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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Weekly Digest: Goal Weight Range for Super Morbidly Obese

Read the  full newsletter in our Archive: Digest May 17, 2011

In our weekly digest on May 10th I presented my method for calculating a GWR --Goal Weight Range-- for weight loss rather than a single goal weight. I have developed this formula while working with my fellow weight loss surgery patients so that we may move beyond a randomly selected goal weight to the more important goal of improving our health. In today's digest we look at how GWR may be used for those who fall into the "Extreme Obesity" or "Super Morbidly Obese" category. When a person has a goodly amount of weight to lose they benefit from shaping smaller goals that lead to the greater objective or ultimate goal. When taken alone the ultimate goal (lose 200 pounds, for example) poses an insurmountable climb up a profoundly steep hill. Using GWR Phases allows us to focus on positive changes and adapt a problem-solving approach toward the shortfalls. Weight management is a journey, not a destination.

If you fall into one of the heavier categories of BMI please take a look at the GWR Phases as detailed below. I think you will have a new enthusiasm for setting and achieving goals when they are based on rational data to target attainable milestones. 

Remember: The objective with GWR is to create an acceptable range based on data and realistic thinking with some positive confidence building opportunities along the way.

Over the years I've heard all kinds of rationale for the randomly selected goal weights people pursue. Just to lighten the mood here are a few of the outrageous and irrelevant reasons people have shared for setting their goal weight. Usually these statements follow the disclaimer, "I know it is silly but..." 

"I want to get to 120 pounds and size 6 because it sounds so wonderful just saying it: I weigh 120 pounds and wear a size 6. I love how that sounds!" 
-- 31 year old woman, starting weight 285, BMI 49 

"I want to get to 135 pounds so I can weigh less than my twin sister who has never had a weight problem."
--44 year old woman, starting weight 238, BMI 41 

"I want to get back to 160 pounds, that's what I weighed when I left the Army and I was in the best shape of my life." --Six-Foot tall 58 year old man, starting weight 327 pounds, BMI 47  

 "My class reunion is next summer and I want to weigh less than I did at graduation 20 years ago so my goal is 140 pounds."
--38 year old woman, starting weight 278, BMI 45

   These reasons do sound silly when put in writing, but honestly, I know I had a few silly things that motivated my weight loss including revenge against all the mean girls who teased me in high school. Perhaps you too are fueled by a few non-health related goals. So while we can harness the energy that comes from silly motivation it is also important to set viable goals based on improved health and greater rewards. These are the things that will sustain us on the long journey when the rewards of silliness become trite.  

Happy Spring - We are all in this together!

Other articles in the May 17, 2011 Digest
Last week when we published the weekly digest about Goal Weight Range rather than pursing a single goal weight we received a tremendous amount of feedback both favorable and critical. One thing I failed to include in the previous newsletter was applying the GWR principles in phases to facilitate weight loss for people who fall in the clinical definition of "Extreme Obesity" having a BMI of greater than 40. Patients faced with a tremendous amount of weight to lose benefit from the behavioral technique called "shaping" in which a series of short-term goals are set and met bringing them closer to the ultimate goal. Below is a Question & Answer from the LivingAfterWLS Neighborhood that addresses the question of Goal Weight Range as it is applied to the super-morbidly obese: 
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