November 3, 2006
Victoria Chang was 34 when she won a competition sponsored by Southern Illinois University Press that led to the publication of her first book of poems, Circle. She told Poets & Writers that she spent ten years writing the book and entered more than 30 contests before finding success. She recalled that an editor at a writers’ conference said that “talent, luck, and chug (persistence) are the three traits that can lead to success in publishing.”
Those are three traits that can lead to success in anything, I think. When it comes to weight loss, I know I have the talent. That is, I know a lot about nutrition and meal planning. I know the importance of exercise and the need for balance in these endeavors. I also have a great deal of luck. I can afford high quality foods, I have no allergies or other medical problems that can complicate meal preparation, and I don’t have to cook for a family nor look after others’ dietary needs. I have time and opportunity to exercise.
What I lack is the Chug.
Today I’m trying something new. I used to look at the total number of pounds I wanted to lose (more than 50), and I kept setting dates by which I wanted to lose them — my birthday, the beginning of summer, the beginning of a new calendar year. And I kept moving toward those dates with little progress, so that it became impossible to get even close.
The other day I mentioned the wedding I am going to on December 30. I’ve decided to keep that date as a goal, and to plan to be under 200 pounds on that day. That means I have to lose 2.3 pounds a week. That’s doable. (The fact that I have never done that for more than two weeks in a row is beside the point.)
I like the little turtle crawling along the bar. I have some history with the image of a turtle crossing a road — I once made a companion get out of the car and help a turtle that had started into our path. I can still see its legs continuing to move, move, move, as my friend carried it to the other side.