Wednesday, September 24, 2008


My friend Kristy asked me about a month or so ago to compile a list of reasons that it's great to lose weight and get healthy. I promised I haven't forgotten but have been too lazy to sit down and write something up. However as I am currently reaching a few new milestones I realized I should write this thought down to share with others.

One of my goals when I started lifting weights was to one day be asked to give someone a spot in the weight room. If you don't know what that means I'll try to explain it. When someone is lifting free weights and attempting to do a weight that they have not done before or a weight that they aren't sure they will be able to do safely and with good form they will often find a random guy or girl in the weight room and ask them to "give them a spot" or be their spotter. The spotter is there in case something goes wrong or if the person lifting can't get the weight back up and on the rack.

Naturally when you look around the weight room you're looking for someone who can handle the weight. After all it might mean your safety. In my 18 months I've been in the weight room I've never been asked to give someone a spot. It doesn't happen that often anyway but it was a goal of mine. Today was my day. No big deal, no big story just a guy that was lifting on the bench press walked past two other guys to ask me if I'd give him a spot. That was a milestone for me.

I'm also approaching a new milestone in that today I weighed 201 lbs. My next major weight milestone is to weigh 199.

So that's what this entry is about. Setting realistic goals for yourself when attempting to live a healthier life. Whether you're just in it to get in better shape or to complete a race or triathalon or if you have lots of weight to lose setting goals, milestones that you'll place in the sand is important. Afterall how will you assess your progress if you don't know how far you've gotten or where you're going to begin with.

When I weighed in at 340 on April 1, 2007 I knew my first milestone. It was to get under 300 lbs. I knew I wouldn't stop there but I didn't allow myself to set my final goal weight. At that point in time it wasn't about weight loss as a collective whole, it was about 40 pounds. It's probably not a coincidence that Weight Watchers sets a 10% goal for their customers. The initial goal is to lose 10% of their current body weight. They are not allowed to set a goal weight until that 10% is lost. I recommend you do the same.

The amazing part was I was in a hurry to lose that weight so I lost it quickly. Then when I hit that goal I realized how attainable 40 lbs was so I decided to set my next goal at 250, 50 more pounds.

But I didn't stop there. I started an exercise goal. I had started walking. Walking is great exercise but one thing is true about walking. It takes a long time. So as a goal I told myself I could start running my miles when I hit 275 lbs. That was a big deal for me. I wasn't really looking forward to running but was looking forward to finishing my miles faster.

When I started running I thought it would be fun to run a 5k. I started running at the end of August 2007 and set a goal to run the Toys for Tots 5k on Thanksgiving day. I wanted to finish it in under 30 minutes. My time was 28:43. I did it.

By the time all of these goals were accomplished I was getting close to my goal weight of 220. So as far as weight loss goes it was time to pursue that goal. But I had one other goal I wanted to accomplish. I wanted to be able to bench press my body weight. I was 235 when I benched pressed my body weight. Today I can't bench 235 and I was only able to do it for that one day, but I did it.

I was also able to add in some running time goals, some race goals, some strength goals, push up goals, all stuff I can work towards. That's the key, keep working, keep pressing, keep achieving. Success generates more success.

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