A week into the diet and I’m down two pounds and that’s right where I want to be. There probably are nutritionists out there who’ve spent careers studying physiologies and metabolisms and can site data to back up their claims as to the complexities of losing weight, but as I’ve said before as far as I’m concerned, at its simplest — or maybe simplistic — level, shedding or gaining pounds is the result of an unequal input/output equation.

Plus time. And that’s where the trouble comes in. People want to rush the job and so they get suckered into spending money on fads and wonder pills and miracle contraptions from an industry that feeds off our need for immediate gratification. Think about it, which website would you be more compelled by:

  • www.loseapoundaweekbycountingcaloriezzzzzzzzz.com
  • www.dropfivepoundstomorrowbysleepingandtakingacapsulekapow.com

We want our weight lost and we want it now!

But for me what makes the methodical long haul more digestible is knowing that basic equation (for my weight/age):

  • +/- 3,500 calories = +/- 1 pound.

These last 10 pounds I added on didn’t magically appear over www.twodaysofmesnoozingandtakingsomeoverhypedpill.com. It was a slow process over the 10 weeks beginning when I started working from home in May and stopped all my bike commuting. Throughout that period I kept eating as I had been, and with the severely reduced activity level to counter it managed to overdose a cumulative 3,500 calories every week on my way to finally having to surrender a belt notch at the beginning of July (one that I should have let go in mid-June but I was in denial). Better late than 10 more pounds later, that notch was my wake-up call to begin the march in the other direction.

And so far in this first week I’ve trudged downward, accumulating an approximate per-day calorie deficit of 1,000. Multiply that by seven days and you’ve got 7,000 calories. Divide that by 3,500 and  two pounds gone. See how simple that is?

Notice I didn’t say “easy.” Yesterday in fact, was tough. I was hungry pretty much from 10 a.m. until Susan got home and made dinner, and I’m looking sideways at today hoping things are easier. The good news was I didn’t nosh on a metric ton of cashews and trail mix. Instead I tried to fill the void with pan-fried greens and sugar snap peas and baby carrots. And more sugar snap peas and more baby carrots. Then I had a 60-calorie sugar-free pudding cup. Then I had some cashews — but kept it to one measly serving.

Thankfully between that and Susan getting home my iPhone4 arrived and the new toy diverted my attention from my stomach and thus prevented me from risking a return to the nut jar and going full-on Cookie Monster on it. Whew!