18 in '18: An Adventure in Weight Loss

I set out on a journey to lose some weight this year, partly expecting to fail, as in the past. To my surprise, I’ve reached my goal with three months to spare.

My motives for the project were mixed. I wanted to be a better steward of my body, abilities, and energy (1 Cor. 6:19, 4:2). I wanted to demonstrate to my son the power of daily discipline over time (1 Tim. 4:8, 2 Tim. 1:7, 1 Cor. 9:27) and strengthen my ethos in conversations with him about his personal goals. I also just wanted to look and feel better. I have to be older, but I don’t have to be heavier.

What has worked for me may not work for anyone else. But if you struggle with your weight, there may be some ideas here you can use.


Many factors went into making this effort successful. The biggest influence was unexpected success at work in pursuit of complex, but measurable, goals. I wondered: if, at work, I could reach what seemed at first to be impossible output targets, could I get rid of pounds the same way?

The target took shape as a New Year’s resolution: I’ll lose 18 lbs. in 2018—given my past patterns and my small frame, a substantial goal. The following were the core principles.

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How Did Wellness Become Our New Religion?

"In place of religion, we now have spirituality (or pseudo-spirituality). Instead of church, we do elaborate #selfcaresunday rituals. We get baptized at Burning Man. We pay tithings to yoga studios. Wellness has in many ways become our new religion, with practitioners, instructors, and coaches its priests, imams, and rabbis." - Quartzy

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