Are You Thinking of the Weight Loss Process Backwards?

Sometimes the weight loss journey seems endless doesn’t it? It did for me. Whether I was at the point early in my marriage where I had gained 35 pounds, or later on, when I had gained 150 pounds, the goal seemed just as far away. And although the 150 pound goal was father away, my perception didn’t change.

I’d never get there.

Do you feel that way sometimes? All your weekly hard work results in such small losses on the scale that it is tempting to give up and have some ice cream. Exercising for three days in a row should cause us to lose at least 5 pounds shouldn’t it?

For me, the problem was expectations. In my daily life, I expected that when I did something I would see results very quickly. At work, making calls resulted in action, not stagnation.

As you are traveling your weight loss road, I’d encourage you to think of your goal weight as the starting point, not the ending point. Reaching my goal started me on a new journey that has been filled with wonderful experiences I may have missed at 300 pounds.

The thought of starting your journey at your goal weight makes you think differently doesn’t it? It did for me. The weight loss journey can be a long one, or it can be short, depending on your goals and objectives. My journey into obesity took 10 years, and although I had great times and memories along the way, being obese was difficult.

As you lose weight, try hard to remember there is life after weight loss. What will that life look like? Will you go back to old eating habits and regain your weight? Will you start a new career, begin a family or like me, have more children? Will there be things you will participate in then, that that you don’t feel comfortable doing now? If so, what? For me, I wanted to be able to:

  • play with my kids easily
  • go swimming
  • ride a bike
  • roller blade
  • not get stuck in chairs
  • fasten seatbelts without an extender
  • ride amusement park rides
  • not be tired all the time
  • bring down my blood pressure

You see, if you don’t think of your ending point as your starting point, you may be missing the point of weight loss. The goal of all this hard work is to enable you to enjoy life more, and do things more easily. To get to a weight where you feel comfortable in your own skin.

Once I reached my goal weight, I finally understood that I had a second chance at the life I had lost by being overweight for so many years. I felt free to enjoy life in a different way. When I was obese I knew I was missing things, I just didn’t realize how much. Once I got to a healthy weight, I determined in my heart to embrace new experiences, and taste the sweetness of day to day life every day.

Don’t get so caught up in the journey that you forget what the goal is. The goal is to live life in a fuller, healthier way – not just at the moment you reach that elusive perfect number on the scale, but rather because you are a healthier, more fit person!

What are some of your goals for yourself when you start on your new journey?  Diane


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About Diane Carbonell

Diane Carbonell is passionate about weight loss. Subscribe to regular blog updates and receive the latest information on weight loss, weight maintenance, and healthy living. Keep up with Diane by following her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.


  1. I love how you tell us to think about our goal, as a starting point. I haven’t thought about it this way but now that I am at my goal, I can say that this is my starting point :)
    blackhuff recently posted…Some randoms from my sideMy Profile

  2. Such a wise post ….having been at goal and working hard to get back there, I can say that yes, I can make a list of things that are easier and more pleasant to do when at goal, but mostly for me, it is being able to relax with the habits I established while losing that enable me to live a life where food is simply a tool that keeps me healthy and energized for that part of the journey rather than a life where every waking move revolves around when, what and where I can eat next!
    Sharon recently posted…Progressing Quite NicelyMy Profile

    • Learning to be relaxed and not obsess or overly focus on food is a great part of maintenance. It may take some people a while to achieve that, but when you do – the feeling is terrific!

  3. This is great. I do try to envision my life at my goal weight (trying not to miss the present joys along the way)

    Some goals for myself include:
    be diabetes free
    enjoy running
    climb Mt. Khatadin
    run around with my kids and have fun doing it
    And I love to travel. There are places I’ve traveled to that I want to go back to and do the things I didn’t do before..zipline, kayaking, hike through the Cinque Terre in Italy rather than ride it, etc.

    Gee…need to write these down for myself! :)
    Julie Lost and Found recently posted…Fear of Failure..No MoreMy Profile

  4. When I agree to work with a weight loss client, I ask them to determine only two goals in the beginning:

    1) What are you running away from…?
    2) What are you running toward…?

    The answers to these two question always lead to more streamlined goals. But I think it’s important to view it from both sides; what do you want to be…? And, we DON’T you want to be…?

    • Yes, looking at the what I don’t want to be is important. I’ve found that a lot of people I’ve worked with have a hard time acknowledging what they don’t want to be – because that is where they are right then. Most people I know want to focus on where they are going. Have you found that to be true?

  5. Tami Hill says:

    This is so true about your goals.Working toward things you use to enjoy. Diane , whatYou listed wanted to be able to do.Is all the things i would like to do again.My kids are the other reason i am pushing to lose so hard.They will say things about how i never want to do anything and it breaks my heart.They want a mom who wants to be active and on the go.And i want to be.I realize that i want to exercise and eat healthy for a better life for myself and my kids.:)

    • My kids were a huge reason and incentive for me too Tami. I saw them growing up so fast, and I felt like I wasn’t able to keep up the way I really wanted to. I completely understand that mom’s heart breaking when her kids feel as though she’s not keeping up. The great thing is that you are, and can, do something about it!

  6. I had never thought of viewing my goal weight as a starting point.

    For me, I look forward to tucking in shirts without a great deal of difficulty. I’ve always been jealous of guys who can just tuck a shirt in and walk away without checking the mirror and readjusting for sometimes several minutes to make it look as presentable as possible.
    Jeremy Logsdon recently posted…An Open Letter from my Muse to Myself #1My Profile

    • Although the styles are different for women, when I was losing weight in the late 1990’s, the style was for women to tuck in shirts and wear a fashionable belt. I longed for that day and was so glad when it finally came. My hubby has the same goal that you do!

  7. YES! I wrote recently that people need to focus more on what they have accomplished even if it is only a couple pounds than how far they have to go….. I think we can apply this to things outside weight loss as well! We have all accomplished tings but we don’t give ourselves credit for it!
    Jody – Fit at 54 recently posted…Women/Media Influence – Inner Health & "Beauty"My Profile

    • It’s good we are on the same page Jody! Giving ourselves credit is a huge part of staying encouraged with all that we have done – even if we are not yet to goal. After all, we are all a work in progress throughout our whole lives – I know I am.

  8. Great post, Diane. I found you on sparkpeople, and I’ve been reading your blog for about a month. You’ve really given me so food for thought this morning. Thanks!!

  9. Well said. I agree that you should not wait to live until you are at your goal weight, but find joy in the journey. I liken it to a marathon. A marathon is a great goal, but all the training you do to get there is the important part, the training is really what matters. A marathon, or any race, is one day, it comes and goes. Exercising every day, stretching, eating right consistently is the victory.

    No one ever got in shape by running for 4 hours. It is only over time you can get in shape. The steps you take to reach your goal are just as important as accomplishing the goal itself.
    Marie@feedingfive recently posted…Mormon LingoMy Profile

  10. I love this Dianne. I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed by the “end goal” lately. It’s good to put things in perspective. Have a great Wednesday.
    Roz@weightingfor50 recently posted…Am I losing it????My Profile

  11. To achieve anything, I think you need to fall in love with the process and not the goal. The effort has to be the goal. It seems that way with anything at all — I know people who would love to HAVE a lace bedspread, but unless they fall in love with the process of making each and every one one of those million tiny stitches, the love of the final goal isn’t enough to see them through to it. You need to love the process, and eventually you get the end product. Same with piano — people tell me they wish they could play, but most of them don’t wish to learn to play. They fall in love with the goal, but if they don’t fall in love with the thousands of tiny steps you have to take to GET there, that love of the endpoint isn’t going to be enough.

    You can’t kill yourself for years working for a “goal” that you’ve conceptualized that’s years away; you have to feel yourself rewarded right now every day.

    • Yes – fall in love with the process. What a great way to think of it. I realize that’s what happened when I began to make those lifestyle changes. I did fall in love with exercise, how much better I felt, and finding ways to cook healthy tasty recipes for my family. Love your comment!

  12. Diane. I can’t wait to get your book.
    And I am so grateful for everything you share, because it makes me feel closer to .. peace of mind?
    Maren recently posted…Some days.. food sucks.My Profile

  13. Wise woman! I agree completely, when you reframe the goal in terms of all you’ll gain instead of what might be lost upon arrival (like not getting to chug a root beer float daily and still maintain), as well as taking the goal in small steps and keeping your eyes on the prize, it seems much less overwhelming.
    Taryl recently posted…Day 28 and 29My Profile

    • I found I didn’t miss brownies for breakfast nearly as much as I might have thought I would. I instead enjoyed not feeling like a lump of lard every morning when I got out of bed!!

  14. It’s so true…when we’re overweight all we can think about is that “skinny perfection.” Or at least that’s what I thought. It’s so hard for our heads to keep up with our bodies whether we’re losing or gaining. That’s why I think it’s so important to start defining and accepting ourselves in a manner that is unrelated to weight, in the moment, no matter where we are on the scale.
    KCLAnderson (Karen) recently posted…TaggedMy Profile

    • It is hard for the head to keep up. I found that to be true as well. It was a long time before I actually embraced all the ways I was living healthier, and even longer before I stopped thinking of myself as fat every minute of the day.

  15. I needed to see this today. I’ve really lost my way and need to remember to enjoy life in the journey–not just wait for “happiness” to happen when I get to goal.

    I’m looking forward to your book. :-)

    • Michelle – it is a journey. Don’t let the day to day failings or less-than-ideal choices get you down. Each minute you have the opportunity to make a healthy choice for you. Start fresh and enjoy the process!!

  16. So true! If we look at that goal weight as the end, it’s really easy to slide back into bad habits.
    MamaBearJune recently posted…Interesting dayMy Profile

    • It really is easy to slide back, and I think that is a huge part of the problem with weight maintenance. Even my hubby, who knows better says, when I lost my weight I’m going eat all the Breyers ice cream I want. I look at him and say, “Really?” But that’s the mentality of a lot of people – just getting to goal becomes the goal and they lose sight of what got them in a quandary in the first place.

  17. When it comes to flying my plane, performing an operation, or doing an art piece, if I wasn’t totally focused on the process rather than the ending I’d crash and burn, have the malpractice attorney at my door, and never get that image on the canvas!

  18. I’m not sure if this fits your post or answers your question, but one of the things I look forward to when reaching goal is the feeling of having lost the weight. For me, I really feel if I can get to my healthy weight, then I will have a great chance at keeping it off, because I remind myself the way I eat to lose weight is the way I’ll be eating to maintain as well. Sometimes that is vexing and many times I don’t want it bad enough to eat right, thus my slow loss. However, I have a feeling that just getting to the goal will be huge and give me a reason to stay there. Make sense?

    Anyway…I look forward to living a life free of an addiction to food.
    Leah recently posted…Taking It EasyMy Profile

    • It fits perfectly Leah. It makes perfect sense the way you are thinking of it. Getting to goal is a huge accomplishment and one to be celebrated. It is also the reason you’ve been doing all this hard work to realign your thinking and develop new, lifelong habits.

  19. Hi Diane,

    I’ve yo-yo’ed so much in the last few years I am finally off calling it a diet anymore. Rather I am focusing on trying to keep my mind, body and spirit in harmony. I’m finding it is easier to keep focused if I am not obsessive.
    John W. Zimmer recently posted…Premarital Sex, Extra Marital SexMy Profile

  20. For me this is a lifetime commitment and when I started this journey I believed it and still do.

  21. This was a GREAT post for me to read. I think this whole childbith thing throws me for a loop. REGARDLESS, of how GOOD I was during this pregnancy, I need to continue and realize that it a lifestyle change and even though I most likely WILL have more babies, it isn’t a yo’yo diet. It’s hard to “lose the weight” and then “gain it back” with babies. At this point it is 90% mental!!!!
    La. recently posted…ExpectationsMy Profile

  22. I needed this today, thank you
    Trish @I_am_Succeeding recently posted…MourningMy Profile

  23. That’s a great way to look at it! I also lost 150 pounds. I’ve kept (most of) it off for over 5 years.
    I like to say I was never on a “diet”, I just changed my lifestyle.

    I really enjoy the ability to do so many things that were difficult or uncomfortable when I weighed over 300 pounds. People say I look 20 years younger, and I know I certainly feel it!

    If you are overweight, have hope! It is possible to lose your weight naturally, no matter how much weight you have to lose. Take it one day at a time, one bite and one step at a time and never give up!

  24. This post is the reason I spend so much time on fitness/weight loss blogs… I feel like I’m just not at all inclined to insightful thinking, and I have had made such progress when I come across posts like this. I have (until now) totally thought of my goal weight as the end point. It’s amazing what a shift in perspective can do!
    spinmethin recently posted…Sonofa!My Profile