Goal-Setting: My Ideal Body in Pictures and Numbers

In his book “Thinner, Leaner, Stronger,” Michael Matthews recommends setting tangible goals before you even pick up a weight, drop a calorie, or hop on a treadmill. I wholly agree.

I did not do this in the first few weeks because I was extremely motivated to get started and I didn’t want to plan myself out of execution, which is consistent with my rather cerebral tendencies.  But goal-setting is just as important as knowing your baseline, and now that I’ve had a few weeks to really reflect, I’m ready to articulate those goals.

In setting up your goals, Matthews recommends assessing (1) what your ideal body looks like; (2) what your ideal state of health would be like; and (3) why you’re doing this in the first place. Today, I will focus on my ideal body.

A Picture of my Ideal Body

Matthews recommends not just using mere words to describe your ideal body, but pictures. So I found a few. Here is my favorite:
Fit Chick 1What a fox! She embodies a lot of qualities I am looking for: Strong, good lines, lean… but NOT “skinny fat.” I’ve been around this size before, so I’m confident this is an attainable goal (with time and effort). I want a body indicative of a healthy, happy lifestyle, in which I’m not engaging in negativity or self-punishment.

And most importantly, I want my thighs to still touch:

Fit Chick ThighsThe Thigh Gap is not welcome in this house.*

My Ideal Body in Numbers

I finally got my body fat percentage tested at 24-Hour Fitness, by Corey, my new trainer. Sadly, it’s at a whopping 35%. With a body weight of 150 lbs, this translates into 97.5 lbs of muscle, and 52.5 lbs of fat!

I’m carrying a spry tween’s worth of weight on my thighs, hips, ass, arms, and belly. YUCK. No wonder I’ve been feeling like crap.

My ultimate goal is to weigh approximately 135 lbs and have 20% body fat, which means I need to lose 25.5 lbs of fat and gain 10.5 lbs of muscle. I’m not ignorant to the fact that this is a fairly significant “body recomp,” so I set a first milestone to weigh approximately 140 lbs and have 25% body fat. Corey estimated that at a healthy rate of losing 2% of body fat each month, I can reach this goal in five months.

((whimper)) …wish me luck!

*I have A LOT of opinions on this Thigh Gap and Thinspo garbage circulating the internet and infiltrating the minds of young women out there. Stay tuned for more information on this dubious subject, and the all-out war to follow. It’s on, bitches.  


6 thoughts on “Goal-Setting: My Ideal Body in Pictures and Numbers

  1. I like the goal!! She looks healthy and strong and active.

    It has taken me a long time to add significant muscle to my frame. Probably 3 years to add about 25lbs. It’s just been consistency in lifting heavy, eating a high protein diet, and limiting cardio.

    Are you a member on myfitnesspal.com to track calories and macros? If you join, you can add Rachel and I as friends so we can all encourage each other. 🙂

    • Thanks Suzy! Thanks for the recommendation of myfitnesspal.com – I’ll check it out. I’ve been looking for a site to track calories and such… I was using Livestrong.com, but it’s hard to wrap my head around supporting a fraudulent athlete such as Armstrong (irrespective of his amazing comeback from cancer, which I do respect).

      I will for the most part be doing HIIT cardio a couple of times a week. I like the idea of it being in short bursts of 20-30 minutes for now, as I do find strength and functional training much more entertaining. Though, these goals may change as I sign up for races and such in the future (which is a long-term goal of mine, once this stupid stupid leg is conquered).

    • Oh and YES, screw that Thigh Gap. I really am serious about waging on all-out war on the utter irresponsibility of the Thigh Gap and Thinspo movements. I know other people have had a lot of constructive criticisms on it already, but this needs to gain traction. Young women and adolescents need to stop viewing their bodies as the enemy, as these things they have to punish to fit into this preconceived fashion paradigm aimed at selling smaller dress sizes. It’s dangerous, and I hardly ever see disclaimers regarding seeking medical advice before taking on such a traumatizing regimen for your body.


  2. Great goals – healthy inside and out — Better than the TLS book, which says that the best form of protein is meat and dairy (at 69), which contradicts a large body of evidence: the consensus is that eating a whole food plant based nutrition has major benefits by pretty much all measures compared to a diet with meat and dairy, especially for heart health and cancer. For example, a meta-study: Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets (Tuso, 2013), saying all physicians should recommend a plant-based diet. It blows my mind that over 95% of people on a plant-based diet are thinner, leaner and stronger than on the standard American diet (SAD) and yet it’s still not promoted by a book that ostensibly promotes being thinner, leaner and stronger.

    Interesting thing about “self punishment” : self-denial of unwholesome foods and lifestyle choices is often seen as negative and painful at first, but it’s a sacrifice that builds character, willpower, strength, and health. Switching to plant-based foods involves detoxifying the body, which may seem punishing, but it’s really healing. Most toxins are stored in the fat, which makes burning that fat a potentially “negative” process – but it completely depends on your attitude and perspective… Fasting — in the right way (I’d suggest raw green smoothies/juices) — can be an amazing experience, accelerate your goals, and be extremely empowering.

    The best Olympian (Carl Lewis) and the best endurance athletes (Scott Jurek, author of Eat and Run) are vegan and shatter the myths…

    Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness
    Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life


    • I agree wholeheartedly with much of your points. However, in my opinion, I don’t think you can discredit someone like Matthews for not being vegan, not when he has so many other good tips to offer. Are there better authors out there whose goals of humane athleticism are paramount? Sure. I’ll eventually run into them (with a little help from recommenders such as you). But I like how he frames goal-setting and helps break down the process. And that is valid. And you have to hand it to him… the man is shredded.

      I would say I’m about 90% plant-based at this point – I’m okay with that at this point in my journey. I’m also surprisingly okay with the fact that I’m at 35% body fat right now. (1) I’m still a sexy bitch, and (2) my body has been doing a good job of protecting me through an extended period of stress and injury. I don’t view my fat comp as my enemy – I view the factors that put me in this position as my nemeses (there will be a post at some point on giving your body “permission” to lose weight, as I research the subject more.).

      Thanks for the recommendations (and the well wishes!), I’ll look into them when I have a few moments later this week. 🙂

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