At no time in my life have I been truly happy with my weight or fitness level. There have been times when I have been significantly overweight and times when I've been healthier. Usually I've just been too large for my liking.
About 15 years ago I decided to ask my doctor at the time about my weight loss. I was about 240 pounds where I've mostly hovered for the last 20 years. I asked him what I can do about it. I spent some time telling him me experiences that I had a really hard time ever getting below 220.
His response was simple and clear, "You might have to accept you are not going to get much smaller than that."
I won't mention his name so as not to make him feel bad if he ever reads this post.
That formulated my attitudes for the next 14.5 years. I became convinced that 220 was my number. I'd set goals for weight loss and, as I would approach that magical 220 number, I'd start to lose a bit of motivation. I'd slack off, fall into bad habits and gain that weight back. At one point, I was up to 265.
Years ago I saw an ad for the latest exercise fad product and one thing really stood out to me. One of the actors said, "I'm 40 years old and I'm in the best shape of my life."
That has stuck with me all these years. I turned 39 this year and decided that I want to be able to say that next year.
I decided that rather than setting a specific weight goal, I needed to set a goal of being healthily. My goal is measured in milestones not specific events. It's not measure in a specific weight on the scale. In all honesty, I don't know what my ideal weight is. I've never been there.
I am now the lightest I've been in 20 years. I have blown past my previous bests and finally see that I can't limit myself to what someone else says of me.
I'm already in the best shape of my life, without question. When I'm 40, I'll even be better.
Setting milestones instead of goals has made all the difference for me. Goals are too final. They imply an ending. They imply that you stop when you reach that goal. Hitting a milestone carries an expectation that there is something more to attain. It demands that more should be done.
Set milestones, not goals.
Oh, and a little about the picture above. I would wear the shirt of Idaho Athletic Club to my trainer's gym, Aventura Fitness. Jesse would always give me crap. I told him that when I was below 200 he could burn it. Letting him burn that shirt is a significant statement to Dr. Wall so many years ago. That statement is, "Be careful that you don't inadvertently sabotage the success of those that you should be encouraging to succeed."