Starting today, Weekend Weigh-In is going to be my own personal account of what is working and not working for me each week and where I am in reference to my own goals. I find a lot of inspiration in success stories, and truthfully, I’d like to be one some day, so last week I re-started my running program and re-joined a weight loss center that I’ve tried a couple of times but never kept up enough discipline to make my results worth the effort. Consequently, I found out I have about 40 lbs to lose to get back into my healthy weight. It was horrifying, but I’m tired of listening to myself complain about it, this is my time to commit to a solution.

Here is the goal: Lose 40 lbs and learn to maintain healthy weight, ramp up running program so I can do the 10k Terry Fox run with my sister in law in 2010. Keep drawing comics about the process, I can’t be the only one who sees the humour in this kind of frustration.

Usually, it works like this; I start a new program. It goes pretty well for a few weeks, a few pounds or inches come off, I say “Yay skinny!!”, and promptly treat myself to a major diet buster and destroy all of my hard work. OR, I start a new program, it goes pretty well for a few weeks, and then I start discovering all the little bites here, tastes there, maybe-just-ones and whatever little cheatie-wheaties I can sneak in, the program suddenly stops working, and well that’s obviously not my fault, it’s just a stupid program. Riiiiiight.

I’m not going to lie to you; it was a rough, humourless week. I made a point of sticking to the exact letter of the diet, I wrote everything down, drank so much water I thought I was going to float away and resentfully pounded away on a treadmill at the gym. Today I had my first week weigh-in and I’m delighted to report:

34.6 lbs to goal! I feel awesome about it and I’m stoked to start a new week of effort!

What worked: The Buddy System

I’ll admit I went back to this particular diet because a number of my friends have had a lot of success with it this year. The thing I noticed about the ones who had the most success was that they were couples working it together. Obviously, that’s going to be a huge factor. If both of you are on the same diet, there’s no extra meals prepped, no junk in the house, and to my mind, there’s a built in support structure. Somebody who gets it.

I need to qualify something here, I’m very lucky; I have a wonderful sweetheart who genuinely tries his best to be supportive. He really does. That said, he’s one of these lean people who was born with the metabolism of a caffeinated hummingbird and hasn’t gained an ounce since high school. He doesn’t get it. He means well, but when I’m in the middle of a four-alarm-chocolate-withdrawal-meltdown, telling me to “have a big glass of water” only makes me want to drown him in it. (I don’t believe any fat jury would convict me either.)

I managed to talk another buddy into joining with me. It’s helped a lot to have someone else to bounce ideas with, to cheer, to slap a cookie out of a hand, and frankly just to have your back when you’re taking that long walk to the scale, and today, to high-five both of our initial success! Group programs with meetings or one-on-one with a counselor or trainer are great for this too. Frankly, if not for the support, I’d do it for the accountability. Knowing that somebody would check over my notes for the week, (and in the case of my very competitive friend, would rub-it-in unbearably if she lost substantially more than I did), really helped me to walk the line this week.

What to work on: Counting

Every bit counts. It always sounded corny to me but keeping a food and exercise journal helps enormously. When it’s written in black and white, there’s no getting away from it.