There is No “Only” in Weight Loss

On television and in magazines, we’re constantly bombarded with “lose weight FAST” schemes and promises. 

Swallow this pill, drink this powder, or have this frozen meal plan delivered to your home, and you’ll lose 12 pounds in two weeks.

We’re obsessed with shows like The Biggest Loser, where contestants have been known to drop 20 pounds in just seven days.  It’s a  ”reality” show, so surely those results can be attained by eating well and working out on your own, right?

As a society, we’re pressed for time…and we want instant gratification.  We want to reap the desired results without actually having to do the work.

We’re all looking for a shortcut.

That’s precisely why people often seek me out to vent about how they’ve “only” lost a pound this week, or they’ve “only” lost five pounds this month.   They embark on a particular weight loss program, stick to it for a mere 10 days, and then complain that they haven’t dropped a dress size yet.

But here’s the thing.  Absolutely no method of weight loss is magic…despite what you see and hear on TV. 

Weight loss is a long-term committment.   It is a slow, arduous process.  It takes conscious decision-making every single day of your life - even on the days when you’d rather have fries than a side salad with lunch, or the nights you’re just too exhausted to head to the gym after work. 

I wish I could say that it gets easier.   Beginning my weight loss journey was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, and two years later, it continues to be an uphill battle for me to remain focused and committed to my goals. 

Sometimes it is truly a struggle to choke down vegetables and drink skim milk, or to get in the car and drive to the gym, when all I really want to do is chow down on chips in front of the television.  Sometimes I gaze longingly as my friends slurp down margaritas and nachos, while I nurse my rum and diet coke and munch on the celery that’s served on the side of buffalo wings.  Sometimes I don’t feel like counting POINTS.  Sometimes I don’t feel like spending another 20 minutes on the treadmill. 

But I always try to do the best I can.  Often I’ll work my butt off and lose a pound, a half a pound, or even nothing at all.  Many weeks, I end up gaining. 

That’s why – despite my perfectionist personality – I make it a point not to complain about “only” losing .6 pounds.  Losing weight is extremely difficult, and even the tiniest budge on the scale is a success. 

When I weigh-in on Sunday mornings and lose two pounds, I celebrate.  When I lose half of a pound, I celebrate.  When I’m told that the scale is clocking me in at just .4 pounds less than last week, I celebrate.  A loss is a loss is a loss. 

Have I ever been surprised or disappointed by the number on the scale?  Of course!   But as far as I’m concerned, any negative scale movement is a victory. 

This isn’t a race, this isn’t a contest, and this certainly isn’t a “reality” show.  This is your life. 

And I can promise you that the effort is well worth the reward.


  1. Wow. I feel stupid saying this, but I’ve never thought of it that way. I beat myself up if the scale doesn’t show more than a 2 pound loss, but what you are saying it so true. We all want it overnight and we know that can’t happen. From now on I am celebrating every ounce too! Thanks!!!

    • Hi Kelly,

      Thanks so much for checking out my blog.

      Don’t feel stupid! When I was new to the program, I used to beat myself up for small losses, too. But as I began to realize that eating right and exercising were things I’d have to for the rest of my life in order to maintain my weight loss, it dawned on me that there was really no need to rush.

      I can’t control what the scale says, but I CAN control how well I stick to the program – one week that might mean a 2 pound loss, and the next week I may end up with a loss of .2, but as long as I know I’m doing the best I can, that’s fine by me.

      You’re so right…I didn’t gain this weight in one week, and I sure can’t expect to take it off in a week, either!

      Best of luck on your journey – keep me posted on how you’re doing! Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @jenniferlnelson


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