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Sunday, April 7, 2013

1.5 Pounds

1.5 pounds. How much is that really?

It's a bag of 5 medium-sized boneless chicken breasts (incidentally, my favorites).  It's the current incarnation of the iPad. It's a Maine lobster.

It's also how far away I am from my goal weight.

I moved even closer to the city of Chicago just last week, and wasn't able to weigh myself all week because I had been so busy cleaning/unpacking, and with the massive routine changes, most of the time I'd just plain forgot.

I stepped on the scale Saturday and was absolutely shocked to see the number 141.5 staring back at me. My goal weight had always been 140. I am 1.5 pounds away from goal.

I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised. I hadn't been able to run much over the week (and the runs I'd managed had been pretty awful), but I had been feverishly cleaning, scrubbing, jogging around my new condo putting things away and carrying heavy objects for the last seven days. I'd also been home-cooking for about four days of the week, serving up various chicken breast dishes with rice and vegetables for myself and my boyfriend.

1.5 pounds. It was an incredibly exciting number to see, so tangible and reachable. But at the same time, there's some terror attached. What if I stall and the scale doesn't move for weeks? Even worse, what if I gain? That enticing 1.5 number would get taken away from me, and I'd be still further from where I want to be after coming so close.

Even further, what happens after I reach my goal? What if I gain it back again? What if I find I'm completely unable to maintain?

However, there's obviously a huge upside to being 1.5 pounds away. In all of my years of weight struggle, I have never been so close to seeing that magic goal number. In my previous weight loss attempt with Jenny, I'd gotten no closer than 35 pounds away.

I can't even remember the last time I was 140 pounds. In high school, I never weighed myself regularly. Weight was not really a concern to me at the time, since as a two-sport athlete,  I'd always been of a relatively healthy weight all throughout my teenage years. The last time I was 140 pounds was definitely when I was in high school, but I couldn't tell you the exact age.

It still hasn't quite hit me how close I am. It's surreal to be so close, since I never have been this close to goal before. I was walking down the street the other day and caught my reflection in a store window as I passed. I had to stop for a moment, as I was shocked by how skinny I am. This week I also noticed for the first time that my calves are rock-hard muscle with nary an ounce of fat (thanks, running!)

I haven't thought of myself as being skinny for a very long time (if ever).

While the worries are still there, I know that I have changed my lifestyle so profoundly over the past 18 months that I can't see myself going back to how it was. I can't see myself going back to eating an entire box of Kraft Mac and Cheese in one sitting. I can't see myself quitting running -- especially with five races (three 5Ks and two 10Ks) all coming up within the next six months.

This has been an incredible journey, losing 90 pounds. It's been incredibly difficult, but so rewarding. I've discovered amazing things about myself that have truly made me a different person. I've discovered strength in myself that I never knew existed, and that in turn has given me so much confidence and a new-found sense of self-worth, which is something money could never buy.

The journey really has been life-changing -- physically and emotionally. Looking back at it now, going through a life-changing experience is a really exhilarating thing, something everyone should experience in their lives. It of course doesn't have to be weight loss, it can be anything, but the whole concept of a life-changing experience is so incredible. There's really no other word for it.

I'm still going to be a ball of nerves until I hit goal, and I can't even imagine the nutty dichotomy of feelings once I do actually see 140 on that scale. It won't be long now until I see it, and I have to believe that. I've had confidence in myself through this whole process, and I can't stop being confident in my ability to accomplish this now.

1.5 pounds.

I've got this.

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