September 07, 2022

Wednesday Weigh-In: Goal Weight Talk

When I first started losing weight in 2009, I had no idea what my goal weight was going to be. I was 253 pounds, and I guessed that I would probably be happy at around 175. I'd only weighed less than that once in my adult life and it was several years prior. The lowest weight I'd ever seen on the scale as an adult was 152, and I think that lasted one day ;)

It's kind of funny (or maybe sad?) that I remember my weight at certain points throughout my life. When I worked at Curves, we used to do a questionnaire with new members and one of the questions was if they remembered what they weighed on their wedding day. And you know what? I would say that 95% of the women I signed up remembered the exact number. I can tell you that I weighed 160 on the dot the day that I got married.

Thinking about it now, I realize how trivial it all is. Why do we think about that number so much? And even posting my Wednesday Weigh-Ins seems--childish? That's not really the right word; I'm not sure what to call it. It's just so unimportant, especially when I think of all the other stuff I have going on right now.


I don't think it'll ever not be somewhat important to me--I was overweight for 28 years, morbidly obese for many of them, and I felt like I missed on out a lot when I was a teenager and early 20s. When my friends were wearing crop tops and bikinis, I wore the baggiest clothes I could (and forget about a bathing suit!). I was an extremely self-conscious, shy wallflower who desperately wanted to be like "everyone else".

I tried so many times to lose weight but I just couldn't do it. When I started exercising at Curves in 2002(?) I also joined Weight Watchers and I got my weight down to 152. I was thrilled! And then gained the weight back almost immediately. I even had to have my wedding dress let out in the waist just two days before my wedding because I couldn't zip it anymore. (God bless that seamstress!)

My wedding day was the last day I saw 160 until 2010. I'd gotten pregnant just a couple of months after getting married, and I was kind of relieved to have an excuse to gain weight. I had two babies in 18 months, and then my weight was at 250-ish until August 19, 2009, when I finally had enough of being too big to play with my kids the way I always imagined I would.

I won't go through the whole weight loss story, because it's written all over my blog, but as I lost weight, I started to think more and more about my goal. I reached 175 and was shocked to have gotten that far. Then I aimed for 160 and reached it. Being in the 150s was unbelievable to me. And when I reached 149? I was terrified. I was in uncharted territory with no clue what to expect.

I kept lowering my goal weight as I got smaller. Reaching 144 was a big deal because for the first time in my life, I was no longer considered "overweight" on the BMI chart. When I thought it might be possible to hit 139, I was excited--it seemed SO SKINNY to me--but I did it.

As you know, I'm a total numbers person. I love nerdy spreadsheets and even math problems (that don't involve graphs, haha). I'm kind of particular about numbers and my favorites are odd numbers in multiples of 11 (especially 11, 33, and 55). I have no idea why.

I eventually chose 133 as my goal weight. Now, today, calling it a "goal weight" seems kind of silly; but it was important to me at the time. And honestly? It still is. Regardless of what number we choose, some of us like to have a goal in mind.

At this age (40), I would be happy just to feel comfortable in my clothes and my own body. If that happened to be 150, sure--I'll take it! From past experience, however, I know that I am most comfortable under about 140.

When I gained a lot of weight in 2018-2020, I reached 197--the highest my weight had been in nearly 10 years. I never stopped trying to lose the weight, but I also never thought I would. I felt like I was out of control and 197 would turn into 253 again before I even knew it. When I saw that number, I immediately decided that I was going to get my weight back down to an "acceptable" number. I didn't care if I never saw the 120s again or the 130s or even 140s. At that point, I would have been happy just to get to 170.

Still, I think 133 will be burned in my mind forever as my "goal weight".

That day was May 24, 2021. I did what I knew best--counting calories. And slowly, the weight started to come off. I can't even describe how relieved I was. When your weight loss/gain/loss/gain is so public, it's embarrassing to see such a dramatic shift upward. I felt like a failure. And thousands of people could see it.

I haven't counted calories in a months. (I think I stopped counting in February or March sometime.) I put my focus on eating a lot of fiber; and at the end of January of this year, I became vegan--which completely changed everything for the better. I could write a whole series of posts about the changes I've noticed since becoming vegan, but I'll save that for another time (this is long enough).

My weight loss stalled for several months, but I hadn't started eating plant-based to lose weight (I became vegan for three reasons in this order: 1) The suffering that animals go through in factory farms; 2) The impact that factory farms have on the environment; and 3) For health. So when my weight loss stalled, I continued to eat vegan regardless of my weight.

Recently, the weight started coming off again and I have to say it's been easy. I almost feel guilty about how easy it has felt. Becoming vegan for those reasons I listed gave me a "why" that, for once in my life, isn't about weight loss. And I think that has made all the difference.

For the first time in 12 years, I don't fear gaining the weight back.

Maybe my weight will change, maybe it won't... but I'm not scared of it or worried about what people will think anymore. And I'm sure it's because I changed my "why".

So, Katie, get on with it... why all this talk about goal weight? Well, I reached it this week...

While I'm sure the fact that I've been stressed and overwhelmed recently has something to do with losing the last 5-6 pounds, I still felt a little thrill when I saw that on the scale. I don't think that I'll ever be able to get having a "goal weight" out of my head, and I'm okay with that.

In 2015, when I focused so hard on getting to 133 pounds, I reached that weight and was over-the-moon excited. Jerry took my picture that day and I was grinning from ear to ear.

Rather than take a mirror selfie in my dusty, under-construction bathroom this week, I felt like reaching my goal weight was worth another picture outside, standing on the dike across from my house, just like last time. (Well, minus the make-up and hair.) I can certainly see that I've aged, but I also know how much better I feel inside. I'm not nearly as fast a runner as I was back then and I have at least one more wrinkle for each year that has passed, but I feel good.

In January when I turned 40, I can't even describe how bummed I was about that number. When did 40 years go by?! How in the heck had it been 11 years since I started writing Runs for Cookies? Why was I still struggling with my weight 40 years after I'd been born a 9+ pound baby? Why did I even care?

I made my family and friends promise me that they wouldn't mention my birthday. I didn't want to celebrate it or even think about it. There was no birthday talk on January 25th, and I was grateful for that.

Now, not even eight months later, I can honestly say I feel better at 40 than I did at 30. I'll take 40--wrinkles, gray hair, and all!


  1. I think you look wonderful but it truly is all about how you feel! You look simply radiant!! As my mom always likes to tell me lol, age is nothing but a number! You should be very proud of all your accomplishments in life! <3

  2. Once again, your honesty is radiant. Even when you're going through a tough time, your ability to be vulnerable and tell it all (as you feel appropriate) is so refreshing. Thank you for being YOU!


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