For the past three weeks I've gotten up nearly every day to exercise. I play "beat the week." The rules are, if I can get up and exercise at least four days out of the week, I beat the week. If I don't, the week beat me. So far, for three weeks running, I have kicked the week's butt. 

Along with the exercising, I've started tracking what I eat and keeping my calorie count down. Really it's about eating better. More veggies, less processed sugar, that sort of thing. And that's going well, too. I've had a slip or two, but nothing I couldn't recover from.  

And the weight is coming off. But there's where things get screwy. 

OK, here are the numbers, and I know how bad they can seem, so cut me some slack for my honesty, OK? But when I started this, I weighed in at 278. 

Yeesh. Just looking at that makes me want to throw up. But the good news is that in a very short time I've managed to drop into the 260s. Yesterday I weighed in at a svelte 266 even. I was pretty happy with that. Not only had I cracked the 10 pound barrier, I'd beaten it by two whole pounds! 

That was good enough motivation for me to get my butt out bed again this morning and beat the week, good and proper. I went and did my thing, and felt strong doing it. Where I had suffered all week to "get back into the groove" after the holiday weekend, this morning I was more energetic, more spry, more fit. And after my workout, just as I have done every day for the past three weeks, I stepped on the scale. 

I saw the 268 pop up, and I was devastated.

More than devastated, I was furious! Two pounds! I had gained two pounds in just 24 hours? What's the deal here? Who's pulling something? Who do I beat up? 

And then, in the last second, just as my weight was "finalized," an extra .2 popped up to give me an extra bit of kick to the groin. 

I gained 2 pounds and 2 ounces in 24 hours.

I know, I know ... it isn't unusual. It depends on what you've eaten, whether or not you're retaining water, maybe the pull of the moon—all kinds of crazy factors. Still, I could have lived with the fluctuating 2 pounds. I get it. But it's that extra .2 that really wasn't called for. 

I'll keep it up, and this will happen maybe 20 times more over the next copule of months. But whatever—I'm doing this and it's making me feel much better. Sooner or later the serious poundage will start falling off, and that will make it all worth it. 

And that .2, my old enemy, will rue the day it crossed me.


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Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at


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