Yesterday when I stepped on the scale, I saw a number that made me elated. So elated, in fact, that I had to do a happy dance, THEN wake Ammon up long enough to share my news. For the first time since sometime in 2011, the number on the scale was < 150. Way back in 2007 when I toiled really hard to lose an awful lot of weight, I promised myself to never cross the 150 threshold again. When I did so 4 years later, it was really painful for me, and even more painful when I couldn't get it under control for well over a year. Is it far enough under 150 that I think it's permanent? No. I believe in weighing myself daily, for a lot of really scientific and physiological reasons, but chief among them that you need to take a running average of your daily weights to get the best sense of the actual weight you are currently fluctuating around. When you weigh in once a week, or once a month, you run the risk of having a water-retaining day, or of not having had good poops the day before. Also, I think people obsess when they weigh in once a week. That number looms, man. When I weigh in daily, that number just represents my state today. Maybe I had way too much salt last night, and so I am up 2.5 pounds. It'll be gone within 2 days. However, if I see the number slowly inching, I know that I need to do something, because that is a sure sign I'm gaining for reals. So once I'm under 150 for at least 5 days in a row, I will believe that I am actually and legitimately under 150.
There's something else about weight loss that I don't get. It's why people think that it should be easy, or that they should be able to lose the weight "no problem". I try really flipping hard to be the ridiculously supportive blogger buddy who supports and uplifts every single person on their journey. I like to think that I do a pretty good job of it most of the time. However, when you talk about how you fall of the wagon and binge, or you don't work out for a week, or how you can't handle it when you gain a pound or two (and you're weighing weekly, not daily), I just want to scream. Because there is no such thing as easy weight loss. Losing weight and keeping it off is one of the hardest things that I have ever done. Stop looking for the easy way and get to work. Step away from the baked goods. Drink water. Go for a walk after dinner instead of snacking until 10pm. It isn't rocket science. You don't need a 4 year degree in Exercise Science to make good choices (although that degree does give me an awful lot of cool factoids to back up my good choices with), you just need to exercise common sense and your body.
And here's another thing: Stop assuming that you "deserve" to see results unless you are giving everything you have to earn those results, and have consistently been doing so for several weeks. I was on a plateau for the last 3.5 weeks, and I stayed my course. I didn't give up, and I didn't throw a temper tantrum over it. I did my thing, knowing that sooner or later my body was going to start responding again. It did when it decided that I had earned it. I swear, my body knows how to humble me and remind me that getting to my ideal takes more than a few weeks, more than a few token workouts. It takes a dedication that transcends my weekly results. It takes an unending commitment to my end game.
I'm sure by now you have noticed that I am perpetually setting a goal before myself. This is always my end game, and I focus on that one goal with reckless abandon. Right now it's looking HOTT in my wedding photos. After that it will be finishing my fist half marathon. And after that it will probably be on being a healthy host to a parasitic life form. But right now, I fantasize about those wedding photos. On nipping another inch from my wedding dress bodice. On having tight arms that don't have to be photoshopped. That is what pushes me forward through all of this. It is why I continue when I don't feel like it. It is what stops me from having a second glass of wine, or eating sugar, or skipping a workout, or whatever the temptation may be. My end goal is greater and more important than any temptation you could set before me. If you can not say the same thing, then maybe you really aren't ready for this process. You aren't mentally there yet. And there's nothing wrong with that. But when you are met with resistance and temptation, your real desires tend to be revealed. Get painfully honest with yourself. When you are ready, you will move heaven and hell in order to meet your goals. But before that you will be on board for a week or two, then something will come along and knock you off track. It happens to everyone. But don't make excuses when it happens. Don't blame the event that knocked you off track. It wasn't that. It was YOU.
This is the paragraph where I would usually try to kiss and make up with all of you looking at me with "that" look. But for what it's worth, my classes in college all substantiate the things I just talked about. They all point to these factors as being critical for long term compliance with a diet and exercise program. And those people who taught me those principles are at the forefront of obesity management research. They aren't slouches, and I trust them. Does this mean that I'm going to stop being supportive of you? No. I have had these thoughts all along. It just means that I can't go on with this game unless I got all of this out. Health and weight loss are topics that I am 100% passionate about, and I could talk for hours on. I welcome your thoughts and opinions too.