#447: Happy Losing 8/10ths of a Pound

Friday, January 14, 2011

This week's weight loss was 8/10ths of a pound. Am I disappointed it wasn't more? Not at all. Since 9/16/10 I am down a total of 38.6 pounds toward my goal of losing 64 pounds, so I am more than half-way. I am happy with what might seem like such a small loss because every loss, no matter how big or small, is a success to be proud of and celebrated.

Too often, people qualify their weight loss with "just" or "only" as it was "just .8 of a pound" or "I only lost .8 of a pound." They go on to express their disappointment at not having lost a greater amount and complain that they worked out hard and fell within their calorie range every day yet lost "only" such and such an amount when they believe they deserved to lose more.

But even a loss of .8 pounds a week equals a yearly loss of 41.6 pounds. How many of us would complain about losing nearly 42 pounds this year? I sure wouldn't.

So, why do so many bemoan incurring what they consider an insignificant loss? I believe it is because they do not keep the big picture in mind. They seem to believe they are entitled to a larger loss by virtue of how much they worked out and how conscientious they were with their eating. But those two things and weight loss do not go hand in hand. Weight loss is fickle. Sometimes when we feel we have not lost anything and may have actually gained weight, our loss will be substantial. Other times we feel we have worked out as hard as we could as ate as little as possible and our loss barely registers.

Keeping things in perspective, though, will bolster our confidence and reinforce that we are in fact losing weight and making steady progress.

I have been advocating we all join the unofficial "lose one pound" club and aim to lose a measly one pound, something anyone can do regardless of how long it takes. Adopting this viewpoint is healthier than trying to imagine losing 25 or 50 or 100 pounds. One pound is easy to achieve and easy to visualize. As we lose one pound after another our confidence solidifies and we begin realizing this is truly something we can do, over and over until we reach our goal.

So the next time a small loss like 8/10ths of a pound depresses you, think of the big picture and multiply your loss by 52 weeks to see how little successes add up to inspiring totals over time.

Am I disappointed at not losing more than 8/10ths of pound? Not at all. That simply means I am 2/10ths of a pound away from losing another one pound. I bet any of us can lose 2/10ths of a pound in a week. Don't you?

Stay focused, determined, positive and see the big picture. Do these things and you will soon celebrate your success, one pound at a time.
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