My reward for losing 10 pounds? New, smaller plates and mugs.

Friday morning, I was down 9 pounds. Yesterday, the scale insisted I’d somehow lost 3 pounds over the weekend, despite not exercising and eating fast-food practically the whole time.

We were in Greensboro for my daughter’s cheer competition, and that meant long hours of mostly sitting.  Sky is on three senior squads, and competitions always start with the little kiddies, as well as dance teams. Since Sky coaches one of the young squads, we had to get to the coliseum early, even though Sky herself didn’t perform until nearly eight hours later.

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It makes for long days, so after a couple of hours we absconded to nearby Borders. Saturday, I picked up several weight-loss and wellness books, then Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking caught my eye, so I picked that up, too. (I read Postcards from the Edge eons ago, don’t remember a thing about it, but recall that I liked it OK.)

The diet books remained unopened as I sat there and laughed out loud while reading all 163 pages of Wishful Drinking in about two hours. Sunday, I did skim several weight-loss books before boredom set in and I switched to magazines. On the one hand, I figure I should make every attempt to gain as much health knowledge as possible. On the other … Meh. That’s what weekdays are for.

Lunches were from Subway and no, I didn’t get the Jared-recommended low-fat items. (Jared, btw, is now trying to lose the 40 pounds he gained while shilling for Subway. How much does it suck to be a weight-loss spokesperson?) My favorite is the spicy Italian, and since I was now focusing on increasing my protein intake, I had that instead of, say, a veggie sub. Other meals were at McDonald’s (side salad good; “lite” dressing bad) and Bojangle’s. In between, we snacked – Bobby on (what else?) candy bars, me on protein-rich Luna bars and nutty trail mix. I knew I’d increased my protein intake, but chose not to remove the bun off my dollar-menu double-cheeseburger.

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I got on the scale Monday morning expecting at least a two-pound gain and had my pep talk all ready to go. Instead, it said I was down 3 pounds since Friday. I hopped on and off at least five times, moving it around the bathroom floor – you know how we do.

The tale of the scale was the same.

I’d promised myself I’d reward myself for every 5 pounds lost, but dropped the ball. Now I owed myself two gifts, and I knew exactly what I wanted, and that’s what you see in the photo: beautiful, new plates and mugs, both considerably smaller than what we already have. Our regular, white plates are 12 inches. My new red ones are 8. (I actually wanted 10-inch plates, but am waiting for another 5 pounds before I hunt down the plum-colored ones I spied around Christmastime.) Both “before” mugs in the photo hold 16 ounces, and we have a bunch of them. The new ones, 13.

I know I’ve wasted plenty of coffee and tea, filling oversized mugs with more than I really wanted to consume, and maybe you’ve heard the wisdom of using smaller plates for your meals. Makes sense.

I’m thrilled about the weight loss, especially getting past 285, which I haven’t been since last summer. You know what this means? I’ll never be in the 290s again.  Know what else? The 270s are just 4 … pounds … away …

It always seems impossible until it’s done. ~ Nelson Mandela

Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.