weight goal #2

When I slid the weight counters across the scale's slide and realized what the numbers meant, I didn't feel joy or excitement, or even my usual urge to get sniffly and teary. Just relief. I didn't care that it might've been - in all truth, probably is - partly due to water weight fluctuations. I'd finally made my second weight goal. Twenty pounds down.

I've been trying to grind my way through an ugly, nasty plateau since mid-May. By June 3rd, I was frustrated enough to write what became the entry "a knot in next week's rope," an entry that's gotten me more privately-emailed feedback than just about anything else I've ever written here.

(Those of you who have written - and I have not answered all of you - thank you. You know who you are.)

I'm aware that as I've gotten progressively more and more stuck in this plateau, I've written less and less about it here. I've had nothing I've wanted to say, nothing I've wanted to share. I've been slogging through workouts in the hopes that something, anything (!) would work, and the voice in my mind that said "Write it all down!" was consistently drowned out by the voice that said, "Quitcher whining, girl."

For the past month, going to the gym hasn't been fun or funny or enlightening. It's been bloody tough work for very little appreciable result. Last week, I knew for certain that I was still making progress, because I dug up Val's measurements from May 11th and compared my current measurements. My new numbers were consistently smaller. Couple that with the knowledge that I've still been gradually raising weights in my weight training routine during the plateau period, and the obvious answer is that I've been in a muscle-building phase for about a month now.

Still, when you come within a quarter-pound of making your weight goal, as I did on June 3, only to watch your weight creep back up, it's psychologically very daunting. You start asking yourself questions that were once ridiculous but now seem suddenly obvious: Am I doing this right? Am I ever going to lose this weight? Why do I bother? Wouldn't it just be easier to buy the low-carb book, ditch the weight training, and do this the easy way?

I made myself run the numbers just now, and even I have to face the facts. With the exception of two trips to Atlanta, I have worked out religiously since January. I only started tracking my weight on a daily basis since first meeting with Val on March 29. This plateau has greatly slowed down my weight loss, but even with it, I'm still losing about 1.3 pounds per week in the time that I've worked with Val.

It's respectable. It's livable. I miss the old numbers - when I saw losses closer to 1.8 pounds/week - but this is acceptable. It means I'm still likely to finish up this project sometime next winter.

I have to step back a few inches and remind myself of how far I've come. If I can't remember, my entries and my little paper journal tell me so. When I started, back in January, I wore size 24 jeans, 22/24 tops, and a 44DD bra. Now, in June, I wear size 16 jeans, probably a size 14 top, and wear a 38D bra.

I look different. I've given away the vast majority of my clothing because I can't wear any of it any more. I smile in photographs, and on Friday I gathered up my courage and actually went through with one of the more terrifying afternoons of my life: a makeup consultation.

But that's another entry, and this is enough. For now.

Thanks for sticking with me through the silence. :)

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