Local Maximum

I had the rare pleasure of logging into MyFitnessPal today and typing in a number for my current weight that was less than the last time I did so. This is the first time this has happened in well over a year and represents the embarrassing first step towards returning to a state where I will be happy with my body. My lack of happiness is not self-hatred but something much cooler, akin to when a person you don’t like walks into a party and you have to politely smile despite their presence. My body and its capabilities wander around with me. Just like that annoying person, you will never triumph over them, but you’ll be rid of them and the enjoyment you have when they’re not there will come back. Sometimes I notice me out of the corner of my eye, sometimes I don’t, but hopefully sometime a year or so from now I’ll say to myself “it’s been a while since I’ve seen that guy”.

My mental model takes a while to update. Like many of the timers in my life, how I see me drags behind about six months. I feel fatter now than I did when I was 342. This time six months ago I weighted 310 and could still run a few miles. The next five months are going to be somewhat painful in terms of the Terry in my head. After that, it’ll get better. Interesting, my mental model of others also takes six months or so to update, resulted in quizzical stares months after someone hit their target weight and regained weight as I go “wow, you look great”. This faculty has saved me somewhat especially in people’s final months. My memory of the departed is never them at their worst. I suppose this balances not recognizing others progress immediately and mislaying compliments.

This bout of weight loss feels different. My life isn’t as crowded in some ways having a straight forward job that’s close to home, good pay, and reasonably proximate friends, and few involvements in Scouting. The only large time sink I have is studying. I figure I’m ok with maintaining weight vs. losing it if I’m passing exams and ok stagnating with actuarial progress if my waist is shrinking. Now I just need to convince my boss and/or doctor of that exchange. It also feels different in the same way the second trip to a distant destination feels different. There is no excitement in this passage. I’m revisiting places I’ve been before. I’m 112 lbs from virgin territory. Theoretically, I know I can get there again, but what if my previous success was from some unique confluence? In a lab setting, I walked 4000-7000 steps more per day. I had a shorter working day. Sex hadn’t entered my life yet which engendered a certain vanity. Just because I’ve driven the road before doesn’t mean I’m immune to flat tires and getting lost. And the vehicle I’m driving has more miles on it as it were. Regardless, I think I can do it. Right now, there’s no reason not to think so. This isn’t a statement of arrogance, only of ignorance.

The last time I worked to lose weight, I lost, on average, .245 lbs for about 800 days. I am going to shoot for a slightly more ambitious .3 lbs and see what I can accomplish in a year. During my last go, my weight loss regime usually stalled every few months as I need to change up to something new. This time, I hope experience will let me skip those. The flip-side of this is determination. Willpower, like the bicep is a muscle and it must be exercised. I feel that reserve isn’t what it used to be. Last time I weighted 330 and was losing weight, I had a lot of trajectory. Now I have much less.

Weight Goal: 220 during my September trip in 2015.
Fitness Goal: Run Broad Street Run in May 2015.
Stretch Goal: 5 pull-ups, Christmas of 2015.

Let us seem who I am.