A Goal Entirely Hit

In December, when I started edging towards 200 pounds and was getting winded walking up the stairs in my house, I decided to start exercising and counting calories, with an eye toward getting in better shape, and getting down to 170 pounds. My original hope was to hit 170 pounds on my birthday, which was May 10. I missed that goal (while hitting another one), but on the principle that late is better than never, I can say that almost exactly two months later, I’ve hit the goal. I’m at just under 170 pounds as of this morning, and down 25.8 pounds off my top weight of 195.7 (For those of you in metricland, I went from 88.76 kilos to 77.06 kilos). Also, and not incidentally, I can now run a couple of miles at a decent clip without feeling like I want to throw up over everyone and everything, and don’t get tired walking up a single flight of stairs. Progress has been made.

And to celebrate, I’m gonna eat a box of donuts, yes? Well, I might! But if I do I will track the calories, then plan what I eat and how I exercise for the rest of the week to compensate for that big ol’ box of carbs I just shoved into my face hole. The point here is that having met my goal, I’m not going to stop doing the things that helped me to get to this point, i.e., exercise and tracking what I put into my body. For the moment, at least, the plan is to maintain at around 170 for a while and see what makes sense for my body from here. This could mean losing a smidge more weight, or gaining a little weight in the form of muscle mass, or whatever. However I proceed, just stopping exercising and noting what I put into my body is not a great idea, especially now that I’m 50. I’ll keep at it while I figure out what I want next.

I am actually pleased with myself at the moment. 25 pounds is the most amount of weight I’ve lost, intentionally or otherwise, and I think it was necessary, for my own personal physical and mental health. I look in the mirror and I see a person who looks much closer to what I think of as me than I did in December. This is not a small thing. It does mean that some of my pants don’t fit anymore. But then, some of my pants didn’t fit before, just in the other direction. I kept those pants, just in case. I have enough pants, is what I’m saying.

In any event: Hey, I hit my weight goal. It feels good.

58 Comments on “A Goal Entirely Hit”

  1. Congratulations! I am heading in that direction myself and for much the same reasons. At 64, the weight I was carrying was neither attractive nor healthy. Low carb, tracking the food I eat, and exercise are doing the job. Down about 14 pounds so far. And I can now walk down the hill to the entrance to our development and back up (about a mile) at a decent pace and not feel like I am going to pass out back at home. Here’s to continued healthy living (with a treat now and then!).

  2. That doesn’t sound like a health weight; even at your height (or lack thereof); I think I should lend you about 20lbs. Then you can start over; won’t that be fun!

  3. What’s your BMI? You should definitely take that into account for future decisions. :-)

  4. Good for you! Congratulations. Nice job.

    I have never had a weight problem – anytime I want to lose a few pounds, I can – but my wife has been plagued by weight issues for most of her life, so I know how tough it can be. (She is down 16 pounds, by the way.)

  5. Your accomplishment is all the more impressive when considering the amount of foreign and domestic travel you’ve done this year. Eating well on the road is very difficult and exercise is almost impossible.

  6. Congrats, it’s always rewarding to have a goal and see it through. I personally hate running though; have you ever thought of biking? It’s easier on your joints, you go further and see more with the same amount of effort, and bonus: you can be a MAMIL!


  7. Congrats.
    I’m at 137 my self.
    Riding my motorcycle is all the exercise that I seem to need.

  8. Chapeau! Trying to go through a similar process and slowly succeeding. Your weight posts always give a flurry of warm motivation.

  9. Congratulations! I’ve been losing weight myself, although I’m not close to my goal yet.

  10. Have you looked into those fancy scales that measure body fat using foot pads and a hand-held device (for more accuracy)? I’ve become less concerned about weight and now concentrate on body fat %. Useful since I’ve added a bunch of muscle mass working out.

  11. Tommy Tomlinson wrote ‘The Elephant in the Room’. He describes his serious problem, the agonies he went through, and his struggles to this day. I’ve never been close to being there, so it was an eye-opener.

    He might still be twice your weight. And mine.

    BMI is not all it is cracked up to be, but that is something for another day.


  12. Nothing motivates you quite like a good pair of pants squeezing the life out of your manhood ;-) I have a couple pairs that promise to flatter me ten pounds down from today!

  13. Congratulations on hitting the target weight. It’s even better that you feel better, so double congrats. A joke about Scalzi never wearing pants, anyway, would here if I was good at making up jokes.

  14. I lost around that much when I retired — working in a graduate school at a big university can be hella fattening — donuts at the front desk, pizza in the library, wine and cheese receptions when anybody published a book, or brought a guest in who had published a book, week-long seminars with catered meals… When I was home eating my own cooking on my own schedule, the pounds just melted away!

  15. Congrats!! 25 lbs lost is no small feat. And especially for those of us who are 50+. :)
    I lost over 100 a few years ago and then after an injury put back on about 30 of that. I’m working on taking it off now and it’s harder than it was in my 40s, for sure. Vigilance is good.

  16. Congratulations. Next time you are in the store, pick up two 10 pound sacks of flour and a 5 pound sack of sugar. That is what you lost. Treat yourself to a new pair of pants. 😉

  17. Congrats. I met my own less ambitious goal; down 11 pounds since late April.

  18. This sounds like a cry for pants. Nice work.

    What tracking software/artefacts did you use?

  19. Congratulations Jon that’s a great milestone and a great goal to shoot for. I’ve been having trouble myself losing weight after I tore my Achilles I can’t really run anymore and anytime I even look at a weight start gaining again

  20. Congratulations! And not just on the weight loss, either – getting in shape is in my view an accomplishment in and of itself, whether it leads to weight loss or not. (I mean, they’re correlated. But not quite the same thing, or at least I don’t think of them as the same thing.)

  21. Congratulations on meeting your goal. We want you around for a lonnnnng time!

    May I point out that discussions of liking yourself in the mirror are never value-neutral when the discussion group includes women (who are still being significantly harmed by people judging them by appearance) and people with eating disorders. Maybe just focus on health and fitness in public posts?

  22. Nancy McClure:

    Please don’t tell me how to write on my own site, especially when I am sharing my own personal experience with my relationship to my body and my self image. You are welcome not to read it if is bothersome to you.


    I’ve been using a Fitbit Versa and its attendant software.

  23. Congratulations! I still have 13 pounds to go, but it’s been going steadily downwards, and I’ve started to enjoy it actually!

  24. Congratulations! it’s a never-ending battle, of course, but you’ve clearly got the principles right. I lost about 5 stones (70lb -golly!) a few years ago, put about 2-and-a-half stones (35lb) back on and am now working on losing the remaining stone-and-a-half (about 22lb) to get to my target of 9 stones (about 126lb). Low carb works for me, also having the occasional ‘sugar day’ (one portion!) as complete abstinence just leads me to bingeing …

  25. Congratulations! The graph was a cool bit of work. Does the software all you to set up a process control chart to document any real deviations from the new mean weight?

  26. Congratulations! I am happy for you both for your achievement and for your maintenance plan (which in many ways is the hardest part). I lost roughly 40 lbs after changing my habits following a health concern, and you’re absolutely right: fitness after 50 is a whole ‘nother thing than it was at, say, 25.

  27. Congratulations! That is a great accomplishment.

    Now, make sure that you attend to the rest of your health with a yearly physical exam that includes PSA screening. This is kind of my preachy thing considering that I ignored it too long and ended up with prostate cancer. I take every opportunity to promote this. Cancer treatment has effects that last long after the last active treatment.

  28. Congratulations!

    I just went through a similar journey (also using FitBit to track), and once I hit my goal slacked off a bit on the tracking and gained 5 lbs back before I realized I can’t half-ass the process. So stick to what worked (though now you may have more in your budget to maintain vs lose)! And good luck on continued success!

  29. I’ve recently gone from about the same starting point down to 180lb. Which is about as low as I’ll get without choosing which is my second favourite leg.

    I cycle to work and it’s a big ol’ hill climb on the way home. I’ve mostly made the change with diet. Eat early in the day rather than late, didn’t cut anything specific out but be sensible about carbs and sugars, drink lots of water (about 3l a day) because sometimes when your body is complaining about being hungry it actually isn’t hydrated well enough.

    Just started doing a daily 7 minute workout, which I guess is the new fad thing. App on the phone that punts you around 12 different exercises 30 seconds at a time with 10 seconds between them. Fits nicely into my day before breakfast.

  30. Kudos for having the strength of will to not only control your intake, but to keep up with the tedious task of tracking. I don’t know why I find that part so burdensome. I seem to spend half my day poking at my phone anyway!
    You continue to be an inspiration in a thousand ways.

  31. What you weigh is based on what you eat and what you do. Your body will settle out at a weight based on that. You can see that happening from the shape of your weight curve. I would suggest you don’t make any changes. Let your body decide what it’s best weight is based on what you are now doing. Consider it a lifestyle change, not a diet.

  32. You just did one of the hardest things (or so the data says) possible in life. I’m curious, do you think writing a book was harder or doing this was harder?

  33. I’ve changed my diet, cut down how much eating and drinking I’m doing (the latter was never much, but hey, it all helps) and I’ve lost…. 0 pounds. I’m doing something very wrong, or my body hasn’t cottoned on to what I’m doing just yet.

    I think you should start a dieting blog, you seem to know what you’re doing…. at the very least, it’s a left-field idea for your next book…

  34. Congrats!

    It took me a long time to realize that, at least for me, weight is what I eat and fitness is what I do. With rare exceptions (serious military training schools, bicycle tours where I averaged 90 miles daily for weeks on end) it’s impossible for me to exercise enough to have a meaningful impact on my weight when compared to what I eat. Adding a bit more exercise to my day won’t compensate for the bag of chips and tub of dip or box of Cheez-its that I used to enjoy several nights a week.

  35. Congratulations!

    I have always been surprised that you seem to consider exercise is what allows you to indulge afterwards to compensate. In my experience, like fl transplant, weight is what I eat and fitness is what I do. Ideal weight is for me more about how well I feel rather than a fixed number on a scale. & i agree with you that how I see myself in the mirror is also an important élément of what I consider as my ideal weight.

  36. Well done!
    I actually have no idea how much I weigh. Have not stepped on the scale for over a year. My pants still fit, so it’s probably okay. Pants are a good indicator.

  37. Congratulations on reaching your goal weight. It’s a lot harder to lose weight than it was to put it on – I speak from experience. DH and I have been losing weight also and we’ve both lost over 20 pounds which is amazing. Lots of veggies and some intermittent fasting (him a day or two a week while I’m doing the 16 hour fast daily and low carb). I can wash my back again, and am determined to keep it off this time.

  38. Salute!

    Good to look after yourself – and in terms of self interest I hope you have many more healthy years of writing ahead of you.
    Reading is my no 1 help for my mental health – so you keeping fit helps me keep sane.
    And keeping sane makes it easier to keep my weight at 11stone – so we are both winners!

  39. Congratulations! A damned difficult achievement.
    And, to paraphrase Jefferson (I think) “Constant vigilance is the price of keeping the weight off – especially as you get older.:
    N.B. Tom always was a svelte dude.

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