I Made My 20-Week Weight-Loss Goal: Now What?

October 15, 2013 | By | Comments (11)

In late June I announced that I planned to lose 20 pounds in 20 weeks. At that point, I was already about 5 weeks into my project and optimistic that success was possible. I wrote that together with a few friends and colleagues, we had launched the Social Diet. We cooked the Social Diet up for food lovers, not dieters, and we would be the guinea pigs. The Social Diet says that great food in modified portions, combined with exercise, will lead to a pound of weight loss per week. Well, my deadline was today, and this morning I was 21 pounds lighter than 20 weeks ago. So… success!


Shameless selfie posted on Instagram when I met my 20-pound weight goal.

Next: The rest of my life.

Actually, I intend to lose 4 more, making it 25 pounds down, then tackle “maintenance.” I have a slight suspicion (in the way that one can be suspicious of one’s own motives) that moving the goalposts is a way of extending the game—that maintenance now seems more daunting than losing, so let’s lose some more.

That said, it’s been a fascinating and pretty much enjoyable experience, in good part because of the social aspect. We on the team simply bore everyone else around us by yakking about 10K step goals, “expecting more from our food,” motivation versus willpower, and other topics that have been explored in various blog posts.

But really: It’s been enjoyable. This was the big revelation. Those with experience losing weight often talk about the empowering feeling of being in control. It’s a feeling that can power you through plateaus, as can focusing on the exercise side of the equation. Running, for me, is not something to be endured but enjoyed. I’m as immersed in the subject of food and practice of cooking as I ever was, but seem to carry less psychic weight around about it.

For the January issue of Cooking Light I’m writing a feature article about the Social Diet, and we will be offering daily recipe plans online—with further offerings for readers in the future.

In the meantime—four pounds to go, four weeks to do it.

Then: The rest of my life.

Are you currently maintaining after losing weight? Share your advice! Comment here, email Scott_Mowbray@timeinc.com, and tweet @ScottMowb or @Cooking_Light using #SocialDiet.


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  3. Kathy

    After having bilateral knee replacements, my weight increased dramatically because of my inability to “work out” and more seditary life style. I knew I had to do something to lose the weight, or I risked damaging my new knees. I never weighed more than 100lbs on my petite 5foot frame, until I hit menopause. After my surgeries, my weight soared to 164! In April I made the decision to start doing something about it. I used MyFitnessPal app on my phone and iPad. It was a tremendous help! I learned proper portion control which is the key to maintaining a healthy weight—-hard to do for this foodie!!! I used my bicycle for exercise, my stationary bike when weather was too bad to ride the other, and walking. It has taken me 6 months, but I am now 32lbs leaner, and have dropped 3 sizes! My goal was to lose 40lbs, but I seemed to have reached a plateau. I really do not want to drop to less calories per day than I have been consuming (almost too low at 1200), so I may need to increase my exercise. That I find hard to do—lack of time with working full time and family life that includes activities involved with being a grandma of 14! Any advice? Should I just try to maintain? But I was hoping to maintain on more than 1200 calories per day!

    October 27, 2013 at 10:32 am
  4. Bill

    I also set a goal like you to lose 20 pounds and also used MyFitnessPal. I started about a month prior to you and it took me a little longer but achieved it in 26 weeks. I’m proud to say that my BMI no longer reads as overweight and I’ve had to replace all my pants!

    October 26, 2013 at 8:07 pm
  5. Michele

    So great to know we can enjoy food while losing and I’m encouraged and am looking forward to the January edition!

    October 21, 2013 at 10:16 am
  6. Marina

    Congratulations! Excited for you and your team. Hope I can emulate you now.

    October 20, 2013 at 6:38 am
  7. Lynne Buchanan

    I have just reached my Weight Watchers goal, losing 24 pounds. Counting WW points is difficult, but I don’t know of an alternate way to keep the pounds off. I welcome any suggestions!

    October 18, 2013 at 1:52 pm
  8. Sarah Jaihe Lee

    Congratulations. I love this quote: “Running, for me, is not something to be endured but enjoyed.”

    October 16, 2013 at 1:41 am
  9. Barbara

    Great job! I did a similar diet last year and didn’t have any problems maintaining my weight. With regular exercise and being used to smaller portions after the diet period it wasn’t a prblem. And I even finished my weight loss righ before the holiday season!

    October 15, 2013 at 8:21 pm
  10. Karen Ward

    it’s always been the maintenance that seems the hardest. you just want to stop paying such close attention to the food you eat and just eat and that’s when it starts sneaking back. hope you have some followup maintenance advice for all of us losers…lol!

    October 15, 2013 at 4:42 pm
  11. Christine

    Nice job! The #socialdiet recipe links always made me hungry. Best to maintenance mode and losing 4 more pounds to reaching your goal.

    October 15, 2013 at 4:32 pm

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