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Why the # on the scale has gone up...


Saturday, February 18, 2012

So, I've been using my trusty ole sunbeam scale since before I even started my weight loss journey. And it did me well, but still relying on a $15 scale for over 6 years was not my wisest decisions. In the past 3 months, I was living an emotional roller-coaster by my scale- one weigh-in I had lost a pound, the next I had gained five, the next time I had lost six. I stopped entering in my weight when this happened and assumed it was water-weight and/or muscle growth since I'd started resistance training finally. Midway through January I stopped using the scale altogether.

And then this week I purchased a new scale. Having worked out so hard and not seen a scale in a few weeks, I was excited to step on and see my weight loss. And tested it for accuracy/reliability using my dumbbells. When I was satisfied there, I stepped on it, and pretty blue lights it informed me that I was nearly 10 lbs heavier than I thought I was. I went back on my old scale for the first time in a few weeks, and it too told me [give or take 3 lbs] that I had gained roughly the same amount of weight. I was devastated, ashamed, and confused.

I track my foods, and what's more is that these days my idea of 'splurging' is to have tzatziki or hummus with pita chips...I'd cut out 90% of the alcohol I usually consume in a month, all the soda from my diet, and have swapped meat out in most of my meals for fresh vegetables and beans. Still, I felt like a failure.

And then, Rationale Me kicked Neurotic Me's butt with the help of some Sparkers. Here are some of the reasons I am confident this gain is only temporary:

1) two weeks ago I stepped up my circuit training with 5 lb weights instead of 3s. it's working- my muscles are in a constant state of "wtf!"...and probably retaining water AND building more muscle [which weighs more than fat!]

2) In the middle of January I switched birth controls because the brand I was currently on was making me sick. Anyone with BC experience probably remembers (with horror) how their weight fluctuated when they got on a new pill.

3) Speaking of BC, that time-of-the-month is due any moment now, which can also lead to water retention...it's soo good to be a girl :)

4) I just did my measurements, and with the exception of a slight increase in the size of my upper arms [muscle building, i hope!], my physical measurements are all the same.


So if I think it's all temporary, why face the shame of sparkpeople knowing I went up 7.5 lbs from where I was last month? I initially felt ashamed because it seemed no one else fluctuated like that...now I think it may be people are more likely to enter in their weight when its a neutral or positive thing. Trouble is, that just makes us feel worse about ourselves when the weigh in shows something less than happy, even if its for reasons out of our control.

So here I am, owning it, and telling the Spark world "Yes I gained weight this week, but I'm losing weight in the long haul, take that!"

Hopefully in another two weeks I can rejoice about losing the entire 7 lbs again and then some :)
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