Because I’m obsessive about my weight…

Here’s this week’s column, for those of you who want to join my “let’s talk about dieting every four minutes” club.

“Two weeks ago I emailed one of my favorite relatives/ex-college roommates for a little emotional dietary pick-me-up. Due, in large part, to her response, I shall now lay down the number one rule of successful weight loss (actually, salami is the number one rule, but this is a close second):

1. Have a friend who is just as obsessive as you are, because they’ll give you the perfect advice.

Truly, I was kind of freaking out when I emailed her. All I could see was October 31st and a previously set goal slipping through my fingers like some kind of spaghetti brains. Every Starburst I shoved in my mouth brought me agony, the second-hand crusts that kept making their way through my lips made me want to cry within ten seconds of swallowing, and the scale was acting pretty concrete in its feelings towards me.

And then, my sweetest relative in the world put my brain right where it needed to be. She reminded me of the secret to weight-loss happiness: patience.

See, those of us who are vain and obsessive about how we look like to see instant results. We want weight loss to work like an ATM. It should be fast, convenient, and allow you to sit on your rear and still burn calories.

Unfortunately, being healthy and fit usually involves words like broccoli, and steamed, and denial. This is the mantra of the skinnies. In my case, during the past year my favorite words have included buffet, and donut, and are-you-going-to-eat-the-rest-of-that-Snickers-bar? It’s taken a mental shake for me to remember that the only way to be happy, healthy, and thin on a permanent basis is to make the transition gently.

No, I will not be in a size four tomorrow, next week, or by Thanksgiving. And you know what? Who cares? (Okay, I kind of care a lot, but we know that.)

After my third child, it took me six or seven months to get where I wanted to be, and I worked hard to get there. It didn’t happen overnight, and Starburst candy was not part of the routine. It took deliberate actions and non-actions, and the patience to let my body figure out the losing part without giving up on it.

Sometimes in Diet Land, the only part of the equation we’re missing is long-term devotion. That mental state alone will bring more peace of mind than any little old number the scale might spit out at you.

For some reason, this reminder smoothed my ruffled stretch marks and gave me the breathing room I was denying myself. Two days later, I woke up one morning, and I knew: it had begun. I was ready to chase that wagon and ride off into the protein shake sunset, where almonds grow in rich clusters, and salami is most plentiful.

It’s been two weeks. I’ve lost six pounds.

Bring on the skinny jeans.

(Okay, not quite yet, but by Christmas for sure.)”


  1. I have been dieting for 4 months and have lost 36 lbs. I have 25 more to go and it will probably take at least that long to get there. It is the hardest thing I have ever done, but I really do feel so much better. You just keep going and you will get there pretty soon. I have discovered that the secret (for me) is actually eating about 100 calories ever two hours and eating a dinner of lean meat and vegetables. It is not easy, but I think it is worth it! You just keep going and have the patience to give it time. It didn’t get there overnight (even though it seems like it). For me, it took several years and nine babies. So, it doesn’t exactly come off very fast either.

  2. After reading your blog for so long—you’d think I’d know more about this salami diet but I’m really pretty clueless. You wanna share? I could use something new in my health “transition.” Apples are getting old…

    Also, have you been watching Biggest Loser?

    • annie valentine says:

      Um, HELLO. Even my seven year old is watching the Biggest Loser. This is the time of year to lose weight.

  3. Have I ever told you that I lost 75 pounds about 7 years ago? Yeah, gained about 20 back, and in the past six months have lost about 15 of that. I’m really surprised that laying around on the couch, watching The Real Housewives, doesn’t burn more calories.

  4. Woohoo 6 pounds, you go girl! 😀

  5. Make sure you get the cocoa roasted almonds from Sam’s Club. They fill Mark’s chocolate need every night, no added carbs! And he’s down 40 lbs!

    • annie valentine says:

      I have never heard of these wonder nuts, I’ll see if your mom will pick them up for me (only Costco here).

  6. Oh my gosh! 6 lbs in 2 weeks. I am so proud of you! I know that means you have made your mind up to stick on a good eating plan and it is totally working. That is awesome. Love you.