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I blame last week’s weight gain, in part, on Halloween candy. There was a ton of it in the office and it was hard to avoid. And this week was going to be worse, because it was the week leading up to Halloween. So I decided to get everyone in my office involved in keeping me away from the candy. I sent the following email to the company: “I have made a pledge not to eat a single piece of office Halloween candy this week. I decided this challenge was only amazing if the office was filled with my favorite candy, so I just bought a ton of my favorites (Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Milky Ways, M&M’s, etc.) and put them out in the red tub. (Yes, I am trying to fatten you up because it will make me feel thinner.) Please enjoy! And please help me avoid candy all week by telling me “NO!” like a bad pet, if you see me anywhere near the bucket. Thanks, -Dave.”
This plan totally worked…until Friday afternoon.
Friday afternoon was my biweekly appointment with Sarah @ Eating Free. And it was time for my next body fat test. I’d had two perviously. My first body fat test (March) established that I had “x” amount of fat free mass in my body, and my initial target weight was determined based on those numbers. My second body fat test (June) revealed that 90% of my weight loss was burned fat, so therefore the weight of my fat free mass was still very close to “x.” However my third body fat test (this week) showed that I’d lost a significant enough amount of fat free mass that my target weight would need to be revised.
Now, there’s nothing really alarming about any of these results. Sarah had explained to me before, several times, that when you lose weight, you aren’t just burning fat. You do lose some water, muscle, etc., and this is normal. You need less muscle when you weigh less, right? And she’d told me, on four different occasions, that future body fat tests could (and likely would) lead to my goal weight being revised. She’d even said it could be revised by “10, 20, or 25 pounds”
So…I’d been completely, fairly warned of this possibility. But when Sarah crunched some numbers and determined that my new target weight was now 22 pounds further away than I was previously planning, I kinda lost it anyway.
No, I didn’t go all “Incredible Hulk” on her office. The response was more emotional. I was getting attached to the idea that I *might* hit my goal weight by March 1st and now that was likely being pushed into May/June. I felt like I just gained 22 pounds. A venting email I sent to Billy @ DIAKADI later in the afternoon best explains what I was feeling: “I told Sarah that I’m sick of losing weight, I just want this to be over, previously it was starting to feel like it was almost over, but now adding nearly 20% to my weight loss goal (128 becomes 150, ugh) just makes this timeline of me wearing crap clothes and feeling like a work-in-progress even longer than I expected. I know on some level I deserve this for letting myself get to be so fat to begin with, and I [should feel] lucky that I can course correct my life in a “mere” 14 months or so – but I just am ready for this to be over. (And yes, I should not be thinking about this a project that will actually end someday, but there is a definitely a “project phase” that ends with reaching my goal weight and things do change at that moment.)”
Additionally, I wrote, “At this moment, I’m feeling like [that party I wanted to have this winter] to celebrate losing 100 pounds is just…lame. it’s feeling more like “Wow, Dave Has 50 Pounds Left, That’s Kinda A Lot, Isn’t It?” party. A “Jesus, Dave Was Fatter Than We Thought” party. I was planning [an ambitious trip] in May to celebrate my weight loss, but frankly, I’m scrapping that now because who knows if I’ll actually be done by May. I don’t want to celebrate “I have 20 pounds left” or “I almost reached my goal,” I want to celebrate being done. And more importantly, starting to move on.”
My pity party continued with “I think I learned something from writing [recent blog entries.] I’m getting tired of meditating on weight loss revelations and all this other stuff already. I’ve spoken with you a few times about wanting to educate or somehow help others with their weight loss “journeys”…but I’m starting to think that when I’m done with my weight loss, I want to keep my eyes forward and not dwell so much on an accomplishment that just gets further and further into my past. In other words, I think when I’m done blogging for you guys, there isn’t going to be a one man show [like I've talked about], I’m not going to try to change other fat people’s worlds or blow their minds or motivate anyone else, I think I’m just not going to want to dwell on this stuff any more. I’ll need to figure out what the next thing is, and go after that.”
And then, I ate a bunch of Halloween candy for the first time in a week. Because, you know what? Sometimes you just have to say “to Hell with it” and have some damn Halloween candy. (Especially on Halloween weekend).
Looking back on all this a few days later, I have mixed feelings about how I feel and what I said. In one sense, it’s raw but completely self-aware and honest. In another sense, it’s ridiculous that I was being such a baby over 22 more pounds. I’ve lost that under two months before. This “meltdown” serves as a good reminder that I need to stay present-oriented and not future-oriented since my issues here are about expectations and, frankly, assumptions. Most of the fatigue I’m feeling is from pressure, and most of that pressure is pressure I’ve put on myself, not pressure from external sources. And as several people in my life have made a point to remind me lately: just because I’ve not yet met my long-term goals doesn’t mean my accomplishents-to-date aren’t worth celebrating.
As for the Halloween candy…well…no regrets. Shit happens, right? And then you move on.