Aiming for the Goal Post

It all started with this comment last month from Michele:

“As I read that post above, I got to wondering more about you (I am naturally curious). So, I went through some of your old blog posts (see someone reads them) looking for something that might hint (for me) at what your overall goals are for yourself toward better health, not just the Hot 100 challenge. I can not find anything. I may have missed it. I did learn that it is almost your one year anniversary of this blog. I know you are a self proclaimed recovering yo-yo dieter. But what are your goals for regaining or achieving a healthy life style including weight you would like to shed? Just wondering.”

I gave her a brief response and promised I would explain more someday.  That began this attempt to do justice to topic that I had been thinking a lot about and was not sure I could make sense of for myself, let alone explain to someone else.  What were my goals for a healthy lifestyle?  I do have them, sort of, floating around in a vague, unscripted way inside my head.  There are things I want, things I am working on and working towards.  Do I consider them goals though?  I’m not sure that is the term I’d use, but that is probably how others would classify them.

So I sat down at my trusty keyboard and I started to type.  And then… nothing.

Where was my eloquence?  My creativity?  My writing mojo?   Apparently it was caught up with my incoherent, jumbled, whirling thoughts. Oh this post was so hard to write!

“Why?” – you may or may not be asking yourself.  But I surely was asking MYSELF.

Not because I didn’t have ideas.  I had them.  But I just could not find a way to explain them.  And I got stuck with knowing that I had already touched on some in past posts and that I did not want to be redundant.  And I got stuck with the realization that some of the goals were so big, so broad, so comprehensive (at least to me) that they would need a future post all their own to do them justice.

As loquacious and long-winded as I often am, I do like to be concise when called for.  This called for it.  But no one answered!

So this may not be what you were looking for, Michele, but it’s the beginning.  And I apologize for the lack of specificity here.  I know all about writing goals.  But, for the sake of getting this on paper, so to speak, I am starting with the big picture.  So, for now, let’s consider this more of a vision than goals.  And I will do a lot of thinking and, likely, a lot of writing, to see if I can make some sense of this for myself and for anyone else who might be interested.

As a starting point, here it is, my healthy lifestyle vision:

I want to have a “normal” relationship with food.

I want to end my yo-yo cycle, put “diets” behind me, and incorporate healthy eating as part of my daily life.

I want to stop mindless snacking.

I want to control food instead of food controlling me.

I want to be physically fit and strong, pushing myself further.

I want to like myself and be happy with how I am living my life.

And, yes, because I am keeping it honest, I want to weigh a certain number that I think is reasonable and doable for my height and age.

Stay tuned for the riveting next installment, coming next week.  As the keyboard-tied Karen struggles to find words to describe the indescribable.



Filed under goals

58 responses to “Aiming for the Goal Post

  1. They look like good goals to me (and not just because I share most, if not all, of them.:))

  2. Now the hard part (I know I’m preaching to the choir!!) is developing specific strategies for achieving each of these. Like Cammy said, this would be a great list for all of us, but the steps to getting there are something only each of us as individuals can determine. Good thing is, we’ve got a whole host of supporters out here in BlogLand cheering us on!!

    Hope you are feeling better each day. It’s been a week, so I’m hopeful most of the pain has subsided!!

    • Karen

      Sounds like a good idea for one of my follow-up posts, Sharon. My first one, already written, is going to expand on that normal/control stuff.

      Thanks:) I am definitely on the mend.

  3. Actually, I think your goals are pretty specific. Many of my goals are similar — normal relationship with food, no mindless eating, not being controlled by food. These could be deemed vague, but life is vague, uncertain, and always in shades of gray.

  4. I like your goals! The first one, having a normal relationship with food, is the big one. Finding what is normal to you is the key. Cheers, Rick

    • Karen

      Oh yes. I have a whole post written about that one for next week. Clearly, you “get it.” I suspect there are many out there that have no idea what I meant.

  5. I like your goals. I have done the same thing–written goals very similar to yours. After writing my goals, I then wrote some objectives for each goal–basically meaning what I will do to achieve them. I think we are all different and we each have our own path to weight loss and health. Best of luck to you…

  6. Those are really good goals. I agree with all of them!

  7. You said all the things I’ve never been able to “clear up” in my head. I want a healthy relationship with food and I have a LONG way to go. Thank you for clarifying it for me.

    Congratulations on your journey thus far and best of luck as you continue.

  8. They look good to me! 😀

  9. These are good goals. They are my goals, too. I think sooo many women are just like us…we all just want a normal relationship with food. And for whatever reason we seem to think that beautiful model or stunning actress has one but I would say that 99% of them don’t either. Does anybody? I am beginning to wonder.

    But moving on…I am like you, Karen. I have these goals kind of just floating around in my mind. Really I just want to be healthy and happy. And be able to wear clothes that fit and look good!

    Let’s just keep on…we are on our way!

    • Karen

      It’s always nice to know I’m not alone. I really thought that most people just eat. Nice and normal. Maybe not healthy. But normal. If that makes sense. More on this topic is coming next week. I suspect that normal eaters have no idea what I am talking about!

  10. Your big picture vision matches much of my own. As I looked over it several times it occurred to me that it is a very holistic list that covers body, mind and spirit. Body in the form of the relationship with food, fitness and strength; mind in the aspect of giving up mind-LESS snacking (and really mindLESS everything?), and spirit regarding self awareness and self esteem.

    Really good thoughts here, Karen. And you used one of my favorite words…loquacious!

    • Karen

      Interesting that you see balance there because I think I am very light on the spirit part. Not that I miss it, but that it seems to be the “thing” to work on or have in one’s life. Some, like Geneen Roth and Oprah, would suggest my lack of that is the root of my problem!!

  11. This “I want to control food instead of food controlling me.” is a goal I’d like to accomplish too. It seems so daunting at times- but I already feel that I’ve gained some control- I just need MORE. 🙂

    You can do it 🙂

    • Karen

      Funny thing is this past week I have felt different – more in control. Not sure why but suspect it is the focus from surgery, knowing I need to eat well since I can’t exercise. I hope I keep it up:)

  12. I love your goals!! I think they’re pretty universal too 🙂

    I’ve been thinking about the control thing with food…and I have come to this conclusion. It’s not about the food controlling me or me controlling the food. It’s about not needing control!

    • Karen

      Oh! You always say the most thought-provoking things! I need to let this one gel. I am clearly a control freak, so that probably does come into play somehow. But it is a bit ironic that rather than controlling my eating I have been out-of-control.

  13. Karen, well-said. These goals are excellent and achievable. Looking forward to taking the journey with you. 🙂

  14. Hmm…do you not want to say the actual weight that is in your head because you are afraid you may not reach it, but then others who know your weight now will know you didn’t get there? Or because by saying your goal number some people may wonder what you are at now? Or because you aren’t telling anyone what you are now and where you want to be because of fear of failure or sticker shock? Or cause your kids read this and you don’t think your numbers are any of their dang business? I can overanalyze all day long. 😉 How about saying how much you have left to lose before reaching that number in your head? Sorry I’m just being nosy. You go on with your bad self, girlfriend.

    Polar’s Mom

    • Karen

      I have made a conscious decision to never put numbers on here. There are several pieces that go into the reasoning. One you hit on – there are a few people in my real life who read this and I am not comfortable with them knowing the numbers. Not because of what they are but because I regained. Another reason I have not shared them is I do not have a lot to lose and I realize that so many amazing bloggers are struggling like I am but with so much more to lose. Or who have lost such huge amounts successfully. My little struggle seems to pale in comparison and it is also embarrassing that I can’t just lose it and be done. And, the big one – I think that much of what I write is universal and relatable regardless of how much each of us has to lose. And another reason – I really am trying to focus more on the behaviors and not a number. Doing the later clearly has never worked for me before. That’s probably more than you wanted to know:)

      • Thanks for spelling this out, Karen… I agree!

      • Hi Karen,

        I just stumbled onto your site and was drawn to this particular post.

        I can relate to not wanting to share “the number”. I, too, don’t have much to lose in comparison with others. So, I tend to downplay my intentions around certain people.

        But you’ve got me thinking. Everything is only (really) relevant to us as individuals. I respect the enormous struggle that many, many people have with their weight. And, I don’t mean to diminish that struggle in the least.

        But I also know that ANYONE with any kind of eating disorder struggles — enormously — in their own rite.

        Regardless of whether others pooh-pooh my “little” struggle, I will not ignore its magnitude in my own life. And, as such, I’ll continue to work my butt off to try to fix my relationship with food and get my body and mind to where I feel comfortable in my skin — mine.

        My biggest success is in the awareness that I create around my situation — day-in-and-day-out! It’s when I slip and allow my subconscious thoughts and emotions to rule that I panic and reach for food (love).

        I wish you much love and success on your journey, Karen.

        Thanks for this post!



        • Karen

          I agree – we can each have struggles, huge or small, that have nothing to do with how much weight we need to lose. Thank you for sharing this.

  15. It’s always good to take the time to delve into these places, isn’t it?
    I think your goals are great. They seem so simple, but are so profound.
    I’m so glad you’re sharing your journey!

  16. Great goals Karen – now to break them down into smaller steps that you can achieve & do now to get yourself moving & when you have 1 success, even small, it sets the stage for feeling better & moving forward even more.

    I can tell you that I wake up every day with a struggle in my mind that I want to eat this rather than that BUT I make the choice to eat the healthier version unless the plan is not & I did this when I was losing weight too.

    You know, I lost my weight & even now keep it off & make improvements event hough my head is not always where it should be.

    Many people say you have to resolve of the crap in your head first but for me, that just does not work. I had crap in my head, I still have crap in my head & I would be waiting forever to get fit if I cleared that up all first. I had to just take the step & keep stepping no matter how much I was still working on the head part and yes, still am working on it. People may think I am all fine with myself but I am not BUT does not stop me from taking those steps while I am figuring it out.


    • Karen

      Thanks for sharing this, Jody. I had not realized this, or thought this, about you. It is interesting to learn that even someone who seemingly has this all figured out and under control, as you do, still has those thoughts.

  17. And I want to look like Kara Thrace (athletic and thin)…

    But instead of holding her (or anyone’s) idealized body in my head, or trying to control thoughts (“Do not think about a purple toad, don’t do it!”), I need to have behavioral goals – much more achievable, measurable, accountable, plus meeting those behaviors will help my thoughts. Also, I need ways to deal with my sabotaging thoughts. Wow, sounds so easy when I say it, sure is difficult to do. Especially that thought thingy…

  18. I understand your dilemma. Getting too specific seems to leave no room for “life” and sets us up to feel we have fail to live up to our goals. Too broad and it seems we have no focus or plan.

    And I agree with Jody. I spent years trying to get to the emotional core of my eating and it didn’t change anything. It was so disheartening for me, and still is when I read all these things that say you have to resolve those emotional issues to resolve eating issues.

    So I do understand. And I am not going to set some specific weight goal based on a chart or what I weighed at some other time of my life. There is a range I am aiming for and when I get there, I’ll see.

    I do thing some specific steps are good, but saying I won’t do this or I will do that…well, life is short and I don’t intend to live with so many limitations that I feel hungry or deprived of variation and special occasions.

    I look forward to further explorations of your goals!

    • Karen

      That emotional piece is one I really started questioning through blogging last spring. I wondered if there was some reason I was missing that I needed to address to get over my yo-yo-ing. I’m still wondering. But I was surprised to learn that about Jody.

  19. Lots of good advice has already been given. I agree that the goals are good ones and achievable.

    Now that you defined what your goals are you need to have a plan that will help you reach them.

    I have found that choosing just one goal at a time works best for me. Once I get reach it then I am ready to move on to another.

    We all have to find what works for us and I have no doubt that you are well on your way to figuring out how to reach your goals.

    Baby steps, they may be small but they collectively add up!

  20. Karen, I could have written those goals for myself word for word, because like Cammy said, I share all of them with you. I can tell that this is going to be a huge writing experience for you. So narrowed down and specific – that is one tall order for someone to fill, when we generally just go day to day without much thought into the ‘long term’. I’m really looking forward to reading what you produce here, and I’m sure I’ll be able to relate to that as well.

  21. i agree with you i started weight watchers 16months ago and to date i’ve lost 45lbs and i am slowly getting in control of food and me

  22. I think it’s great you put it all out there and know what you want to do! I hate when someone asks me a question, I kinda know what I want to say but just cant come up with the words to answer.

  23. Congrats on articulating your goals. I have been trying to do that myself, and also figuring out specific, concrete steps to reach them. Have a great weekend!

  24. I think it’s a great idea to put your goals down in writing. It will make them more real and in a way for you, it will help even establish them into something solid instead of nebulous ideas. I like the sound of your goals!

  25. Patrick

    I think your healthy lifestyle vision is a fine one, now the next step is just how will you realize it?

    • Karen

      Yep… lots of next steps, I think. I do actually have things I am doing, again, not formally articulated. Might just be another post or two or three for that:)

  26. Karen, This was a great and inportant post. I need to make goals for myself. With almost everything in my life starting with my weight, health and fitness. Your list of goals is a great list.
    Thank you for your comment on my blog!!!
    I am going to work on my list of goals this weekend, thank you for the inspiration.
    Have a pretty day!

  27. Karen — I would have the same trouble articulating my goals … although you did a terrific job with the ones you did state. But I do know what I want and what I need to do and how I’m going to get there.

  28. A normal relationship with food. That says it all. Me, too. Deb

  29. Thanks for writing this, Karen! Because of you, I was able to address the same question in a post just now. I would never have tried had I not read your words. Our goals are not the same, but I think we’re on a similar path, which is a great comfort and pleasure!

    • Karen

      Thanks for sharing that with me. I wrote this for Michele, really. Then a bit for myself. So I appreciate knowing that someone got something out of it:)

  30. Those sound like goals to me and ones I share.

  31. “I want to control food instead of food controlling me.”

    I couldn’t have put it better. Every time I have a coherent moment and realize I have just eaten an entire bag of M&M’s or 3 pints of Ben and Jerry’s…I realize the food is my boss. It sucks. I would love to actually control the food.
    Right on the money with that statement!!! And writing mojo? I lose that every 5 minutes! But you seem to have found yours..great post, makes me think about my goals.

  32. Karen, you get so many responses to your wonderful blog posts that I think, ahh, does she really need mine? Yes, she does – lol. Our healthy lifestyle vision is so in sync…it’s scary 🙂

    BTW – “your installments are riveting…” I’m staying tuned.

  33. Normally, I would have read this post on Friday, but alas, I could not because I have been knocked out by that stomach flu. I am slowing getting better and your post is one of my goals for the day. So, thank-you for posting and alerting me with a comment on my blog (plus thanks for the get well wishes).

    I love the way you use vision vs. goals. Love it.

    I think it is important it articulates a vision, however, I did not ever mean (and I know you know this) to set up a difficult challenge for you by asking you about your goals. I just think without a vision, is impossible to know when you have arrived. That is my opinion. To me a vision takes a way the wishy washy nature, is yes, decisive, and speaks toward a commitment. That is all. Gives you something to shoot for.

    With that said, I will agree with many other bloggers: your goals are parallel to mine. I am slowly learning that I can have a healthy attitude toward food and healthy experiences with food. I know that you can, too.

    “I want to like myself and be happy with how I am living my life.” To me that line is one of the most important and the one worth the most effort. I am not always happy with ever decision I make or everything I say, but I really do like, love, care and respect myself. However, what I just wrote was not true before I started this journey barely 7 months ago. To me that is the most important gift I have had on this journey is how I feel about myself. I wish I had a magic key for you that would enable you to feel the same way. Perhaps it is my age that I am a little older than you. But, I hope you will find your way to love and admire the wonderful human being you are. You are. You are remarkable. You will find a resolution to all of this and realize your vision. Thank-you for ruminating over this for so long. Your blogging friend, Michele

    • Karen

      No fears – I never minded that you asked and that it too me much ruminating:) And, I’ll get a lot of writing mileage out of it:) That one you talk about got added in part because I like myself more when I am eating well. Actually, I kinda don’t like that I do, if that makes sense. It shouldn’t be tied to food and eating. I actually mention something along these lines in my post about the honesty award. Coming tomorrow, maybe. Thanks for making me thing through this. This was really all there in my head, but it was a good exercise to get it down. And, to you point, it would be good to add measures for how I’ll know when I’ve gotten there.

  34. Those are great goals, and keep in mind that as you progress through this journey, your goals may morph or shift. And when you reach goals, you’ll make new ones. In fact, you’ll always be making new goals, even if it’s just to maintain your weight!

  35. I LOVE your goals – I think they’re great. And as for specificity? They’re specific enough.

    What I love most of all? They’re healthy, doable, and reasonable.

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