It has been about ten weeks since I set my intention to lose 25 pounds over a six-month period. I have experienced mixed results during that period. My whole approach has been predicated upon a process-oriented approach where I diligently track certain key actions on a daily basis. I was highly effective in achieving my daily process goals for about the first six weeks until I traveled out-of-town for a weekend golf trip with some close friends. During those four days, I ate too much, drank too much, and didn’t open my spreadsheet once. That break in the action spilled over upon my return home and I’ve barely tracked any of my actions for the past three weeks or so. I have mixed feelings about that. On one hand, it is WAY easier to not have to monitor all of my food intake, exercise, and weigh-ins on a daily basis. On the other hand, my desired habits have taken a bit of a hit as you might expect. Surprisingly, my weight has only increased by one pound over the past three weeks despite not adhering to the designed process. However, those are three weeks that I cannot get back.
Overall, my performance to-date has been pretty positive. I started this experiment out at 217 pounds even on July 31st. This morning, October 2nd, I weighed in at just over 206 pounds. So, I have lost just about 11 pounds in about nine weeks or over one pound per week. If I maintain this pace of losing one pound per week (subject to obvious fluctuations week-to-week), then I would lose an additional 13-14 pounds which would place me right around my goal of 25 pounds lost by the end of this year. I think achieving my long-term goal will be difficult for a number of reasons. First, consistently tracking my actions on a daily basis is just plain hard. Life gets in the way. It often feels like a chore or even a punishment despite the fact that it is contributing to my long-term weight loss goal. Second, my experience is that losing (more) weight becomes more difficult as your body weight decreases. For instance, I have lost 11 pounds from my starting weight of 217, which represents a decrease of about five percent. However, losing another 16 pounds from a starting point of 206 represents almost an eight percent weight loss from this point forward. Finally, anecdotally, I am an emotional eater. I don’t leverage many vices or outlets in my life these days. However, when I get tired or upset or angry then I like to eat. I’ve experienced a number of stresses recently that make me want to eat ice cream or pizza or drink red wine, and frankly, I’m often not willing to forego such pleasures for the sake of my weight loss goal. Self-soothing falls higher on my priority list then hard work, discipline, and goal achievement. I guess this is just real life for me.
The best part of this experiment is that I feel better physically and feel better about myself. My pants fit better, which is a HUGE deal. I have more energy. I have a purpose. I like my appearance a bit better. Further, I am constantly learning how to make good choices and give myself permission to be human. I don’t have to be perfect all the time. I can stuff my face with ice cream if I want and get back on the horse tomorrow. I can miss a day of tracking my food intake and not feel as though the sky is falling. I beat myself up some days, but mostly I am patient with myself. I hope this post will give me the boost of energy that I need to get back on track and make another productive push over the next few weeks.