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My Scale, My Friend January 15, 2010

I’ve been thinking a lot about my scale lately because it seems that several people I know have been breaking up with theirs. I was very very moved by both Mish and Shannon‘s recent decisions to destroy their scales (click on their names to read their stories).  They felt like they were in unhealthy relationships with these pesky machines that were torturing them. Believe me, if I felt the same way about mine, I’d be tossing mine out the window too. I totally applaud their decisions and their liberation from what felt like very unhappy relationships.

I don’t feel that way about my scale. I’m going to let mine stick around for a while. I know that the whole TOPIC of scales is a very hot one. Some people are very anti-scale, and I can understand their reasoning. But over here, I feel like the scale is my friend. A firm, nonjudgmental and honest friend who will tell me what’s what, because you know, a lot of time I really don’t know.

Mish talked about discovering that she gained a small amount (less than a pound?) and that it totally ruined the rest of her day, after she woke up feeling strong and healthy and happy. I cried watching her video. It sounded so painful.

Sometimes the scale surprises me but I have really never had this experience. For one thing, going up or down a pound virtually means nothing to me, because my weight can fluctuate up to 3 pounds in 8 hours, depending on so many things. If I’ve eaten or if I’ve had anything to drink. If I’ve gone to the bathroom (sorry if TMI). If I’ve exercised or what time of the month it is, or if I’ve taken my medication. So basically, a pound either way doesn’t really mean anything to me and I’d never be upset about a small gain like that.

I’m much more likely to live in denial. Take last weekend. I went out to eat a few times. I ran on the beach. I took some long walks. I made some nice healthy meals. But I also made some warm shortbread cookies. On balance, I had no idea what I had done, bodywise. When I got home, I was wearing some rather loose jeans that were kinda stretched out. I’d say I was feeling kinda “skinny.” But when I got home my scale told me I’d gained a few. And instead of crying and wailing and heaving my scale across the room, I almost kissed it. I thanked it for telling me the real deal (ie, that the cookies and restaurant meals had overbalanced the running and the nice veggies I’d cooked). I said, “Thanks. Thanks for telling me the truth, friend.” And then I set to righting my little ship this week, and every day I’ve seen it edge back down toward where I want it to be.

I’ve rarely felt shocked and dismayed by the scale. Normally I feel like, if it goes up, I know EXACTLY why. Sometimes I wonder, “What took you so long?” Over the holiday period, my weight remained steady and even dipped down pretty low about a week before Christmas. I felt like, wow, I was golden. I think I let loose a bit, and then New Year’s week, BANG, reality hit. See, I couldn’t get away with some stuff I was hoping I could.

All this to say that I am really grateful to my scale for letting me know when I start gaining a couple. Because it gives me the chance to U-turn before the couple turns into 5 and then 5 turns into 10 and then I can’t zip my pants. I don’t want to let it get that far.

But it’s easy for me to slip into denial, or to have some magical thinking like, I work for Weight Watchers! I’m immune now! (NOT.) Or whatever little loophole I’ve dreamed up.

My scale sits in my bathroom and it whispers to me. It tells me what I need to do, not in a mean way, but in a gentle, supportive way. I know that different scales have different Voices for their owners. Mine is my friend and I’m not about to give it up.

 

Don’t Fear the Weigh-er November 16, 2009

I just got back from a 4-day retreat that featured some extremely delicious and “clean” food. I pretty much tried to keep it intuitive and mindful and all that but I DID indulge in some beautiful apple crisp (with whipped cream) one night, and some lovely sherry pound cake (with whipped cream) another night. Those people really do know how to make the most divine whipped cream. So I was a little worried. BUT I did get activity in every day – a couple long walks, and then my little trip home to test my blood and do that awesome 14 minute workout, and it was pretty good.

So I was relieved and happy to see that I weighed less when I came home, than I did last week before leaving. That was a real affirmation. Yay. And it reinforced my dearly held belief that I can eat yummy things like dessert with whipped cream and still lose weight.

At the end of this week I have a big staff meeting at WW, a “Tune-Up” to let us know about program changes for 2010. On the national staff message boards, it seem that some of these meetings across the country have included surprise weigh-ins. OH BOY. This threw me into a bit of a tizzy for a little bit.  But then I realized, you know, I should be ready to be weighed in ANY DAY of ANY WEEK, and not worry about it. Yeah right? I thought of calling my supervisor and asking if this was going to happen, but then I realized… what? That if he says “no,” it gives me license to eat like a horse and not work out? And if he says “yes” I’m going to start scrimping on the food? NO NO NO.

I decided to not ask. I decided to just calm down and stay mindful. I decided that my goal is to stay at my same weight that I was this morning. If I do that, I am fine.

But anyone who has faced that scale knows the funny little game playing that can go on. To have a big “cheat day” the day after a weigh-in. To eat hardly anything the few days leading up.  The same thing can happen to staffers, you know. We have our weigh-ins near the first of the month. So the prospect of being weighed on the 20th, was like, UH OH! But that is dangerous thinking. I have to keep telling myself, this is for real, for good, for every day.  Sure, Things Happen, but I’m not going to PLAN to go off program and gain weight just because I think I’m not going to be weighed for a while.

In other news, I took up the challenge to do Jillian’s 30-Day Shred again. I hadn’t done it in a while but I remembered that I liked it. Well, it kicked my little booty! I did the Level 2, and used my brand new 8 lb weights. OH MAN. I was a sweaty mess after 20 minutes. I have to say, that Shred is the most efficient workout thing EVER. And I will do it again tomorrow! I might not do it every single day, ie I will not do it when I see my own trainer because IMHO that is total overkill. But I will do it every other day.

I start my two new At-Work meetings this week! One of them is (almost) all women and the other one is (almost) all men! Won’t that be interesting!! I am enlisting the help of the ever-awesome Jack Sh*t to help me keep the men entertained. (did you see his great post on why losing weight is like sex? LOL) I’m really looking forward to it. Today I got a big box of leaderish office supplies via UPS, including about ten million large paper clips. What will I do with those? They will probably last me until my retirement at the age of 103.

 

A Little Nervous Without My Scale August 18, 2009

I’ve been on vacation, celebrating my birthday in high style, since last Friday. Up here on the river, it’s mostly been a very blissful experience, floating about on the water, visiting with friends, eating well, and generally feeling very happy. Yesterday I went for a good run. But I’m feeling a little bit nervous because I don’t know what all this celebrating is meaning for my weight.

I know one friend who brings her scale with her wherever she goes. I actually considered that – we drove up in two cars, so there was plenty of room – but I resisted. But being without it has made me realize how I rely on it to keep on track. I know, I know, there is the whole “throw your scale away!” contingent out there. I realize that I’m not ready to do it. I actually HAVE been known to gain as much as 5 lbs (more?) in a week. And if that happens, I’ll deal with it. But I do think that knowing, on a daily basis, if it has crept up one or two, really does help keep me accountable.

I’m just… curious. On the day of my big birthday party, we had lots of good food. Including cake. I didn’t go WILD but I was nibbling a lot through the day. I had one piece of cake (it was goooooooooood) and luckily for me, we finished it off in one sitting so there were no leftovers.  Last night we went out to dinner. Tonight we’re going to a birthday celebration for my cousin-in-law, who is also staying up here for vacation. I just don’t know what the cumulative effect of all of this is.

It makes me relieved that now that I am a Lifetime member of WW which means I only have to weigh in once a month instead of once a week. I am confident that I’ll be able to get back into range by next month. But if it was a weekly situation, probably not. (sigh) HOW unfair is it that it’s so easy to gain 3-5 pounds in a week, and almost impossible to lose the same?

I guess I will find out when we go home on Friday.  Meanwhile, I’m wondering.

 

The Challenge Ends, But Not Really June 15, 2009

So the Fabulous Fatties’ Health Challenge is officially over. I came in with a total of 1,765 points. We’ll see how this stacks up when they tally up the results today. According to my home scale, I think I lost 3 lbs over the two weeks. Which, if it’s true, I’ll be very pleased with.

We were supposed to write a 50-word piece about how the Challenge affected us, so this is what I sent to the FabFatties:

The points are in, the chart filled up
Time for final judgment. The bad?  Water.
Could not gulp those 64 ounces, not one day.
The good? Exercise, fruits and veggies.
The beautiful? Good deeds: smiles add endorphins.
Weight? Three pounds lost, overall. And worth 3 pounds of gold.
Thanks, fabulosas!

So now the Challenge period is over. But does it make any sense to STOP doing the challenge things? I think not.  I realized pretty early on that a day without exercise equalled a day with very few points. So it spurred me to start exercising every day, or almost.  It also made me REALLY increase my fruit and veggie intake. I thought about the Challenge every time I went grocery shopping or to the farmers’ market, and I know it made me make better, fresher choices. So I don’t know about the rest of you – how are all the rest of Team Foodie doing? but I’m going to keep going.

As for my vacation: I was scared. You know when I left for my weekend away, I was two pounds up after a nice Indian dinner with friends. Everyone said it was sodium. But I didn’t know, and I then went away for four days without my scale. I did not dare use the scale at the hotel fitness center, because I’ve had bad experiences with Other scales.

So I tried to make Good Choices. But you know I promised two things before I went away: 1. that I would not drink alcohol, and 2. that I would not eat sugar/dessert.

Big, blaring BEEEEEP on both of those. I shocked myself. I actually drank 2 mojitos (one after the other!) AND I ate a piece of cake. With icing. (not on the same day, thank goodness) I was nervous. I wondered if I was going to blow the whole thing (what: almost 30 lbs?) in those little actions. Of course, it could be the beginning of a slippery slope. But I also knew some things about me. One is that I drink very, very rarely. I virtually never go to bars. But I was in the midst of a really great weekend with friends, and we happened to chance upon this awesome bar right across the street from my hotel. I wanted a mojito! I really did. I knew what a rare occurrence this was. So I went for it.  And accompanying the mojito, I ordered some grilled mushroom skewers, a bowl of edamame and some rare ahi salad. It was like the healthiest food ever.

During the rest of the weekend, I truly did eat well (other than the cake, which was one of the yummiest cakes ever). I exercised almost every day. And guess what? I came home four pounds down from my post-Indian-dinner high.

So. All things in moderation?

It’s still kind of mysterious. Why I lose. Why I gain. But this week my intention is to keep rockin’ the challenge, keep exercising, keep eating well.

 

Feedback from the Scale: It’s Just Information April 20, 2009

So my weight was up a few pounds when I got back to my home scale this morning. I’m not completely shocked, and for once not distraught or freaked out over seeing that plus sign. I can attribute it traveling for 3-4 days, eating out every meal, eating in greater quantities, and exercising less. Although I was exhausted from walking around in 90 degree heat, it wasn’t the same as working out. I had two sesssions at the hotel fitness center but not as regular as usual.

I think the thing I am happiest about is that I’m not flipping out. I’m not feeling GUILTY or overly upset. I looked at those numbers and just said, “Hmm. Okay. Now what?”

On Saturday night I went back to the same restaurant as Friday night (with the dieters) – this time it was with a group of other parents, and we all ordered from the menu. The food was awesome.

I had: a glass of wine (first time since my dx – I was experimenting), a bunch of grilled/marinated veggies from antipasti plate (artichokes, mushrooms, bell peppers, tomato), about 4 little fried calamari rings, about 3-4 oz of seared ahi tuna with tomatoes, 3 tiny pieces of potato, a bite of chicken from my hubby’s plate, and… some whipped cream (from the top of the complimentary tiramisu) and blueberries/strawberries.

It was all really really delicious. I enjoyed it a LOT. I was more concerned with my blood sugars than my weight, though, so I took an extra dose of Metformin before going to bed. When I woke up, all was well.

I’m thinking about the two “optional” items I don’t usually get – the wine and the little portion of dessert. Was it worth it? Would I, in the future, choose to forgo those things, or would I do it all again the same way?

Hard to say. I’m going to see how long it takes me to get back down to last week’s pre-trip weight. If it happens fairly quickly,  I’d say it was all worth it. I didn’t pig out, I wasn’t crazily full. If it takes forever (how long is “forever?” two weeks??) then I’ll have to re-evaluate.

So my answer to “now what” is I’m going to eat as mindfully/cleanly as possible, try to step up the exercise a bit this week, and see how it goes.

UPDATE: so it took me exactly 9 days to get back to the pre-trip weight. It wasn’t forever. But of course it takes longer  – a lot longer – to take it off than to put it on.  I’m not upset about this. I don’t think it was “not worth it.” It was just… interesting. (I’m channeling my meditation teacher now: “Just notice.”)

 

15 March 3, 2009

Filed under: weight — Susan @ 11:54 am
Tags: , , , ,

:-)

 

Lucky 13 March 1, 2009

Filed under: diet,weight — Susan @ 10:57 am
Tags: , ,

It took me forever to break into the 12 lb weight loss but today I almost didn’t notice that I’m now at 13. Hooray for 13!!

 

 
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