I wanted to do a post about this because it's been on my mind a lot recently.
For those of you unfamiliar with my weight loss journey, I have been a member of Slimming World since October 2016 and have lost 9 stone 6lbs (132lbs) and 10 stone 6lbs (146lbs) overall.
When I started my journey with SW, I had lost a stone, so my starting weight was 22 stone 10lbs. When I joined I was asked whether I wanted to set a 'target weight'.
It's just such a personal thing, hence why everybody's target is different and of course, two different people can look completely different at exactly the same weight.
So, for the first few months of following the plan, I didn't set a target weight at all. I wanted to see if 1) I could stick to the plan; and 2) Whether I could at least get off to a good start by losing at least a couple of stone.
Around 3 months in, early 2017, I checked what weight my BMI said I should be on the NHS website to be classed as 'healthy'. As I am only 5 ft 4, this came out at between 7 stone 10lbs to 10 stone 6lbs.
At that stage, although I'd lost a few stone already, I still weighed around 20 stone, so imagining myself even at the higher end of the recommended weight range (10 stone 6lbs) was so difficult.
Due to this, I decided to set my target weight as 12 stone, with the knowledge that I could lower this if I wanted to when I got there.
I knew if I set a target weight of 8 stone, for example, that this would have been so overwhelming, and for some reason 12 stone felt like a decent enough target to at least have at the back of my head as I reached each mini target I set as I went along!
As of right now, I weigh 13 stone 4lbs. Hopefully now I am edging towards being in the 12 stone bracket within the next few weeks, so reaching my current 'target weight' of 12 stone has been on my mind.
Throughout my journey, I've learned more and more that changing your life, body and mind is not all about the scales. Most of the time I've learnt that the hard way, after weeks where I've struggled with old eating habits creeping back in, feeling out of control, unexpected gains etc.
I think it's so important to focus on other aspects of losing weight as well. For me, I have tried to do this by measuring my waist and hips on a monthly basis, and by generally assessing what I look like/how I feel vs. what I weigh or how I've done at weigh-in that particular week.
(FYI I have lost 15 inches off my waist and 15 inches off my hips in my journey so far!).
It's easy for the number on the scales to get in your head, but ultimately, we are not a number, whether that be a weight or a dress size.
Nobody looks at someone else and labels them as '10 stone 4lbs'. That would just be ridiculous wouldn't it?! Yet sometimes we can let the number on the scales define us and drive us absolutely mad!
To quote Ashley Graham (I'm currently reading her book about body confidence), you can't see weight, so it is really not important (kind of ironic when you're on a weight loss journey, but hopefully you know what I mean!).
While at the moment there are parts of my body that I've embraced as I've got smaller (most of the time anyway, because we all have off days), there are a few areas where I'd like to lose a bit more weight from.
My main 'problem area' right now is my stomach. Unfortunately though, we can't choose where the weight comes off, so really I have to just hope for the best that losing just over 1 stone will make my stomach a bit flatter at least!
Of course, there are always exercises that I can do to potentially change this, and I am definitely willing to focus on stomach exercises if I'm not happy when I get to 12 stone, and if this doesn't work... well, I will cross the 'loose skin removal surgery' bridge when I come to it.
Although I already exercise, I don't do specific stomach exercises (mostly a mixture of overall weights and cardio), and right now I feel like that is enough until I reach a weight that I'm happy with.
For a few months, I had this idea that I'd eventually lower my target from 12 stone to '10 stone 10lbs'. The idea of losing an equal amount of stones just appealed to me! (that would mean I will have lost 12 stone with SW and 13 stone overall).
The thing is though, I am still questioning whether I was thinking that because I actually want to be that weight, or whether I just want to weigh less because I know I can keep losing weight, basically for the hell of it.
Just because I can keep losing weight, if I'm happy enough with most areas of my body right now, then why should I keep losing more just to chase a particular number?
So for now, for fear of over-thinking it way too much, I am just aiming to get to 12 stone as originally planned. This is nowhere near as daunting now that I am relatively close!
Ideally, I would love to do this by the time I go to Florida at the end of September, but this only really gives me 7 weigh-in's to lose 24lbs, which is obviously asking a lot.
At the very least, to be in the 12 stone bracket by the time I go to Florida would just be amazing in itself as I never, ever dreamed I'd get even half way to that.
There is no harm in setting my own goal of getting to 12 stone as at least it is something to motivate me for the next 7 weeks or so.
Whether I get there or not by then, I will definitely be thoroughly enjoying 2 weeks of eating what I want in Florida as planned, and come back ready to find my 'happy weight'... but most importantly, feeling ready to get back to my healthy routine again.
If any of you are target members/generally happy with your weight/size, what is it that makes you know that it's right for you?
Do you have a particular weight/dress size that you feel comfortable at? I am really intrigued about this and would love some feedback.
I'm sure I will post regular updates on the lead up to Florida, so watch this space for the next installment of my pre-holiday progress.
As always, thank you for reading, and please remember to always believe in yourself.
- Melissa. x
Follow me on Instagram/Twitter: @justaslimmer