On Not Reaching Goals

A few months ago I wrote this post: 100 or bust.

The plan was from Feb. 1 to now to lose 1 pound a week for a total of 20 pounds.

The plan also was to move out of my current apartment.

Neither happened.

And though at first I wasn’t happy with this, all I can do is trust that where I am now is where I’m meant to be.

The truth is, I love my current apartment, I love the area that I live in, and I get along fantastically with my roommate. Still, I wanted a change. After a month or two of looking, however, I realized a change just wasn’t in the cards for me financially. My roommate and I happen to have a beautiful, sunny, spacious apartment that we pay a ridiculously low rent for in N.J. standards (ridiculously high for everywhere else in the country) and staying wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t what I had planned.

As for the weight, well, that’s more complicated.

As of right now, my weight is hovering around 155 pounds. That’s a total of 88 pounds lost. I’ve stopped calorie counting, I’m only stepping on the scale once a week, at most.

I’d be lying if I said this has been easy to accept. The sudden and scary return of binge eating has made it near impossible to have any control over my weight, but it’s also forced me to stop caring about my weight and start caring about my health, both mentally and physically.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, it mystifies me that I’ve been able to lose this much weight. Truly and totally astounds me.

Wanting to lose more and struggling so much to do it (and still not losing) is hard, sure, but how could I possibly be disappointed in myself?

Tomorrow I’ll be boarding a plane for a two-week adventure around Europe. As I was packing, I found these passport photos that were taken in 2009 in order for me to get a cell phone in India. For comparison’s sake (and because it really is that hard for me to see change) I quickly snapped a selfie and put the two side-by-side.


There are no words to accurately describe what it feels like to look at those photos.

It’s overwhelming to the point of being uncomfortable. I don’t know what to think when I see my younger, fatter self. I’m just, astonished.

The last few weeks have really been a process of understanding that while my body is different, the thoughts in my head aren’t. Some days when I look in the mirror I think I get scared because I’m not sure how living this way actually works. I have to remind myself to breathe, and to take it one day at a time.

Losing weight has forced open other parts of my life that are really tough to deal with, parts of my life that I didn’t have to deal with because the fat gave me a pseudo-barrier against all of  it. It was my excuse to keep most things and people at a (chubby) arm’s length.

Losing weight has forced me to be honest about my past, about why I gained the weight, and has led to some uncomfortable conversations both with others and with myself through journaling.

Most days I’m grateful for this. But some days, it’s just fucking scary.

Despite all the scariness, I am truly excited about the general state of my life right now.

I’m excited about my vacation that starts tomorrow.

I’m excited to return to an apartment that is both familiar to me and that I love.

And I’m excited to have started an honest process of breaking free from binge eating, obsessive calorie counting, and daily weighing.

I didn’t reach the goals I set for myself in February. To be totally cliche, life took some different turns, some sharp curves, and some unexpected detours.

My favorite travel moments have always been the days where I’m exploring without a goal of something to do or some place to see. Where I get to wander in new surroundings. Where I’m allowed to gaze as long as I want at the beauty of something unfamiliar.

That is how I’m trying to live my life right now. After being so restrictive and purposeful for over two years, this isn’t coming naturally, but I’m getting better at handling the discomfort every day.

I could be upset that I didn’t reach my weight loss goals, but I choose instead to focus on the present. To flow easily with life, moment by moment, not tying my current contentment to a past that I cannot change or a future that has yet to be created.

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu




5 thoughts on “On Not Reaching Goals

  1. After reading this post I really feel like you’ve accomplished goals that you didn’t even realize you had. Does that make sense? I guess what I mean is that the realization that “while my body is different, the thoughts in my head aren’t” is so huge. That in itself is a great accomplishment and sets you up to keep growing and keep progressing. The weight of our thoughts can be heavier than the weight on our bodies and is just as important to shed.

    Where in Europe are you going?? Have a wonderful, peaceful, joyful time.

  2. Enjoy your two week trip to Europe! Can’t wait to hear about it when you get back 🙂

    Congratulations on your losses thus far! I think maintaining a loss is equally if not more important in the long run since the statistics show regaining is so prevalent.

    • I definitely loved that pic at the time it was taken, it’s just so weird to see it now…! Also, I’m pretty sure my entire face is smaller except for my cheeks haha.

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