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I’m losing it.

Not mentally – I’m already certifiable. But I’m fed up with being fat, so I’m doing something about it – and finally losing weight after years of gaining.


I use a Withings scale for a daily weigh-in, which wirelessly uploads to a website and then automagically populates my weight log on Fitbit. Recently Fitbit gave me two congratulatory badges – one for 25 lbs all-time weight loss (since a miserable lifetime high in August of 2011), and one for 15 lbs lost since I set a goal in October 2011. I’m back to where I was in March 2011, so I’ve basically lost the dissertation weight. Hurray! Now I “just” have the rest of the grad school pounds to eliminate…

My current weight goal is 200 lbs, just above the line between “overweight” and “obese.” It was too ambitious a goal when I set it, but I couldn’t make myself compromise either. Current predictions suggest that could happen by September, which would be beyond awesome. I’ll set more moderate and achievable goals after that.

So, how am I doing it? The only sustainable way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you consume, and that can be done by consuming less and/or burning more. It’s a long-term persistence-based outcome, which is hard to sustain, but the immediate jump-start of losing 5 lbs in 5 days (from hiking 50 miles with a 50 lb pack) helped fuel my determination.

I always try to be reasonably active, so the main change is dietary. I’m just plain cutting back on the calories. During June I logged everything I ate, which helped me maintain a 500-750 calorie daily deficit. Tough as it was to be hungry all the time, I just gritted my teeth and kept at it.

Then along came sertraline (Zoloft). While all 4 of my daily meds have the potential side effect of reduced appetite, sertraline was the tipping point. Suddenly, I know when I need to stop eating. I actually feel full and want to stop eating, regardless of how delicious the dish, which is something I haven’t experienced since childhood. I’m satisfied with much less than I had previously consumed as well – for the first time in our 12 years together, I’m eating less than Mr. Chickadee on a regular basis.

It’s amazingly liberating to be freed from a distorted appetite.

The jeans I’ve been living in since my birthday are now out of circulation – they’re too big. Even my new hiking pants have noticeably loosened around the middle in the last month, and several pairs of jeans and slacks that I haven’t worn in a year now fit comfortably. According to my measurements, I’ve lost 0.5″ off the hips and 1.5″ off the thighs – no wonder my pants fit differently! Best of all, my bra cups no longer runneth over; the underwires rest comfortably on my sternum, where they ought to be, and I’ve gone down a cup size.

I’m finally losing it, and I’m thrilled.