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Dan Nied’s Fortress of Weight Loss: Day 181

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I’m done with the scale.

At least that’s the plan. At least for right now. At least until I crack from curiosity.

Truth is, though, I can’t imagine getting on the scale right now. Not after a nearly nightmarish few weeks that have seen a sharp drop in my workouts, a sharp increase in my days off and numerous psychological games convincing myself that, yes, it is okay if I go to McDonalds today and then go to the gym tomorrow.

The wheels haven’t come off, but I’ve certainly let my guard down a bit. I’ll get to that in a second. First, I don’t think the scale is my friend right now. If I wake up tomorrow morning, there are only three possible readings I can get, and they’ll all wreak havoc on my psyche.

So let’s say the scale goes up. Let’s say, somehow, I am nearing 270 again (not probable, but not impossible). How will that make me feel with three weeks left until I head back to Detroit? Probably hopeless.

But okay, let’s say I lose weight (unlikely, but who knows?). Let’s say I am down to 257. Well, that’s friggin’ great, right? That’s awesome, I am truly fantastic in every walk of life that has to do with losing weight. Ahh, but I am not fantastic in the actual living of life, and will perhaps see the weight loss as a sign that I can relax for the next week or so, since 250 is only a good week and a half away. Yeah, I know my patterns.

Oh, but let’s say there is a negligible difference in my weight (probably the most likely scenario, considering the last few weeks, is that I am between 262 and 266). Well, that puts me right in the middle. Fifteen or so pounds away from 250, but probably just out of reach for the time I leave in mid-July. In that case I will, for some reason, see myself at a crossroads. And I will have to make the decision whether to simply maintain my weight, largely enjoy the next three weeks, and go home bigger than I want to, or make a mad dash to 250 while making myself miserable.

So why put myself through it? The scale measures nothing but weight, right? The most important thing in all of this is to simply stay the course, get back on track as soon as possible, eat healthy, exercise regularly, and let the numbers fall where they may.

If I weigh myself the day before I get on a plane, then I’ll just have to accept that number. Sure I can feel a sense of pride or shame at the reading, but it won’t really matter that much. The only difference is the number that I tell people when I go home. And really, to most people, there isn’t a huge difference between “I lost 40 pounds and now weigh 260” and “I lost 50 pounds and now weight 250.” All they’ll hear is “I lost…” and then they’ll zone out, tell me I look good, and start talking about their annoying kids.

That’s the way the world works.

The scale is really not the be all, end all. I can throw up eight times a day for the next month and lose weight at an astonishing pace. But in the end, I won’t really be healthier, will I? I won’t be more attractive, will I? Probably not. I wrestled with the scale for the first months of this diet, then kind of realized that it is only a reflection of the work I have put into this. The scale doesn’t dictate my success. I do.

And I have been successful. I just haven’t been as successful as I’ve wanted. But I have plenty of time to fix that. I can’t deny that I have done good things over the last six months.

I had a mirror moment today. One of those times where you catch yourself in the mirror and realize that you actually do look good (at least to you). I never had those moments over 300 pounds. Now I see them as a measure of success much more important than the scale. I can look in the mirror and see an attractive face and know that I am not fooling myself this time. (I mean, I might totally do me if I was a chick. That’s how attracted I am to myself. Especially when I get a little stubble going and my hair is just right. It’s any wonder I can keep my hands off me. Actually, give me a second….)

Okay, back. Sorry about that. My animal urges got a little out of control. But the point of all this is that a fat person shouldn’t judge his worth on the scale. If I turn in three good weeks, then I go home happy. If I don’t, then I go home happy, but knowing I could have done more.

That said, I have decided to reverse my recent trend of excuses and laziness. It’s pretty simple, really — the last month or so, I’ve just let my guard down. I’ve once again embraced tomorrow as “the day I turn it all around” while I should have been focusing on today. But, of course, that’s the kind of thinking that got me to 370 in the first place.

The last month has seen too many unplanned days off, too many boring days where I did not exercise, and too little focusing on the diet. It became a secondary goal rather than a primary goal.

I did some math today that was startling. Last week I spent $145 on fast food, including “healthy” trips to Subway. But a large chunk of that was spent eating like shit, I have to admit. The two weeks before that, I spent just over $200 (again a lot of that was Subway). And I complain that I don’t make enough money. So no more of that shit. But it is astonishing to me how easily I can spend $40 on crappy food on my off days, and how easily I have been able to talk myself into doing it on normal days.

So I am putting my guard back up for the sake of both my wallet and my diet. It’s not rocket science, rather the Dan Nied logical approach. Why don’t I plan out the off days a little more rigidly these days? Hmm, sounds like a plan, doesn’t it?

I turned in a good Sunday and Monday (went to the gym on Monday, too). The next off day will be Friday because we have a work banquet that day, and free food is always better than groceries. After that, the next off day will be the following Saturday. I am going to amp up my grocery bill with healthy stuff and stay away from Subway and other fast food places.

The gym will take a strong mental commitment, but I am up for it because it is so critical to the cause.

Look, I might not know how much I weigh now, and I may not really be focusing on a single number before I go home (but 250 would be nice). But I can sure as hell do my best to get the job done in the next three weeks.

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About Dan Nied

  • Guy

    I hate to pull out the bad stuff but I am shocked that you are still alive after indegsting $145 – $200 of fast food in a week. When you get home I’m going to need you to hold a Q&A where we break that down meal by meal.

    You better nail these next 2+ weeks man – you’ll be far more satisfied with yourself if you finish strong than if you mail it in. Elliptical machines and big salads buddy – that should be your now through July 15th.

  • Kevin

    I am absolutely FLOORED with the amount of money you say you spend (spent) on fast food within the confines of a week, Dan. Watch yourself with that-it’ll take you back to the dark side if you aren’t careful. That said…

    My advice in these last 3 weeks is to think about how disappointed you’ll be in yourself when you get here if you’re over your psychological weight limit. Every time you want to pull in the old In and Out Burger, not pick your ass up and take a walk (what ever happened to the hiking idea?) or go to the gym before work you need to think about how much better you’ll feel when you get here knowing you tried your hardest.