I knew when I was patting myself on the back over ‘ten whole days’ of vegan-ism that it would seem silly by comparison to future benchmarks. With a few days to go until reaching the big 5-0 days I am feeling that silliness now. I am in no way diminishing my original point of pride, merely basking in the glory of larger and more impressive accomplishments.
The only new quantitative data that I can share with you today is that another seven pounds have slipped off of my frame. The plant based total is a 27 pound loss making the grand weight loss total: 77 pounds. That is 34.9 kilograms, 5.5 stones, 539,000 grains, 314.6 Newtons, or 292.9 taels! I know! Isn’t Google amazing?
More than a decade ago, I sought the help of the nice people at Weight Watchers. It is a great program for some people and I know for a fact they honor vegetarian and vegan lifestyles within the program. I, however, am not one of the people that thrives in that kind of setting.
Firstly, I don’t find the time to balance my checkbook or take life-saving medications, so counting and documenting the points involved for all the food I eat is not my cup of Slim Fast. Secondly, I taught elementary school for more than a decade and receiving stickers as rewards didn’t motivate me the same way it motivated my second graders. Finally, no matter how many times I begged them not to make a big deal over a lost pound or two they would somehow forget and include my accomplishment in the motivational cheer portion of the day- and the chairs were not nearly big enough to hide under.
WW has changed some over the years and I have listened from the sidelines as friends and coworkers take a dip in the warm, encouraging waters. I have no desire to rejoin them, preferring the encouragement and kind words I receive from you good people. However, there was one impressive comment that stuck with me since my days as a willing weight watcher.
The very nice lady who was checking my weight before the weekly meeting told me that I had lost half of a pound and gave me a congratulatory smile while documenting my success in a log book. I gave an involuntary derisive snort. There was so much derisiveness I almost needed a Kleenex.
When you get on a scale after a week of documenting the number of grapes eaten, you expect a minimum ten pound loss. Unrealistic you say? I respond with: I counted GRAPES! Anything as inconsequential as a half pound loss should be punished in a de-motivational booing circle. I explained as much to the very nice lady.
That is when she put the world in perspective for me. Ms. Smiling Brighteyes reminded me that sticks of butter are sold by the pound and that each stick weighs a quarter of a pound. While handing me my log book, she looked me in the eyes and said, “Last week you lost two sticks of butter.”
Now THAT sounds like an accomplishment.
I have made that particular weight conversion many times since then. It is hard, slow, tiring work to burn off fat that has smothered a perfectly normal human body. Giving up and visiting 3 Waffle Houses in one day is an option that can look very appealing when all the grape counting in the world isn’t solving an obesity problem in a week. Ms. Brighteyes dealt with people engaged in this struggle every day and knew that small weekly gains seemed inconsequential to us and armed herself with a motivational weight conversion that helps me even today.
It has held even more power during the last 47 days. It is easy to imagine that I am covered with butter… and all of the other meat and dairy that I ate over the previous decades. Losing a stick of butter has never felt more like actually removing another stick of butter from my body. Thanks to my new vegan life, I have said good riddance to another 108 sticks of butter.
The most exciting point to be made today is that I began this journey as a carnivore with 150 pounds to lose. Today I am an herbivore celebrating the cresting of a figurative mountain and beginning my hike down the other side. I have crossed the halfway point on this journey to great health and I look forward to having you following along with me while I describe the 73 pound descent.
It should be an exciting 165,713.2 Carats or 883 Mommes. (Thank you Google)