Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How to lose 20 pounds by the end of the year

I'm not going to tell you to just drink more water.
It's the beginning of August. But right now, I want you to imagine the beginning of January 2012.

There are five months left of 2011. Five months is a good chunk of time to accomplish something big. Something huge. Something amazing.

Or something pretty mundane and typical, like losing weight.

It's all about math, really. Let me break it down for you.

One brick of butter is basically one pound of fat. So if you want to lose 20 pounds by Christmas, imagine wanting to lose 20 bricks of butter off your body.

Following? Good.

20 bricks of butter divided by 5 months equals 4 bricks of butter to lose each month.

Or if you're a mathy (I'm not) the equation looks like this:

20 ÷ 5 = 4

Simple stuff. So the goal is to lose 4 pounds each month, which is one brick of butter a week.

At this point, you are supposed to breath a sigh of relief because all you need to lose each week is one pound. This is the good news. Congratulations. And you're welcome for pointing this out.

But the news gets even better. I'm not even kidding. 

Now in order to lose this brick of butter, imagine slicing it into 7 equal chunks. You only need to concentrate on burning one chunk of butter each day.

How do you burn up this butter? Well, avoiding butter is a good start. But you know what you should and shouldn't eat. You've been at this game awhile now. You are aware that the extra glass of wine, the bits of bread you snack on at the restaurant and the chocolate mousse for dessert are all pretty good places to start. You also know that you can burn calories by a long walk or run.

Remember, you only have to deal with burning (or even just not consuming) that one pat of butter each day... a mere one seventh of your brick for the week.

Isn't that great news?

Now here's the bad news.

We don't do what we want to do, we only do what we do.

We may want to not eat the chocolate mousse but we eat it anyway.
We may want to not reach for the second glass of beer but we do anyway.
We may want to go for a long walk but we find ways to let the day go by without it.

This is where we lose it. And I'm not talking about the weight. I'm talking about the battle.

This is where we gained it in the first place so this is where we need to get all Jedi with ourselves. We need to go Zen. We need to go there.

People have had weird, illogical but totally understandable thoughts during the moments when they have a chance to burn this pat of butter. Thoughts like:
  • Whenever I can't eat what I want, I feel punished.
  • How will I maintain friendships if I don't go out for drinks? 
  • I'll look old if I get skinny.
  • I use my extra weight to bond with other women.
  • What if I get ill? I'll need the extra weight to get better.
  • If I don't worry about the weight, other worries will surface.
Sound familiar?

It does to me, too.

For me, it's a boring inner monologue. Barnacles in my brain that need to be dealt with either in therapy, in my journal or even on that long walk I don't want to take.

But imagine starting 2012 without the New Year's resolution to lose weight.

Imagine that. 


  1. Oh, sigh, barnacles in the brain. I am trying really hard this time to actually start using a gym membership and not just make myself feel guilty about thinking up reasons to not go. Visualizing butter pats just may be the key technique, so okay, then.

  2. You have a weird, illogical but totally understandable (or not) notion that you are not absolutely gorgeous and utterly perfect just the way you are.

  3. I need to slice butter when it comes to my writing... And I'm just going to make peace with my muffin top because this lady can't ever give up her wine.

  4. i like butter


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