I did a ride this weekend. I will post some info on that over on my “past ride” page pretty soon. It was fun and uneventful…I was outside, which is always a big plus.
I stepped on the scale this morning. The digital readout triggered a chain reaction of thoughts…
My desire and drive to lose weight is like a light switch: on or off. Right now the switch is on. Period. When I am eating right and exercising I loathe getting knocked from my path. My obsession is borderline pathologic. I DO NOT want to cheat, I mentally reprimand myself when I fail to exercise, and I lose sleep when I don’t drop the requisite poundage. I am sure there are several reasons why I have this level of commitment. A big one: my overwhelming yet undiagnosed obsessive-compulsive disorder. Another reason might be just getting in shape. It feels good and it provides a feeling of accomplishment and who doesn’t like to feel good while accomplishing something? But even more than those motives, there is the incentive that comes from the ever-present fear of the backslide –I know if I fall off the proverbial fatboy wagon, more often than not, I will fail to continue my weight loss journey. “Go ahead, just have one…it’s just a donut” is the same as saying, “just have one drink” to an alcoholic. One donut…or comparable burrito, pizza slice, burger, or eggroll…has often lead to a periods of binging that defied logic. Angels shield their eyes and grown men weep when I fear-and-loathe my way through weeks and months of caloric overindulgence. Being offered some amazing portion of a decadent delicacy or sticky sweet treat can simultaneously entice me into a making a life-altering choice and push me to the point of being apoplectic. My anger is indirectly focused at the unknowing host or purveyor of the often-divine grub. I mean, would you offer heroin to a recovering drug addict or smoke to a man with emphysema? But I am more irate at myself as I reach for my substance of addiction. I know my dependence…it’s been my constant companion for all of my adult life.
I know that I am not alone. This is a problem that most of America has, but only a certain percentage of my obese brethren are aware of this pattern of progress followed by failure because you have to try before you can fail. And I know how to fail when it comes to weight loss. You think you know yoyo dieting? I have a rarified and almost spiritual existence when it comes to packing it on and taking it off. My closet has an impressive array of different size pants. I bet only The Gap has me beat when it comes to waist size selection.
So, why this rant? Well, on Monday morning (my official obsessive-compulsive weighday — clothes off, take a pee, no coffee or food, hit the scale’s ONbutton…lets do this!) I discovered I’d dropped 10 pounds. Cause for celebration, right? Not so fast, person who likes to be real fast with the congratulations. You see, I’ve seen this ten pounds before…I’ve seen it over and over and over. It is always the first to leave and the last to glom back on. Typically it makes it’s appearance as I start to really appreciate how disgusting I am. I start feeling like Jabba the Hut minus the Muppet tucked in my midsection and metal bikini clad Leia (bummer) and I know things must change. When I start scraping off the vile goo that is my abdomen, typically this is done with copious salads and exercise, the Déjà vu pounds jump ship quick — I guess they know it will only be a matter of time before they are back.
Interestingly, shortly after arriving in Seattle I started logging my weight on a spreadsheet. Often I would forget what I weighed the week before — was it 239 or 237? Did I lose one or three pounds? — so having a running record would let me know if I should praise or punish myself. And before you get all down on me for saying and meaning “punish”, don’t. It is how I roll. I know beating myself up is not a good way to do business but it works for me. Over the last four years I entered the numbers in with surprising diligence. Now I have a very telling record of my weight loss history and it does confirm that I have amazing skill at losing the first ten pounds (yeah!) and even better ability at gaining it back (boo!). But the next ten is a little trickier and the ten after that has been downright tenacious (I’ve only been below 220 once in the last four years). I guess my point is this: I don’t feel good or bad about this first ten pounds but I will start to feel better as the tens start piling up. Hopefully my next post devoted to a ten pound loss will be more upbeat.
Oh, I am sure you are wondering why February is evil, right? Well, my weight loss log has documented that historically it is a bad period for me. Either I gain weight or plateau. The reason is unclear. I’m hoping to reverse that trend in 2011. The STP is six months away — I can’t afford stagnation during the shortest month.