Made a small but crucial leap off the 230s today. Stepped on the scale this morning and after what was only nine days but was starting to seem like forever fluctuating between 232 and 230, the scale showed that I’d fallen to 228. For those playing at home [crickets chirping] that totals to 8 pounds lost in the 22 days since I began counting calories July 6, and puts me way ahead of schedule about two pounds shy of half the way toward reaching my first-phase goal of 215 by November 1.

Certainly I might climb back up to 230 a couple times over however many days it takes me to get down the next step to 226, but the important thing is I’ve touched a new low in this downward journey.

But why exactly did I choose November 1? It’s really rather trivial. I’m scheduled to attend a tradeshow in San Antonio the first week of November, and historically such events are categorized by having to wear clothing into which I don’t quit fit. And in this case, since most of my businesswear wardrobe was triumphantly re-fitted from my 42-in waistline days weighing 260 to the 36-inch waistline I proudly attained when  I was around my slimmest ever at 208 pounds in 2006, I was facing the uncomfortable options of either buying bigger clothing, having those sport coats and slacks let out, or literally just sucking it up, squeezing my now 38-inch waist in and being physically uncomfortable and thus almost constantly disappointed throughout my visit to the big state of Texas at how far I myself had biggened since that victorious visit to the tailor four years ago — my first time ever going to tighten clothing to me rather than loosen it from me.

The choice was clear: none of the above. Or at least neither of the latter two. If I buy a new pair of slacks or jacket it’ll be because I want to, not because I have to.

After that show I go into Phase 2 and work toward 195 by March 1, with that number chosen simply because of the challenge it presents ing getting back down under 200 where I haven’t been since I was still in high school. The date was chosen because shortly thereafter Susan and I will be headed to Thailand and Cambodia for the next in our occasional series of once-in-a-lifetime vacations.

Another reason is strictly statistical: 194.7 is the border weight between “healthy” and “unhealthy” according to fitday.com’s Body Mass chart.

Now to be frank, all those impersonal graphs and indexes that tell me I’m still very much overweight at 208 and barely borderline between a healthy and unhealthy weight at 195 can suck it. My individual reality is that I begin to look somewhat emaciated at anything below 210. Grounded in that awareness I don’t expect I’ll endeavor to dwell  too long in the house of 195 because the gaunt and drawn look is almost as unappealing to me as my pudgy profile. But be it 195, 20 or 210, wherever I end up, the one thing I will do is not make the mistake being finished. Getting to the goal is as important an achievement as staying there. And putting the scale away like I did in July of 2006 when it read 208 won’t happen again. Instead regular steps up onto it will foster regulation that prohibits any creeping growth and denial that ultimately brings about future loathsome belt notch surrenders.