And then something happened to the warm-and-fuzzies.
I was sticking to the plan very well – eating only healthy foods loaded with nutrients, exercising my muscles and cardiovascular system every day. Oh, except for one day when I’d had lunch with some friends and, to my cheese and pear, I’d added a slice of gluten-free bread and two squares of chocolate, but that was a minor glitch. I hadn’t craved more, which was a revelation.
I couldn’t think of a time, ever, when two squares of chocolate were enough.
So heading for the meeting on Thursday, my mental state was way up there. I was stoked. High as a kite on my own virtuousness.
We’d find out what we could add to our menus and, of course, how much we’d lost.
I could no longer wear the same trousers to the meetings – they were so baggy it was embarrassing. I’d had to dig out an old pair that were similar in style and fabric so I’d be comparing apples with apples although I told myself it wasn’t about how much weight I’d lost. I was not like that woman who even took off her glasses when she approached the scale. For me, it was about feeling better. Which I did.
In fact, on my weekly reflection sheet that day I’d written, “…had lots of energy to enjoy all my activities.”
How fantastic to be 21 days short of a half-century and honestly add, in ink, “I can do more in a week than I have for years.”
And hey, we were three weeks in and I was already two-thirds of the way to my eight-week goal. Everything was coming up roses.
When I trotted happily to the front of the room and stepped on the scale, the wretched thing blinked a number that was way too close to the previous number. How could I have chipped off barely a pound, when I was doing the same things that had pared away five pounds only the week before?
To make it all worse, the next day I was going across the border to a writing conference, which was totally going to mess with my ability to chop broccoli and fit in my daily cardio allotment.
My frame of mind went from gilt to worm-eaten in the time it took a battery-operated machine to flash 154.
The human psyche – how fragile and how silly. I had lost another pound, an entirely reasonable amount to dump in two weeks, which I knew perfectly well. So why was I disappointed instead of being rational and happy?
Because I’d exceeded my expectations in the past, which gave rise to that most heartbreaking of all emotions: hope.