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Honestly Looking at Behaviors, Habits, and Fluctuations

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My good SparkFriend, TinaJane, wrote an incredible blog today that I think will make a big difference in how I approach the scale and use the information from that tool:

I have committed to read this blog daily until its message truly sinks in. Since I have struggled with the scale for more than 50 years, I expect to truly work to get to the point that I can "honestly look" at my behaviors and habits and then use the scale to confirm what I know. Looking back on it, if I could have back all the times I got discouraged and quit because the scale did not show progress, and had I just kept trying, I'm sure I would have discovered how to live a healthy lifestyle decades earlier.

Right now I am trying to very slowly lose to 126 pounds. I actually have SP set to lose from 131 pounds to 126 from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013. I really think losing slowly is good. Yet I get very impatient. Three times in 2013 I have seen 126 - 126.6, 126.8, and 126.8. Each time the next day the scale showed 128, 129, or 130. Once I had really blown it and knew it would be up. Once I thought I'd done okay, but eaten near the top of the calorie range and with a little too much sodium. And once I thought I'd done so good I expected to see the scale stay the same or go down a tenth. So, I'm way ahead of my December target but still kind of nuts dealing with the fluctuations, especially when they make no sense to me. Incidentally, I do expect to need to lose down to 124 in order to stabilize at 126. And also incidentally, I changed the battery in my digital scale, thanks to the advice of my SparkFriends, and it is functioning now.

So I'm really going to emphasize this "honestly looking" at my habits and behaviors. I'm going to keep reading TinaJane's wise words and I'm going to succeed at taking the emotions out of my weigh ins.

On a related note, I ran over 6 miles today. Felt good! I am so glad that I really enjoy running. It still blows my mind that I can do it and that I love it!! Still need at least one more strength workout this week - don't love the ST near as much, but I do love feeling strong. I'll do it!!

Wishing everyone a week you can look at honestly and say, "I did good and I feel great!!"
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • NEEDBU66
    "I did good and I feel great." I suppose that is what we should aim to be able to say every evening after having looked at the Nuitritional Feedback Report. May we have many more occasions where we can say t his than we can't.
    1816 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1816 days ago
  • CINDYW1102
    I weigh myself every week, however, I do not get concerned unless the scale shows a 3lb gain...I have been a slow loser these past eight months, but I have many other positive things happening in my body. I actually have lost four sizes in clothes altogether, so my scale is reflecting gains in muscle I believe. I think you should just keep being diligent about your calorie intake & exercise and not get too upset at that scale! emoticon
    1821 days ago
    Thanks so much. I will read the other blog as well.
    1821 days ago
    Great blog and thanks for linking me to the other. Very good information and thoughts. I am looking at the scale in a whole new way for me. It's more of a science experiment for me now. I am looking at the foods that I add to see if they put me up or down according to how my body chemistry deals with the food. So when I saw the scale go up overnight after I thought I ate light, I looked at the "new" foods that might have been reactive. It is making sense to me. I also now know that depending on what foods I eat and not particularly the amount of calories is how the scale will react. I am learning what foods to eat in moderation and only occasionally.
    Have a terrific day.
    1821 days ago
    Thanks so much for the shout out on my blog. I'm really happy that you found it helpful. I think your goal of taking off those last few extra pounds very slowly is a wise one. It's so easy to get wrapped up in a particular number only to end up sabotaging ourselves and our efforts trying to desperately to get there (in addition to making ourselves and those around us crazy). Although I have a specific number in my mind that I like to stay under, I realize that no one but me notices if I'm two or three pounds over or under that number. It just doesn't make all that much of a difference and it's really more of a psychological game I play with myself. Generally, the times when I take the focus off of weight loss are the times when I tend to do the best, like when I started transitioning to maintenance. I was focusing on keeping up my healthy habits and learning how to maintain as opposed to losing and another ten pounds dropped off me--all while making far less effort to lose than I had during some of my more maniacal weight-loss periods.

    I also realize that just because I was able to achieve a certain weight at some point in my life, that doesn't mean that it's a sensible weight for me now. I weighed 135 back in high school (at the lower end of the BMI range for my height) and think I looked and felt good. But I didn't do any weight training at all and my lifestyle was dramatically different. I also wasn't able to keep the weight off. Now, a sensible range for me is 10 to 15 pounds more than that taking into account my lifestyle differences and the sustainability factor. Looking back at pictures, I think I look pretty much the same at 145-150 as I did at 135, so go figure!
    1821 days ago
    You're doing great! I'll go look at that other blog.
    1821 days ago
    I'm going to read it after I finish this comment. I will copy and print it off if I feel that it would help. I was disappointed in myself after last week's weigh in too. I decided to take my measurements to update my record. That was when I found out that I have lost 17.5 inches since October 4th. The moral of the story is that sometimes when the scale is jumping around, you are actually changing inside where you can't see the changes. They will eventually show up on the scale but I think we get fixated on the scale number sometimes to the exclusion of everything else. Looking for non scale progress can be very motivating and Marsha, you have tons of non scale progress going for you! I am limiting my weigh ins to once per day. Just one quick on and off again to keep me accountable!
    1822 days ago
    Tina's blog was great. The scale can be a great tool when we use it as a source of information and not as a gage of our happiness. But to me, you are amazing, doing so well!
    1822 days ago
  • KIMBERLY19732
    Great blog, loved reading your friends blog too!
    I've taken comfort in some info I read recently-a persons weight can fluctuate by 3 pounds from day to day. For someone who loses sloooooowwww that is encouraging emoticon .

    I had a thought the other day. To me it has always been *horrible* if the scale goes UP a pound. But when it goes DOWN a pound I think "Oh that's a tiny amount"

    Good Luck!
    1822 days ago
    You inspire me! Thanks for giving me more things to think about.
    1822 days ago
    I'm a true believer in slow and steady and also of weighing daily. It's always been just a number to me, but an important number that I want to keep track of.
    1822 days ago
    1822 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1822 days ago
    There was a great blog on weight from ON2Victory. Check him out he has some great insight into why we fluctuate so emoticon much...good luck
    1822 days ago
    I think many of us have a lifelong struggle with the scale. My attitude has totally changed since my oldest has been diagnosed with an eating disorder. She is muscular and a premier soccer player. She was also on the cross country team this year, but never got to run due to her heart rate and health because of her eating.

    I'm glad you have a good perspective on the weight loss. I still find it "funny" that when the scale goes up, even 2/10th of a pound, that it bothers me. Then, I remind myself it's a number. It doesn't define me. I'm mentally preparing for an increase since I started Insanity and am building muscle.

    emoticon job on the running. I run, but I really don't enjoy it. I like when I stop, though. Maybe I'll run with my girls once the weather warms up. I'm willing to try again.

    Hang in there and be healthy!
    1822 days ago
    First, you do know that it takes more than a day for over-eating to create permanent, real weight gain. 3500 calories over your maintenance calorie requirement. So unless you ate over 5000 calories on that day you "blew it," then an additional pound on the scale the next day is not permanent weight gain.

    Second, over 50% of our body weight is water. I think I remember your saying that your body fat tested at 27%. That leaves about 20% for bones, muscles, etc. Given this breakdown, what is the most likely source of largish daily fluctuations? You are not piling body fat on and off on a daily basis. Also keep in mind that the undigested food in your gut has weight too. Do you think that you have exactly the same amount of food, waste and fluid in your gut every time you step on the scale? Unlikely. Remember, one glass of water weighs a half pound.

    So one other example. When I lost weight 3 years ago, I got to a goal weight of 125. I, too, was excited to weigh what I did in high school. But when I had my body composition tested, I learned that the number was the same but the weight was not. I was still "fatter" than I was in high school, even though I saw the same number on the scale. In fact, 35 pounds of my 125 pounds was fat. Today I weigh 134. Of that, 27 pounds is fat. So I have "gained weight" according to the scale, but I have also lost an additional 8 pounds of fat. I am much healthier at this weight than at my 125. By the way, I can still wear all the new clothes I bought when I weighed 125.
    1822 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/21/2013 3:14:45 PM
    Thank you for sharing the blog about the scale. It is very valuable information. Congratulations for persevering especially when you look so good right now. emoticon
    1822 days ago
    You can do it.
    1822 days ago
    1822 days ago
    1822 days ago
    Good for you!
    1822 days ago
    You are absolutely correct. slow and easy is the key.
    1822 days ago
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