{on weight loss goals: part one}

I made goals every time I wanted to lose weight. Nearly each time I attempted to lose weight, I failed. It seemed like I started over 365 times every year. I needed do-overs, not because of my willpower, but because the goals that I set were doomed for failure.

First, there was the vague, intangible goal.

I want to look and feel better.

You look pretty fine to me. For some people, looking better is as simple as getting a hair cut. For other people, feeling better could involve gastric bypass surgery and looking better involves several cosmetic procedures. What is it you’re exactly looking for?

I want to lose weight.

That’s cool. How much weight do you want to lose? Do you want to lose 3 pounds or are you terrified of seeing 300 pounds on a scale?

I want to lose 40 pounds.

You’ll gain and lose 40 pounds many times over a lifetime. It’s totally doable for you to to lose 40 pounds, but why do you really want to lose the weight?

I want to lose 40 pounds because I’m getting married and I want to feel comfortable in a wedding dress.

What? You mean you don’t want to be squeezed into Spanx at your wedding, and you like to breathe in air sometimes? Okay, I get it. I don’t want you to pass out at the altar. When is your wedding?

I want to lose 40 pounds by my wedding day in June 2016, because I want to feel comfortable in a wedding dress.

Can I lose 40 pounds a year in 15 months? Yes, losing one half of a pound a week is healthy and manageable.

That is a SMART goal, worthy of all self-improvement writers who sell books about achieving the life of your dreams. It’s specific, because I want to look better by losing weight. It’s measurable, because it’s easy to quantify how much weight I lose. It’s attainable because it is a healthy weight loss goal. It’s relevant because it matters to me. Finally, it’s time-bound, because I have a general idea of my wedding date.

Great, I set a weight-loss goal. Now I need to figure out how to achieve it.

{on joining a gym and other health nut things}

I’ve never had great balance. Don’t get me wrong, I can stand firmly on both feet. But when it comes to anything else in life, I’m a bit wobbly.

This is particularly true when it comes to how I treat my body. I can extol the virtues of eating clean, but I hate kale and quinoa. Mostly because it seems like rabbit food and bird seed.  I would rather eat okra fried in peanut oil and silky cream corn. My favorite holiday is gluttonous Thanksgiving, with all the fixings.

But every day can’t be Thanksgiving. Someday, it has to be January 2nd or March 9th.

Over the past month, I have joined a gym and gotten a personal trainer. So far, after two sessions, I like it. My trainer always explains how each exercise will benefit my muscles, and how it will help me feel more confident. She tells me about the back and shoulder exercises being good for a backless gown. The cables are great for strapless options. We worked on my calves, in case I want to wear a sweet little white dress to City Hall. It’s more than a year away, and I want to keep my options open.

I drink protein shakes twice a day (sometimes). I’ve developed a fondness for the best Rio Star grapefruit from Texas. I can tolerate kale, if I add enough parmesan and olive oil to it. My grocery bill has been reduced, and I’m eating mostly organic produce (when it matters). This week, my goal is to only eat food from someone else’s kitchen twice, and workout five times.

I’ll have to give myself goals and an incentive each week to keep things going. Otherwise, it’s just punishment and who wants that? Not this lady.