Physical Goals & Extra Motivation


In addition to using public humiliation as a motivator for me to achieve my fat loss and fitness gain goals, I would also like to think that by showing my progress on my physical transformation page, I’ll get some good support, too.  Rah rah!  Y’all are awesome, so that part will be fun.

Now, I’ve read several different authors and bloggers who have all said a very interesting thing—losing something (like money) is more painful than gaining a reward.  So, if I make a goal, I have to make not meeting it extremely painful in some way, as well as giving myself a reward of some kind if I DO make the goal!

This requires clearly stating what the goal is, making the goal quantifiable.  It also means I have to state what will happen if I don’t make the goal and what will happen if I do.  Since I am so very overweight, right now I’m not worried too much about body composition, as most of the weight I lose will be fat anyway and if I gain some muscle, I have no way to measure that on the road.

Long-term goal stated: 

·         Ultimately, I would like to get to about 22% body fat.

  • This will necessitate losing at least 120 lbs of body fat.  That fat loss alone would drop me down to about 160 lbs.  I have no idea how much muscle I will gain, so I don’t know how that will factor in.  But when I was at my best, most intensely fit shape of my life I weighed 192 lbs.  I wore a size 12 or 14.  No one ever guessed I was that heavy.  People usually thought I weighed 130.  Muscle weighs a lot, y’all.  I wouldn’t mind being 190 again, if it meant I was in great shape.  The caliper fat test said I was 28% body fat at that time.
  • I’m not sure how I can drop from that 28% body from my most fit phase of my life down to 22% bodyfat, considering I was working out 20+ hours a week at the time.   The breakdown:  3 hours swimming per week (1 ½ hr 2X per week, 1 ½ hours jogging (1/2 hr 3 X per week) 3 ½ hours calisthenics and ab exercises each week (half an hour a day), 12 hours at the gym (2-3 hours a day, 4-5 X per week with 1/2 weight training, ½ cardio).  Of course, my diet was entirely self-composed and not based on anything other than the food groups and cutting out every bit of fat I could, and avoiding crap.  I didn’t know about The Zone or 4HB back then.  And I have a better idea now of how to more effectively use my time when working out, as well.  So maybe that extra 6 % won’t be as difficult as what I think it will be.  I can only hope.
  • According to the LIVESTRONG website, fit women are between 21-24% body fat.  Ordinary women are between 25-35% body fat. (Though I’ve read some places 33% and up is considered obese.) It also gives a handy little tool to measure one’s body mass index (BMI).  The recommended BMI for men and women is between 18.5 to 24.9.  I can’t say that this measurement is entirely accurate (it does not take into account large amounts of muscle mass, density of bones, etc. vs. water & fat), but until I can get to someplace that can give me an official body composition breakdown, it will have to do.
  • To calculate BMI—divide your weight by your height squared.  Then, multiply by 703.  Using this method, my BMI is 50.57.  Yeesh.

·         I also want to lose at least 112 inches off of my body.  I measure my neck, my bust, my waist, my navel, my hips, both upper arms, both lower arms, both thighs, both calves, my wrist and my ankle.  I base this on my measurements from when I was at my most fit before, plus a little extra taken off, because I still had room for improvement, even then.

Okay, so I know what my long term goals are.  These are beginning goals, though.  Once I’m in better shape, I’ll be adding on other goals that will help me fulfill some of the dreams I’ve got written down on my bucket list.  One thing at a time.

So, to create goals that have any meaning for rewards and punishment, I need to have a quantifiable goal in X amount of time.  I don’t want to make the goals too big, or they will be unattainable.  Yet they need to be ambitious, or I won’t care about them.  Hm.  How about:

·         I will lose 6 lbs or more each month.

This would mean it could take up to one year and eight months to achieve 120 lb. loss of fat.

·         I will lose at least 5 ½ inches off my body each month.

I am basing this figure on the 112 inches I would like to lose divided by 20 months.

So, now to move on to the rewards and punishment phase.


If I make my monthly goal of 6 pounds or more and 5 ½ inches, I will reward myself by….

Splurging on a fun outing with the family.  Max $25 spent (after all, I do want to get out of debt!).

Actually, I could use some good suggestions for this part.  I don’t want to spend a lot of money, since I’m also working on managing my money better, so the usual (buy yourself a new CD of your favorite band and suchlike) doesn’t work.  Sooo…what do you suggest?  I’m stumped.  What kind of things can I do for myself that are absolutely free, yet totally awesome?


Okay, so this is where it gets interesting.  I initially thought that I would give a $20 gift card to a reader randomly drawn out of a hat who commented on my posts that month.  But then I thought, why is that painful?  It’s not.  I’m just out $20.  Losing $20 sucks, but it isn’t horribly painful.

So here is the twist I think I’ll put on it.  If I don’t make my monthly goal, I will post the news.  You readers can come up with suggestions for the most vile “charity” or cause you can think of (most of the vile ones are usually political in nature) and I will donate $20 to that charity/cause.  It would seriously make me sick to my stomach to donate money to any organization that actively tries to take rights away from women and minorities.  Or for organizations who actively promote corporations over the ordinary person.  If you know of an organization that stones women, drowns puppies, recommends euthanizing disabled people and advocates utilizing orphans for slave labor, then I’m all ears.  This is definitely the type of organization I can get behind not wanting to fund.  The sheer horror of knowing that I could help finance…fill in the blank….really makes this punishment hit home.  And it’s just the kind of inducement I need to make sure it doesn’t happen!

When I don’t make a goal, give me your suggestions!  I’ll randomly choose one and post the payment as proof.

I’m not going post a potential long term fat loss goal reward or punishment until I can come up with a way to measure my actual body composition and I find out the real amount I need to lose.  To that end, I would like to hunt down a clinic that does DEXA or Bodpod, as Tim Ferris recommends in The Four Hour Body, and see how those numbers stack up to the traditional caliper test.  Once I do that, I may adjust these poundage number goals.  So fair warning.  I’m not trying to play fast and loose!  I just don’t have all the data yet.  Not to mention, when I finally get to those last 20 lbs.  I understand those are notoriously difficult to get off and take longer.  I may adjust my timeline goals at that time.

Sound like a plan?  Yes?  Good.  Then it’s settled.  For now, anyway!  Wish me luck!

5 thoughts on “Physical Goals & Extra Motivation

  1. I can’t agree with you giving money to an organization you do not support. Regardless of *your* motivation, your money still supports the cause you can’t stand. Why not just skip the punishment? Maybe just put a dollar into a jar for every pound lost or every inch lost, and reward yourself more or less constantly by seeing the jar fill up? Something like that.

    • Hm. That’s an idea, too. However, seeing money fill up a jar and not touching it is even harder for me to do than to lose weight, lol.

      The idea behind the “punishment” is to give me extra inducement to make sure I absolutely don’t screw up. Studies have shown, for example, people work harder to not lose money than to be given money (it doesn’t have to be just about money, either–it’s just the idea of losing something–time, belongings, etc.). Ferriss talks about it in his book, and I recall reading it elsewhere on the web, too, but can’t remember at the moment where (Blog of Impossible Things, I think).

      But perhaps the money to an organization I don’t support is not a good idea. It truly gives me the willies…Hmm. Of course, I’m hoping that I end up not having to do that at all. The only thing that could make me do it is if I got on a mean plateau, and got stuck there for a few weeks. So…not sure what else to substitute. Gotta think on this.

      Hmmmm….maybe offer to be my kiddo’s slave for a day? Yegads, I’m sure she wouldn’t abuse that. *eyeroll* Or my dad’s even. I’m sure he’d put me to work!! I don’t know. Got any other ideas?

  2. looks to me like you have a pretty good handle on your physical goals. And kudos to you for already losing the 4 inches–water or fat–it doesn’t matter because it means you are moving in the right direction. I get the punishment idea. But what if you don’t make it and then you DO have to give money to a vile organization? Let me rest on this and see if I can come up with a better “punishment.”

Leave a Reply to Jen Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s