I’ve had some early success with my newly undertaken diet. Stepping on the scale this morning at the beginning of Day No. 3 I was surprised to find myself suddenly four pounds lighter than the 236 I was when I started this thing on Tuesday. Hang on now, don’t worry. I’m sensible enough to be aiming for an average loss of a little more than a pound a week, and I’m well-versed enough in the process to know such a drastic fluctuation could very well “correct” itself at tomorrow’s weigh-in and I could be back where I started.

But it was still a heartening and empowering victory to see the numbers go in the right direction so quickly. And I do consider it a victory — however false or small, because I do consider a diet a war. As such, I couldn’t help but think about those retreating four pounds as an occupying enemy to whom I felt like calling out “Yeah, you’d better run. I’ve only begun to fight and you’re gonna lose!”

Ultimately and simply, it’s a numbers game for me. I don’t care about nutritionists and their books on how to lose weight. Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem might work for a lot of people, but I don’t need them. I follow the basic rule of outputting more than I input. And right now even at its most sedentary my body burns about 3,000 calories a day. So by doing nothing more than consuming an average 2,000-2,500 calories a day I am guaranteeing that I will lose.

Sure that’s the easy part. The hard part is the doing it.

Fighting — getting mad — is the trick for me. It’s like a switch that I can only flip after an interminable amount of time doing nothing but thinking about doing something. I spent the last two months feeling myself growing and even when I finally had to admit defeat and surrender a notch on my belt a couple weeks ago, I still hadn’t found the resolve to take action. But when I finally did, it was very liberating. Tremendously invigorating — this time even more than when I last went to battle in 2006, because now I remember how good it felt to break 210. How proud it made me feel.

And how I can’t wait to get back there again. Slowly and steadily.