A good batting average in baseball.
A perfect score in bowling.
The number of Spartans taking on one million Persian invaders in the Battle of Thermopylae.
The perfect number of onion rings to eat whilst bowling.
But, most importantly that number has been the minimum weight I’ve been since high school.
At my worst, back in 2004 or so, I was hovering close to 400 pounds.
I’m not sure how the hell that happened (well, I have a few ideas, and most of them involved copious amounts of Coke, Pepsi, and buckets of McDonald’s fries!)
After giving up sugary drinks, I managed to lose 50 pounds pretty quickly. But I have hovered between 310 and 325 or so for the past few years.
Despite many attempts, I’ve not been able to break that 300 barrier.
Every time I’ve gotten close, I’ve been unable to make that final stretch to get to 300, let alone dip beneath it.
And every time I failed, I’d sabotage myself.
Well, I can’t get under 300. May as well have a carton of ice cream!
Ben and Jerry Understand my pain.
The problem was that I was taking an all-or-nothing approach. If I couldn’t do perfect, why bother? If I couldn’t eat salad and (insert other healthy thing here, as I’m not familiar with too many health foods), then why bother?
But since my trip to Austin, Texas in February, and a much-needed conversation with my business partners, Sean and Johnny, I’ve been following a new path.
It’s a slower one, filled with mini goals rather than nebulous giant ones like “I’m gonna lose a ton of weight! Right after this one last brownie.”
It’s hard as hell to change. Our habits are comfortable, like the bed I don’t want to get out in the morning. And the further we are from where we want to be, the longer the journey seems.
But now, I’m not focussing on the destination (to weigh around 225), so much as the journey there.
I’m realizing now how much this post feels like some self-help pablum I hate. I should probably insert some stupid non-sequiter here to break things up a bit.
Did I ever tell you about the time when I was a kid and we had a mouse in our house and my dad decided the best solution would be to get the shotgun? Don’t worry, the mouse lived. Our walls, however, did not fare too well.
Anyway … these small steps are basically mini goals I can chip at a bit every day. Just try to be a little better today than yesterday. It won’t always be the case, but taking small steps means less falls from higher heights.
Right now my daily physical/diet goals are:
- walking every day, even if it’s only 15 minutes (on good days, I walk several times for an hour or more.)
- being aware of how crappy food makes me feel after I pig out (spoiler alert: awful.)
- not eating a bunch of crap at night. Night is ALWAYS the hardest as that’s when you’re alone with all your demons (my demons always offer me ice cream for some reason.)
And most (not all yet) days, I’m sticking to that schedule.
I do give myself one cheat day, which lessens the pressure a bit. And by a bit, I mean A LOT. And if I slip, then there’s less guilt. I just count that as my cheat day and get back at it tomorrow.
Anyway, all of this is to say that today I got on the scale and saw another number.
Yes, I had to put my heavy ass phone down to get under 300, but yeah, I’m finally breaking that barrier.
Next up, 275.
[Featured image of the balls courtesy of Dan Gaken via Flickr/Creative Commons.]
I’m so happy to read this
Thank you, Roland.
I’ve struggled with my weight for years too. Always yo-yoing up some down some, up some more down a little less, repeat. The net was me topping out at 333.3. I’m still yo-yoing, but now the trend is down more than up. I haven’t crossed 330 again since. My current goal is 250s before the end of the year, but my food lifestyle and general “aw f’k it” nature makes it tough at times.
Keep it up. Even if you backslide, that’s ok. Just stop yourself as soon as you can and get back at it.
So happy for you Dave. I relate to so much you say here. Keep taking those baby steps all the way to 275.
Congrats! That’s an awesome feeling! And all this means (among other things, like family and your own goals) that you’ll be around writing great books for that much long. Win for you and win for us too!
Congrats! And please feel proud of yourself!
Thank you, Heather!
Congratulations. That’s a huge milestone. Your weight may fluctuate and go back up past 300 from time to time in the next little while, but:
1) you’re trending in the right direction, and
2) you’ll always know that you are capable of losing weight
This is awesome! Seriously. Congrats, Dave!
BTW, Is it weird that I could totally hear your voice in my head as I read this? Get outta my head!
I love reading your writing and loved this in particular. Congrats and Keep up the great work!
Well done, David! My demons always offer me chips. They are bastards aren’t they? You are an inspiration and I applaud you confronting those bastards.
Thank you. Demons do seem to have pretty good taste in food, though.
Way to go Dave. As someone who is on a similar path, it is heartening to read your post. Hearing other’s successes, makes it easier to plan toward our own. Thank you
Thanks, Mark! Best of luck to you.
Nice job Dave. Just one day at a time 😊