fit at 55, fitness goals, non-scale victories, Rheumatoid Arthritis, ryan teal, weight loss

What Are Your Goals – And It Can’t Be a Number

Imagine if your trainer asked you to get crystal clear about your goals, EXCEPT those goals can’t have anything to do with numbers on a scale.  What would you say?  How do you want to FEEL?
“Because that’s really it, isn’t it?  When we start out on any fitness or health journey, whether we know it or not, we’re chasing a feeling.  Maybe we desperately want to feel in control again.  Maybe we want to feel free.  Maybe we want to feel strong.  Maybe we want to feel accepted.  Maybe we want to feel seen or appreciated or valued.  But I guarantee you we aren’t actually chasing the feeling of 125 pounds.”

Perhaps a goal is to do a pull up!

I loved this because I had just written about “What was the best part of my trip to Bermuda?”  And all I could say is that it was a “feeling.”  A friend of mine told me about this article she had just read – that I quoted above.  It’s called You Weigh WHAT?! and can be found on

She asked her clients about their goal as stated above.  Then she took before pictures.  At the end, she took after pictures.  Every week she weighed them, measured their body fat and checked for change in inches (waist and hips.)  However, she did NOT let them see the numbers.    The program was designed to take the power AWAY from numbers.

“At the end of the program, every one of my challengers made remarkable visual progress!  Many of them were comfortably wearing their ‘goal’ outfit by weeks 3 and 4, so needless to say, come week 8 we were seeing some pretty dramatic changes in those pictures.”  She mentions how in the before photos, she noticed looks of defeat and shame and even tears.  However, in the after photos, there were giant smiles!  They didn’t need her confirmation, they could feel it in their bodies, in their clothes and in their daily interactions with others.

She shared the progress photos at the end with the whole group and it’s just our human nature to want to know the “numbers” that go along with the photo.  She didn’t tell them.  They each voted on the challenger they thought made the most dramatic change.  Once all the votes were in, she shared the pounds, body fat and inches lost with those challengers that wanted to know.  “Even after they SAW their own transformation, they let the numbers (even “better” numbers) steal that joy as quickly as it came.”


I can’t tell you how many times I would come to Ryan and tell him about the most excellent doctor appointment I had and how blown away the doctor was and how she would say “Keep doing what you are doing.”  But then perhaps the next day I would “weigh in” and maybe only lose 1/2 pound and I would get physically angry.  (Drove him crazy.)  We should strive to NOT live like I was.

That doesn’t mean I don’t keep striving towards my goal; it means I don’t let my mind try to trick me into thinking I’m not making progress because of a number!  Look at this before picture.  I think I’ve made some progress!  Keep at it folks.

Jan 2016 / July 2017

 I’ll never forget Suzanne telling me to “keep moving.”  She helped me with rehab on my knee, and it hurt particularly bad that day.  And to add insult to injury my arthritis was bothering me.  She said, “The best thing you can do is KEEP MOVING.”  So whenever I have a day where my body feels funky, I just remember I’m helping my future self by continuing to move today.

Keep moving – no matter how my body feels.

Here is the article for further reference:

Leave a Reply