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Skinny Saturday: Are Your Weight Loss Goals Holding You Back?

Although Skinny Saturday posts have been few and far between this year, I still love posting them. My goals in posting Skinny Saturday have evolved from motivating myself to lose weight in the beginning into what it is now: trying to provide a platform for discussing the issues around weight loss and how we can create more positivity and happiness regarding self image.

My Skinny Saturday contributor, Shanna, has written another fabulous post about setting goals– and knowing when it may be a good idea to let those goals go…


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about goal setting; in all aspects of life, but especially with diet/exercise,

and ESPECIALLY with weight loss. Setting a goal can be motivating, encouraging, and rewarding if you

achieve it. But it can also be daunting, discouraging, and heartbreaking if you don’t. Sometimes having a

goal weight or jeans size in mind can keep me from eating that bowl of ice cream. But other times, it just

plagues me with feelings of guilt and failure if I eat 10 calories over my daily limit. So how do we find a

way to let goals be our guide rather than our end all, be all?
Earlier this year I decided that I was going to put my three year old in swim lessons this summer. I’m

totally paranoid about the water and really want my kids to be able to swim for safety reasons. I found

a great place and talked to him all about what it was going to be like so he’d be ready. We even went to

our neighborhood pool several times so he could get used to the water. He was jumping in and blowing

bubbles and kicking his legs and just loving life. We were both excited for his first day and I was totally

convinced that he was going to be a swimming prodigy.

When we got to the pool, he was great for most of the first lesson, until they started doing “bobs”, as

in dunking your head under the water. Complete meltdown ensued and we left with him sobbing and

begging me not to let go of him. So I talked to him all day about all the things he could have if he would

dunk his head the next day at his lesson—ice cream, a new movie, new sand toys, cool shoes. He was

totally pumped about going back and trying again.

Next day, in the water, meltdown part 2. He loved jumping in and swimming to the ladder, but if his

teacher even mentioned “practicing bobs”, he was outta there.

The same thing happened day 3, and we never went back for day 4. I told him all the way home about

how he couldn’t have ice cream or a movie or any of the other bribes. He was upset and disappointed,

of course. I felt bad, but I was also feeling frustrated and confused and honestly a little embarrassed.

What in the heck was wrong with my kid? (In his defense, the other kids in this beginner class were all

like five years old. I guess I’m a little crazy to put him in so early.)

Later that day, I was reading in my favorite parenting book of the moment about being respectful of our

children’s personalities and choices. My little guy is not one to try new things unless he’s sure he can

do it right. He is an observer and then participates when he is comfortable with his surroundings and

abilities. Swim lessons just wasn’t his thing because he would rather watch from the side than just jump

in and dunk his head underwater.

Instead of being frustrated, I realized that I should be proud of his efforts. He did the best that HE could,

and he really was a trooper for the few days that we went. I know he was out of his comfort zone, but

he never once said that he didn’t want to go back, he willingly kept going with me every day. So instead

of withholding the possible reward, I told him how proud I was of him and we went and got ice cream.

He didn’t meet the requirement that I had originally set forth for him to earn the ice cream, but I think

he deserved it anyway.

All of this to say that sometimes we deserve a reward even if we didn’t achieve a goal exactly as we

imagined we would.


After I had my first baby, I had a pair of goal pants that I wanted to get back into. They were basically

skin tight pre-baby, and even after I was back in all my other pants, I could never get those dang pants

back on. It made me sad every time I opened my drawer and saw them, but I hung onto them for THREE

YEARS! Last week, I actually cried about not fitting into those stupid pants. Then I stopped to reflect on

my achievements. I’ve had another baby since those pants fit. I’ve run my first 5K. I have met a goal of

being able to do 25 real, military push-ups. I have given up Diet Coke. I am eating more vegetables than

at any other time in my life. And I have achieved tons of other non-weight loss related goals. But I was

crying over a pair of pants! Something so silly was overshadowing all the other good in my life.

So I got in the car and drove to Goodwill and gave them away.

Without them as a constant reminder, I am so content with where I am at. I had made a goal that was

actually detrimental to my success in being happy with my body and my health.

What goals are holding you back? What expectation are you constantly trying to meet that’s keeping

you from being proud of yourself for what you HAVE achieved? I feel like women are always saying, “I’ve

lost this certain amount of weight, but I have such a long way to go.”

No more “buts”. Let’s celebrate even the small changes and accomplishments. You exercised this

morning when you really didn’t feel like it. You only ate 8 Oreos instead of the whole package like you

wanted to (true story). You drank more water than you normally do. Those are all worth being proud of!

Don’t let an old, dusty goal steal your happiness in the here and now.

How do you balance the importance of goal setting and the ability to let those expectations go?


008Shanna is a wife and mother of two. She has a passion for eating well, staying active, and being happy. Read some of Shanna’s other Skinny Saturday posts here and connect with her on Instagram.

Ashton Swank

Ashton is the owner and author of Something Swanky. Although first and foremost a wife and mother, she considers herself an online entrepreneur, freelance writer and photographer, and brand ambassador. Her focus is in food styling, food photography and recipe development.

5 comments on “Skinny Saturday: Are Your Weight Loss Goals Holding You Back?”

  1. I am in the middle of a journey of weight loss and aiming towards fit, and most importantly healthy. I’ve been exercising for 2 months and lost 4% body fat but the dang scale has only gone down 3 lbs. I know that i’ve gained LOTS of muscle, but i feel you so much on this post! Thank you for the reminder!

    My daughter is also an observer as well and as someone who usually jumps head first into things i also struggle with letting her go at her own pace!

    This article just speaks to my heart in so many ways!

  2. I am constantly setting goals that are WAAAAAAY to high for me to achieve (being a size 10 by my birthday…in 2 months…when I am in 24-ish size). I keep forgetting the small steps that get me to where I want to go! Walking instead of driving, drinking more water, choosing veggies instead of chips/cookies/etc, or going for a walk with my nieces.
    Lately one of my knees has been giving me some issues and I have all but given up hope of loosing weight because I can’t go a hard long walk like I want to. This post has given me a refresher on setting other goals and trying other things. And maybe as the weight comes off the pain will go away!
    Thanks for sharing this article. I have missed these Skinny Saturday posts! You have touched my heart and mind! For that I am truly grateful!

  3. I struggle with this many times. I keep telling myself that if I win or come close to winning the battles, I’ll win the war.

  4. Really I love it this topic Thanks for sharing this article. I have missed these Skinny Saturday posts!
    and in this great information. best regards

  5. I actually just stumbled onto your blog from a pinterest recipe, the skinny cobbler from last year which appears to be your first of the ‘Skinny Saturdays’. I just wanted to let you know that what you wrote in that post… it was like you took a peak into my personal diet journal. It made me want to read more, and seeing this post… well, it helps. You’ve definitely got a follwer! Thank you!!

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