Sunday, March 28, 2010


Weekly weigh-in: -------
Loss: ----
Total loss: ------
Emotion: -------

For the month of March, I’ve been marching blindly, making my way through my day without benefit of stepping foot on my bathroom scale. As my four-week truce during this full-scale warfare comes to a close, it seemed a fitting time to reflect on what (if anything) I learned from the experience.

This journey is not about a number. It’s bigger than that. More important than that. The changes I’ve made since I began started out on this trek… eating less, eating healthier, exercising more… have changed my life for the better, regardless of whether that number is 191, 199 or 210. There’s nothing magical about any one number… the real magic is in reclaiming your body and your health.

“Losing weight” and “getting fit” aren’t necessarily the same thing. Maybe the two are interconnected early in the game, but “losing weight” is a Point A to Point B kind of deal; “getting fit” has no finish line. It’s the pursuit of a lifetime.

The end is just the beginning. That’s what has tripped me up in the past. Being done. Being finished. Slipping back into my old bad habits as if they were a pair of flannel pajama pants. You see, I’ve lost weight before only to forget what got me there, forget that chips and beer pack a high-calorie punch, basically just forget myself.

I can’t say for certainty that this time will be any different than the rest, but I like to think that it will. I like to think that I’m older and wiser now and that I appreciate what I’ve been able to accomplish more this go-round than any time in the past. Most of all, I really don’t feel like I’m done yet. Not by a long shot.

I’ve been paying attention to my body this month (though I still never got around to taking measurements). My beer belly’s hasn’t magically transformed into a six-pack, but it’s not a keg these days either. My 34 waist jeans have gotten downright baggy, and I’ve actually had to buy more new shirts because the tops I was wearing this time last year absolutely swallow me now.

I’m eating on plan, exercising like I get paid to do it and am feeling better than I have in… well, better than I ever have, I think. I don’t need a scale to tell me that I’ve been moving in the right direction this month.

That said, if I’ve show a 10-lb. gain next week, I’m gonna crap my pants.


  1. But hey, if you crap your pants, that could be a 2-3 lb weight loss...just kidding!!!

    "The end is just the beginning"-great mantra for me to keep in mind. Like you, I have reached the finish line before, only to find that reaching that magic number was sort of a mirage...

    THIS time I am doing the mental work to figure out what truly makes me happy, and I have realized that simply being a certain size/weight does not guarantee a blissful life.

    The magic IS in reclaiming your body and health - in essence, becoming an active participant in my own life again.

  2. The end is just the beginning. Everything you say about that hits home for me. I have been a yo-yo dieter. Each time before, I went on a diet that ended. And I stupidly started slipping back into my former eating habits. Why didn't I realize that would make me slip back to my former weight as well!?

    I also think this time is different. My mindset has changed. I now know that this is truly about a lifestyle change. I have never successfully maintained before, but I really feel that this time I can and will.

    Thank you for saying, in your usual eloquent fashion, what I have been thinking.

  3. I haven't been weighing myself either, although not on purpose like you, but because I haven't been able to find a decent scale in Taiwan lol. If your pants are getting looser though, then that's probably a good indication that you are heading in the right direction Jack.

  4. I don't think you'll see a 10 lb. gain....maybe a little fluctuation...but it's the other things you noticed like the baggy pants that really matter. :)

  5. Great post. I hope this shows up again on one of your Saturday re-posts.
    I too am trying to recognize success in ways that the scale can't reflect. I've lost maybe five pounds over the past few months (for a total of 76) yet during the time I "only" lost 5 pounds, I've dropped two jeans sizes. Go figure!

  6. Great insights Jack! Being aware & knowing these things is success! I have lived by them & especially the end is just the beginning. I never set an end date & never will. Lifeliong, lifestyle change. Congrats!

  7. Everything is you said is true - including the part about crapping your pants! Great reflections Jack.

  8. Great post Jack, I wouldn't let the scale scare you. It's all about being healthy, eating healthy, exercising, feeling good.

  9. Your post this morning echo my sentiments.

    Thank you for making me appreciate where I am on my journey. I just read my blog and realized that I've lost 10 pounds since the beginning of Feb. I hadn't even noticed until this morning. Mentally, I kept thinking that I wasn't really losing anymore (I only have around 15 more to lose, so it gets comparatively slow). Reading your post this morning made me smile because I feel good about being at this place. I feel so much better and can work out so much harder than I could even a month or two ago, not to mention 80 pounds ago. Even though I am not losing pounds every week, I am firming up and feeling awesome. Even when I feel dreadfully depressed, I am eating 5 servings of fruits and veggies each day and drinking about a gallon of water, and those little habits pay off.

    Thank for this. I needed to reflect and be reminded to look beyond the number on the scale.

  10. Jack, at my last weigh in I was down 27 lbs. This 27 lbs I have lost at least twice in my life. I guess lost isn't the correct word cause I keep finding it!! I couldn't agree with you more, but wonder if 30 days is enough to truly measure the impact of your exercise program vs weighing in. I would think maybe 60 days?

  11. Jack...been doing some research on Body Volume Index versus Body Mass Index and the easier to measure Waist to Hip Ratio...perhaps those are other indicators for you to check out.

    Even though I have a normal BMI (barely), My WHR is still a tad high...I still have some squishy belly fat that is the alleged indicator of health risks.

    Of course, eating less/moving more is still the prescribed solution. No new revelations there.

  12. I was thinking about the finish point today: there's no way I'm going to immediately stop my exercise/healthy eating when I hit my "goal" weight.

    That's the beauty of making "lifestyle changes" and not dieting.

  13. I have tried the "stay off the scale" strategy (not while weight training, but while trying to lose weight) and it made me insane. I think it is very cool that you can stay focused on your other goals enough to stay off the scale. I bet your body looks great for it. How about some shirtless pictures, hmmm??? :)

  14. I think it's been great that you kept from weighing in all this time to listen to your body. I am very interested in the outcome, and I highly doubt there will be any POOP involved. lol :) Good job Jack!

  15. I'm really liking you Sunday-not-weighing-in posts. Sometimes it just makes sense to step away from the scale and claim all the other victories of the weight loss journey. It's good to not give the scale and the number on it power. Usually!

  16. If you have a 10-pound gain and then crap your pants, it may turn out to be only a 9-pound gain. lol sorry, couldn't resist that one.

    I am with you on everything...esp. the fitness. It's a lifetime thing, always filled with potential. Kind of fun, when you think about it.

  17. I'm finding too that it's not about numbers too much. I still weigh 70 pounds over desired weight but even when I did weigh something close to "normal" I wasn't doing what I'm doing now.


    I find myself thinking about things I've never thought of before.

    Fitness Challenges.
    Dance Lessons.

    Those things have nothing to do with numbers.

    To me that's a loss not matter how you look at it. Thanks Jack for this post!

  18. I like the numbers. They reassure me that I'm headed in the right direction. But weight without context is a useless number. You can lose lots of weight and be less healthy... a definite setback. And, at some point, the number on the scale is only barely relevant. I hope to get to that point... in a healthy way.

  19. If your clothes are still loser, and you are feeling better so what if you HAVE put on 10lbs?

    But think how good you will feel if you have stayed the same - or maybe even lost a pound or two - and all without daily weigh ins? You can say with confidence you have found a regime that will enable you to maintain your weight once you have reached your goal.

    And if you have LOST 10lbs - without stepping on the scales at all?

    Well how cool would that be!

    Great post Jack. I can see why you have 1000 followers to my 5 lolol

  20. matter what we blather the numbers
    No, really.
    Don't shit your pants if you gain a pound or probably really is muscle weight.
    Unlike other times when its probably cheetos weight.
    You right though, after a certain point...It's about perfecting the weight loss and increasing health. I think your there.
    I hope everything pans out scale to see and updated pic with your new muscles.

  21. Wow! Yet again you hit right on where I have been thinking about my own personal journey.

  22. Doesn't it feel good when you realize you are never done and you get your whole life to make it better?

    And although other commenters said it in different ways, I want to point out that if you weigh yourself in the buff you won't have to worry about pooping your pants.

    Alison :)

  23. You are so right all the way to the end. I would crap my pants to. I am not sure I could give up the scale for even a week. You are the sh*t!!

  24. At the point you're at, the only numbers that count are your pant size and what the tape measure tells you. Sadly, the vast of majority of people have been brainwashed into believing that the scale number is the only one that tells the truth.

    If you gain 10 pounds and your pants are hanging around your knees, you should be PROUD. It is a sure sign that you have lost fat and gained muscle.

    Jack, you are a role model for so many people. I know part of your charm is being funny and irreverent, but on this one, I beg you to set a good example for your readers. Don't crap your pants. Stand up proud and buy a new belt...or just keep those pants up with an old rope.

  25. Love the last line. I get so tough with my scale and say things like "As long as I'm gaining muscle and losing inches thats fine by me", but you know when that number goes down the little flutter you get :)

  26. Well here's to NOT crapping your pants. Flying blind takes guts. I look forward to hearing how it comes out.

    You're right's not over, but rather just a new chapter. I need to make that transition now myself.

  27. If I had one wish...Please God, if you can't make me thin, make my friends fat!

  28. NO, it's not just about the numbers, but the number can be a good guide to how you are doing. If I don't weigh, then I get to thinking I'm doing good, and then discover that I am gaining instead of losing. So I need to get back to daily weighing, just so I will have a number to guide me.

  29. You said it all - it's much, much more than just a number on the scale when you add fitness in the mix. Had to chuckle on the last line though!!!!

  30. It's okay if you crap your pants, Jack - you need to buy better fitting ones anyhow.

    Your second point in this post really spoke to me. Just today (when I was out at dragon boating practice) I was thinking about the fact that I would never have applied the word 'fit' to me before in my whole life. Yet, today, I had a real sense of what that can (does?) feel like.

    I just caught your post about the C25K, by the way. Welcome to the cult!

  31. You're doing fantastically and are a huge inspiration. Isn't the need for new clothes a great thing?

  32. If there's a ten pound gain, I'm sure it's the giant new guns you must be packing by now.

  33. Yes I know that thinness and fitness are two different but related traits.
    We need fitness the most.


  34. This is a great thing you're doing! I think I might actually match it for April, and not weight myself.

    I, like you, have been looking at the weight more than the fitness (though still keeping it in mind), and I'm so tied to the scale...this might be just what I need.

    Looking forward to your next weigh-in...

  35. I love this section: “Losing weight” and “getting fit” aren’t necessarily the same thing. Maybe the two are interconnected early in the game, but “losing weight” is a Point A to Point B kind of deal; “getting fit” has no finish line.

    So true, so true...



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