Most of you who read this little blog are either Twitter followers of mine, or you're my friend on Facebook. If you've seen any of my posts on either site for the past few Mondays, you'll notice that I've been losing a bit of weight.
I feel fantastic.
I started on January 24. That morning, I weighed mumble-hundred and mumblety-5 pounds. (Come on, I'm a lady. I'm not giving out those numbers. Maybe eventually, but I'm not that comfortable right now with the whole world knowing that number.)
Now, this morning, I discovered that the number had reduced by 13. Well, at first it was about 35 pounds less than a few weeks ago, but that was a fluke - a corner of the scale was on the rug in my room, skewing the output. When the scale was solidly on the bare hardwood floor, it was that mumbly number up there minus 13.
I'm noticing it, too, in my clothing. My jeans are almost too baggy. My work pants are looser. My shoes are even fitting better.
How have I done it? I've lost weight before. I've been a Weight Watcher twice in my life - the first time I lost over 40 pounds, which came back and brought friends. The second time I only lost about 25 pounds and hit a plateau, which I hovered around for well over a year. Then I quit and started putting on the weight again.
I know how Weight Watchers works. I know what needs to be done to lose weight. It's a basic formula - calories in, calories out, right?
But those of you who have struggled with weight issues know that it's never that simple. On paper, sure. It's a piece of cake when you just think about it. But the problem is that your head always gets in the way. That pesky brain has a hard time wrapping its little grey matter around the concept: eating less crap and moving more = weight loss.
Well, that's not entirely it. My brain gets it. I think it must be my subconscious. My will. I know what it takes, but to actually do it? That's been nearly impossible in my life.
I know that I've barely started this adventure this time around. Maybe I'll hit another plateau. But I'm trying not to think that way.
You see, I've realized that it's all about the way I think. I'm entering this adventure with an entirely different mentality about how I'm going to lose the weight. I keep thinking about how much I want it. And I've tried hoping and wishing and praying. When it comes to something like major weight loss, that sort of thing just doesn't cut it. It requires action - both physically and mentally. Even emotional action.
In my first week, I lost 3 pounds. In all my previous weight loss attempts, I lost much more than that in the first week. But that's not a big deal - because this time feels different. I know it's different.
After that first week, I really wanted to go to Caribou Coffee and get a white chocolate mocha. But then I told myself: I didn't lose 3 pounds by drinking mochas. I was drinking tea. So instead of getting the mocha - even though I was convinced that I really wanted it - I got a cup of tea.
I wanted a bacon cheeseburger and fries for lunch. But I told myself: I didn't lose those 3 pounds by eating burgers and fries. So I went to Subway and got a chicken sandwich with no mayo and lots of veggies.
I went to a Super Bowl party that week, and I was surrounded by fantastic-looking food. I didn't completely deny myself, but I also told myself: I didn't lose 3 pounds by gorging myself on snack foods and chocolate covered pretzel rods. So I ate enough food to sample the things that looked good, and I limited myself to one chocolate covered pretzel rod.
And you know what? The next morning when I weighed myself, I was down another 6 pounds, for a grand total of 9 pounds.
NINE POUNDS. That's something. Granted, on a person as large as me, it's barely a dent in this ample frame, but it's still noteworthy - especially to someone like me who has struggled with this for my entire life.
You see, I really like food. I REALLY like food. But it's nothing that I can't control with the power of my mind. I love things like french fries. So you know what? I eat french fries on Friday nights when I go to the bar with my buddies. One night a week, it's not going to hurt me to eat fries. In the last 3 weeks, I've eaten quite a few Friday night fries. And I'm still losing weight.
But you know what else I like? Shrimp. And shrimp isn't that bad. In fact, tonight for dinner I'm going to make a salad with shrimp and toss it with a light balsamic vinaigrette. It will be great.
This morning when I stepped on the scale, I was down another 4 pounds, bringing the grand total to 13.
It feels really good. I love the way this feels, and I love all the encouragement and kudos I'm getting from my friends, family, and coworkers.
It's all in my head. I want this, I know what I need to do, and I know what I need to stop doing. I'm moving more, and I'm eating fewer fried foods and sweets (in general - I haven't cut them out completely), and I'm drinking less diet soda and more tea and water.
I can't wait to step on the scale next week.
I can't believe I just wrote that. "I can't wait to step on the scale next week." That must mean I'm doing something right.