Officially I have lost 14.4 pounds in the last month. I am less than a pound away from my first “goal weight,” and just over a pound away from what I will consider a personal milestone: getting under 280. I haven’t been there since 2001.

It’s Weight Watchers. That’s it. In many ways it is so easy I’m slapping myself for not getting on this years ago. In many other ways it is just as difficult as I feared it would be. This past week, for example, has been fraught with indulgences, and with family coming in this weekend I don’t expect it to let up until Monday. So when I weigh in on Sunday there may be some discouraging results, but I’m not going to stress about it. There’s no reason I can’t get back on track next week.

I decided it was time to bite the bullet and commit to this whole plan when I got on the scale for the first time in several months and, for the first time in my life, saw the number climb above the 300 mark. I had a moment of actual panic. I’d spent the whole summer being very physically active, and here I was at the heaviest I had ever been. When I stopped and thought about it, though, the problem was obvious. I’d spent the summer indulging in as much awful food as I could fit into my stomach, justifying it all with the knowledge that I was surely sweating it all off on stage. When I signed up for Weight Watchers I was told I could eat up to 42 “points” worth of food per day. That seemed like a lot until, just for funzies, I calculated how many points I’d eaten the day before I signed up: 68.

Holy shit.

So I’m on the wagon. There are occasional slips, but the progress is noticeable. I’m told I’m looking better. I’m definitely feeling better. My pants are all a little looser, and I can button a shirt I couldn’t button three months ago. That’s an awesome feeling, but there’s a healthy amount of guilt and embarrassment as well. I can’t help but chastise myself a little for letting myself go as long as I did.

The next step is exercise. A gym is supposed to be opening right in my building, but there hasn’t been any visible progress on it since we moved in last June. I’ve started just doing push-ups whenever I have a few minutes and some space to myself. I’ve still got a ways to go, though. I’m hoping I’ll find something that works for me soon.