Goals are really another aspect of morale.  I find it essential to make and maintain goals in my weight loss program. At the beginning of this venture, I set a goal to lose 139 lbs.  That would put me at 220.  I know this is still considered overweight for a person that is six foot tall, but I thought this would be a good point (when I get there) to stop and reevaluate the situation.  I don’t know what I will look like at 220 and unfortunately, it is very possible that I will be carrying 20 lbs of extra skin at that point.  I may look at myself and decide that I still need to lose 40 or 20 lbs, but I am sure that I do not want to weigh more than 220.  The extra 20 or so pounds should be easier to lose than the first 140.

I have kept an Excel spreadsheet to track my (and my wife’s progress from the beginning.  Each Tuesday, I record the week’s totals.  Last Tuesday, for example we completed week 8.  I track my current weight, the amount of weight that I have lost that week, and the total amount of weight I have lost.  Each week, I record my goal for the week which is a consistent four pounds (more on consistency later), and my total goal of 139 lbs.  This is a great encouragement if I have lost more than my goal for the week.  Recording the total goal reinforces the fact that I still have a lot of work to accomplish.

I also track my percentage of my total weight that I have lost that week, the amount of weight that I have left to lose to meet my total weight loss goal, and the percentage of my total weight loss goal that I have lost up to that point.  I track the same things for my wife.

This may seem a little OCD, but it is pretty simple with Excel.  I could be expressing these numbers as pie graphs and such (excel is great for that sort of thing), but that would be a little OCD.  There really is a good deal of strategy involved in this, and it all adds to my morale as I continue from week to week.  I am able to set smaller goals that can be accomplished more easily.  Seeing numerical results and setting up milestones for yourself is very encouraging.  Moving from the 310’s to the 300’s is encouraging, and a manageable two week goal at most, but there other ways still to make these numbers work for you.  Because I started at 359, and not 360, I can set goals that are separate from my weight loss goal for the week.  For example, if I weighed 325 last week and I lose 6 pounds this week, I have not only gotten into the 310’s, but I have also lost 40 lbs, both can be a separate way to encourage myself.

Likewise tracking the amount of weight I still have to lose and the percentages can also be encouraging.  For example, it’s easy to think, “Yeah, I’ve 55 pounds so far, but I still have 84 to go.  That’s definitely half-full thinking.  But, if I look at the percentage of my weight loss goal, I see that I have lost 39.5 % of the weight that I want to lose in only 8 weeks!  Now that’s encouraging.

Look, it may seem like I am just fooling myself, but keeping morale up when you are trying to lose weight is a daily battle, and it’s critical.