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The Solution to Pollution is Dilution!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Just in case my Sparky friends think that I have no food issues and effortlessly lose weight week after week, this short blog will knock me off that metaphorical pedestal in your minds.

Consider: I have blogged (and all of you already know) that each of us has one or more food issues: be it "emotional eating" or absent-minded eating or good ol' fashioned portion control (my main problem, historically) or some combination or variant. I think I'm on safe ground when I assert that all of us have (or had) some issue or combination of issues.

So me, the numbers guy on your Spark feed, mathematically focuses on my weekly Sunday morning weigh--in like a boxer or wrestler trying to make weight. I’m extra-vigilant about what I do or do not eat on Fridays and particularly on Saturdays. Or so I have fooled myself into believing. Um, not this week…

I peaked at the scale on Friday morning and already I had lost more than a pound compared to last Sunday. A decent loss seemed in the bag. Or so I thought. Here is what happened (and it can happen to you too, which is what made it blog-worthy):

Last night we attended a Casino Night fundraiser. I was running the bar (another useless life's skill picked up along the way) and eating and drinking nothing but water. At 9PM, I was spelled from this posting and encouraged to go play the tables (it being for a good cause at all). My wife Susan818127 (check her out on Spark if you have not already) gave me a small stack of poker chips and I hit the roulette and blackjack tables, which was intellectual candy for my mathematical brain. So far, so good.

I got on a roll in roulette and convinced myself that the wheel was unbalanced. "Mid 12" was paying out 3:1, spin after spin. I was having fun, and the winnings piled up. They had some snacks there, including mixed nuts (a major personal weakness). I left the roulette table with a bigger pile of poker chips, leaving no mixed nuts behind me. Ut oh. Then to blackjack it was more of the same. The salty nuts fueled my focus on the cards, and I did not focus on the quantity I was eating. Only the size of the suddenly-empty bowl prevented more damage.

Now the nuts were not the caloric problem per se, probably (I entered the evening "carrying points" in Weight Watchers parlance - I had uneaten calories still to go.) The saltiness of the nuts was another thing entirely. Realizing the error of my absent-minded ways (not until all the nuts were gone both at the roulette table AND at the black-jack table), I drank water. A lot of water. And I slept like a baby once we got home. (Translation: I did NOT wake up in the middle of the night to pee it off, as has become my Sparky tradition!! - the salt was making the water stick to me).

So this morning, my official digital bathroom scale groaned, smirked, and then downright kicked me in the behind. Up 0.2 pounds for the week. My one-pound-plus loss had gone the way of the tired pitcher left in the ballgame one batter too long (to that place in the past entitled “I want a do-over!”). And the thing is, I know better.

So what am I doing about this (and what makes this blog-worthy):

1, Dr Seuss: Last week was fun, Last week is done. This week is another one! (Translation: Until someone invents Michael J. Fox's DeLorean and turns back the hands of time to 1985, we cannot undue past decisions, food-wise or otherwise). All we can do is learn from food misdeeds and apply the knowledge moving forward. Dwelling on an act that makes us fall of the Sparky wagon is counter-productive.

2. The solution to pollution is dilution! I am confident that my sticking with the watery Spark diet, and watching my sodium more carefully, I will get back on my glide-path to weigh zero by Thanksgiving 2013. And even if that goal is mathematically in the past, I’ll settle for (say) Beethoven’s Birthday.

When is Beethoven’s Birthday, you ask? (truth be told, I paid for gas for my car and pizza for my belly, through graduate school by playing Trivial Pursuit for money…).
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You're quite right about the +.02lb de-motivation. You once told me to put away the scale!!! How'cm you're so obsessed by it?? It's addictive -- I learned that the hard way. If you are truly putting so much of yourself into this program-how about a monthly weigh-in?? It'll be more honest. But.......I know how hard it is to do.

    L. emoticon

    (if you're reading my comments, you can see that I'm catching up on your blogs that I missed....... for some reason, I've not been getting your blog notices lately....)
    2159 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/23/2012 6:19:50 PM
  • KANOE10
    I struggle with a negative response when the scale goes up. That single aberational weigh in is irritating when you are working so hard to stay on track. Good for you identifying your eating of the nuts as being a problem and drinking lots of water!

    You are back on track and will lose that weigh quickly! emoticon
    2170 days ago
  • JAMER123
    What a fun blog to read! Thanks for posting!! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2170 days ago
    Great blog! And the update told the story I was going to suggest. All in all, great job! emoticon
    2170 days ago
    Thanks as always, for another witty and insightful episode in your Spark caravan!
    2170 days ago
  • NEWMOM20121
    As always love the blog. Thank you for sharing, I think we have all been there.
    2170 days ago
  • NOMIS1
    Great blog!
    2171 days ago
    WooHoo Mark! That's a great loss! emoticon
    2171 days ago
  • BOSS61
    Update... down 2.1 lbs overnight...

    Point being, it's easy to understand how people can suddenly feel all kinds of demotivated, over a single aberrational weigh-in
    2171 days ago
    Celery helps me pull out the sodium ...

    Dr Seuss quote-misquote is hilarious and true.
    I may copy, if I may,
    Again to read it
    another day.

    Another Sparky-Nut (not too salty!)
    2171 days ago
  • CALI1156
    Mixed em...but yeah...sodium loaded. Maybe that is why I love them. I do count them out when I do indulge. Otherwise, I'd go crazy (I have eaten too many in the past, too).

    As for weighing...For me, weighing no more than once every two weeks works. I try to hold off and weigh only once a month, but twice a month is my max. However, I take my measurements every week, because I always lose inches even if the scale doesn't reflect progress.

    As Scarlett O'Hara said...tomorrow is another day! Go get em, Boss!

    2171 days ago
    betcha it'll be gone by tomorrow !! you are doing really good ... Roc emoticon
    2171 days ago
    .2 lbs. and you lived to tell about it! That's what we have to do keeping things in perspective. UGH sometimes life just gets in the way of good intentions. But we all gotta have fun.

    2171 days ago
    Yup - sodium is not our friend! Water is a good thing!

    (Now imagine having your body chemistry (as in hormones) do that to you each month, all by itself.)
    2171 days ago
    "Up 0.2 pounds for the week." You can stay on the pedestal.
    2171 days ago
    Haha - love it. I'm going to remember that the solution to polution is dilution!
    2171 days ago
    I so needed to hear this today. I had a setback this week, too:( I gained 4 pounds in one day, I believe because I indulged in 4 slices of pizza. I lost some of that 4 pounds, but still have a gain of 2 pounds this week.

    Love the Dr. Seuss quote. I will forget those pizzas and move forward for some loss this week.
    2171 days ago
    "I was running the bar (another useless life's skill picked up along the way)"

    Woah, what? Not useless at all. haha.

    Ya, so the rubber bag analogy is a good one stolen from The Hacker's Diet (free book, if you haven't read it, google it, download and enjoy). Salt can cause serious water retention, so can carbs. If you're on a diet where you're restricting salt and carbs (or at least mindful of them), it isn't unusual to see significant gains overnight. I've gained 8 pounds overnight before. I know someone who purposely salt loaded recently and gained 10 pounds. She returned back to normal in about 3 days and showed a new low on the scale.

    When I'm trying to move the purposefully (gain or lose weight), I weigh in every day and take a rolling average of those values. The moving average idea was also stolen from the Hacker's Diet. It might appeal to your mathiness. By taking one point each week, you may find yourself plotting a statistical outlier, but if you plot daily, the smooth the rogue data points away. All depends on how crazy you want to get with this thing. heh.
    2171 days ago
    Much as I hate getting up in the middle of the night, it does tell me I am on track sodium-wise.
    2171 days ago
    Boss,,, Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, Being in the Game is what is so important..Planning out your next move is called getting back in the saddle and never giving up.. I would be blown away if you ever were close to doom and gloom.. Your inspiring and real. So have a great week and be the Boss at your next weigh in .. No Pressure , just encouragement. Oh by the way Bartenders are always everyones favorite person!! Hope you made some great friends and tips..TA! Gypsy..
    2171 days ago
  • MARYANN2323
    Ah Huh! Dec. 17!!
    I know this because Beethoven is lucky enough to share the same date as my DH.
    With that little bit extra of H20, and having enough time til next weigh-in to "expel"it, you should show a sizable loss. Your 0lb weight by Thanksgiving 2013 is probably not threatened.

    A little trick I learned about extra water weight is eat LOTS of celery. It is a natural diuretic. Can't help with the nocturnal bathroom trips, though. Sorry.

    2171 days ago
    I just checked to make sure Beethoven wasn't born Feb 29.

    I know, I know.... I'm a smart a__
    but you wouldn't like me any other way emoticon
    2171 days ago
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