Losing 10.5 pounds last week — my first week on a new weight-loss program and Jody’s Changing For Good Challenge — might’ve gotten my hopes up a little too much.
Doing the math, I’d go from my April 1 weight of 358 (down from 373.7 in March) to my goal of 170 in August. Nineteen weeks to lose 188 pounds!? Seems like an acceptable weight-loss rate.
To get back on track, I’m going to have to try to lose 19.7 pounds next week.
My bathroom scale didn’t quite cooperate with me this week like it did last week. Despite having what I thought was a great week of eating well and making great choices, I only lost 1.3 pounds.
I say “only lost” that much because it’s such a drastic drop-off, but the wise health savant between my ears is whispering to me that it’s OK. After all, I’ve dropped 11.8 pounds on my new plan and 27.5 LBS since hitting my all-time high just over a month ago.
And, yes, I was kidding about trying to lose almost 20 pounds next week. I’ll settle for 15.
It’s interesting timing for me to have a weight-loss week that wasn’t quite up to my expectations. For the record, I know losing 10.5 pounds a week isn’t realistic this side of The Biggest Loser Ranch, but I’ve been doing really well and hoped to see the scale reward me.
I call it interesting timing because I write about a professional basketball team, the Utah Jazz, whose season just ended — abruptly, disappointingly and without a coveted trip to the playoffs.
This blog isn’t about basketball, but Jazz coach Quin Snyder made a point at the team’s exit interviews this week that seem pretty applicable to my personal life. For some context, I asked Snyder during the press conference if the team had a specific goal to make the playoffs next season. Sports are ultimately about trying to win and qualifying for the playoffs so you have a chance to play for a championship.
Just like I want to lose weight, the Jazz coach wants to win games. I like the tidbit of wise philosophy he shared.
“I just don’t completely, on a personal level, buy into just a results-only focus,” Snyder said. “I don’t think in the long term it necessarily gets you the results you want. I think it’s counterintuitive.”
For Snyder’s basketball team, this means he wants them to focus on improving their basketball habits, to fine-tune their shots, to refine the way they play defense, to run the offensive plays better and to communicate with each other. This process happens on a day-to-day basis in a team practice or through individual workouts.
The actual game — the moment when you hope all of the hard work pays off — is akin to my weigh-in day.
A loss, however, doesn’t mean the team hasn’t improved. It just means on that particular night, the other team was better (or luckier). Progress can be made even if the results (wins or playoff appearances) don’t make it appear so.
For my health situation, this is very relevant.
Like the players, I need to make good habits of continually doing the little things — sticking to my eating plan (six small meals a day), drinking lots of water, tracking my food intake, getting and giving support in a community, making good/better/best choices, moving more, reading/watching inspiring and educational health material, etc.
Doing that will lead to consistent improvement, regardless if the scale shows a big victory (a 10.5-pound loss), a small win (a 1.3-pound loss) or even an occasional gain. That’s not to mention having increased health, energy and well-being.
Being in a results-only mode — in other words, letting the scale dictate whether or not you’re successful — is a risky game that can quickly lead you to becoming discouraged, cheating on your plan or even quitting if the numbers don’t meet lofty expectations.
So maybe I won’t make my weight-loss playoffs this August despite that awesome start. Maybe it will take me until August 2017 to reach my metaphorical postseason.
You know what?
The results will happen.
For now, it’s more important to focus on the good habits that will eventually get me where I want to be.
(Having said all that, I did make a personal goal the other day to lose 100 pounds by the next time I return to the Jazz’s basketball arena for work next fall. That gives me six months. Like reaching the playoffs, it’s an ambitious and challenging goal, but I believe it’s achievable as long as I focus on doing all of the little things that add up.)