So I went and looked back at my previous columns. Around week five in the first season was when I started to feel it was a slog — I’d started the program, I’d gotten some exciting gains, and then things evened out. I had the big drop in my A1c still to come, I still had weight to lose, and of course my measurements weren’t changing — that didn’t really happen until this second 13 week season.

Now, I think back to previous diets and exercise programs, and I realize there have been moments like this in all of them: moments when life was hard and so was the diet (I’d sure love a quart of ice cream right now) and when I just basically lost hope that I was making any progress. I despaired.

I certainly feel like that this week, but I didn’t buy ice cream anyway; I didn’t even buy a bag of M&Ms. Why? I guess there are a couple of reasons.

First of all, I made this a 13 week thing for a reason: I can see the end of my 13 weeks in the foreseeable future. I can stand it, and frankly the diet is still pretty tolerable — I’ve had fajitas (no tortillas) twice this week.

Second, I can look back and see how far I’ve actually come — I’m clearly skinnier, I feel better, and lots of measures, from waistline to cholesterol, say I’m healthier and better off than I’ve been in years.

Third, of course, is your people — everyone who has said I was inspiring you, or that you were following me with interest, or said encouraging words through this whole thing — including the preparatory weeks, now, it’s getting close to half a year.

So, if you’re trying this or something similar, I’ll just say (and say to myself) not to give up hope, not to despair.

It can be done.

Date 7 day Weight 7 day Glucose 7 day Bodyfat Sum Fitocracy Points Weekly Fitocracy Points
2013-02-01 272.50 116.43 33.1 447 447
2013-02-07 272.63 114.57 30.79% 1881 1881
2013-02-14 271.91 110.43 30.36% 2606 725
2013-02-21 273.79 115.29 29.16% 3775 1169
2013-02-28 274.44 104.00 30.00% 4929 1154
2013-03-07 273.11 115.86 30.24% 6022 1093
Δ since 2-1 0.61 -0.57 -2.86% N/A N/A