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Eight days without weighing in

Monday, May 28, 2012

Saturday is my regular weigh in day, but after the craziness that was my plateau, I swore off weighing in for two or three weeks. Truth be told, I was afraid that my weight might fluctuate again and I'd be back at my plateaued weight. Who needs that kind of stress on the way to better health?

I am still reflecting on the HBO Documentary on Obesity that I watched on youtube yesterday. In case you missed it, or don't have HBO, I provided a link to the youtube site in yesterday's blog.

There were lots of telling moments in the series, including one tearful woman who lamented that she couldn't find love because men can't get past her weight. Another man in his 70s lost the lower half of his leg to diabetes. The camera followed him to the doctor's office where the doctor examined his stump and a sore on his red, swollen remaining foot. When you saw his foot you knew that he would probably lose it as well. His wife said something like, "We were overweight, but not obese. We ate like everyone else." The couple drastically changed their diet after the diagnosis.

Another segment focused on obese children and how aggressively the food industry markets unhealthy foods to young minds. They also discussed school cafeteria food, the absence of playgrounds and grocery stores in poor neighborhoods, and innovative strategies for changing a child's environment to prevent weight gain.

Sprinkled throughout the segments were debates on the government's role in obesity, both good and bad. On one hand, they are subsidizing farmers that grow large quantities of crops that are processed into key junk food ingredients. But, farmers who grow fruits and vegetables get no government subsidies. The food industry has powerful interests in Washington D.C. and has killed numerous bills intending to change the subsidies. On the other hand, government has a role in building walkable communities that include parks, playgrounds and other amenities that encourage fitness. Most of these initiatives receive bipartisan support because they encourage people to take responsibility for their health.

What this show reinforced for me is that my weight is a byproduct of a series of small decisions I make day in and day out. Each decision seems small at the time, but together they have a cumulative effect on my health. So, if 80% or 90% of my decisions every day are good, then I will be healthier. Substituting a salad for fries, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking 10 minutes to the drugstore instead of driving, refusing that second portion of casserole, drinking a diet soda instead of regular. Baby steps day in, day out, every day. Keeping the Spark.

The weight loss process is slow, gradual and imperceptible. Like watching ice melt or paint dry, or a building under construction. It looks like nothing is happening minute by minute, but if you take time-lapse photos things really are changing.

So why WOULD I expect a drastic change day to day or week to week? It makes no sense, but I expect it anyway. If someone offered me $25 today or $50 if I wait a month, I'm the idiot that would take the $25 because I have no concept of delayed gratification. But delayed gratification is essential to weight loss success, so by hopping on and off the scale, I am destroying my ability to accept the process.

Will I be disappointed if I weigh in next week and there's little change? Hell yeah! I admit it. But I'm also missing the point. This process is building a healthier me. Eventually, one day, after weeks and months of consistent behavior, I will look back and realize my progress.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    2149 days ago
    You are right. All the little changes combined will make you successful. It took us so long to get to where we are and we are an impatient group aren't we? We want to lose the weight NOW.

    You are doing well.

    Keep it up

    2152 days ago
    Hang in there - the weight will come off. I know how frustrating it is, because, as you say, we want instant gratification. But we need to remember that we didn't put the weight on overnight, so it won't come off overnight either. And we didn't notice the chagnes in our body as we put on each additional pound, but over time we noticed the difference as those pounds added up. The same is true in the reverse. The pounds may come off slowly at first, but in time you'll be able to look back and notice the changes and realize how far you've come. Keep at it - you *will* succeed!
    2152 days ago
  • LEMALONE1960
    With the exception of one week a month- and i'm sure you know which week that is- I weigh myself every single morning. I used to weight once everytwo weeks- but if I had a gain- it was always a HUGE gain and that just kept me frustrated. I decided it was MUCH less stressful for me to not see a loss thatn to see a big gain and then have to lose it just to get back to where i was BEFORE the gain.....So far- its working. A half pound- or even a pound and a half gain is easily fixable by drinking extra water to flush the toxins, or by taking an extra walk or doing an extra excersize dvd for a couple of days...

    For me, anyway!! hang in there hun....whatever works for you is what you need to be doing. emoticon
    2152 days ago
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