Of the 45 pounds to be shed, 26 have left me. Of the 352 days allotted to the project, 250 have gone by. A bit less than 2/3 the goal, in a bit more than 2/3 the time, means I'm slightly behind schedule — assuming the schedule isn't totally arbitrary, which it is. When I invented the schedule, I knowingly made at least two simplifying assumptions that were false-ish (i.e., not definitely true):

  1. Weight loss is linear
  2. A year is enough

Let's look at the chart.


  • Black diagonal line from upper left to lower right: the schedule
  • Red line with absurd spikes when no scale is available: daily weigh-ins
  • Artisanal scientistic hand-laid blue arrows: rough trends

I suppose I could force my weight loss to look “linear” by drawing a blue arrow straight from day 1 to today, but I wouldn't learn much, because I'm already an arrow-drawing expert. Also I wouldn't learn much about the data.

The schedule was concocted on the assumption that I could lose 45 pounds in a year: in other words, that I could sustain an average loss of almost 4 pounds per month for 12 months. Other than previously having comfortably weighed 200 pounds, and feeling intuitively that the timeline was neither reckless nor impossible, my assumption had no basis in reality. It was, and is, arbitrary.

So I neither feel bad about being slightly behind “schedule” nor feel good about being fairly close to it. What feels good is that I'm making progress toward a worthwhile goal and, more important, that I feel good. Not great — there's much more athleticism to be regained yet — but good. Since I last wrote, there's been another qualitative change. In addition to my face looking like my face, my body looks and feels way more like my body. I was able to wear one of my suits to work last week. It was nice.

As you can see from the chart, I've been doing pretty well lately. As usual, there are many possible reasons, and I probably won't get to know exactly which are responsible:

  1. Had a cold, was briefly healthy, then had something flu-ish
  2. As a result, haven't worked out regularly for a month and a half (only three sessions since August 7)
  3. After the one post-cold workout, ate carbohydrate for the first time in a couple months (maybe helped kick my metabolism? maybe helped me get sick? both?)
  4. Was on vacation for two weeks (during which several people noted how relaxed I sounded!), followed by greater-than-usual work stress, followed by returning to NYC
  5. Been eating lots of seafood recently (salmon, flounder, cod, scallops, always with plenty of butter), and more coconut (oil and meat)

The weight I'm losing may be muscle, since I haven't been working out much. If that's what's happening, fine by me. On net, I'm still stronger than 250 days ago. Plus, gaining muscle is not this year's goal, merely a means to the end of weight loss — and it appears to be functioning for the intended purpose. Once I reach my goal weight, I can set new goals; body composition will almost certainly be among them. Meanwhile, from here to 200 pounds, I'll probably work out less intermittently than I have been, but still less regularly than I had been before.

Everyone knows the last few pounds are the hardest to lose. I'm not there yet, but my chart suggests I should expect another upward-sideways zig soon. I'm not worried, because a giant blue arrow would show that I'm moving in the right direction. And even though I weigh less, I've become harder to stop.