5 Tips to Setting Great Weight Loss Goals

I consider myself to be an expert-level goal setter.

This makes me sound arrogant and kind of like an asshole, but it’s true.

I’m not super good at a lot of stuff.  I can’t dance to save my life.  I can’t twerk (my kids groan when I try, and I threw my back out once).  I can’t sing well, so I make up for lack of pitch with volume.  I can’t lie without twitching and folding (horrible at poker), I don’t play a musical instrument, I don’t sit still long enough to tolerate knitting, cross stitch, or crochet.

GOALS, though.  I can do goals.

As a go-big-or-go-home kind of person, I LIKE goals.  Goals get me efficiently where I want to go.  I like BIG goals.  I like setting a goal that makes me a little bit afraid, because I know I’m going to have to dig deep to crush it.  I have a pretty active and brilliant imagination, so the goals I come up with in my head are quite detailed.

And, as far as execution goes, I almost always hit the goals I set for myself.  I can’t remember the last time I set a goal and didn’t accomplish it.  My cycle of success is (finally) established, and I don’t fail often.



How to Avoid a Binge – Willpower isn’t Enough, but Intelligence Can Be

Today I was at the grocery store, tasked with the purchase of candy for my kids’ candy bucket.  We don’t keep a lot of sugar in the house, just a small, 2 quart container full of their favorite treats, but it is where they go to pick their dessert and the occasional sweet reward.  The bucket holds caramels, mints, tootsie rolls, and random, fun size bars.  (Although my idea of fun is way, way, one million times bigger, it works for the kids’ tiny bodies.)

Our candy bucket was getting low, and so I promised them some more variety.  “Next time I’m at the store I’ll check.”

As I entered the candy aisle at the grocery store, I was feeling pretty good.  In fact, I felt almost nothing.  I was strong and sound of mind and spirit, I wasn’t hungry (always a plus), and I looked for a bag of candy like it was a carton of eggs.  No emotion, no dilemma, no chaos.

Then I saw the stupid cinnamon bears.


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How to Set Weight Loss Goals You’ll Actually Hit – No More Crash Diets

In my life, I have set goals no less than one hundred thousand times.

That sounds like an exaggeration, but I’m not kidding.  One hundred thousand times.  At least 33 years, times 365 days, times 10 goals a day.  That’s at least 122,275 goals in my life.  (and yes, i did the math. i heart math.)

I was born a chronic overachiever perfectionist.  And, like most overachiever perfectionists, goal setting is in my nature.  I set goals for EVERYTHING.  How much I’m going to eat, and by when.  How much I’m going to weigh, and by when.  How many workouts this week, and how much weight for each exercise.  How many books I’ll read this month, and what kind of books, and how many words.  What classes I’ll be able to take.  What grades I’ll get in those classes.  What time I’ll get to bed.  When I’ll get up.  What time the kids will do which things.  What I’ll do for a job next year, and how much I’ll make, and when I’ll get my next promotion, and what tasks I’ll complete by when in order to get it.

For most (normal, not control freak, not obsessive) people, that probably sounds exhausting.

To be honest, sometimes even for me it IS exhausting, but it’s what I do.  I love goals.  I live for and through my goals.
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The Power of Choice – Never Be Helpless Again

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there’s one utterance that boils my blood faster than anything else on the planet.

“I don’t have a choice.”

My ears are steamy, hot, pressure-gauge red even as I type that.

I really do hate that sentence.  And I’m a very tolerant and patient person that doesn’t “hate.”  Very rarely do I even use that word, but I use it now.  I HATE THAT SENTENCE, and I. HATE. every idea it represents.
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Finding Balance While Living an Extreme Life

“Erin, YOU need to learn moderation.”

People have been telling me that my whole life.  No exaggeration, that message has been delivered to me over one thousand times by many, many different people.

Being harped on and nagged to be different is demoralizing and annoying, but people telling me that isn’t the worst part.

The WORST PART is that for a very long time, I felt like they might be right.
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The Lie of Moderation – Go Big or Go Home

When I was a kid one of the best and most exciting times of the year was my family’s annual, summer vacation trip to Grandma’s house.  These days by car the trip can be made in just over five hours, but back then the trip took more than seven.  Mom would pack our last-school-year’s lunch boxes full of snackie food surprises, we’d take books and paper and pens to stay busy, and I lost countless travel checker-chess-trouble-connect-four games to my younger brother.

The trip was made in my mom’s Toyota Camry.  It is a smaller car, particularly small for three nearly-adult size kids in the back seat.  Dad, true to his Viking roots, stands at 6’3″ tall and had to jam the driver’s seat as far back as it would go in order to wedge himself inside the vehicle.  My brother, sister, and I would argue about who had to sit behind him and which one of us got to sit behind Mom, who is purebred Japanese and not even five feet tall in shoes.  Usually the shortest person sat behind Dad and the tallest behind Mom, which for many years put me smack in the middle of the back seat.

Summers in Eastern Washington are HOT (it’s practically the effing desert).  My brother puts off heat like a space heater and tolerates ALL forms of discomfort insanely well.  My mom and my sister I’m convinced are both part desert lizard, and flourish in the heat.  My Dad was raised in a pretty drastic culture of poverty, so using the a/c in the car was tantamount to DEATH for wasting fuel efficiency, plus his internal thermostat has a comfort range of about 60* up or down (anything between 23* and THE SUN is tolerable to him).  
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The Lie of Perfection – An Effort In Futility

This is a photograph of me taken in 1997.

1998-9-10.  OMG SKINNY.

….and I thought I was FAT.

That’s SIXTEEN YEARS AGO.  Looking at this picture now I think to myself “huh, maybe I WASN’T fat,” but at the time I was struggling with my second serious bout of anorexia and FAT is all I ever felt.  I weighed 112 lbs in this picture, if memory serves, and I’m inclined to believe that’s true.  One thing anorexics accurately know at any given time is their weight.

In this photo I was wearing a pair of jeans, size 5.  They were a little big, as you can see, but that’s how I liked to wear my clothes.  “Maybe people won’t notice my size if I wear big clothes.”  Looking at this photo now I don’t see how anyone could NOT see I was starving OR how I could feel so fat, but hey.  Delusion is part of addiction.  I apparently got a good helping of “fantasy” when Ana was passing it out.
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