Are you on a weight loss journey (or ready to begin one) and trying to decide on a GOAL WEIGHT🤔? At a loss as to what the parameters are for this task? And maybe wondering what role your thoughts🧠 and your feelings😯 have in the process?
Today, we’re mixing up all of these ingredients🍲 so you can prepare a recipe for WEIGHT LOSS success🏆! I’m sharing my own experiences (beginning my first “diet” at age nine, the effect my pregnancies had on my weight, as well as hitting my menopausal years) and sharing tips that I’ve learned along the way.
Ready to talk about your GOAL WEIGHT✨? Click the play button and let’s GO!
(Don’t wanna listen? Download the transcript here)
Can’t see the video? Click here to watch it on YouTube: https://youtu.be/KZg1Y-aLnVw
Q+A Fridays on Facebook
(If you’re not already a member of The Killer B Hive Facebook group, you’ll need to request access first.)
The 5-0 Method: Weight Loss for Women over 50
Podcast: How I Lost Weight at 49 (During Menopause!)
Ep. 91: Doing MORE
Podcast: How LOSING WEIGHT changes you
Join the Get Your GOAL Coaching + Accountability Facebook group:
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Choosing Your GOAL WEIGHT (Full Transcript)
You’re listening to the Fitness Matters podcast with Pahla B and this is episode 95, “Choosing Your Goal Weight.”
You guys, before we even get started, hello, hi, I’m super excited. I have a couple of things to tell you before we dig into today’s topic, and I’m excited about today’s topic. But first of all, I want to tell you, Episode 95. We’re getting up there, and I’m reminding you. I talked about this quite some time ago that when we get to episode number 100, the next one is not going to be 101. It’s going to be whatever the big number is. I still haven’t counted; it’s on my list of to-do things. But I’m going to count up all of the podcasts that I have made like ever, including all of the Let’s Run podcasts, way back to when my podcast was a wee tiny infant. That was October of 2017. Ask me why I remember that; I have no idea except that I do.
Here, we’ll take a little trip down memory lane really quickly. I digress because I do that. And if you don’t know me, hi, I’m Pahla. I digress. I digress from my digressions even to tell you who I am and what I do. I’m your best middle-age fitness friend. I’m a life coach. I’m a certified life and weight loss coach. I have a lot to say. Anyway, it was October of 2017, and I had just come off of filming 100 days in a row of little, 10-minute workouts. I called it the Hot 100. It was this totally cool and awesome thing that I did that I was super proud of. I’m still super proud of it. It was really hard. It was a really difficult mental and emotional thing to do, to sustain a hundred days in a row of content. So I finished that, and I took a week or two off. I think maybe just a week off. I don’t really remember.
But as I was getting back into it, it really got my creative juices moving to be able to do something like a hundred days in a row. And I realized that I had things that I wanted to talk about and things that I wanted to do and things that I wanted to change about my business and stuff like that. And so one of the things that I did was I started a podcast. Anyway, I have a whole bunch of those Let’s Run podcasts that are podcasts and are the precursor to the Fitness Matters podcast and I’m super proud of them, even though they’re really uneven. I mean, much like my entire business up until somewhat recently. I just started throwing things at the wall to see what would stick, and nothing really stuck because it’s hard to find an audience who cares about what you’re saying when what you’re saying isn’t consistent.
And actually in that vein, let me tell you something. I realized something the other day. This is going to sound so funny. It sounds so funny before I even say it, so I know it’s going to sound funny when I do say it. I have been saying my tagline for at least a year now. I’ve had a couple of different taglines over the years. There was one that I tried a couple of years ago that was something like, “transforming your life in your living room” or something like that, or, “changing your body one workout at a time.” I’ve had a couple of different ones, but I’ve been saying this thing about making peace with your menopausal body for a while. And no sooner had I started talking about that than I realized that, of course, there was more to making peace with your menopausal body, including things like finding a healthy weight and moving in ways that feel like self-love.
And even though I’ve been saying those words out loud during every video for over a year, it occurred to me really recently that that’s what I do. And here’s what I mean by that. There are times when I just really want to tell you something, I really want to talk to you about some concept or some idea and it feels really important to me. And I usually try to make it somewhat like weight loss or health related or fitness related because it is the Fitness Matters podcast. And yet sometimes I find myself getting a little bit far afield of topics that are truly helpful to you personally, as it relates to making peace with your menopausal body by finding a healthy weight and moving in ways that feel like self-love. I wrote myself a sticky note. I have a sticky note on my computer right now so that every time I start thinking about all these things that I want to talk about, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, I remind myself, this is what I talk about; this is why I talk about it.
My job – the job that I love, the job that I feel really compelled to do and called to do – is helping you make peace with your body, whether it’s menopausal or not, truly. I know that there are maybe five men who listen and also plenty of younger women for whom the menopausal part may or may not have anything to do with right now. But my job here on earth is to help you make peace with your body. I feel so strongly about this and yet sometimes I get pulled away from those kinds of topics because I find them interesting. So here I am talking to you about finding a healthy weight because that is an important part of making peace with your body. And that’s what we’re talking about today.
Oh, and I also, before we get there, I wanted to tell you guys, thank you so much for the ratings and reviews. I really appreciate it. I love when I have an email notification that a rating was left. I think I only get the rating ones. I don’t think I get notifications when you guys just leave stars. But when you actually write something I get notifications and I love it. It means a lot to me. Thank you very much.
Okay. Let’s talk about choosing your goal weight. You guys, this had never made the list of topics that I thought would be interesting to talk about until somewhat recently, when I realized that I get this question all time, almost weekly, particularly when I do my Q&A Friday. If you’re on Facebook (and you certainly don’t need to be), you can join The Killer B Hive, which is my personal and private and very supportive Facebook group.
And in that group, I’m going to say nearly every Friday – because I’ve noticed lately that there are other things going on with my business and my life and my world and everything that it’s not every single Friday – but most Fridays I do a little Q+A session. And I say little. It’s an hour. I answer questions for an hour. And I absolutely love this part of my job. It’s hands down one of my absolute favorite things. There is a separate podcast, by the way, where you can listen to all of the replays. I’ve been doing that for, oh my gosh, we’re on episode somewhere 40, 50, 60 – I don’t know how long it’s been. I could look it up, but I’m not going to. There are quite a few episodes. There are plenty to listen to. It’s called Q+A Friday, and it’s Q+A (with no spaces) Friday. It’s everywhere that you would listen to podcasts. I mean, it’s on iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud, et cetera. Any place you would normally listen, you can find it.
So every week, mostly every week, I answer questions. And I’ve noticed that I get this question all the time, “How should I choose my goal weight?” or “I think I’m getting close to my goal weight, but I’m not sure.” It’s posed in lots of different ways. This is why I chose to talk about it, choosing your goal weight. I really wanted to make it clear that it’s a choice. If you take nothing else away from this podcast, take away the fact that I digress all the time, but also that I truly believe that your weight is a choice, and I absolutely 100% encourage you to feel empowered to choose your weight. And I have lots to say about that. So let me, first of all, tell you that the reason I never thought about this ever was because I, when choosing my own goal weight, didn’t think about it at all. I literally never had one minute of ”What would be best? What should I do?”
I chose a number. I got to that number, and I never thought about it again. And I chose a number based on absolute nothingness, randomness, a weight that I was in high school, a weight that I’ve been several times in my life. I mean, if you don’t know me, I digress. I tell stories. Here’s something that I’m going to tell you. My weight has gone up and down my whole life. I know plenty of you tell me, “Oh, I’ve been overweight my whole life,” or “I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life.” I don’t really classify myself as somebody who has struggled with my weight, though. If you hear my story, however, that word could certainly be appropriate. My weight has gone up and down many times, big fluctuations and small, many times in my life. I mean, I was a perfectly healthy size as a young girl. I went on my first diet at age nine though because you hear things and you think that it’s a thing that you should do. It sounds interesting.
So I remember at age nine, deciding that I was fat and needing to go on a diet. I was not and did not need to, and really had absolutely no agency over what I was eating or not eating. I mean, I could have not eaten; this is true, I could’ve thrown away my lunch at school or things like that, which I did later in high school. I didn’t even bring lunch, which was its own poor decision. In any event, I was a perfectly average size through childhood. When puberty hit, I put on 30 pounds almost immediately. I mean, it took about a year, but it felt very immediate. And then I lost it very suddenly through not great means. And then slowly put it on and then when I was a young adult in my very early twenties, took it back off again and then very slowly put it on and then got pregnant.
And of course, not of course, but I put on 50 pounds with my first pregnancy and took most of it off and then got pregnant again. And immediately put on 50 pounds again. Actually, no, that’s not true. I had lost all but like 10 pounds of it. (And it’s so funny. The day I gave birth to both of my children, I weighed the exact same amount.) So I hadn’t lost all of it, so therefore I didn’t gain quite as much with the second pregnancy, but it was over the 25 to 30 that they suggest. I lost that pretty quickly, honestly. I mean, relatively speaking, in six months I lost the weight and then slowly put it back on again and then lost it again more or less permanently.
I like to say permanently because that was the last time that I lost a relatively large amount of weight. I lost about 30 pounds give or take, a little bit more than 30 pounds when I was in my very late thirties. And I kept it off within three pounds in either direction for a really long time, until perimenopause and premenopause and menopause and all the change came about.
I’m reading a really fascinating book right now, speaking of digression, that I’m going to get a little further into before I truly recommend it to you. I suspect I’m going to recommend it to you, but I’m not even that far in. I just started it today. I’ve already read quite a bit of it. It’s really good. But it’s talking about menopause just in general. It’s talking about the physical and mental, emotional, biological, and I can’t come up with the word, but where they talk about language and what the language around it means.
And it’s fascinating. I’d never thought about the word “menopause,” but it’s really fascinating reading about where that word came from and what it means and why it’s not necessarily the best word for what happens and why a lot of the language that we use around menopause is not helpful in any manner, biologically speaking. So I’m going to recommend that book to you probably the next time we talk. Maybe. Well, we’ll see. I’m probably going to recommend it to you. I’ll let you know when. Oh my gosh. When menopausal things started happening, when the change started happening with me, my weight has definitely fluctuated a lot more and to be fair right around the time that my weight might or might not have been fluctuating because of biological changes, was also when I was dealing with the deep grief of losing my sister and the weirdness of having both of my children head off to college and become adults.
And just the change of my life in terms of who I am as a woman, who I am as a mom, who I am as a person in my family – there were just a lot of changes, and only some of them were biological. So over the course of the last four years, while that’s been going on and I’ve been figuring out my place in the world and my mindset in the world, my weight has changed. And I mean, not really significantly. It’s been a bigger fluctuation than it was for a long time, but it’s still not as big of a fluctuation as the 30 to 50 pounds that I have lost at other points in time in my life. My weight right now, I would say the window is about 10 pounds, which feels big, but isn’t in terms of what else it could be.
In any event, the last times that I’ve lost weight from this most recent fluctuation, my goal weight was really just based on the weight that I was for almost 15 years, before menopause and grief and having adult children reassessed my body (or repossessed my body?). No, what happened there? Changed my body. But anyway, what I did was I picked a random number. That was a really long story that included lots of side trails. But my goal weight was not based on science or my doctor’s recommendations or any of the reasons why I think you might choose a goal weight. I just picked the number that I weighed in high school, that I’ve weighed several times in my life, that felt good at other times in my life and seemed like a perfectly lovely number. I really truly did not overthink it. I still don’t overthink it. I still think it’s a perfectly fine number. So when you guys ask me, you seem to frequently want to know what the parameters are. Is it BMI? Is it some other waist to hip ratio? Is it a clothing size?
What’s a good way to pick a goal weight? I will tell you, there are a couple of ways that I think are – and I don’t even want to put a judgment word on it; I don’t want to say “good.” There are a couple of ways that you might . . . how about this? There are several options for you, and I’m only going to list very few of them. Because coming back to what we talked about right at the beginning, I am already . . . I think you already know that I’m going to tell you that you get to choose. Here, let me tell you some of the ways in which you might choose. You might choose BMI. I find this one particularly interesting because I have never calculated my BMI. I’ve never had my doctor tell me what my BMI is. The only reason I know my BMI is because my smart scale tells me, I have never looked that up for myself and never really thought about that being an actual measure of health or goals or anything. But apparently lots of doctors do talk about BMI. It is a standard that might be helpful for you, and also might not.
Another way you might choose is to simply pick a weight that’s meaningful to you, which is the story that I told you. I mean, this was just what I weighed when I was in high school. And to be fair, I was fully my height in high school. This is as tall as I ever got. For some of you, you’re like, “Of course, I’m never going to get back down to that weight again. I’m four inches taller than I was when I was in high school.” I picked a number that I have been at as a fully formed adult. But that’s because that’s the weight that’s meaningful to me. There might be some other weight that’s meaningful to you. And here’s what I’m going to tell you about that. It doesn’t have to be the lowest number you’ve ever been. It might simply be something like, “I just never want to go above 200 again,” or “I feel good in a range between 150 and 170.”
Picking a number that has meaning to you possibly based on past experiences or a weight that you have felt comfortable at, or even, I mean, a way that’s meaningful to you could be meaningful for lots of reasons. Maybe it’s a weight that you’ve never been before, or haven’t been for many years. Meaningful to you is meaningful to you, and it’s a good option. A number – here’s my other option for you – a number that sounds good. I mean, this is something that I actually have a lot of stock in. It doesn’t have to be a five or a zero. It could be a one or a three or whatever number on the end. It could just be a nine because that means that you’re, technically speaking, right under whatever that zero threshold is. You can pick any number. It does not have to be some preconceived round number or easy to remember number. It can be something so completely random just because it’s your favorite number, and that’s totally okay.
You get to choose. You get to choose your goal weight and – let me tell you again in case it wasn’t clear the first time – I wholeheartedly recommend that you choose. Because here’s what happens. When we tell ourselves that we have to weigh a certain thing based on “my doctor says I have to weigh this,” “my husband has an opinion about my weight and it’s this,” or something outside of us, such as “the charts tell me that this is a good weight” – here’s what I want you to know about that. That has almost no meaning to your brain. When you’re choosing a goal, it’s really important to have an emotional attachment to the outcome of the goal because here’s how your brain works. Your brain operates on emotions, whether we want to acknowledge that or not. Your brain is always making decisions based on how you feel, whether or not we even notice how we feel. Sometimes it processes so quickly we don’t even notice what’s going on in there, but your brain makes decisions based on feelings.
So when you have a number that somebody else has arbitrarily offered you as your goal weight, and you have no attachment to it, or possibly worse, your feeling about that number is, “I’m never going to get there,” or “That’s ridiculous,” or “I don’t know how I’m going to make that happen,” – well, that’s not a good goal, my friend. That is not a goal that you are likely to achieve because of either the lack of emotional attachment to it or the strong emotional DEtachment or dislike of it. When you choose a goal, when you feel empowered to choose a goal, you’re very likely going to choose something that is meaningful to you in a way that feels good. And this is truly your litmus test. This is how you know whether or not your goal weight is something that you are going to achieve, truly. I mean, this is how you know it’s going to happen.
How do you feel when you think about that weight? Do you feel good? Great, then you’re going to achieve it, no problems. Do you feel bad? Not that you’re not going to achieve it. I’m not going to tell you that because you can achieve anything. But there’s mindset work to be done around your thoughts about that number. Here’s the thing, you can do the mindset work. You can absolutely put in the mindset work and if you are following my weight loss method, which is the 5-0 Method (which I’m going to plug shamelessly here because it’s free you guys. I tell you literally everything you could possibly need to know about how to lose weight, like the really practical, brass tacks stuff. Here’s how to figure out your calories. Here’s how to figure out what kind of workouts to do. Here’s how much to drink. Here’s how much to sleep. It’s everything you could possibly need to know. And one of the things that you’re doing is the mindset work. Here’s the link: The 5-0 Method https://pahlabfitness.com/programs/the-5-0-method/).
So I wholeheartedly recommend that you do mindset work anyway. I mean, that’s just life advice. Put in your mindset work, and get what you want for everything, and really specifically your goal weight. If you have any kind of story attached to the number that you are aiming for, your brain is going to protect you from getting to that number so that you don’t feel whatever pain it is that you have associated with it. I’ve told this story numerous times, but I do feel like it bears repeating. And in fact, hey, this is related to what we started off with. This was a podcast that was the Let’s Run podcast. As far as I know, it is my most downloaded episode maybe ever. And let me assure you that you can listen to it as a podcast without walking and or running with me. But at the time I was walking and running because that’s what I used to do. That was my shtick. That was my thing.
So I don’t have a number for you because it was not an officially numbered podcast at the time, but I do have a title for you. It was “How I Lost Weight at 49 During Menopause” [How I Lost Weight at 49 (During Menopause!) https://getyourgoal.com/podcasts/lost-weight-menopause/]. And I talked about how the weight that I wanted to get to was the weight that I was when my sister died. And I associated it very clearly with my sister dying. And so as I got closer and closer to that number, and as I actually hit that number, my brain wanted nothing to do with it because it was so painful. It was associated with such a difficult time in my life that my brain was like, “No, we don’t want to do this. This is dangerous. This is bad.” Your brain operates through feelings. I had a lot of work to figure out how to get to that number and stay at that number because of the association that I had with that number and my sister dying.
And here’s the thing. I had plenty of other associations with it too, which is why I had even chosen that number. It was the weight that I was forever. I mean, not forever, obviously. I’ve just told you my story. But it was the weight that I had been for years and years. In fact, I’ve been under that weight for years and years. That was the top end of my normal range when my sister was alive and what I had been at for about 14 or 15 years. So when you choose a number that has a negative association, it’s not automatically negative. But you may have emotions around it and a story around it and thoughts about it. Things like, “I can’t do that.” “It’s not safe for me to weigh that little.” “If I weigh that, I’ll look sickly.” “The last time I weighed that I was sick.” I hear that a lot. You guys, I hear that a lot. Clean that up.
Your emotional associations with being ill and being at a weight that you feel is a goal weight – your brain is going to stop you from getting to that number because of that association with illness. Let me just tell you really quickly. You don’t have to feel sick or be sick when you are a healthy weight. Your body can and will sustain a healthy weight when you are healthy. I mean, it’s right there in the name. Your biological body actually wants to be a healthy weight. Your brain is very likely what’s blocking it. We all have stories about what it meant when we were thinner. Or if we’ve never been thin, we all have stories about our weight. Doing the mindset work, unraveling those stories, journaling about those stories, deciding which thoughts are helpful and which thoughts are unhelpful is a huge part of this process. And not only is it a part of the process of losing weight, but it’s a part of the process of even choosing your goal weight.
My friends, choosing your goal weight is a choice, and it’s a choice that you can make and I wholeheartedly approve of you making it based on what you want. What do you want for yourself? When you go for what you want, there will be stories and nonsense and thoughts and unhelpful thoughts along your way that you are going to need to clean up. But here’s the great thing about choosing your goal weight. When you choose your weight, it’s yours. You will have an emotional attachment to that weight that will help you get to that weight. It will help you – I’m going to say – fight through some of the stories that you have and some of the negative thoughts that you have and some of the unhelpful things that you think on your way there. That emotional attachment of choosing from a place of empowerment is so important. And the thing that I think stops some of us from choosing and from feeling empowered to choose really specifically, is this bias that we sometimes have in our thinking that there’s a way to get this wrong.
We talked about this at least a little bit in episode 91 (Ep. 091 Doing More https://getyourgoal.com/podcasts/91-doing-more/), and I was talking about how so many of us come at so many of our questions. I was talking about how much exercise to do, how much to do about things and whether or not we’re doing enough because somebody else might be doing more. And how, when we ask what somebody else is doing, the unintentional bias that our brain has for us is this thought that we’re doing it wrong or that – I mean, the corollary to that is that there is a right away. We’re not necessarily doing it wrong, but we’re not doing anything because we don’t know what the right way is. So let me address this with you, my friends. The right way to choose a goal weight is to choose from a place of empowerment and to like your reasons. That’s it.
You might choose a number that somebody else has an opinion about one way or another. And I’m going to give you the one and only caveat that I give you every single time: don’t go too low. Because that is not a good choice for you. That’s not a healthy choice for you. There’s a range of what is a healthy weight, and going below that is not healthy, is not what I’m advocating, is not what I’m asking you to do, is not what I’m even empowering you to do. I’m talking about people who might think that your number is too high. I’m talking about people who might think that your number is too different from them or not on a chart or not on a graph or not in a BMI scale. There will be people who have opinions about your goal weight. And you can choose your goal weight from a place of empowerment, knowing that whatever you choose is right because you choose it to be right and you love your reasons.
This will hopefully weed out choosing a number that’s too low and unhealthy for you because getting too low and unhealthy does not feel like love. It does not feel good. It feels unhappy and unpleasant. And I can’t come up with a word, you guys. I got nothing else for that. It feels unhappy and unpleasant, unhealthy. You get to choose a number, even if it’s random and you just love it and you feel good about it and the reason you’re going to get to that number is because you love yourself and you are excited about that weight and that number and what that means for you and how empowering that is to have sovereignty over your own body and agency, over your ability to choose something for yourself. Whether it’s your weight or any other goal you might ever choose to achieve in your life, coming from that place feels amazing. It feels better than anything you could possibly imagine. It feels better than your goal weight, truly my friends, your goal weight.
And we’re going to talk about this more on another episode, but your goal weight isn’t . . . well, no, we actually have talked about this. This is another one of those Let’s Run podcast episodes (How Losing Weight Changes You https://pahlabfitness.com/losing-weight-changes/). That one talks about what losing weight changes. And the fact is it doesn’t really change anything. Getting your goal is the point of having a goal. What you will learn about yourself, the mental work you will have to do, the stories you will have to unravel, the pride you will feel in being a person who can achieve any of this is the point of having a goal. Empowering yourself to choose your goal is the point of having a goal.
So while I totally appreciate that you’ve asked me this question, I’m handing it back to you, my friends. What do you want to weigh? What is your goal weight? You guys, I really hope this was helpful. It was fun for me. I had a good time with this one, I always do, though. Thank you so much for listening. Thank you for writing your reviews. Thank you for rating the podcast. Thank you for coming along with me on all of the little side trips as you always do. I so appreciate it. And I will talk to you again soon.
So are you totally loving this mindset work and you really want to do it every day in order to get your goal, then my friend, you need to join the, get your goal group. It is my personal and private, very interactive coaching and accountability group, where every day we talk about your mindset and we get your goal. You can learn all about it at pahlabfitness.com/get-your-goal. I’ll see you in the goal group.