Over the past few weeks I've been seeing friends I have not seen for a long while, specifically, before I began the weight plan. So I've been kind of eager to get some real feedback on how I look and how I'm doing.

I guess I expect too much. Usually it is polite enough conversation, but that's it. Which makes me wonder what I was expecting in the first place.

At a party a few months ago, I ran into an old work colleague who literally transformed herself from a maternal blob of goo into a svelte fitness coach. I'd not seen her for years, and I was (I felt) appropriately impressed and told her so. Maybe I'm the exception for noticing this kind of thing, I don't know.

The other theory that I hold is that, outwardly, I remain a thinner fat man. One hundred pounds overweight is twice as bad as 50 pounds overweight, but those 50 are still pretty bad pounds. My gut is still a big handful of spongey flab. I've got 200 sticks of butter form-fitted over my torso. Yes, I'm a very tall man, so I can "carry it," but still...

So maybe they're reacting to what is before them, not the transformation from what I was.

Halfway Mark

Another morning weigh-in and a big surprise: I lost more than 2 pounds. In fact, the dial stopped at a very nice round number. I've lost 50 pounds. I'm halfway to my goal.

Success is a great motivator. My unbroken no-cheat streak is now being matched by my never-miss-a-workout streak. Whether it is the dark before sunrise or after sunset, I go to the gym twice on weekdays, and a third time on a weekend day.

I suspect my increased weight loss this week was due to extending my "cardio" portion of my workout. I get on a cross trainer, grab the handles and set it for "cardio." It measures my heart rate and increases resistance until my heartrate is at 144 bpm. Then I just swivel swivel swivel while watching CNN, New England Cable News, ESPN, ABC, or the Travel Channel.

It can't just be a matter of calories burned. I think by working out like this, I'm setting in motion the right chemistry to lose weight during the rest of the week. I have nothing to back this up but the simple math that five to ten extra minutes on a bicycle can't burn the calories alone.