I was playing around with some numbers for other projects I’m working on, and decided to see how only one small change could affect my weight (in theory).
For example, a 12 oz. can of Coke is 140 calories. Now, let’s say I have only one can a day. If I’m not doing enough activity to burn that 140 calories, and I wind up with a 140 calorie surplus a day, everyday (either by drinking a Coke, eating a second helping of apple pie, or something else), then in one month, I’ll have a surplus of 4200 calories.
A pound is roughly 3500 calories, so I’m gaining 1.2 lbs. a month. Not really noticeable, right? My weight typically fluctuates within a few pounds during the week anyway. But, by the end of the year, I will have stored 50,400 calories or, to put it another way, a very noticeable 14.4 lbs….and now multiply that for any given number of years, and I’ve got trouble.
At that rate, over 3 years, I will have put on 43.2 lbs.
I’m using 3 years as an example because I weigh the same now as I did 3 years ago.
When all you see are diet and exercise plans for losing 10 lbs. in 10 days, 20 lbs. in a month, 50 lbs. in 90 days, and the like, it never really occurs to you that maybe — just maybe — losing 1.2 lbs. a month really can make a difference.
There’s no doubt that I’d be happy to be 43.2 lbs. lighter today.
I’m doing way more than just not drinking one can of soda, so I’m hoping that I’ll lose more than 1.2 lbs. a month (1.5 would be awesome!). But looking at the big picture one small piece at a time reminds me that it’s okay to slow down, and not feel disappointed in small victories simply because I think I could have or should have done better.
Celebrate victories, even the small ones. They add up.