I am about 25 pounds heavier than I’d like to be. Not 25 pounds heavier than I need to be to feel good about myself. 25 pounds heavier than I want to be in order to physically feel really good and function at my best. I don’t have as much muscle as I’d like. Not nearly as much. This is something I want to seriously work on as I get older because I know how important it is to my overall health and to maintaining the quality of life I want to have when I’m in my 70’s. And 80’s. And 90’s. And hopefully even 100’s. I’ve been hovering right around 170 pounds for the last few months. I considered joining an 8-week strength training and weight lifting program called Buns and Guns. And then, I decided against it. Here’s why. Because I did a very similar program from the same person last summer. I lost 20 pounds in 8 weeks and I gained a lot of muscle. I got great results. But I got them by doing something that was completely unsustainable. I knew this going into it. I knew the level of working out and the level of meal prep and planning and the changes I made to the way I was eating were not realistic in the long run. But I thought the program would help me start consistently strength training. I know better. I know this is not how to develop habits I can maintain. This drastic overhaul very rarely sticks for anyone. And, unsurprisingly, the day after the program was done, I gave myself a break. The break was supposed to be for a day. It turned into months. And here I am. Back to almost square one. I’m not beating myself up. What I’ve learned is something I already knew. Quick fixes don’t actually fix anything. They just put a pause on current behaviors until the quick fix is finished. Then the old habits and behaviors creep back in. There is no quick fix. There is only commitment and consistency. When it comes to my weight, there is ONE thing I’ve been doing consistently. Weighing myself. I’m focused solely on results. This is the same thing I did when I participated in the Butt Camp program last summer. I had great results. I was stronger and more fit than I had been in a long, long time. But the results of the quick fix disappear as quickly as they show up. This is the problem with focusing on results. It’s not the result that determines success. If it was, I’d still look like that picture on the right. But focusing on results has me almost right back to that picture on the left. Because what I need to be focusing on is the process. Success isn’t in the results. Success is in doing what you need to do to get the results. Being successful is focusing on the process. When I don’t numb my feelings with food, that’s the success. When I can sit in discomfort when I’m craving something I know won’t make me feel any better in the long run, that’s success. Those are the things I should be keeping track of. NOT the number on the scale. When I focus on the process, the number on the scale WILL eventually change. My health will improve. My fitness will improve. The way I feel both physically and mentally will improve. So I’ve decided to make a change this month. I’m not stepping on the scale at all. Not until July 1st. No, I’m not throwing out the scale. I think a scale is a useful tool when it’s used responsibly. I think it’s important to know if you’ve gained 20 or 30 or 40 pounds in a year or two. This isn’t about deriving self-worth from a number. It’s about my health and my fitness and longevity. And it’s about keeping my body in a weight range that feels good for me. So I’m focusing only on the process for June. And then I’m going to see what the results are. I’m not cutting out entire food groups. I’m not exercising two and a half hours a day. Instead, I’m focusing only on making manageable changes I can maintain. And I’m measuring my success each day and week not by results, but by my commitment to the things a healthy person does every day. Drinking more water. Better sleep hygeine. Flossing my teeth. Strength training consistently. Putting better stuff into my body daily. Meditating. Stretching. When I do those things consistently, I will be taking care of my whole self. And when I do that, I know the results I’ve been failing to see won’t be too far behind.