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Friday, December 31, 2010

Mini Goal Achieved! Happy New Year!

                             Christmas Day at the Christmas House--before all the food was left behind

Goals—written and publicly declared goals with deadlines—work for me. I don’t know why it is, but it sets the universe in motion, and when I write down my goals and declare them to others, invariably I reach my goals. A few months ago, I set a mini goal to weigh 200 pounds or less by the New Year. I did not specify whether I would reach that goal by New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, though. I gave myself a one-day leeway. When I reached that goal early, I reset my mini goal to weigh 195 or less by New Year’s.

I then hit a dreaded plateau, and for a month my weight hung around at 200 pounds. Things looked dim for meeting my newly established mini goal. Ah, I finally broke out of the plateau and lost a few more pounds, but Christmas week arrived. I spent days cooking and tasting food that I would serve my guests on Christmas Day, and several guests brought more food to put out on Christmas Day. I had to taste everything, of course, but I managed to lose weight anyway. What you don’t know, though, is that after everyone left my house on Christmas evening, they left my refrigerator filled to capacity with delicious food, including sweets. I hate to waste food, and some of it definitely did not follow the food plan I have been on. I have been avoiding high-calorie or sugar-laden food and all starches, and there I sat with homemade bread from my brother, homemade fudge from my cousin Joe, homemade brownies and chocolate-covered pretzels from a friend, and all the ham, turkey, stuffing, and other things I’d cooked, including potato salad and stuffing. Yes, there sat all the sweets and starches I’d been successfully spurning for months. I n addition I had cole slaw, carrot salad, chopped chicken liver, collards, squash casserole, spinach pie, and you name it. All these treats sat in the refrigerator of someone who lives alone—and who is trying to lose weight. It became a nightmare. I stood outside myself and saw me loading down my plate at mealtimes and filling my stomach. I not only overate, but also ate foods I’ve been avoiding for six or more months.

The good thing about mini goals, though, is this: having one gives me a mission and a deadline. Once I set that mini goal, I strongly desired to meet it, so when I saw that I was gaining weight, rather than losing it, all the pigging out and unconscious eating stopped immediately. Back I went to salads, wise choices, and portion control, and guess what: it worked. This morning, December 31, 2010, the scale reached 195. One hundred ninety-five pounds by New Year’s. I did it!

On the one hand, one hundred ninety-five pounds still sounds awful, but on the other hand, it means I have dropped fifty pounds of unhealthy fat since July 15. Fifty pounds! I can’t even lift fifty pounds anymore, yet for years I had been dragging it around on my body, everywhere I went, including up and down the stairs several times a day. No wonder I felt tired, worn out, and in pain all the time.

Having lost fifty pounds means I’m more than halfway to my goal weight of 150. I have only forty-five more pounds to go. With fifty pounds under my belt—or I should say no longer under my belt—then forty-five pounds sounds easy to lose. I know I can do it. I can reach 150. I feel elated.

Oh, and I had two great things happen this week. One, I bought two pair of pants that fit me nicely, and they are size 16. I used to wear size 22/24. The second great thing is that a complete stranger struck up a conversation with me and eventually said, “Tell your husband he has a beautiful wife. Are you married?” I didn’t know anything about the man, so I didn’t admit I’m single; I just thanked him and walked away, but what joy I felt that someone thought I was pretty and flirted with me! Such things haven’t happened to me in years. I didn’t lose weight to look better, but to feel better. Looking better is just a bonus.

I haven’t decided on my next mini goal yet. I’ve spent too much time this week setting my overall goals for 2011. One of those is to lose at least thirty more pounds in the New Year. I realize the weight will drop off slower as I get closer to my goal, so I’m giving myself time. I’ll report when I set my next mini goal. For now, I’m celebrating having reached my latest mini goal, and what a way to celebrate! The whole neighborhood will be setting off firecrackers in commemoration of my having met my mini goal. Oh, my neighbors may think they’re celebrating New Year’s, but I know they are really celebrating my success.

Happy New Year, all!

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