I think any woman who wants to lose weight biking has some kind of magic number in mind.
That number that you want to actually see on the scale when you step on it.
I know that I have always had a number. For me it was the number on the scale when I was in high school. I wanted to see that number again.
I felt like if I could just get back to THAT number, then all of my issues regarding my body would melt away.
It would be common for me to think this as an adult even though I absolutely HATED my body when I was in high school.
I thought it was so big and fat. In fact, I hated it so much that when I saw a photo of myself at the beach I was so horrified that I grabbed it and RIPPED IT UP.
I mean, little did I know that my mom took all of the pieces, and when I wasn’t looking, taped it back together.
Yeah, I know. I have a wonderful mom.
She knew that one day I would look back fondly on that photo and that stage in my life and actually love that girl in the photo.
Either that or SHE loved that girl in the photo just as she was, even if I couldn’t at the time.
Does any of this sound familiar?
So many of us want to get back to a number that we were once at, and have that in the back of our mind as our goal weight.
The question is, though, do you actually NEED a goal weight? Is it a reasonable one? Do you even need to weigh yourself AT ALL?
Is having that number in mind bringing you closer to achieving your weight loss goals?
Or, is it just making you feel like crap because you are nowhere near it?
In this article I explore the idea of having a goal weight, what kind of goal is reasonable, and help you figure out if having a goal weight is actually right for you.
Do You Even Need a Goal Weight?
One of the first things you need to ask yourself about your goal weight is if you even need one in the first place.
I love having a goal weight. It makes me feel good! I like having a number to work towards.
A goal weight is a super simple, easy measure of progress.
BUT, the key here is that it makes me feel good. It lights me up. I think “Yes! This is something I can set my sights on!”
At the end of the day, you need to ask yourself if a goal weight is right for YOU. How does it make you feel? Does it get you excited? Or does it make you feel defeated. Anxious?
You see, the thing is, what we really all want isn’t to weigh “x” pounds.
We want to feel GOOD about our bodies, our time on the bike, about ourselves.
So, if a goal weight doesn’t feel good to you and doesn’t light you up, ask yourself what does.
Maybe it’s your clothes getting looser. Or, maybe you want to track your measurements. Maybe you want to feel better.
Whatever it is, what you need is a goal, not a goal weight. That goal needs to be something that you can measure, and it needs to feel good.
If having a goal weight doesn’t feel good, ask yourself why. Is it because you really don’t want to measure using weight? Or is it because your goal weight feels unattainable?
If you are focused on having a goal weight, then the next question you want to ask about your goal weight is…
Is Your Goal Weight Reasonable?
So, so often women set unrealistic expectations…either with their final goal weight or with how long it is going to take to get there.
When we do this, we can very easily feel defeated. When you pinpoint that magic number that you want to see on the scale I want you to ask yourself the following questions:
Is this a reasonable number?
Am I giving myself enough time to achieve this goal?
Does this number feel good to me? Does it excite me/light me up? Or does it make me feel like I have lost before I even started?
Do not be afraid to adjust your number, or to give yourself a long time to get there. Remember, you can always set another goal, and you can always break a big goal into smaller chunks.
There are no rules here…the only rule is to create a concrete, reasonable, measurable goal weight that works for YOU.
How Are You Going to Measure Your Goal?
Once you set a weight loss goal, you need to decide how you are going to measure it. Of course, this means getting on the scale if you choose a weight loss goal.
Still, you need to decide how often you will weigh yourself. Will it be daily? Weekly?
You also want to set an end date to achieve your goal.
One of my favorite things to do is to come up with a reasonable amount of weight to lose, and give myself about a year to get there.
You might be wondering what is reasonable…and for me that amounts to approximately one pound per week.
There will be weeks that you lose more, weeks where you lose less, and that’s totally fine!
I like to weigh myself every day using an older version of this scale. It is wifi so it automatically records all my data in an app.
I also personally like to weigh myself every day. This keeps me from getting all dramatic about the number on the scale and helps me remind myself it’s just data. It’s just a number. I see how it goes up and down depending on so many factors, and having that additional data really works and really helps me.
Then, I like to record my weight loss in this app, Happy Scale. It gives projections for when I will reach my goal, and helps me determine what is reasonable and how many pounds I will lose per week.
Think about what will work for you, and what will motivate you. If weighing yourself every day doesn’t light you up? Don’t do it! I made it fun, and made it a little game to see what kind of craziness my body was going to record each day.
Overall I watched my weight over time trend down, and learned that daily fluctuations are totally normal and to be expected.
I know this doesn’t seem like rocket science, but it was VERY eye opening for me.
Be Flexible and BE NICE
When I lost my weight for the last time in 2020, it took me about 18 months to lose around 50 pounds.
This is LESS than a pound a week. I was totally OK with this rate of weight loss.
My original plan was to lose 50 lbs in one year. It took me 6 MORE MONTHS?
So effing what, right? I still lose the weight! And when I hit the one year mark, instead of beating myself up for not meeting my goal I celebrated how much I accomplished and how awesome I felt instead.
You see, I was making small, little changes to my meal plans and my activity that I could maintain and live with for the rest of my life.
I didn’t diet. I knew that I couldn’t diet, that diets never worked for me.
Each day I asked myself what I could do to bring myself a little closer to my weight loss goal.
I was VERY flexible with myself. If I “messed up” by overeating I forgave myself and reminded myself that each day is a new opportunity to do something different from the previous.
It was all about being nice to myself and realizing that I am playing the long game here. It’s a century, not a time trial! Realizing that it was going to take time for me to meet my goals was literally everything.
It kept me from being all in my head if I gained a little weight or if my weight didn’t make sense. I knew that if I stayed the course, kept planning my meals, and kept lifting myself up that I absolutely WOULD lose my weight. It was just going to take some time.
A Final Note…
Having a goal, specifically a goal weight, should feel good.
It should fill you with hope and possibilities, not tear you down or make you feel bad.
That number should be reasonable, and you should have a doable plan for how to achieve it (for example losing around 1 lb per week). If you don’t meet your goal by the date that you were hoping for?
That’s OK! Just push it out a bit, and keep making small changes that will add up over time.
Stay the course, and keep doing what you’re doing.
If you are wondering if I ever got to that magic number, the answer is no. I am close! I mean I lost 50 pounds! But I didn’t get to that number and that’s totally FINE.
Maybe one day I will, but I truly don’t care if I do or if I don’t. Because I feel absolutely amazing and good right where I am right now.
If I do decide to keep working towards that number one day, I can promise you it will be from a place of love and excitement for myself, and wanting to have FUN seeing if it’s possible or if it even feels good in my body.
You don’t need a diet to lose weight. You just need a goal. It can be a number on the scale, or something else! As long as you have a goal to work towards, that lights you up, you are on the right track, my friend.