One thing you have to mentally prepare for on a journey like this is the fact that as you get smaller, the slower the weight will come off. Which makes sense. I mean, if you’re smaller that means there’s less weight to lose and it’s unrealistic to think that it’s going to come off as quickly or easily at 200 pounds as it did at 300 or 400, let alone if you’re closer to, say, 150.
From 311 to goal is going to take me over two years. How long it’s actually going to take, I have no idea. I would love to be in maintenance mode by Sissy’s wedding next June, but I’ll be happy if I’m running the Cleveland Rock ‘n Roll Half at goal weight a few months later. Fact is, I’ve been at this for twenty-one months already and I still have close to 40 pounds to go. It’s ridiculous to think I’m going to lose that in the next three months and it would be stupid to even try. My weekly average is 1.2 pounds and my monthly average is around 5 pounds. There’s no way I’m going to manage to double that. If anything, those averages might also get smaller right along with me.
To someone not on this journey, those numbers might not seem super impressive. If anything they might be a bit discouraging. Five pounds a month? That’s it? And then there’s the fact that this was a good week. I got myself up on the treadmill despite really, really not wanting to and I followed my own Halloween advice and had my treats without going overboard, yet I only lost half a pound. Not even half, but point four (0.4). Just the other day, someone I follow on Twitter was lamenting the fact that she busted ass at the gym all week long but the scale didn’t budge at all. Me? When I started to really work out I actually gained weight.
Truth is, weight loss is a bit like a Monet painting: really fucking ugly up close but goddamn phenomenal from far away. I can micromanage the numbers and say that over the past twenty-one months I have managed to average one single measly pound a week or I can tell you that I’ve lost an astounding 113.4 pounds. The numbers really are exactly the same regardless of how they are broken down, but sometimes you just need to change your perspective a bit to fully comprehend the message.
I have to wonder if this is why some people opt for quick fix crash diets: they are too focused on the daily, weekly numbers and not the big picture. Attempting to lose weight in a realistic manner (aka, a manner that will allow you to keep it off, because isn’t that really the ultimate goal?) takes time. Lots of time and lots of patience. And anyone who knows me knows that patience is not one of my virtues.
I know how much it sucks to be on this type of journey. I know how frustrating it can be to see a slow moving scale or see it go up. I know that we all want to be the Hare, but this is one instance where we should happily be trudging along as the Tortoise.
You didn’t gain the weight overnight, you’re not going to lose the weight overnight either. Or, to put it another way: if you do manage to lose the weight overnight, how quickly and easily do you imagine it will be to gain it all back?
Just think about it.
Love from the ashes,