We’ve reached that point in the year when most people will give up their New Year’s Resolutions. If you are one of the vast majority of Resolution Makers who vowed to lose weight, exercise more, or become healthier in the new year, I’d like to introduce you to a new concept — The Slow Loser.
I myself am a Slow Loser. My transformation was not inspired by a flip of the calendar or the turn of a decade, though those are as valid as any reasons to make a change. I believe I decided to buckle down on a pretty random Tuesday morning. Although I had been going to Orangetheory for years, I decided to commit to it differently. I started going every weekday at lunch and I overhauled my routine.
But progress was brutally, frustratingly, defeatingly slow. I changed my whole approach in July and not a single person noticed until Halloween.
They say it takes 2 weeks to notice a change. I call bullshit on that. It took 12 weeks of intensely hard work before anyone said to me in casual conversation, “have you lost weight?” And, even more frustrating, my answer was always, “nope!” Because I didn’t lose weight. I didn’t lose weight for months and months and months. When I did, I lost one pound, and gained two. I would buckle down and lose two pounds, and then gain one. I just kept oscillating between the same five pounds over and over and over.
And at some point I gave up. I abandoned my resolution — I stopped looking at the scale, and I lost hope in reaching my “goal weight.” But I kept going to the gym. I started to think of it as mental health care, a 60 minute break in the middle of each work day that I could give myself. I focused on weight lifting because I liked the defined muscles I was developing. Everything about the routine that was valuable to me had nothing to do with the original goal I set. And that’s when the magic started to happen. A year and a half after I made some big changes I can proudly say I have lost 30 pounds.
For those math averse, let me put this another way. I made a total life overhaul and I lost a little more than half a pound PER MONTH. I am a slow loser. But, those little half pounds add up. So if you are thinking of abandoning your resolution, pump the brakes.
Maybe you’ve been trying really hard and you haven’t seen any progress. Remember why you started. Maybe you’ve only lost a half a pound, or no pounds, or you gained one. Reset. Maybe the scale hasn’t moved but your body feels good, or you’re sleeping better. Reframe your goal.
If it was worthwhile to you to start this journey then it’s worthwhile to keep trying. Don’t let the numbers defeat you. After all, a slow loser is still a loser.
Read more Marsh: coloradodaily.com/columnists.