Losing It: Results are happening on and off the scale

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 21 2012 2:46 p.m. MDT

Our transforming dieter is learning to trust the process instead of fretting about results.

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My 5-year-old daughter recently made one of those kids-say-the-darndest-things-about-my-big-belly comments. Her innocent statement was along the lines of the two girls at church who once wondered out loud if I was pregnant.

My daughter was hoping to persuade me to give her a piece of my sugar-free watermelon gum. My children and sticky substances are a dangerous combination and ridiculously expensive gum doesn't grow on trees, so I naturally told her no.

I told her the low-cal jaw-exerciser helps curb some of my sweet cravings (key word: some) when I'm in diet mode. So that was my official denial explanation: I couldn't share because that gum helps me lose weight.

Sydney then patted my still-squishy tummy and replied, "It doesn't look like it's working very well."

Haha. Funny girl. Hope she enjoys being grounded until she's 30.

Innocent comment (and still-squishy tummy) notwithstanding, it's becoming more evident that what I'm doing is working — and very well, thank you.

I'm down 36.5 pounds since Memorial Day thanks to consistent efforts in eating well, exercising and trying to maintain a positive attitude. That's an average loss of about three pounds per week since the eye-opening numbers 301.8 stared back at my saddened face 12 weeks ago (and 21 pounds since I began following Body For Life author Bill Phillips' Transformation program eight weeks ago).

Pardon me while I go brag to my daughter about that.

In reality, I'd better spend time reminding myself about the success I'm experiencing.

I'm still in the "morbidly obese" category and have 101.5 pounds to lose to hit my ultimate goal, so it can be easier to see how far I have left to go rather than appreciate how far I've already come.

Honestly, I can drive myself nuts with that. I want results and I want them now! Expecting “Biggest Loser”-like weight loss — you know, 10 pounds a week or bust — can be damaging to your psyche.

It's no wonder why they say (OK, I said it on Facebook), "Weight loss is 80 percent diet, 20 percent exercise and 50 percent mental."

I got so caught up in my results a few weeks ago, I'd literally hop on and off the scale 5-10 times a day. If scale-hopping had been in the Olympics, I would've been the Michael Phelps of that event. I was obsessed about getting instant results and cranky when the numbers didn't match what I thought they should.

After one particularly ugly woe-is-me episode, I plopped onto my bed and felt sorry for myself because I was "only" losing two-or-so pounds a week. Shortly after that, I decided to ban myself from weighing for a while.

At first, it was hard to walk by the scale. It tempted me. It taunted me. But I ignored its siren call and focused my attention on the process instead of the results.

At Transformation Camp, Bill emphasized that the body has an amazing way of healing itself if you give it the right nutrition and treat it the right way. This isn't an overnight process — and I'm committed to transforming my life — so it was counterproductive of me to freak out that the scale wasn't giving me ginormous results.

That's especially true because weight loss isn't my only goal.

I want to be fit and active, and my exercise program is getting me closer to achieving that. I've been on fun and rewarding hikes with my wife and oldest son in recent weeks that would've been much harder only two months ago. I continue to get stronger and faster in my exercise routines. Muscle is starting to evict and replace fat from various spots on my body. My largest clothes are getting looser and previously outgrown sizes are fitting again. Those are exciting, non-scale-related results!

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