Thursday, January 17, 2013

Forty by forty

So, I recently stepped on the scale for the first time since before the holidays.

I knew it was going to be bad. My clothes were becoming tighter. The belly I saw in the mirror was becoming more distended. I was feeling more bloated and lethargic.

But stepping on that scale put it all into perspective: I managed to add on well more than "just a few pounds" over Thanksgiving and Christmas. For somebody who is overweight as it is, that's not a good thing.

I don't just need to shed the pounds I gained during the holidays; I need to drop some fat I've been meaning to drop for several years but have never been able to do so. The body-mass index tables say that I need to lose about sixty (!) pounds in order to return to the "normal weight" category. However, the BMI is not a perfect measurement for determining one's ideal weight, as it does not take into account factors such as one's frame or muscle-to-fat ratio. I think if I actually lost sixty pounds, I would look slightly gaunt.

Forty pounds, on the other hand, would put me at a weight I haven't seen since grad school. And I looked pretty good in grad school.

So I am going to embark on a new challenge, one which will be not be easy but which will be necessary to my overall health and self-esteem.

I am going to attempt to lose forty pounds between today, January 17th, and my 40th birthday eight months from now, on September 17th.

That's right: forty by forty.

It sounds very ambitious, but it works out to an average of five pounds per month. That is reasonable and attainable; I've managed to shed weight at that rate before. What I've learned, and what everybody else who has struggled with their weight knows, is that the hard part is not losing weight. It's keeping it off. But I'll worry about that after I reach my goal weight.

I will keep this blog updated as to my success, or lack thereof, in this endeavor. Wish me luck!

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