The truth shall set me free. Or at least that’s how the saying goes. This morning, I weighed myself for the first time in weeks. I wasn’t expecting a drastic loss, like 10 to 15 pounds, but maybe 2 to 5. That’s not what the scale read at all. To date I’ve lost absolutely nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zip. Zero.

So what now?

Leilah Reese at a bike riding event. (Anne Boisvert )

True, I haven’t completely let go of my addiction to chocolate, treating myself to a piece of Dove dark a couple times a week, and I haven’t dieted (because we all know the word DIE is in diet) hard-core like I have in the past, but I was trying to do something different.

My goal was to lose weight without becoming that boring friend who can’t eat, drink or breathe when she goes on a girls night out. You know that chick that only orders salad with no dressing and nurses water with lemon while her crew sips on sugary sweet beverages while stuffing their faces with yummy delicious FOOD. Yeah, I wasn’t trying to go that route again. The thought process was “slow and steady,” but with a deadline of 32 pounds by Dec. 25 quickly approaching, slow and steady just ain’t cutting it.

The biggest issue I have with strict DIEting is the risk of gaining it all back and then some. The last thing I want to do is finally get rid of my mascot Earl (my jiggly-puff belly fat) and celebrate his demise only to have him come back with a vengeance months later with a wife, three kids and his ailing grandmother who sits around the house all day in a house coat watching her “stories.” That would be extremely triflin’ on my part. And it’s happened before.

Back when I was a student of ballet, I would go on three-day diets, lose a good 5 to 10 pounds and a few weeks later gain it all back. Keep in mind that back then I was, according to my doctor, the perfect weight for my height, sans the crash dieting. But I was a ballet dancer. With boobs. And thighs. And standing next to rail-thin girls made me look like Jabba the Hutt. Well not really, but you see where I’m going with this. Fortunately, I wasn’t seriously affected by the suggestion of my dance instructors to lose weight. I knew ballet would not be my profession, so I did what I could — which wasn’t much — to maintain my healthy teenage weight. And that’s the problem. I no longer have the metabolism of 16-year-old Leilah.

Now I’m second-guessing my desire to make a lifestyle change at a tortoise’s pace. I’m beginning to think that living off water, green tea and celery for the next few weeks will get me to my goal. It’s not the healthiest way to go about getting fit, but I feel desperate and defeated. I feel like I’ve let down those who have been keeping up with my blog and those who have told me they were inspired by my journey. Truth is, I was relying on writing to keep me motivated and was dead set on coming out on the other side the victor. But now I’ve reached a point where I’ve hit a wall, and instead of sledge hammering my way through it, I’m just staring at it with a blank expression. Counting the bricks. Looking at its imperfections. Ignoring what’s on the other side.

I need to go ahead and knock it down, but a large part of me wants to find a short cut, try to walk around it or throw up my hands and walk away. A little voice in my head keeps whispering to me that some people are just meant to be fat. I don’t want to believe it, and I know it’s lying, but I’m (almost) ready to give up. I haven’t felt this horrible about myself in a very long time. I need motivation, STAT!

Leilah Reese is a news aide at The Washington Post. For more updates on her fitness goal of losing 32 pounds before turning 32, follow her on Twitter and check here each Tuesday for a new blog post.

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