Thursday, 8 October 2009

Moving the goalposts

I hit my weight loss target today! Sort of...

When I did Weight Watchers 12 years ago I went from exactly 14 stone to exactly 12 stone. The latter was the target that was suggested by the WW leader and felt pretty good when I reached it.

As a result I'd always held that as the figure of where I wanted to be and where I should be. I knew it was at the high end of my healthy weight range but I always felt I was naturally broad shouldered, muscular and 'big framed' so it was right for me.

Roll the calendar forward 8 years to September 2007 and after (frequent) weight gain and (occasional) loss I joined with a view to getting back down again but this time to a target of 12st 7lb as I figured that maybe 12 and a half was right for the older me!

In fact through much of the next 18 months my weight went up and down as I struggled to stick to calorie control and never once did I get below 13 stones.

A year ago, as I blogged a good while back, I decided to move the goalposts to an ambitious target of 11 and a half stone for Paris marathon but failed to start dieting until January by which time that wasn't achieveable. At that point I set my aim at 12 and a half by Paris and then switched again to 12st - eventually getting down to 12st 2.8lb the week before, but still held the long term aim of 11st 7lb.

Since Paris I've gone up and down a couple of times (immediate post Paris relaxation then on summer holidays) but overall its been a downward trend and today I finally hit 11st 7lb. Fantastic eh?

Trouble is I decided in August to drop my target again, to 11st exactly - the mid point of my 'healthy' weight range - figuring I could still lose a little more and that the weight loss would help my running. I'm in with a shout of getting there before my 40th on the second of November and before the big 3 PB attempts at 10k, 10 mile and half marathon during that month.

Thing is the closer I've go to 11st 7lb the more I've began to toy with the idea of dropping just a little below 11st or even of trying to get down to 10st 7lb.

I can't decide if this is good or bad thinking!

On the positive side my apparent body fat percentage says I should certainly be able to drop further (and less fat equals faster running) but I do wonder if there's more to it than that. Am I scared of hitting a final target? Am I getting addicted to dieting? Do I not trust myself to be able to maintain my weight?

These are questions that may link to my occasional binge eating - is moving the goalposts ever downwards motivated by the same desire that causes me to try and sabotage myself from time to time?

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