One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

WEEKLY QUESTIONS

What is your ACTUAL goal?

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Question of the weekNot goal weight.. I already asked that. :~)

This week’s question is totally inspired by my trainer. After a fabulous workout this morning we had a little chat about my running, my physique and my goals. For so long my goal was to lose weight. To get thin. To be "the skinny girl". Now that I’m there and have been for quite awhile I’m STILL coming to terms with the fact that I’m not trying to lose weight anymore. It was such a large part of me for so long I almost don’t know how to live without it. I feel kind of like Brooks in Shawshank Redemption. Once he was released from prison after so many years he didn’t know how to live on "the outside."

Now don’t worry, I have no plans on hanging myself anytime soon but the feeling is similar. Change is always hard no matter what it is. And the longer you do or eat or live a certain way the harder it is to make that change. I think we all know this.

So his question floored me a bit. I had to stop myself from saying "to lose weight" and to really think about what my actual goals are. I do have my runs listed on my goals page but now that I’m thinking about it, they seem more like milestones then goals. Semantics? Maybe. I’m not sure.

All this made me think that maybe my actual weight loss may also have been just a step towards my actual goal. But what was/is that goal? That’s what I’ve been contemplating all day!

I’m not kidding.. these things eat at me… that’s why I write. :)

The more and more I think about it, my goal was to get healthier for the toddler. Well of course he wasn’t "the toddler" back then but you know what I mean. :~)

My goal was to be "the fun" mom. I didn’t want to let my body image get in the way of enjoying time with him. I wanted to frolic on the beach, play football, wrestle, dance and climb rock walls. How could I do that if I couldn’t even wear a pair of shorts on a hot day without worrying about how I looked? No, that wasn’t acceptable. I needed to get over it.

That was my REAL goal when I started this site and the journey I’m on. I may be manipulating words by using "milestone" and "goals" but I hope you understand what I’m trying to express. I’m not saying the weight loss wasn’t something I still wanted but I really think by having this new dimension to why I wanted it made a HUGE difference.

So take weight loss off the table. Think of it as a byproduct to your ACTUAL goal. That’s what I’m curious about. That’s what I want you to answer this week. So…. What IS your ACTUAL goal?




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I’d love to hear your story or thoughts on mine.

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Discussion

There are 42 comments so far.

    Sara

    March 18, 2009

    That’s such an interesting question…my first reaction is to just say my goal is to be healthier, to have a “normal” relationship with food, to be confident in my skin. However, a goal such as losing weight can be measured…you reach that goal when you lose the weight you want to lose. How do you measure those other goals? Are they specific enough? It makes me wonder if when I lost the weight before, and met that goal, did I gain a lot of it back because I hadn’t clarified where to go from there? How can I make those other goals more concrete? Very thought-provoking post…

    Elaine

    March 19, 2009

    My goal is to be an athlete. Specifically, I want to be a great long-distance runner and be fairly muscular. Unfortunately, being a muscular woman and a runner aren’t necessarily compatible, so I’m still working that one out :-) In any case, I want to be an athlete. I want people to have fitness questions or need motivation and think, “Oh, I’ll go to Elaine for help with that!”

    Michelle

    March 19, 2009

    My actual goal:
    1. To run a 1/2 marathon
    2. To fit back into my skinny jeans
    3. To enjoy the food I eat
    4. To not let food control my life.

    Michelle

    Jessica

    March 19, 2009

    I have thought on this very topic! I understand what you mean about goals and milestones- but for me weight loss is still a goal. Once I’m there, I hope to look at is as a milestone on my way to (drum roll) the pull-up. Yup.

    Kat

    March 19, 2009

    I’m in the same boat, my auto response is lose weight and be healthy. It makes sense though to think of it more as a milestone. Losing weight just gets to you to half of the “real” goal. If I think about it really my goal is be more confident in myself and happy. Losing weight is one step towards that direction.

    gottahavefaith

    March 19, 2009

    My goal was to have an uncomplicated, non-ambivalent relationship with food and my body. A secondary goal was to enjoy clothes shopping. Losing weight helped me with both of those things, but there were tons of things I could do to progress toward those goals before the weight was off.

    Xenia

    March 19, 2009

    Such a fantastic question. Not to mention you reference one of my favorite movies of all time.

    Like most of your readers, I’d say my main goal is to be healthier. I want to live as long as possible to be there to support my family. I also want to be an athlete and run a marathon in a certain time. To do that it is essential that I shed the extra fifty pounds hanging out on my body. And, like the commenters above, I want a healthier relationship with food and to become more confident.

    I realize with what I’ve just typed, I’m asking a lot, associating a lot with losing weight. “Food for thought” indeed. Thanks for the post, Roni. I’ll have to keep thinking about this.

    Nicole

    March 19, 2009

    For me it is to get unstuck. I have accomplished a lot in my life, but just got stuck at this weight. Its not healthy for me and it keeps me from doing stuff I want to do. So I guess my goal is to move forward in my life, not live in a bubble with deteriorating health because I like to eat and don’t like to exercise.

    It is amazing when you boil things down what you end up with. I am just not willing to live in this body just for the luxury of not watching what I eat and exercising.

    Gina from Diet Renegade

    March 19, 2009

    Wow Roni. At first I thought this was going to be an easy question, and then I started to think about it, and it really stumped me for a while!

    I know my answers seem a bit simple, but the truth is these are my actual goals…

    To feel ‘normal’ around food

    To be healthy

    To be proud of my body

    To be confident in my skin

    To fit into clothes I actually want to wear

    My goal has ALWAYS been to be around for my kids. My prior weight made that more difficult than easy! I couldn’t walk for long distances, my energy level was zero, etc.etc.etc.

    Now 2 years later, my goal is to be the example for my kids while enjoying life with them.

    Courtney

    March 19, 2009

    I think my goal is to be a healthy, active young adult. I want to be vibrant all day, not only at night when i’m out with my friends, I want to be able to go out on the weekends are do active things rather than passive things like sit in front of the TV all day.

    I also want to be a runner, I use to be an all year athlete in high school and I miss the competition. So I want to be a runner and get back into field hockey competitively…

    and I think mentally, I want to be happy…

    Mandi

    March 19, 2009

    My goal…hmmmm…that should not be a hard question, yet it is! Like you…my goal has always been to get to and stay at a certain weight. I have been there (give or take a few pounds) for several years now. I guess my goal would be to be happy with myself….to love me for the “me” that I am and not for the “me” I wish to, or think I should, be. That, I think, will take several, or many!, more years! That, to me, is much harder than the weight loss and maintenance. You think that after you lose the weight, you will automatically be happy….oh, what a double edged sword that is! lol But…I keep on pushing…maybe one day I will be there! :) Thanks, Roni…

    Rachel

    March 19, 2009

    My goal is to be the best version of myself without interference from the static caused by anxiety about my appearance and shame about unhealthy food-related behaviors (binging, hiding food, etc.).
    I think the ‘best version of myself’ is someone more outgoing, social, upbeat, energetic, accomplished and confident. The picture in my head that I have of that version of me is organized, pulled together in my appearance (clothes, hair, etc.), flowing through my workday and effortlessly connecting with old friends/making new ones. That version of me is also less inhibited, and someone who does a lot less of the hiding and distracting-to-myself behaviors (staying in watching tv or even studying, making up excuses that seem legit at the time for avoiding social activities…). Good question!

    Berni

    March 19, 2009

    Ahhh what a question. My goal is the same as those above. To have a real relationship with food and my body. I want to achieve this so I can contemplate having children without my ideas about my body getting in my way.

    So I can make a real, balanced decision rather than a knee jerk reaction because I am terrorized by the thought of gaining more weight. Thank you Roni, I feel more determined than ever now.

    Suzyn

    March 19, 2009

    Great question! And I too love that you referenced my favorite movie :-)
    My goal is to be at self acceptance and to have a healthy relationship with food. I want the mental peace that those two things will bring. Growing up, the message was always that I was not good enough because I wasn’t a carbon copy of my mother, I wasn’t perfect, and I have worked for years to accept myself as the perfect me, with all my imperfections. The weight is a symptom, not a cause of that lack of acceptance.

    Brandi

    March 19, 2009

    My REAL goal…the thing I strive for the most is that day when I wake up, pull on my jeans, look in the mirror and SMILE at myself in no shirt. Giggle at how wonderful I feel not because I’m skinny, but because I LOVE the body I’m staring at.

    I want so badly to just be COMFORTABLE in my skin. I know for me personally that really does involve some weight loss and a lot of acceptance. But for the most part I just want to be happy with ME. And I can not wait for that day to come. It could be tomorrow (if only…) or 2 weeks or 2 years from now. But when it gets here I’m never looking back!

    fitforfree

    March 19, 2009

    My goal is to enjoy life, and I have a lot of trouble enjoying life when I feel like I’ve overstuffed myself or deprived myself food or feel self-conscious in my clothes (or dancing/running/swimming/etc.!) Also, my goal is to have a peaceful, healthy relationship with food. Weight loss is definitely a byproduct of that goal. Great question :-)

    Tiger G

    March 19, 2009

    I guess my goal is to overcome my bad habits- Bad eating choices, being lazy and not taking care of my body, being inactive, taking care of everyone else/making myself the martyr… That’s what the weight represents. Every pound reminds me of a bad choice, usually very indulgent choices. I guess it’s werid that I never thought that me being selfish caused weight gain, I usually blame it on being so busy with everyone else, but it really is me being selfish and not doing the things I know I should be doing.

    Lola Fierce

    March 19, 2009

    My goal is very similar to yours….to be a good example to my kids, both by establishing that physical exercise is important and by showing them that eating correctly is crucial. I do not want them to grow up with a yo yo dieting mom, so it is crucial for me to get this right when they are little. I don’t want them to remember a time when mommy didn’t want to do xxx because she was too embarrassed, etc. Great question Roni.

    Anna M

    March 19, 2009

    I think goals change as we go on. My 1st goal, to not avoid mirrors or cringe when walking by a storefront window because I can’t look at my own refelection. To have all of the clothes in my closet fit and not have to keep rotating the same things over and over because they are the only things that do fit. As these goals are reached I can form new ones. I g uess we have to rach certain milestones to attain our goals.

    Anne Marie

    March 19, 2009

    My goal is to be comfortable in myself and the food I decide to eat. If I decide to have a cookie, I want to know that it won’t make me gain a million pounds at once. I want to have a more healthy relationship with food!

    Leslie

    March 19, 2009

    This is a great question. My actual goal is to just feel fabulous about me everyday.:)

    linda

    March 19, 2009

    I think my goal is the same as Rachel’s..simply to be “the best version of myself”. It used to be all about weight loss but now it is just a piece of the puzzle. My food and weight issues are symptoms but not the cause of “my issues”, so I know loosing weight wont necessarily fix them. The great thing about this mind shift is that it makes me more patient with my weight loss progress. It also gives me more space to enjoy the successes I experience along the journey…like being able to run 10 miles straight or let loose on the dance floor without giving it one thought whether or not I look fat. In the past I almost always thought “but I’m still fat” everytime I experienced any form of victory or joy in my life as if that fact made me unworthy of it.

    amy

    March 19, 2009

    my actual goal is to have more self-confidence- to finally be convinced that I look good, while also truly feeling good. also, to genuinely not care what other people think (that’s a big one!)

    Eleanor

    March 19, 2009

    My ‘ah ha’ moment, which is driving my overall goal, was the realization that I was following down the same path as my mom- never too heavy (always trying to lose ‘that last 10 lbs), but sedentary and poor diet. My mom died at the age of 68. Her mother died at the age of 63. My girls are one and three years old, and I want to be around A REALLY LONG TIME. And I want those years to full of energy. I feel in order to give myself the best chance of seeing my 70s and hopefully my 80s, is to live life the healthiest I can- that includes losing those darn pounds, but also exercising and eating well. A secondary goal is to show my girls through example how a woman can live a healthy, active life.

    Jim

    March 19, 2009

    I want to have complete control over my body. When I began losing weight and came to the realization that I could affect my weekly reading on the scale by the decisions I make (good and bad), it was empowering. All at once, my mind changed from being a victim of my obesity to being responsible for it. Now that I know I can control body weight, I want to expand towards other aspects of my life (physical and psychological). I plan to begin by better developing my balance, flexibility, strength, and coordination. I want to make to most of the body I was given.

    deanna

    March 19, 2009

    to be happy in my skin…

    Emily

    March 19, 2009

    1) To keep up with my son and husband when we’re out and about (when we were all on our scooters, my heart would race and I would feel like my lungs were going to pop, because I had next to know cardio-vascular fitness)
    2) To lower my cholesterol
    3) To feel STRONG
    4) To be at peace

    Rachel

    March 19, 2009

    Wow. What a question. I have some ideas – break my sugar addiction, run a 5k race in a good time, wear single digit sizes… but those aren’t really deep-seated goals and maybe I need to focus on these a little bit more. Thanks as always for a thought-provoking entry!

    Carol

    March 19, 2009

    My family doesn’t have the greatest track record when it comes to health. My mother died of lung cancer when she was 44 and I’m 42. She was not a smoker and loved to hike, but always carried a few extra pounds on her small frame. My father was heavy as a teenager, but has worked hard to keep the weight off by eating healthy, quitting smoking and running. However, he has high cholesterol and has to be on medication for it. My very overweight brother (age 48) has Type II Diabetes. My aunt has MS. All my grandparents died before I was 20 years old.

    I think subconsciously (and even sometimes consciously) I thought that I might not have a long life and why should I even try to be healthy. Two years ago at my heaviest weight of 251 pounds, I was having heart palpitations, severe headaches and dangerously high blood pressure, most likely brought on by uncontrolled Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. I also was on medication for hypothryroidism. My twins were 5 years old. It finally struck me that I could not continue to live like that. I might have some health odds stacked against me, but I have the ability to make the right choices and be as healthy and happy as I can for myself and my family. I joined WW for about the 10th time on Oct. 31, 2007 and for the first time my goal wasn’t just weight loss, rather it was becoming a healthy person who is expecting to be around for a long time to enjoy life.

    I’m about halfway to my weightloss “milestone”, but my goal of living more healthfully is in action everyday. Great question!

    Lauren

    March 19, 2009

    My ‘goal’ is probably going to sound silly and well, lacking. But the reason I wanted to lose weight, and the ‘goal’ I go back to when things feel hard, is that after my daughter was born, I didn’t want to be in ANY pictures with her. Really, I didn’t want to be in any pictures, period. I know that this is a self-esteem/body image issue, but I also know that when I’m at a healthy weight, I don’t mind being in pictures. And I think the pictures are just the ‘symbol’ for me for missing out on everything you mentioned Roni, basically my daughter’s life. I don’t want to sit on the sidelines and miss being active with her, or even just with her in situations where I don’t feel comfortable in my body. She’ll be two this spring…I’ve taken her swimming one time ever (thankfully she has a wonderful grandma who takes her all the time), and I can probably count on two hands the amount of pictures of me with her. My real goal is to be IN my daughter’s life, and to be in the pictures that record the memories!

    Jill

    March 19, 2009

    To look in the mirror and like what I see

    Donna

    March 19, 2009

    My goal is to be confident, outgoing, healthy and fit which in turn makes me “the person I want to be”. A better wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend.

    Keri

    March 19, 2009

    1. Eating: Only eat when hungry. Eat nourishing foods 90% of the time, enjoy junk 10% in moderation.
    2. Health: Have blood sugars, LDL, HDL, triglycerides, and cholesterol in the normal range.
    3. Exercise: Have the endurance to play. Do at least minimal physical activity daily (minimal-walk/jog 1 mile, average-walk/jog 2 miles, good-walk/jog 3 miles, outstanding-walk/jog 5 miles). Do weight training 3 times a week.
    4. Self esteem: Feel sexy, vibrant, and confident. Wear clothes I like. Feel okay naked with the lights on. :)
    5. Emotions: Handle emotions emotionally, not with food.

    Valerie

    March 19, 2009

    Great post Roni!
    I would like to be able to take the stairs without getting winded.
    I want to carry a full laundry basket or packed boxes easily.
    I want to take my children to swimming lessons without worrying that I look bad in a swimsuit.
    I want to wear the cute clothes instead of thinking about what will best camoflauge my problem areas.

    Kelly

    March 19, 2009

    Great question – I’ve been thinking about it all afternoon! I beleive I’ve set the mini goals (milestones) like Tiger and Lola, to ultimately overcome my bad habits (and to replace them with the good habits that I hope will become second nature) and to be a good example for my son. I keep thinking how fun it is that the milestone goals keep evolving… I never in a million years would have thought that I’d have running & exercise goals, those just came about recently after shedding 30 pounds. It’ll be fun to see what my “goals” will be in another 6 months or year… I do think those initial driving goals will remain the same. Thanks for the post!

    K

    March 19, 2009

    First of all, I came across your site last April and you were my inspiration to join WW! I love this question and I really had to think about it for a while. I’ve had so many goals over the years…and honestly many of them are pretty superficial. I’ve always wanted to wear a swim suit WITH OUT covering up my lower body…to feel beautiful…I always associated weight loss with happiness and success. Secretly I always wanted to “WOW” people with my weight loss…I use to think to myself…just wait until they see me!! However, as I’ve gone through my journey I find that it actually embarrasses me to have people say “You look so great…you’re so gorgeous…what is your secret…etc.” I believe this makes a full circle back to my initial insecurities: what was I before I lost the weight?” As I grow and progress my goals are starting to change…it’s about being the healthiest person I can be…my best version of me. At 25 I want to be in top shape before I start a family…I want to be a good example and instill healthy eating habits in my future children. I want to be motivation and an inspiration to others, especially my father. Honestly, sometimes I still think about the superficial aspects of weight loss…I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that skinny jeans will never work on my frame…but helping others, witnessing their success, their new found confidence and love for themselves is really my ultimate goal!

    Pubsgal

    March 19, 2009

    My actual goal? Improving my quality of life for as long as possible. I’m so grateful to have gotten out of my 13-year slump of feeling like physical change was futile. I just wish I’d known sooner that although difficult, it was possible and feels better than I could have imagined.

    Shannon

    March 20, 2009

    Very thought-provoking… Right now it’s just a weight loss goal. I need to think long-term but I don’t feel I am ready for that yet.

    Nancy

    March 20, 2009

    One word: M-A-I-N-T-A-I-N…….sounds easy….not so easy to keep the weight off……it’s a struggle every day! It’s really worth the struggle!

    Sarah

    March 21, 2009

    1. I don’t know if this counts, because it’s sort of weight dependent, BUT I would love a closet full of the same size close… not the “2007 summer diet close,” “2006 meet the husband close,” the “2009 changing life moment close,” the “whole six months, I decided to eat Oreo’s cloths” AKA…. all different sizes! I have from size 14 down to size 4!!! I envy those who can pull out close from a multitude of years and put them on… and it all fits!! It’s all part of their wardrobe! My husband has that ability… I just need to get down to my ideal weight and stay within the a size!! I can do it… it’s a different frame of mind this time! :)
    2. Feel great in my own skin, confidence is key!!!
    3. Incorporate better food choices in my cabinets for my husband and I and someday our children, too.
    4. Have a mid-section I don’t feel I need to hide with my purse, coat, scarf, etc.

    KK (Running Through Life)

    March 23, 2009

    My goal is to be healthy and fit, to feel comfortable in my own skin!