Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Why on earth didn’t I do this sooner???

I have been ready to throw my scale out the window lately.  I am an obsessive scale person.  I know, that is just asking for problems.  There are peaks, valleys, hills, plateaus, yada, yada, yada throughout this process.  But it’s how I deal.  I don’t do well with "not knowing".

Every morning after I get up I go to the bathroom (preferably a #2 also, to get a lower number….TMI I know.  But admit it, it DOES make a difference and secretly you ALL want all the help you can get when it comes to weigh in time!) then strip down to my birthday suit and jump on the scale (while crossing my fingers).  And I log all of my daily weights.  I have told you before that I am a spreadsheet queen. 

So with all that historical data I have been able to see that I will fluctuate up and down a bit throughout the week and so in the past I have been able to expect that as my normal.  I also have been keeping a weekly average that keeps me from getting too sucked into the daily ups and downs and to realize that I am still losing weight.  The problem is that that I don’t think I look at those weekly averages enough.  I think if I did I might be more patient and less crazy (well a girl can hope!)  I got spoiled with GREAT numbers in May…I was pulling 3+ pound a week losses for a month.  That was NICE!  Then I had a week that I stayed the same and a week that I gained 0.1 (around the time of my birthday, so understandable) but after that I have gone back to a weekly average of 0.5-1.5 pound loss per week.  The numbers I am currently seeing are much more realistic and normal.  Every health professional will tell you 1-2 pounds a week is the safest way to lose weight and keep it off.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, but seeing those big numbers sure feels soooo much better!  And again, especially when you have been spoiled by having good week(s) (not to mention seeing those around you celebrate the success of big losses!)  it is HARD to go back to those smaller numbers!! 

Again, I know those daily fluctuations are part of the normal process, but somedays I want to throw a full-ont temper tantrum like my 3 year old (complete with kicking, screaming, stomping, crying, throwing myself on the floor and flailing around like a fish out of water) because I do the SAME basic THING every day…eating well, eating my target number of calories, exercising, drinking water, etc.  and one day I will hit my best number yet and the next I am back up 2 pounds.  It just feels like a constant rollercoaster – ups and downs.  In theory it is supposed to be as simple as calories burned vs calories consumed.  But we all know (or are quickly finding out) that there is sooooooo much more to it that that!   At that brief little moment I sometimes find myself asking why I bother?  But it is a very short moment, because I know I AM making positive changes.  And I would never give up how far I have come.

When I get frustrated, I tend to try to look at the situation differently and see if there is something else I should try to get the results I want.  So out of my recent frustration moments I decided to try measurements.  Why the heck not?  What did I have to lose?  If the scale wasn’t moving (it was just wasn’t seeming like it!), maybe something else would.

So I took my first measurements on July 12th.  I measured again just over 2 weeks later on July 28th and I was frankly shocked at the results!  I lost over 17 inches total.  That’s over a foot!  Holy moly!  This really shouldn’t have come as a total shock to me since I was exercising more, but somehow just seeing the numbers made me realize how much things had been changing I just wasn’t aware because I was only focusing on the one measurement of the scale.

I took my measurements again, just over 2 weeks later, and I have lost another 4.25 inches total!  That is 21.25 inches total lost in right about a month!!!! Suck THAT you stupid scale!!!

WOW!!  But while that is an amazing result, I find that it leaves me feeling less satisfied that when I hit a big loss on the scale.  I don’t have the same level of excitement or pride.  I don’t seem to enjoy that success nearly as long as I do hitting a new personal best on the scale.  So that leads me to ask myself why is that??  Is it because we are conditioned that the scale is THE measure of success when losing weight?  Well ladies, if so, I think it is time to change that way of thinking!  What these frustrations have made me realize and finally understand is that the scale is just ONE measure.  It is NOT the end-all-be-all when it comes to success.  So remember to take a holistic view of your success and consider other measures.
  • Scale
  • Measurements
  • How clothes are fitting?
    • try an outfit that fit before and see how baggy it fits now
    • try on an outfit that was too small before and see how it fits now
  • How are you feeling?
    • Do you have more energy?
    • Are you sleeping better?
    • Are you happier?
    • Are previous medical issues improving (blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, digestive issues, etc)?

I know a zillion really smart people have said before that the scale is only one measurement.  And I should have listened.  But I tend to be pretty hard headed and stubborn and like to have the brilliant ideas myself instead of listening to what others tell me.  They are really not my own brilliant ideas, I just like to think/pretend they are!  Someday I hope to try to learn something the easy way (by listening to others) for once!

Throughout this journey, I really have had no regrets (other than to wish it would come off faster)…until now.  If asked that question today, I would have to say that I regret not taking measurements from the very beginning.  If you are just getting started, I encourage you to take your measurements so that later on you will be able to see in another way just how far you have come!  And use it as a way to keep from getting too frustrated with the scale when it isn’t moving as fast as you want it to be.  If you have already started your journey, it is not too late to start taking measurements now!  As with anything in this journey….just start!  Tomorrow is a new day! 

A little thought to leave you with today...

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  1. I feel like we have a lot in common. I weigh myself every morning, and look for all the help I can get. It is hard to let that not become your focus.