Dreamer, The word you need to lose is "permanently". I do believe you can lose 9 lbs by may 2012. Sounds like there is a special occaision planned. Having a goal is extremely important. My experience women are usually very successful when they are externally motivated. Now, "permanently" is the big issue. It is natural for weight to fluctuate a bit, so don't get too focused on the number on a scale.