Yesterday was a great day.
It was time for my monthly weigh-in, but I had put it off a few days for superstitious reasons. I really wasn't sure what the scale would say.
People who lose large amounts of weight experience what I like to call "fat paranoia." This is a condition with no known cure. Despite all the overwhelming evidence, you become convinced you are getting fatter. The shirt becomes a little more snug. The pants are tighter. "I'm getting bigger, I just know it." The mind plays tricks on you like that.
So finally I decided enough was enough and I was going to face the music. If it was a few pounds more, I was not going to overreact. I would just exercise more. Tighten up the portions. I weigh on an old-fashioned balance beam scale, the kind you find at most doctor's offices. These are the most accurate. Digital scales are very inaccurate, I have found.
For more than a year, the large bottom weight was on 200. I slid the top weight all the way to zero and the beam still did not rise.
It was time to move the bottom weight to 150. I couldn't believe my eyes. The scale balanced between 199 and 200.
I finally did it. I was under 200. I couldn't believe it. After all this time, here I was. I remember for years thinking how ecstatic and satisfied I would be to just get under 400. Under 300. Around 250. Anything.
But under 200? It didn't seem possible. Everything I had ever been told by the naysayers wasn't true. I'm not starving. I'm not "too skinny" (at least I don't think so) and loose skin is not hanging off of me to the point that it's a problem.
But I do know one thing: this is not the end, this is just the beginning. When you reach the end of the weight loss rainbow like I have, nothing has been achieved. I can't just sit back and be satisfied with what I have accomplished. I now have to maintain it. I must do exactly what I have been doing for the last 3 years, 2 months and 4 days. Because if I don't, the weight will come back. All of it, plus more.
I don't often celebrate anything having to do with my weight loss, but for now, I will say...here's to getting under 200!
Bryan Ganey is the author of "Impossible: How I Lost Nearly 400 Pounds Without Surgery," now available from Amazon.com.