A year ago today, I started a diet. It hasn't been easy. I'm pretty weak-willed.

I picked up a couple of pounds over the holidays, which I'm not crazy about, but I can live with that. On the whole, I've done pretty well. As of this morning, I've lost 84 pounds and my waist size is down by a foot.
There's a sort of a script that you're supposed to stick to when you've lost a lot of weight. People walk up and ask, "Well, don't you FEEL better!?"

To which, I know I'm supposed to reply, "Why yes, I feel wonderful. I don't know why I chose to be fat all those years." (Or something to that effect.)

The truth is, my constant gnawing hunger and food obsession pretty much balances out the other stuff, but that's not what anyone wants to hear. The other thing that almost everyone wants to know is how I lost all the weight. They're really disappointed to find out that it comes from not eating and exercising a lot.

Well - there is one other thing I've done to keep myself honest - each week when I weigh myself, I post the weight on my classroom whiteboard. My students are very supportive and all, but they will instantly call me on any weight gain, or even a plateau.

I've rationalized my weight-posting by telling myself and my colleagues that I'm doing it to model a healthy life-style, but truthfully, I've been doing it for selfish reasons.

The weird thing is, in a very small way, this has made me a more effective teacher. My students DO see the effort I'm going to. And - much as we wish it wasn't so - adolescents have more respect for attractive people than they do for fat ones, so they have been slightly more attentive to me. I've gained a small amount of street cred.

So, anyway - I've got another 20-30 pounds still to go, but I thought I'd give you a benchmark-y progress report.

- John