Hola fellow L-Wackos (and wanna-be L-Wackos),
With 3 weeks to hit my target weight of 165, I’m about 7 pounds over. No problem! I could do that in 3 days if I had to and it would probably help me delay the onset of dementia, though it may be too late for that (see article, “Fasting at Least Twice-a-Week Seen as Alzheimer’s Hedge”: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-29/fasting-at-least-twice-a-week-seen-as-alzheimer-s-hedge.html).
Once again, I’m not nearly as proud of my ability to lose 7 pounds in 3 weeks (or 3 days if necessary), as I am of my success at staying within 10 pounds of my target weight since my last successful target date weigh-in (this past 4th of July).
I find it takes more willpower to stay within striking distance of my target weight for months at a time, than it takes to lose 5-10 pounds over a 3-4 week timeframe. “Why is that?” you may ask. It’s all in the timeframe.
When I think about hitting my target weight in 3 weeks, I can see my goal on the horizon. Which means, when I say “No” to an urge to eat “that which I shouldn’t,” I can appreciate the almost direct result of my decision, said result being the achievement of my weight-loss objective. The ability to “see” my goal, makes it easier for me to exert my willpower to take a step toward achieving it.
“What the “F” are you talking about?” you may ask. It’s best explained by example.
Right now, as I am writing this blog post, there is a Boston cream donut just a few steps away in the kitchen, singing its siren song, “Eat me… I taste so good. You have plenty of time to burn my calories – December 24 is such a long time from now. Come on. You only live once.”
But, I know that losing 7 pounds in three weeks is no picnic and if I don’t resist the urge to savor every scrumptious bite of that donut, I risk not making my target weight. And failing to hit my end-of-year target is UNACCEPTABLE.
So, I am saying, “No!” to the donut. And here’s the point (or at least 1/2 the point) — because I perceive Dec. 24 as being just around the corner from a “losing-7-pounds” perspective, I can appreciate the fact that refusing to listen to the donut’s mellifluous entreaties is helping me make my target weight. Or, viewed from the opposite angle, if I were to eat the donut, I know it will be that much tougher to achieve my “failure-is-not-an-option” objective.
Okay – now for the other 1/2 of the point I’m trying to make. When I heard the “Call of the Donut” back in October, more than 2 months from my target date, I could easily accept the donut’s logic, i.e., that I had plenty of time to burn its calories because December 24 was a long ways away. So, saying, “No” to the donut back then took more willpower.
You may still be thinking, “What the “F” is he talking about?”
Okay… the rationalization back then was, “December 24 is such a long time from now, I will have plenty of time to diet and exercise enough to hit my target.” And guess what. That rationalization was a valid one (Aren’t they all? Yes, but some more than others.) — back in October I DID have plenty of time to burn those calories and make my end-of-year target. So I needed to rely on another argument, i.e., I can’t let myself get more than 10 pounds over my target because once I break through that barrier, the truck scale is the limit, and the chance that I don’t achieve my target weight by my target date becomes too great. Thus, saying “No” to the donut in October took more willpower than saying “No” today. Fortunately, I had already prepared for the onslaught of “eat-the-donut-now-and-burn-the-calories-later” rationalizations by convincing myself that not making my end-of-year target weight is UNACCEPTABLE. And, being 10 pounds over my target weight, increases the risk I may not achieve my weight-loss objective. Consequently, going over my 10-pound limit is UNACCEPTABLE (or, at a minimum, checking my weight and seeing that I am 10 pounds over my target and not getting below 10 ASAP, is UNACCEPTABLE).
And that’s why I believe the most important component of any weight-loss regimen is accepting the proposition that “failure-is-not-an-option” when it comes to achieving one’s objective. It is that commitment that helped me apply my willpower toward staying within 10 pounds of my objective over the past 6 months and it is that commitment that will power me past the donut without a bite later today.
Many of my friends tell me I should be committed, but I respond, “I already am.” How about you?