Friday, 19 October 2012

Targets, clothing and daydreaming

Do you find it helpful or distracting to set targets for weight loss? I generally try not to but, once I've dropped a few lbs, I can't stop myself from speculating in mathematical terms. The "if I drop 1 lb per week I will have dropped X stone by Christmas and will, therefore, be able to fit into X dress for the Christmas party" etc etc type of mental perambulation. I can see that Lovecat has been indulging in the same sort of thing which has led her to to a target drop of 1.25 lbs per week. I also know that Peridot habitually muses about how much she may be able to shed by when. It's probably very common!

I try not to do so, at least in public but of course, I do! Once I've started to feel a little slimmer, part of every morning POM includes breezy calculations about weights and measures. As long as they are positive, not too extreme and encouraging, then I don't see a problem with it and they certainly help with the motivation. After one such walk recently, I found myself leafing through the remoter regions of my wardrobe and picking up various long-forsaken items of party wear. I tried on a party dress which I wore last Christmas and a pair of trousers and a skirt which haven't been worn for 2 winters. The dress from last year fitted fine (it had been too tight a few weeks ago) so I'm reassured that I don't need to re-think my Christmas party options. The trousers and skirt went on but didn't do up. This is progress of sorts as it means they are probably about 10 lbs/a stone away from wearable use.

This sort of musing also means that one assesses one's overall aims. Over the last few years I have been sort of "settling" on a point 21-28 lbs below where I am now as the best I'm likely to be able to do. At this weight I would be a slim size 16 or a chunky 14. Let's call that a 14/16. This was, to be fair, my original aim way back in 2007 when I started Lighter Life although, when you're buying size 24 clothes, size 14/16 seems impossibly slim!

Now, with the (admittedly limited) success I'm achieving at the moment, I'm wondering whether I could go for a 4/4.5 stone drop and get all the way back down to a "proper" size 12 (possibly even a 10)??! On the basis that it might take a year or more to achieve that, but also on the basis that I'm quite enjoying life while I work on it, why not?? Rather than heaping on the pressure, focussing my energy on a genuinely slender target, rather than on an "okay" target feels quite liberating. After all, if I'm seeking to be healthy, I should be aiming for a decent BMI (not that I really believe in BMI as a measure of health) rather than one that is "better than before".

Another incentive was flicking through my unused clothing suitcase. I was putting away my summer clothes (sighing somewhat at how little they had been worn during "summer") and taking out various winter jumpers. Beneath the jumpers was an Aladdin's Cave of new and unworn clothes in smaller sizes. Some purchased slightly too tight in a haze of misplaced confidence that I would continue to drop the lbs before my weightloss journey ground to a halt. There are walking trousers, jeans, work clothes, tops, shirts, jumpers. I would LOVE to be able to fit into this lot!! Free, new clothes in small sizes (mostly 12's and 14's) - what's not to like?! So, that is the aim - reclaim my wardrobe.

There are always seasonal casualties - summer or winter clothes which you somehow "miss" on your way up or down the scales. In the medium term, have my eye on a couple of pairs of walking trousers and jeans in slim-fitting size 16's which I should be able to get into before spring, possibly before Christmas. These shall be my first targets! They would be most welcome as my current walking trousers are becoming increasingly threadbare and I'm down to 2 usable pairs of jeans, the rest having faded or simply given up the ghost!

What I DO like though, is the fact that, although I'm setting targets, there is none of the urgency or imperative of such target-setting in my previous life. It used to be a case of "I must lose X stone to assuage D/to stop D picking fault with me/to save my marriage". My needs or desires didn't enter the equation. It was all about appeasement and living up to some arbitrary measure. Now I want to do it, for real reasons - to fit into nice clothes, to be healthy and to feel more attractive. No guillotine will come down if I DON'T manage to drop the desired amount. I'll just keep on keeping on.

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