April 1, 2011

Roses and thorns

Back when I first started losing weight, the pounds just melted off. I could easily lose 4, 5, even 6 pounds in a week. Essentially, I did the same things I am doing now: eating 1200-1300 calories a day and exercising as much as possible. Now it's running and machines at the gym; eight months ago, it was walking around my block and Wii Fit.

I guess these big losses week after week spoiled me a little, because not being able to consistently pull 4+ pound losses gets me down sometimes. At first it was frustrating, and I wondered what I was doing wrong to have it slow down to 3-4 at best. I'm realizing, though, that I'm not doing anything wrong - it's not my efforts that are shrinking, it's my body. not my friend. not my enemy. just a scale.The exercises burned the same amount of calories then as they do now, simply because I weighed more. And my regulated eating created huge deficits - my BMR was over 500 calories higher then than it is now, which means an extra pound lost each week even if I did absolutely nothing ... and a lot more forgiveness if I ate over my 1200-1300 calorie goal.

Having to work harder for big losses is both awful and awesome. It's tough to feel like you are doing well because you have been going at a certain speed and then you discover that you're unable to keep up at that pace consistently. But at the same time, it's great because the change in BMR is a result of the hard work I've been doing and the success I've experienced. I am what feels like an entire world away from the girl I was eight months ago.

Today is not July 31, 2010.

Today is April 1, 2011.

And counting the three pounds I'm down this week, I've lost 125 pounds since then. The rules have changed a little, even if the game hasn't.

Lesson learned: I need to stop weighing every day.

I'm completely addicted to seeing that number first thing in the morning, as if to validate the fact that this really is happening, I wasn't dreaming, I really have lost 125 pounds in 8 months. There are too many other ways to measure my success that don't involve stepping on the scale every morning and letting a number determine how happy I am. The number isn't 345, and it won't ever be again. I'm working hard. I'm eating well. I'm drinking tons of water and taking a multivitamin. I'm going to see losses, and if I don't, there has to be a good reason for it. (Like this week: going over on calories and going heavy with sodium. Fixed both, got right back on track.)

I'm thinking about what to do for my goals for Amy's Spring Fever Challenge, and I'm thinking one of them might be staying off the scale except for on Fridays when I weigh in. That would be a serious challenge for me - I would dare to say it would be harder for me to resist daily weighing than it would to resist a cupcake. I especially want to wean myself off it as I get closer to my long-term goal because ideally, I'd like to weigh only monthly in maintenance and base my day-to-day on other measures of success like how I feel physically and how my clothes fit. To go from daily to monthly would be a huge change - I need to start taking some baby steps.

What about you? Do you weigh daily? Weekly? Monthly? Some other frequency? What are the pros and cons to how often you weigh yourself?

12 comments:

Ann said...

Great job having the insight to make a change to keep moving forward!! Great job!!

Pretty Pauline said...

I call myself a weekly weigher, but in truth I don't always weigh if'n I've had a tough week with food. That's kinda cheating, huh? I am heavy enough to put up big numbers, I've done it before, but I don't seem to want to go all out this time for some reason. Losing is always good though, slowly or quickly, right?

betternexttime said...

I'm an every day weigher (when I'm on the wagon). Keeps me from hiding from my weight. Never hurts to mix it up and try new things, though!

Jessica said...

I weigh weekly..sometimes biweekly. It works for me...if I start feeling discouraged because the lack of scale movement, I might go longer. Right now I am not weighing during my 30 day challenge. I will weigh at the end...and even if the scale hasn't moved an ounce I can still be proud of finishing my goal of running a mile everyday for 30 days.

BTW: You were the winner of my giveaway! :)Send me your mailing address :)

Shannon B. said...

I weigh myself daily. Every morning, without fail. I too would like to get away from it and I will. Like you, it's a work in progress. Baby steps. Once a day, to certain days of the week, to one day a week, to every other week, to monthly. You'll get there!

Amanda said...

Thanks so much for this post, because I think I needed it, lol! I think I'm at a similar weight to you right now, and I was feeling glum about not seeing those big numbers either.

I was a weigh-one-a-week gal at the beginning, but like you I find that sometimes stepping on the scale every morning can become addicting. And of course it fluctuates so much that it drives me bonkers! But, it's good to see that maybe I'm not doing something wrong, it's just the natural slowing down of the process.

(Of course, I was hoping that slowing down wouldn't come until 199 at least, lol!)

Krista said...

I am actually in the exact same boat as you right now. I'm doing the same things I was doing a year ago as far as counting calories and working out, but I can only seem to manage to lose 1 or 2 lbs a week now as opposed to the 3 or 4 that I used to. What sucks the most is that I'm working out harder than ever before and not seeing the numbers I want.

I also have the horrible habit of weighing myself every day. It does help keep me on track, but it sucks because sometimes I let the number ruin my day. Not good.

Ellie said...

I know what you mean about being addicted to the scale. I try to only weigh in weekly on mondays but sometimes I get this silly urge once or twice between mondays to just jump on the scale and make sure that everything is working.

It sucks that whenever I see a loss I'm ecstatic for the rest of the day, but if ever a gain I am a puddle of depressed mush.

I wish I could let myself just be happy without that number. Hopefully I will get there eventually.

You on the other hand have made great progress, you are a real inspiration!

Justine said...

Every week I tell myself I will only weigh on my weigh-in day (Sunday) and then find myself running to the scale straight out of the shower every single morning. I'm still not at a point where I see a lot of difference in my body, so it's kinda validation that what I'm doing is working for me.

I would really love to stop doing that cause I'm scared it will eventually lead to obsession to the point where it ruins my mood every day if the numbers aren't going down as fast as I'd like (or at all). So I may make it my goal for Amy's challenge as well, if you don't mind me shamelessly stealing your great idea ;)

Amy said...

The scale and I don't have a very good relationship. I'm either avoiding it or weighing in 1-2 times a day.

I think that will be a great goal for yourself!

Meghan said...

I weight constantly. Morning, afternoon and night. It's horrible. Like today at weight in I was pissed because one morning I was about 2lbs lighter than today. I might need to try these baby steps as well.

Maia said...

I used to weigh in all the time, but stopped doing that about 3 months in because of how much it was messing with my head. Now I try and only weigh in once a week. Doesn't always happen, but its still better than before. I completely understand your frustrations about having to work harder for lower numbers lost. It's so hard to keep perspective, but you sound like you have a GREAT outlook and its paying off!