The Turtle


I am the turtle. I won the race comfortably. What race is that? The race to get healthy and to lose 150 lbs. I did so without starving, without a lot of exercise, and without discomfort. I did it without feeling hungry, guilty, or self-conscious. I did it eating delicious, easy to prepare (and not expensive) foods, and even being able to eat out. I didn’t accomplish all this overnight, and I not only didn’t expect to do it quickly, but I actually set out to do it at a comfortable, healthy pace. 10 lbs/month was my goal, and for the first 12 months, I was able to keep to that rate.

As people living in the Internet Age, we want everything immediately. Amazon Prime is a good example: we pay to get packages shipped to us quickly. Netflix allows us to click on a movie and watch it immediately. Burger King allows us to get a burger in minutes, while Little Caesar has Hot and Ready pizzas available as soon as you slip the cashier a fin (look that one up; my dad actually used to call them fins).

I get it. I wanted to lose weight quickly, too, but I learned that losing it slowly was better for your body, for your skin (to shrink up nicer), and even psychologically. The last one wasn’t something I expected to have to deal with, yet here I am over three years later still getting used to being 150 lbs lighter than I was at my heaviest. I still get surprised sometimes seeing pictures of myself, or even my reflection in the mirror. I have nightmares that I gained 100 lbs overnight. I don’t know how much of the psychological effect was mitigated by the slower rate of loss, but I can only imagine how strange it must feel for someone who loses 100 lbs in 6 months or less.

My point is don’t be in a hurry to lose weight. Focus on the quality of your food, your portion sizes, and on learning a new lifestyle that will leave you healthier and ultimately, weighing less. Let your journey be the focus, and not the destination. When you do that, you become regularly surprised with the lower numbers on the scale instead of expecting and waiting for it.

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