This is me not obsessing about my weight.

It’s been a while since I posted, due to a combination of frustration, embarrassment and, oddly enough, hope — hope that, if I wait one more day or one more week, I’ll have lost a couple more pounds that I can report.  And I have lost a little bit since my last post about two weeks ago (that was Week 9, making this Week 11).  I weighed in at 179.5 this morning, down 2 pounds, but still above my low, 177.5, about six weeks ago, before my whirlwind wining-and-dining tour of such exotic locales as San Juan and Cleveland.

Honestly, I thought I would be further along on the weight loss journey by now.  I thought I would have lost much more.  Five-and-a-half pounds isn’t much to show for 11 weeks of effort.

Deep down, though, I know I haven’t been trying hard enough.  The ugly truth is that I hate dieting, although Weight Watchers very deliberately bills itself as a plan, not a diet.  Still, it comes down to eating less overall and especially less of certain things that I enjoy very much, like wine, cheese, anything salty and crunchy … I could go on, but you get the picture.

Four years ago, I lost 25 pounds in three months.  I exercised like a fiend, sometimes going to the gym twice in one day.  I didn’t use WW then; I simply ate a lot less, ignoring the hunger pangs when my body cried out for sustenance.  I was, in a word, obsessed.

Obsession is a very effective weight-loss strategy.  My problem is that I’m not obsessed this time around.  My problem, in fact, is that I’m emotionally extremely well-balanced — perhaps the most balanced that I’ve ever been.  Now, while that may be quite excellent for my overall well-being, it’s not a terrific state to be in when you’re trying to lose a bunch of weight.

I think that truly successful weight loss is similar in some ways to a mild eating disorder, because of the person’s need for control.  I realize this sounds pretty radical, and I have nothing scientific to back up my assertion, except my own experience and observations.  I know that eating disorders such as anorexia are rooted to a large degree in an extreme need for control.  Four years ago, I was very depressed.  I felt that everything in my life not only sucked but was out of my control.  So I made a decision:  I was going to lose weight.  And I did.

Clearly, the obsession didn’t stick, which is good.  I don’t, after all, want to have an eating disorder.  But at the time, I was willing to go to great lengths in order to lose a lot of weight in a short period of time.

This time around, I’m not so willing.  I’m  not at all obsessed; instead, I keep wishing that it were easier to succeed!

If I’m going to succeed, I need to ratchet up my own sense of urgency.  I need to be a little harder on myself.  Difficult for me to do, given my exalted state of emotional well-being, but I will try.

One area in which I have been doing well lately is exercise.  I’ve been to the gym almost every day the last couple of weeks, and even twice a couple of days.  My workouts have been getting better — longer and more intense, with less feeling on my part that I am going to die in the process.  I’m actually quite excited about this development.

Tomorrow my nephew James is going to show me how to use free weights and help me develop a weight-lifting routine.  He claims that this will help me lose weight faster.  Since he just got his certification to be a physical trainer, is very smart and reads up on all this stuff, I believe him.  (It doesn’t hurt that he is in excellent shape himself, but then again he is only 23 and has a 23-year-old male’s metabolism.)

I see this as cause for optimism.  And I’m going to keep on going, try harder and keep blogging.  I’ll keep you posted!