve.

Focusing on a number for a long time changes your focus. It’s easy to get obsessed in that number. It’s also easy to put impossible expectations on yourself….which then lead to disappointment and frustration.

Something else that happens with “Goal Weight” mentality is that once you GET to Goal Weight….The Goal Changes.

The Goal Changes

I reached 150 pounds over 2 years ago and decided I could lose “just a few more.” That Just A Few More thinking never really stops. I got down to 143 pounds and thought…

“If only I can just make it to 140! A nice round number…”

Then the Goal Changes and 140 is now the goal. Yet, it’s been elusive and unattainable thus far. So my brain changed and suddenly I thought I was “not good enough” because I hadn’t reached that goal.


I’ve surpassed Goal Weight. 150 was my goal. I’m under that. That should be Good Enough.

Monday I posted about my less than stellar weigh-in. Here are the stats (2 pounds less today than Monday ironically):

October:                   November: CHANGE:

Weight: 145.2            Weight: 146.5 +1.3

Waist: 33.5                  Waist: 32           -1.5

Hips: 36                        Hips: 35.5          -.5

Thighs: 20                   Thighs: 18           -2

Biceps: 11.5                 Biceps: 11           -.5

I’m not disatisfied with the results this morning. This is my official November Weigh In. Even though the scale didn’t show a smaller number I see a change in the measurements. I noticed clothes being looser, skin being toner, muscles in my arms.

I need to work on changing my Goal Weight Mentality. Carbzilla mentioned that instead of a “Goal Weight” she has a range. I like that idea. A healthy range of acceptable weight. Fluctuation within the range is okay. It’s not the end of the world.

The key to weight loss maintance is: Don’t stop doing the things that helped you take the weight off in the first place. My intention was to never STOP what I was doing (healthy eating, exercise) once I reached goal weight. It’s not like I lost 100 pounds and then started eating a whole pizza by myself. I changed my lifestyle; I changed my whole life. This plan is here to stay.

The trick NOW is to figure out what maintenance mode will be. This is definitely uncharted territory. But like Carbzilla said, a healthy range is optimal. It’s about maintaining within that range, being less focused on the number, and striving to accomplish OTHER goals (besides weight loss).

QUESTION: Is your Goal Weight elusive? Has it changed? Are you in maintenance mode?

Author: Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and

20 thoughts on “That Elusive Goal Weight”

  1. I get this! My goal weight was 160, but suddenly now that’s too much, and I like the weigh-ins under 160 much more. But I promised myself I would maintain for a year. And really I don’t need to lose more weight. I’d like to get rid of the excess fat on my hips and thighs, but I really don’t need to be any thinner.

  2. My goal is to be what is considered healthy for my height, which would put me between 110 and 150lbs. I remember being 140lbs and being super-sexy 😉 so that’s where I feel I’d like to be, but I’m seven years older now, so who knows if that would even look nice?

    The key to maintenance? You are so right. This is why diets like Lighter Life and SlimFast baffle me. You either carry on drinking weird shakes *forever* or you return to the way of living that made you unhealthy in the first place!

  3. Preachin’ to the choir!! AMEN! When you are one weight, you just dream of one number. Then when you get there you’re like “Hey! That wasn’t so bad! I did it! I wonder if I can do more?” and you keep pushing and pushing and nothing ever seems good enough. That was the problem I had the first time I lost weight. I had a number in mind and when I realized it wasn’t MY healthy number/range I got enraged and quit and gained it all back. I totally agree with you for this journey! It’s not just about a number. As long as you’re in a healthy range that you can maintain, be happy with it, love yourself and work on other goals. 🙂 Easier said than done, I’m sure since I’m still 10 pounds from my goal weight range. However I’m finally telling myself this journey is not a race to be the skinniest or weigh the least. Someone will always be skinnier so finding a place to be happy with yourself is the actual Goal. Finding a place where I feel healthy and fit is the actual goal. It’s very hard not to keep being competitive and creating new goals to push ourselves since that’s what we’ve been doing for so long. But I know you will find weight training goals and fitness goals and stuff to replace the elusive weight goals. Just scratch those off your list 😉 And feel really really really proud you are part of the club of people who can actually scratch that goal off your list!

    hope my babblings make sense today..I’m still a little high from Spin 😛

  4. I try not to keep a number in mind. I’m not there yet, but focusing on numbers is just all around a very unhealthy practice for me. So I try to focus on eating normal portions of healthy food at each meal, limiting snacks, and getting exercise four to five days per week. If I’m doing those things, then my weight takes care of itself.

  5. I can totaaaaaally relate to this. Originally at 250 pounds I set my goal weight to 160, and now I’m just a few pounds over that and I KNOW I won’t be happy at 160, so now I’m thinking 150. I think the mental transition from wanting to lose weight to wanting the number to stay the same is rough for anyone who has taken a long time to take of the weight.

  6. when I first started at 233 I wanted to be 199. When I reached that, I then said ultimatley 150. I have reached that but been hanging aroudn 152 for awhile. I actually got down to 148 and now my goal is to be 145. ..I think! 🙂
    This weight loss thing is such a learning thing…I don’t know if my number should really matter. I should just be happy with what I look like and feel.

  7. Ah – goal weight. This is something I really struggle with. I have been maintaining for the last 2 years, even though my mindset is still in losing mode because of the magical number you were mentioning the other day.

    I think maybe my body is done. I have curves thanks to genetics and if I tried to diet those away, I don’t know as I would like what I would see.

    I kind of got stuck at 145. I was down to 140 (with 135 my magic number) at one point, but then added 5 pounds after a year of lifting (with no increase in pants size).

    With a maintenance mindset – it is really nebulous. I find that I need to make smaller concrete goals to keep me motivated, like doing certain training, or doing no-added sugar days, and things like that. It’s sort of playing games to keep my mind occupied LOL!

  8. Thanks for the link love!

    This is why I’m so grateful I don’t do Weight Watchers anymore, where I so easily fluctuated up and down and someone was telling me that was good or bad.

    I realized the other day that I’m just in a much more comfortable place about it b/c sooo many other things are going on with my life. I actually LOST weight over the weekend at a Food Festival!!! Now you know that’s gotta be a sign of good things.

  9. Haha! That sketch cracks me up! It reminds me of when I was in high school. I was actually REALLY skinny all during my childhood and started gaining weight around the time I graduated. People used to joke that if I turned sideways, they couldn’t see me and that they were afraid I’d slip through a crack in the floor. lol The other side of that, though, was people who suggested that I was anorexic. That part sucked a bit.

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