Week…10? The Reckoning

I’m going to address a messy topic today. Thinking about what I want to say has given me a lot of grief this past week…and how to say it, a lot of frustration. This post is about failure. If I am to be at all times honest, admitting failure at this point seems kinda unavoidable.

On April 11th, I embarked on a (public) journey to lose weight, get fit, and put a stop, once and for all, to the creep of pound after pound sneaking up on me over the past few years. The goal I set for myself was 8 lbs. in 8 weeks’ time. The plan to get me there was (1) follow eight simple dietary guidelines, and (2) be sure to get at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week.

Now comes the reckoning.

Last time I posted my weight, it was 125. That was 2 weeks ago. It’s still 125. (Hey, at least I haven’t gained any weight back.) So, calculating from April 11th, I’ve dropped 5 lbs. in – you got it – 10 weeks. That’s an average of exactly ½ pound per week (do the math). I guess I won’t be publishing “Janet’s Special Rapid Weight Loss Plan” anytime soon.

I wouldn’t say that I failed miserably, though. I accomplished something – five pounds is something, after all. And, in the process, I became more aware of how much I ate on a regular basis. I learned how often is too often for a doughnut or almond croissant (every day is too often). I became attuned, and learned to respond appropriately, to my body’s hunger and satiety signals. I learned that I could be perfectly satisfied with one little square of dark chocolate at bedtime instead of two, and that I really don’t need a french baguette with every evening meal at home. (Of course, I do when enjoying an elegant meal out – besides, it comes to the table at no extra charge, freshly baked, crusty and undeniably delicious, and not to be refused under any circumstances.) Also along the journey, inspired by the seasons, I acquired a new appreciation for the fresh, the whole, the raw, the completely unadorned and utterly simple. How splendid is a mere slice of peak-season, home-grown tomato with nothing more than a sprinkling of sea salt?

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Black plum

There’s a certain beauty in extreme simplicity when it comes to ripe, freshly picked, seasonal fruits and vegetables. And there’s a new ease to not only meeting, but exceeding, that “5-a-day” fruits and veggies recommendation. This alone represents an unequivocal improvement in my eating habits and overall health, whether or not I continue to lose toward my original goal. Take a look at what I’ve been eating lately. (Scroll down for links to the recipes.)

Slow-cooker beans and Mexican rice, avocado, cilantro, red Sangria

Slow-cooker beans and Mexican rice, avocado, cilantro, red Sangria

And while true that I’ve only lost 5 lbs., on the other hand, I’m only 3 lbs. away from my goal weight of 122. That’s not much. I could stop and focus instead on maintenance, which seems natural now, given how my eating habits have changed for the better. Yes. I could quit, call it a day, and just go shopping.

But there’s just one problem. I’m still a few pounds too much in the midsection (if you know what I mean) for my new scuba dress, which I purchased at the end of last summer, and which I have, almost a year later, yet to wear. Have you ever bought a dress knowing it was a tad too snug, but hoping it would provide you the motivation to lose some pounds because you loved it so much and wanted to rock it in that smaller size? Well, I have.

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Now is not the time to quit. Now is the time to double down on a new goal: rock the scuba dress. I’m going to recommence tracking every single thing I eat, all my meals and snacks, every day for the next couple of weeks, and I’m going to up my exercise.

Here’s to sticking with it. I hope you’ll stick with me.

Recipes:  Vietnamese Lemongrass ChickenDouble Chocolate Greek Yogurt Banana BreadWhole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

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