Getting Over the Weight-Loss Hill

August 12, 2013 | By | Comments (9)

Near my Atlanta apartment, where I live four days a week, there’s a steep hill. If I want to go somewhere—to work, to the bus stop, to the excellent gastropub or market a few blocks away, I have to climb this hill.

After six months in this apartment, I thought I would have this hill licked. But it defeats me every day. I may be making a mountain (and a metaphor) out of this hill, but when I’m winded, when my hamstrings are screaming, when I lean against the light poll to gather myself at the top of the hill, it seems like a mountain.

I’m no stranger to hills. In April, I hiked 30 miles along one of the toughest sections of the Appalachian Trail in two days. Carrying a 40-pound pack, I climbed more than 4,000 feet of elevation change.

When I walk to work, it’s three miles uphill (walking home is a breeze!).

But this hill bothers me. And I think I know why it has become emblematic of my weight and fitness level.

When Scott Mowbray asked me to join him in his quest to shed unwanted pounds, we joked about the last time we did this together. I was 34. Scott was not. We made a bet about who could lose more — and did it publicly. In our mano-a-mano diet scheme, I smoked him. But this time is different. Scott will probably smoke me.

Six years ago, I was fit and fat (yes, you can be!). Now I’m just fat. And this hill reminds me of it every day. I no longer run like I used to. My body is older and slower. And being over-the-hill is just around the corner; I turn 40 in September.

Since that initial weight-loss competition, I’ve tried to lose weight a dozen times. I’ve often been successful. And then I find myself back where I started. At the bottom of the hill. When I tried losing weight at the beginning of this year — with some goal of achieving my high school weight by the time I turned 40 (fail!) — I got as far as the scale in my bathroom.

For this attempt, I’m not focusing on competition, bets, and male ego (what’s left of mine). Instead, I’m focusing on this hill. I figure I need to lose about 20 pounds to be at a healthy weight (and just a few pounds off my high school weight) — and it starts by getting over this one hill.

What hill are you trying to climb? Share your fitness and weight loss stories with us:  Comment here, email and tweet @Cooking_Light using #SocialDiet.


  1. myweightlossstories9

    Personal experience. I wanted to prove to my dieting friends that you CAN lose weight without cutting meals. I thought I would only lose like 2-3 pounds after a couple weeks but the results were better than I’d thought. I can recommend for a highly effective guide to weight loss stories quite quickly

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  5. Sean Kelley

    Rev: Keep after it. Plateaus are part of any weight loss effort. Readjust and you’ll jumpstart the pound purge! Congrats on losing 27 pounds. That’s no small amount!

    August 15, 2013 at 8:21 am
  6. Why I am Fit to Write | #thedieselproject

    […] Getting Over the Weight-Loss Hill ( […]

    August 14, 2013 at 8:56 pm
  7. The Rev.

    I think the hardest part is where I am now. My goal was to loose 60 pounds. I have been at the 27lb mark for 3 months. I have recently increased my exercise and refocused on only snacking on fruits or veggies.

    August 14, 2013 at 2:45 pm
  8. AnnieNonymous

    You can do it!

    August 13, 2013 at 8:34 am
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