The real question is: What happens after Thanksgiving?
Once the column ends – once I’m no longer reporting my weight to you – how do I stay motivated to lose more?
I did lose this past week. A modest amount, only. My weight reported last week was 91 kg, which is exactly 200 pounds (although, full disclosure, I think I was a decimal-something heavier than 91). I was 197.6 this morning. A loss of 10 pounds by early October is by no means guaranteed, but certainly possible, willpower willing.
But the initial goal was a loss of 40 pounds. I’ll pat myself on the back for 189.9, but what I really want is to be 15 pounds lighter than that. Actually, what I really, really want is to be 25 pounds lighter than that: 165.
It’s hard to imagine attaining something you only half-heartedly believe you can reach. One step at a time, right? Except one step at a time can easily devolve into, ‘Oh, I can diet tomorrow – tonight I want pizza.’ Big results require consistency over an extended period of time. Consistency week after week would have had me on track for 175 a month from now. It was inconsistency that forced me to amend my goal.
Inconsistency lurks at every turn. Today, having weighed in this morning, I allowed myself a sub sandwich. I wasn’t supposed to also have two mammoth pieces of cake, however. The problem is that cake tastes very, very good.
I could be back to 215 in a month. That’s the stark truth.
The only way that won’t happen is if I keep trying – yes, despite my regular backslides. The good news is that, for me, losing weight probably isn’t much harder than maintaining weight. Both demand denial.
This is not an advice column. Please consult a medical expert or nutritionist for sound dietary advice. Eric Sparling is an Amherst Daily News reporter, and former senior editor at Oxygen, a women’s fitness magazine.