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Me....and the Scale

Friday, January 06, 2012

These blogs could become a series.

Me and the Weather. Me and the Scale. Me and the Guitar. Me and the Binge?

Okay, no more kidding, this one is serious.

I have decided to take a a pretty scary step and start weighing myself once a week rather than every day. Actually, if you think that weighing yourself every day makes no sense, I used to weigh myself five and six times a day when I was losing my weight. My goodness.....

I started daily weigh ins when I started with Weight Watchers back in May 2009.

Aside from travelling, or camping, I have weighed myself every day. And if there was a scale in the hotel's "fitness room," I weighed myself on that.

I know I do not have a healthy relationship with the scale, putting way too much importance on the weight (outcome) and not what activities I am doing (healthy life style). I figure if I take care of the healthy lifestyle, the weight will take care of itself. And it may be a disincentive to binge, as I cannot measure the results of binge so closely and get myself really worked up.

I have been considering this for a while. But, I read that the 5% tend to weigh themselves every day. Then I saw the SP article about whether SP experts weight themselves every day. heck, some of them don't weigh themselves at all.

So I took the plunge.

And, when I went on the treadmill this morning, and was cued to input my weight, I said oh my gosh what should I do? I just put in the last measured weight I have.

And, when I logged into to fitbit this morning, I saw that the nice line graph it produces skips a space if you don't enter a daily weight. Big deal.

More positively, I gained a few precious minutes in the morning (I get up at 4:30-5 AM to get my workout in before I trundle off to work) and I am more relaxed.

So, now that I have taken the first step, I intend to weigh in every week, like SP recommends, and see how it goes. Always looking for new ideas and how to cope.



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 1/9/2012 9:32AM

    My first thought, tongue-in-cheek of course, was: which scale? Mixolydian? Pentatonic? Minor thirds? :-)

Yeah...BIG transition, backing off from the scale. From what the scientific reasearch in "The Fat Trap" indicates folks like us will ALWAYS need the scale, which is something I've resisted until reading that. Now I've come to accept that this has just got to become a necessary part of truly living my LIFE!


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PUDLECRAZY 1/6/2012 6:34PM

    Oh, and I can't wait for "Me and My Guitar"!

Video blog?

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PUDLECRAZY 1/6/2012 6:33PM

    LOL! Like Raul, I think daily weigh ins are pointless. But.... I do it. There is the scale, so my feet just make their way there.... next thing I know, I'm looking at my weight. And the fluctuation is amazing. It really does make more sense to weigh in weekly. One thing I have decided is that having a target weight that is one number is silly as we never stay that one number, even hourly. There is no way that I can see to put a weight target range on Spark, but in my own mind I have a target range instead of a number.

emoticon emoticon

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ROCKMAN6797 1/6/2012 2:12PM

    Great news. I must admit though I subscribe to the weekly weigh-in I step on the scale each morning. I think I do so to marvel at the fluctuation in my weight on a daily basis. (And, it does fluctuate, anywhere from 2-6 pounds on a daily basis!)Fortunately I do not place any importance on the number the scale provides me rather I use this number to provide me with feedback of my previous day's meals, i.e., too much salt, too many carbs, etc.

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ROSEWAND 1/6/2012 2:03PM

    Good for you! emoticon on reducing scaling
dependancy. I did not weigh for nearly two years as
I lost weight and was in early maintenance.

I only decided to weigh when I began to be concerned
that I might be losing too much weight.

Now I do weigh once a week. It is so much less
stressful that the everyday way I used to go.
Hope it works for you too.

Comment edited on: 1/6/2012 2:04:15 PM

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Me....and the Weather

Thursday, January 05, 2012

this entry will be breathtakingly brief and is written with tongue firmly in cheek.

You see I comment a lot about the weather....

I want you to know that for a Canadian, THIS IS NORMAL!

As a Canadian, I am entitled to, allowed to, expected to, encouraged to, wanted to, and frankly, forced to comment about the weather.

Doesn't matter about the season. For a Canadian, it is never really good. Spring is officially a day or two maybe in late April or early May, Summer is a humid morass, Fall is lovely with the leaf color but leads to a dull and sere and depressingly dark (sun sets at 4:30 some days) November, and Winter is, well, Winter.

There, I have done my Canadian duty and commented about our seasons.

Joke: Have you heard there are two seasons in Toronto?
Oh, what are they?
Winter and construction.

No kidding, except when they continue construction during the winter.....

And I am finished (for now) commenting on the weather.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 1/6/2012 9:38AM

    Weather carries a big punch for me too...makes a tremendous difference to my disposition!


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SAC-6582 1/5/2012 10:28PM

    LOL! Now I feel bad about complaining about our weather. As cold blooded as I have become I don't think I would make it long there.

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COBBYCAT 1/5/2012 9:27PM

    HA HA HA....and I thought living here in Cleveland, OH was bad!! The standing joke here is you only have to wait a minute before the weather changes!

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TYGRLILY 1/5/2012 8:48PM

    LMAO - you definitely have some of the most entertaining blogs i have read!! thanks for the smile!!

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ROCKMAN6797 1/5/2012 1:48PM


Honestly, don't know how you can function in such cold weather, I would literally die! Thank you for the "educational" blog!

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Working my "getting better, bit(e) by bit(e)"...and an Insight

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Good morning everyone, the quotes identify a book I am working (non-caps by the authors) and I had a thought I wanted to share.

I am spending the week making a balance sheet about binging vs not binging, emotional and practical gains and losses for self and others. Then I get to rate all the reasons!

Anyway, I was treadmilling this morning and watching a French Canadian movie I had recorded. It is about a terminally ill man being helped by his family and friends to die with dignity.

Now, the film does not focus on weight or fitness at all, but the actor playing the man is rather large....and it got me thinking.

I am in my 60's. I will reach a time (and I hope it is a long time away!) when others will have to care for me and my physical person. When that time happens, I want to be darn sure that the physical person being cared for is the healthiest I can make it, for the sake of my own dignity.

That's was an important insight to me, though. Brand new idea.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 2/10/2012 7:37AM

    Hoho, I worked as a janitor for a while and one time is was this old very honorable man we should carry into the church for the funeral service (I am in sweden it is not at all the same as over there but anyway)..and his coffin was REALLY heavy and I was shocked because somehow I had some fantasy that my wieght would sort of disappear with my soul... so silly considering that I hae worked a lot with animals and know that a fat ded sheep is of course heavier than a skinny dead sheep... I started dieting immedeatly (did not last) but I thought it very embarassing if I will be a corpse that breaks the coffinbearers (?) backs...silly motivation but still... how come if I tried to become skinny because my alive me would enjoy it?

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ROCKMAN6797 12/29/2011 1:42PM

    Great insight Bonita!
I agree 100%

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KANOE10 12/29/2011 1:02PM

    I agree with you on staying as healthy as possible. I am in my 60s also. I am visiting my 92 year old mother. The more we can keep our bodies healthy the better we will enter old age. Bite by bite..good quote.

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1PHATSANDY 12/29/2011 11:16AM

    Do you know what GUITARWOMAN, I am also thinking about that same subject. I have arthritic hips and was told I need hip replacement surgery. But I have been in pain from it and limping for about 3 months now. i know I don't want to be a burden to others but it may come down to it. And I don't want to be an overwight burden emoticon Loosing weight may also keep me active longer . I'm in my 60's also, to young to not be able to get around. emoticon Good luck on your journey.

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Now THAT was interesting.....

Monday, December 26, 2011

Please bear with me, I am going to ramble a bit I think, but maybe this will help me and you?

Yesterday, someone close to me treated me poorly. Enough said. I am realizing that this is the biggest trigger for my binging. So, I went into I want to eat everything in the house (and the house too?) mode.

But, I had a lovely dinner planned, and thought of all the negative outcomes of binging, and did not.

What happened instead, and this is a whoa, what happened here moment, is that I had a really, really major anxiety attack. I had not had one in years!

Now, those of you who have suffered from anxiety attacks know that they are not going to kill you, but are darned unpleasant while they happen. You feel as if you will absolutely pass out, but you won't. I learned to manage mine a long time ago, without meds, through some cognitive behavioral work, and this one went away, as all the others did as well,
I am left with a bunch of questions. Clearly, the upset just had to come out, and if not in binging then it came out in anxiety symptoms.

I went to the the Spark medical information, there was no specific mention of anxiety attacks, and more relevantly, anxiety attacks associated with not binging.

So, what is worse? Anxiety raises your blood pressure to not good levels while it lasts. It is emotionally draining. Binging, aside from the immediate relief, is just not good in any way I can measure.

At this point, if I am going to have to choose, I will choose anxiety. I am going to reframe the whole experience by saying that by not binging I was able to experience my emotions, and the next, healthier step, will be managing my emotions without significant anxiety attacks.

Thanks for listening! If anyone reads this, has this happened to you? Are there resources on Spark on anxiety attacks? Maybe in the Depression section?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 2/10/2012 7:31AM

    What has happened to friends of mine is when they stop one obsession, another shifts into gear. We talked about this yesterday at our AcoA study group - one of us has been sober through AA for eleven years but instead has problems with sugar and sex. And as he is starting to work with these "Inner child" questions his obsessions has gotten worse for a while... and my eating is on a rollercoaster too - we all think that this comes from stirring the pot and will calm down as we progress.

But it is logical to me that if I have used emotional eating to suppress anxiety for x years, the anxiety will pop up if I stop bingeing - another acoa friend reporteted that this autmun her alcohol intake has become troublesome - she did a gastric bypass two or three years ago and bingeing is no longer an option...

What is worse - anxiety or bingeing? I am trying to moderate my bingeing while I am working on the anxiety... and as I am a believer in twelve step program that is what I use.

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OOLALA53 1/2/2012 11:48AM

    I can't answer your questions about sources on Spark about anxiety, but I do know that many people with compulsive eating issues also suffer from emotional issues, and learning to manage emotional stresses supports good eating habits. You have made so many strides, I think it is inevitable that you will discover how to manage the stresses that bring on either the urge to binge or the anxiety attacks. Your wisdom is growing all the time. emoticon

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ROCKMAN6797 12/26/2011 5:59PM

    Sounds like you have survived and gained some knowledge.
So happy that you took this path instead of the other....


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SIMPLYDEE 12/26/2011 5:36PM

    That's putting it into perspective. Good for you. At least you do know how to manage your attacks. I have never had one ,but from what you said you dealt with it . Way to go. emoticon

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My ah-ha! moments of the day......

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Had two insights today, thought I would share, they may help others!

Those who have gotten to know my virtual self are well aware that I am a binge eater. Yecch. I am working very hard on managing this kind of eating, I am so committed to be one of the 5% I can taste it (no calories though, weak attempt at humor). I am 15 months into maintenance, up a few pounds (some of it may be added muscle but I am not kidding myself, most of it is binging!). I have been reading about binging, journaling, thinking.....

Insight number 1: For me, for now, I cannot stray from my planned eating (with the exception of an extra pack of gum). If I make just one change, or add just another 50 or 100 calories (still under the daily allowed goal) I am lost, destroyed, sunk, in a pickle, you name it. The eating will not stop. So, simple, not straying from determined plan.

Insight number 2: This goes back to my experimental psychology undergraduate degree. You know, where you use white rats and train them by reinforcement. (For everyone's information, when the term was over, I took my ratties home, made pets of them, and they lived a good life. I have had rats for pets over the years too. They are clean, smart, and cute.)

So, back to reinforcement. For me, binging feels good. Eating what I want as much as I want makes me feel really nice, until the letdown of course....

I realized today that binging is an intermittent reinforcive behavior. I don't do it on any schedule, I don't do it every day, or at a set time, or day of the week. And, if you know your psychology, behavior that is intermittently reinforced is the hardest to stop. You keep doing it with the hope at some point, some time, you will get your reinforcement.

So, for me, I have to just stop. Another dynamic is that the feel good feeling about binging, as time passes, gets forgotten, and is not so tempting. Also I get to deal with my real problems, not just stuff them with food.

Actually, then, this gets kind of easy. No decision making needed. No eating off plan, even a bit, which will lead to no binging which will put to rest the pesky intermittent reinforcement of the whole thing.

Will I mess up from time to time? You betcha! But I think these concepts will stand me in good stead. I hope there is at least one other sparkperson out there who can get some benefit also!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 2/10/2012 7:24AM

    Wow! Interesting! I am going back trough your blogs to find out what is happening - you are a very interesting spark acquaintance!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 12/25/2011 1:26AM

    Oh man do I ever hear you on this.

About 90% of my eating behaviors are structured around avoiding triggering binges.

I keep almost no food in the house. It's all at work where people would see me indulging if I binged.

And its not snack food. Its any food. I have watched myself binge on raw oat grains, along with carrots, apples, or whatever else is in the house.

I eat a minimum of 1500 calories per day because if I go below that for more than a few days in a row the hunger will trigger a binge.

I eat no starches, grains, or added sugars. Those trigger binges. I have to limit fruit for the same reason.

I eat 150g of protein per day. That helps with satiety and thereby controls the binge trigger.

No tv in the house. That is a trigger.

Exercise after work so the appetite suppression will kick in at night when I'm most vulnerable.

Rarely attend work parties where they feature snack foods. Rarely eat out.

Carry protein bars for emergencies.

Weigh myself every morning. If I binge at night I see the effects immediately.

I try to be actively engaged in weight-based challenges; competition helps suppress the urge to stray from my plan.

Every one of those habits was discovered to help by trial and error. They all add up to constructing a world where I can live reasonably safe from binge triggers most of the time.

Because for me as well, binges can lead to more binges. I gained 20 lbs in 2 months this summer from binge cycles and general self indulgence. It took 4 months to get it back off.

Not something I want to repeat. So like you it's best for me not to even start.

Comment edited on: 12/25/2011 1:31:27 AM

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DDOORN 12/24/2011 10:27PM

    Whew! Would that I could slam the door firmly shut and batten the hatch against that intermittent reinforcement...! I can do better though...good reminder! Thx for sharing!

Have a wonderful Christmas filled with music & heart!


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PUDLECRAZY 12/23/2011 8:07AM

    Intermittent reinforcement is the worst kind for breaking a habit - great observation! What works best for me is to keep the foods I like to binge on out of the house. Who binges on carrots or apples or oranges after all? It is the sweet and the salty that can bring us to our knees.

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ROCKMAN6797 12/23/2011 12:53AM

    I completely agree with insight #1. I have a certain set of foods that I eat on a regular basis. I know the nutritional values of these foods inside and out and I gain great comfort from eating them. I will stray from these same foods every once in awhile but, quite honestly, I always return to these certain foods because I like them!
With regards to insight #2 I, too, believe that the best way to stop an undesired behavior is to merely STOP! However, I like to eat so I will not starve myself rather I work out more and find healthier choices to eat. I am a firm believer that I am not on a diet rather I have adopted a healthier way of eating. I refuse to not allow myself to eat something I want. I just practice portion control and make the necessary adjustments so that I stay within my established calorie range.
Nice blog Bonita!

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ANNAMAAM 12/22/2011 10:36PM

    ok...the intermittent reinforcement...I studied this and this a rather huge and very helpful revelation! ...yes,CLEARLY now I See that I need to quit it entirely. And yes, I am noticing that the feel good feelings of various foods are wearing off my consciousness and I just don't care anymore. So the same would apply to bingeing. You are totally right.

I am a little unclear as to insight #1...are you eating the exact same thing everyday food-wise or just calorie-wise? I am being very serious about calorie counting...well, as of yesterday. ...I had a very tough semester and had to stop eating certain foods during it...but now I am totally focused on what I need to do. I am on placement for the next six months, so hopefully not too stressful, lol. I think I will like it much better than school. :)

great blog!

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CAROLJEAN64 12/22/2011 10:28PM

    I think you are rally on to something. I believe for me it was the other way around however. It was dealing with and resolved the emotional problems that got me to the place where food is for sustenance, not emotional control.

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