Sep 082014
 

scale

I haven’t been weighing myself consistently this year. I had gained a few pounds over the winter due to a lot of stress eating and while I only weigh myself once a month, I even quit that. I wasn’t giving up, I wasn’t quitting what I was doing (i.e. counting calories and exercising) I just needed a break. I didn’t want to deal with it.

I didn’t get on the scale again for a number of reasons. Part of it was that I just forgot. Life got busy and I missed the window in November to weigh myself and get an accurate number so I decided to just skip it. The other reason was the holidays. Blah, blah blah….Thanksgiving, Christmas, cookies, pie, candy….I just didn’t want to see that number. I told myself I’d wait until after Christmas but then I changed my mind.

Denial does not work with weight loss and maintenance. Seeing the number on the scale is a (sometimes brutal) reminder of where I am at and whether or not I’ve been LAZY about my food. Those CREEPING CALORIES add up. I finally decided to get back on that scale.

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Just to recap my disappointing winter/spring…January I weighed 149. Still under goal weight. But too high for my liking. Fast forward to April and I weighed 147. Some progress. I was feeling a little better about seeing that number instead of the first. In May I got down to 146. Feeling okay! Moving in the right direction! Then…I stopped getting on the scale. Between May and August I gained 1 pound. I was back to 147. I was disappointed for sure. I had hoped that I would get back down to 145 (how much I weighed last summer at this summer).

While I wasn’t entirely focused on the wedding, it was in the back of my mind. During this last year I was engaged, I had a few ups and downs about my weight. Sometimes I felt pressure to lose weight for the wedding. Sometimes I felt okay with my body the way it is. With the wedding less than a month away, I admit I have had more of those feelings…Less than a month away! Can I lose any weight? Then I chastise myself and think, Why? This is me. Why would I try to lose a bunch of weight for one day?

And to be honest, my dress fits so I am kind of ok with where I am at.  

I was talking to some other weight loss maintainers on Twitter recently and both of them confessed to weighing daily. One blogger said:it’s not for everybody… But to me just data, scale should not be a surprise to me.”

I chimed in and said that I couldn’t do that because it makes me mental. Seriously. I got super obsessed at one point where I was weighing myself all the time and whatever that number on the scale said, my entire day and mood could be ruined. It held TOO MUCH control over my life and emotions. So I quit and decided to weigh myself once a month to check in. That works for me (usually).

It got me thinking. If I weighed myself every day would it change my outlook? Would I think about the scale in a different way? Would it have less power over my feelings if I just sucked it up and got on the scale every morning? A few things could happen:

First, it could make me obsessive again.

Second, it could make me less sensitive to the number on the scale.

Third, I would see massive fluctuations from day to day and perhaps that would take ALL of the power out of that number because I would see just how fluid weight is.

Lastly, weighing daily COULD lead to emotional/binge eating.

So many things can effect the number on the scale that don’t necessarily indicate weight gain. You could be retaining water, you could have sore muscles that are trying to repair themselves and holding on to water. You could be dehydrated. You could be constipated. You could have eating especially carb-y foods, or foods that cause inflammation in your body. It could be anything. And, of course, weight gain.

Seeing the changes every day could really take the sting out of it. I am considering trying this. Maybe for one month just to see if it changes my outlook. (Obviously not right now, maybe after the wedding.) Then I think…does it really matter? Is it an accurate gauge of your health? I mean, if you are counting your calories or points every day, eating right and exercising on a regular basis, you shouldn’t HAVE to monitor that number so closely.

How often do you weigh yourself?

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Aug 112014
 

6 Years

When I think back to when I started my journey to lose 100 pounds, I don’t think I ever thought about the “After.” Not really. I think part of that was that I’d never really been skinny and part of it was that I doubted whether I’d ever reach the “After.” I had a goal in my mind and I naively thought that all my problems would thus be fixed when I was “skinny” and while they weren’t magically improved, there was a lot of improvement in my life. The biggest improvement, obviously, was my health. I was no longer pre-diabetic and I didn’t have high blood pressure. Mission accomplished. But when I was steadily truckin’ along, losing a pound here and a pound there, I couldn’t really see my future as a “skinny” person and now that I’ve kept the weight off for 6 years, I have a hard time picturing myself as I used to be. It’s strange how your reality and perception changes.

Over the years I’ve had ups and downs in my weight. I gained 15 pounds a few years ago and it took a really long time to lose that extra 15 pounds but I did it. Despite the occasional body image issues I still struggle with, my weight has been maintained in the same 4-6 pound range. Sometimes it’s more of a struggle to keep myself in that range. I am no longer naive about weight loss and I KNOW it takes hard work and honesty.

Honesty is the hard part. When you’re obese you’re not honest with yourself, or others, not really. When I was obese I would sneak food,  I’d eat in private, I’d make excuses as to why I wasn’t losing weight, I’d make excuses to other poeple– “No really, I don’t eat that much…I don’t know why I can’t lose weight…”  (Read these posts: Why Can’t I Lose Weight?An Excuse to Eat, and Overcoming Exercise Obstacles.) Once I faced that I was lying about everything and that I hadn’t REALLY tried to lose weight, I had renewed desire to really succeed this time.

I had to change the way I thought about food.

I had to change the way I thought about exercise.

I had to change the way I thought about MYSELF. No more excuses. 

Was it easy? Hell no! There were so so so many plateaus. There were set-backs. There were some very frustrating times where I felt like I was being punished because I couldn’t eat the same things everyone else was eating. Is it easier now that the weight is gone? Nope. It’s still hard. I still have to make an effort. I can’t just let things slide. I will probably always have to count my calories or do some sort of food tracking. I don’t think as a reformed binge-eater I can just stop doing what worked to lose the weight and keep it off and not expect to gain it back. So the hard work continues.

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Don’t take that as a negative. Sure I’d love to not be AWARE of how many calories are in foods and wouldn’t it be nice to just sit down and binge eat a carton of ice cream? Or half a pizza (or, ahem, a whole pizza) like the old days? But I can’t unlearn that knowledge and I know how my body feels when I eat junk and when I eat good, healthy foods. I dislike that feeling of overeating now and when I go too long without eating fruits and vegetables I feel ill. Most of the time my healthy choices are second nature and I don’t give them any thought. On those times when it does feel like my willpower isn’t as strong as I’d like, I try to cut myself some slack. It’s ok to take a break sometimes.

It’s my 6th year anniversary of reaching goal weight. I’m now at the “After.” It feels like a lifetime ago, but at the same time I still feel that same giddy joy when I remember that moment when I stepped on the scale and saw GOAL WEIGHT. That feeling is still there and it helps keep me motivate to keep trying when things get rough.

Check out previous year’s anniversary posts here:

My 100 Pound Anniversary

100 Pound Anniversary – 3 Years

100 Pound Anniversary – 4 Years

Another Year Gone By — 5 Years

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Things are changing in my life. Priorities are shifting, goals are changing, but the fact remains: I love my fit life and I will always make myself and my health a priority. It has to be that way. If I’m healthy, my family is healthy. In a little over a month I will be marrying the love of my life. I expect we’ll start discussing family planning in the next year or two and that will most definitely effect my weight loss/maintenance journey. My sincere hope is that I can maintain a healthy weight for the rest of my life and hopefully pass on my love of healthy living to my future children.

For now, I keep truckin’ along. Another day, another week, another year goes by and I can happily say “I’m at goal weight.” That’s enough for me. Skinny isn’t necessary. I’d rather be healthy and fit.

Thanks for reading all these years!

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