Amy Culver - The Queen of Lean
September 01, 2010    

Realistic goals

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Amy Culver

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Realistic goals

An important part of being successful in any undertaking is setting realistic goals.  If you are currently making $30k per year, a goal of earning $100k next year is probably not realistic.  But making $35k or even $40k certainly is.

Weight loss and fitness are no exception to this rule.

Once upon a time, when I was 300 lbs, I gave a lot of thought and consideration to this matter.  I wondered just exactly how much I could achieve with my weight loss.  I wondered what size I could get down to and what my body would look like.  I was very careful to be realistic without shorting myself too much.

For example, I knew that I was not likely to have a body that could grace the cover of Cosmo.  But I also knew that settling for a goal of getting under 200 lbs was setting the bar too low.

So, I started looking around at the ladies I knew at the gym.  I looked at women who were around my age who seemed fit and healthy.  These women had body types I felt I could achieve, or at least come fairly close to.  I asked them questions about energy levels, what they ate, and what they did for exercise.  I also asked them what size they wore, so that I could have a quantitative number to shoot for.  I was discrete in my conversations with them, I never shared their answers, and I always told them why I was asking.  I saw them as having a physique that I could attain.

There were also the numbers that I got from Weight Watchers and my doctor.  These included not only the numbers on the scale, but my blood work results as well.  I knew that there was a minimum number of pounds I had to lose to get into the healthy range for my height and age.  There were also limits on the types of foods I could eat to keep my blood sugar and blood pressure healthy.

My goals in the beginning were to get to a size 12, under 175 lbs and to be able to stop taking all of my medications.  Eventually, though, I far surpassed that.  I'm still not a bikini model, but I do like shopping for clothes now.  I have been able to stop all medications, and I am able to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

Yes, I know that those magazine models portray a world most of us will never achieve.  But don't let that stop you from working toward real, worthy goals. 

So what if you will never be a size 0?  If you are currently a size 26 (as I was), why should not ever being a size 0 keep you from working toward a size 16? 

So what if you will never have six-pack abs?  If you currently have a keg, why not shoot for being able to comfortably tie your own shoes (once upon a time, this was a challenge for me)?

My goals today?  To continue to be able to exercise regularly, do fun, active things (like bike riding, zip lining and taking long walks and hikes with my husband), to look nice in my clothes, and to enter old age with health, strength and no need for medications. 


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