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I need a new game plan.

It’s time to stop weighing myself every day. It worked well for the first half of this journey but I am starting the 3rd quarter and I need to adjust my strategy. It’s all I think about sometimes. I go to bed at night, looking forward to finally seeing a drop in the number and then the next morning, when I am usually disappointed, I not only feel defeated, I somehow feel like I am losing the game, which is obviously not the case. It just cannot be the only determination on whether or not I am succeeding.

So here I am again, on day 11 of not losing any more weight. I am even 1.2 pounds heavier than I was 11 days ago. My weight keeps going up and down, but just a pound or two. It will be an ideal situation after I hit my goal weight and want to maintain, but right now, when I desperately want that number to decrease, it is causing me terrible mood swings.

My thoughts right now are to weigh myself on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. (I know, it’s every other day, just about, but it’s a step in a new direction. I am afraid that I will let down my guard if I only weigh myself once a week.) First of all, since weekends are the hardest for me to stay on track, I thought it would be good to weigh-in on Monday mornings. If I know that I have a date with the scale, I am hoping that it will be easier for me to pass on temptation throughout the weekend. But just in case things get out of hand and the Monday morning number is a wake-up call, I will weigh-in again on Wednesday morning since I will no doubt buckle down for two days in the hopes of seeing those extra Monday pounds disappear. Lastly, I will weigh-in on Saturday mornings since the biggest drops have usually happened after I sleep in and burn off just a few more calories before getting on the scale. If I plan to be out of town, I will weigh-in on Friday morning and hopefully start off my weekend with a great feeling.

With that strategy in mind, I walked away from the disappointing number this morning and tried to force it out of my mind. It was going to be a busy day and I needed to be focused.

The girls and I were planning to head out of town to see my sister and her family for the weekend and we wanted to leave around 2:30pm so that meant that I would leave work early and therefore have less time to get everything done. So I decided to get to work early and see if I could get more accomplished. To save time and calories, I skipped the egg and just made 2 slices of 45-calorie toast with a thin layer of light margarine and peanut butter, along with my coffee with light creamer. I enjoyed them in the car on the way to work.

For a mid-morning snack on Fridays, I like to get a sugar-free blended mocha from the coffee shop in my office building. It is nice to see people and I get to add steps to my day by going down and back up 3 flights of stairs there and back. On this day, my office planned a viewing party for an awards ceremony during the lunch hour and offered to bring sandwiches but I passed since I had two more slices leftover from my new favorite cauliflower-crusted pizza. (I noticed that the pizza does start to stink after a few days in the refrigerator but once it’s warmed up, the hearty cheese pizza flavor is still there. It’s a situation where social distancing is a good thing – if you know what I mean.) Right before I left for the day, I cut up some pears and an apple and ate them in the car on my way home.

My girls and I stopped for supper in Fargo, ND, which is just about half-way to Minneapolis, MN. I had already planned my food by looking on the My Fitness Pal app and researching low-calorie choices from Chic Fil-et. I decided to have the 12-piece grilled chicken nuggets for about 210 calories. Instead of buying the meal, I picked up a bag of sunflower seeds and a cup of mixed soda and diet at the gas station. Since I would be driving the rest of the way, I knew the seeds would help keep me busy and awake. I also knew that they would make me retain water for days, too, but it goes away fairly quickly. It was a big bag, but I stopped eating them once my 20-ounce cup was full of empty shells. From then until bedtime, I drank a lot of water so hopefully that will speed up the process of clearing my system of so much sodium.

When it was all said and done, I calculated about 1,732 food calories had been consumed for the day. Since I did not have time to exercise, my total calories were about 400 more than the recommended amount “in order to achieve a 2-pound weight loss per week – if every day were like today.” At first, I wanted to congratulate myself on keeping the calories low, but after looking at my totals over the last few days, I realized that I often eat that same amount of calories so today was nothing special. No wonder the scale has not been very friendly lately. I have not been cutting my calories enough to force a change. I need to rethink my playbook in a few ways.

But I also need to keep reminding myself that I am not only winning this game, I am literally dancing in the end zone! The refs have been blowing their whistles at me for weeks but I refuse to stop. The other team has just about left the field but they are still suited up and can be ready at a moment’s notice, so I cannot turn my back – even for a second. This game is much more important than a state championship, too. I am literally playing for my life. The healthier I get, the longer I will live, and the happier I will be for it! Then add in the fact that we are going through a pandemic where people with underlying health conditions, like obesity, have a much higher risk of complications, including death and you realize that the stakes could not be higher.

So coach Rhea just yelled at me to stop showing off and get back into position. We are only halfway there and it’s still anyone’s game. There will be plenty of time to celebrate later so let’s just focus on one small goal at a time – like staying under my recommended calorie range for more than just a couple of days next week. In this sport, it’s all about the long game and who has the most endurance to make it to the end. I clearly won the first half and I should get to celebrate! But starting next week, I will roll out some new plays and see how many points I can score. Because this is one of those games where you don’t want to let the other team score any points! If I have any say in the matter, the score will be 90-0 and the world will never forget that I made Rhea’s Dream come true!

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