Starting any sort of healthy eating plan often nets you a spate of good results very quickly. Which is good, but I think the body has got it all wrong. When you’re at the beginning, your motivation is generally at its absolute peak and you are not reliant on validation from the scales to maintain a high level of effort. It’s when you’re a few months in that you really need those big losses to keep your motivation levels from dipping.
A few years ago, my liver was a bit grumbly and so my doctor referred me to a liver specialist at the local hospital who, in the nicest possible way, said that the best way to fix things was to be less fat. But he also said that he always advised his patients to aim to lose no more than a pound a week, explaining that any faster and you could end up putting a lot of strain on your other organs. I had never thought of losing weight as actually putting strain on your body before.
Of course, it’s very easy to write this and very easy to give advice to people that slow and steady really is the best way. I do it myself all the time – on other blogs, on the WW message boards, and I always, always mean it. But when it comes to my own results, not so easy. There is a little voice constantly saying “You’ve been at this five months now – why are we not there yet?” or “You’ve only lost a pound this week – this is going to take forever, let’s give up and eat cake.”
I suppose that part of the problem is that I think it is natural to say, if I lose weight at x rate then by y time (y being a holiday, a special event) I will look like z. But that way madness lies. The problem with time related goals is that you can be an absolute angel but you have no ultimate control as to the rate at which your body chooses to shed the poundage. And for me, I want to continue to have a social life and enjoy eating (and drinking) out, which means accepting that some weeks I just won’t be able to create a sufficient calorie deficit.
I guess acceptance is what I need and what I’m groping towards, acceptance, patience, and the ability to enjoy the tiny victories along the way.
And, for the record, this is what a pound of fat looks like:
To lose even half of that is a serious achievement.