Today I stepped on the scale and stared at the number. 240.2. That’s 31.2 pounds gone since I started this puppy.

Everyone associates certain numbers with certain things. When I was in Oregon last year, I remember being frustrated that the scale only read 242 after months of being vegan, rebounding and Bikram yoga (of course, there was lots of fast food in there too, but I wasn’t paying attention to that). Three ago, when I was living with my ex-boyfriend and we had decided to go on a serious exercise kick (or, HE decided for us and I reluctantly plodded along), I stepped on the scale and was 233. Several years ago, after a five-day fast, I stepped on the scale and was 228. That was probably the lowest weight I had been since college, when I was about 180.

I can easily remember where I was and who was around me at each of these weight points. Most importantly, though, I remember that I wasn’t quite happy. I was doing these things because I thought they would work or I wanted to please someone (mostly that) or I was frustrated with my life… some bullshit reason. And, no matter WHAT I did, there was always some form of fast food I was craving and/or diving head first into, despite my “efforts”.

I put “efforts” in quotations because really, I was just bullshitting. I see that now. I wasn’t working out as hard as I could have or with any true consistency. I would go for a couple of weeks eating “right”, and then have a total self-induced food orgy. There was no real balance in my mind, body or spirit.

That’s not true of me today. I am more even than I ever have been, and I think that’s why it’s been easier than before to shed the weight. I no longer think of food as this major crutch to get me through WHATEVER. I see, more than ever, that clean food + exercise + water = weight loss.

31.2 pounds. Holy shit. 100 pounds still feels like a long way to go; it still feels like a huge number. But how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.