Posted by: cmittermeier | March 4, 2011

Lost more weight… BUT

This post is about progress, and how subjective we are when we measure it.

This week I am down a whole 3 ounces – well 3.2 to be exact… that is 0.2 pounds or 42grams.  My initial though when I looked at the scale was to totally discount it because it is so much less than normal daily fluctuations.  Every so often I have fun doing experiments to know my body better.   I used to play with my eyesight, balance, test my ambidexterity…  One of the reoccurring experiments done every couple of years is to track my weight carefully to see what its regular fluctuations are.  If I maintain a regular water in take there is a much more stable pattern to my weight.  If I’m not getting enough hydration, my weight can fluctuate 3 pounds in a day.  If I have a cold, I will loose more weight over night – likely due to increased water loss when I breath through my mouth.  My cycle will have an interesting effect as well, one that I am not fully on top of now that I have been put on progesterone supplements.  In the past about 10 days before my period it would go up about 3 pounds and hang around till my period.

So my first reaction was to totally discount the 0.2lb because it could easily be that I just didn’t have enough water.  Not to mention the fact that I am 8-9 days from my period and though I don’t have a consistent measure on how much my weight is effected at this time, it is more likely the time when my weight would be up, not down.  I sat there trying to juggle these factors and weigh them against each other when it hit me.  Your weight is still going DOWN.  Then I got ready to put it into my spreadsheet.  My last entry was on the 1 pound weight loss over 10 days.  That was true, but the pound before that one took much longer and was in teeny tiny drops, just like this one.

I cannot remember a time when I have continually gone down in weight, especially with all the birthday cakes I’ve been around and enjoyed.  I remembered the many times I would try this journey only to reach those slow points and start to go back up.  That is not happening this time.  Something is very subtly different.

I can easily list a tonne of reasons why the weight loss has slowed.  I am not exercising as vigorously, as frequently as I should.   Though my time on the treadmill is up to 60 minutes, I am not working on moving the pace up to jogging speed as I was supposed to.  I am also not doing it everyday because I had fooled myself into accepting the walks outside as I ran errands etc. as a substitute.  Though the distance is similar, its not the same.  I don’t go the same speed or intensity.  Because I’m going between events, I’m trying to not sweat and that makes a difference.  Its also spaced throughout the day instead of one big push and though I’m not totally up on the science, my experience has shown it to have a lessor effect on weight loss (though it does improve the cardio and muscle tone about the same amount for me).

In terms of my food intake, there is less to complain about but there is still room for improvement.  It would be good if I could start including some legumes into my diet, I used to make soups regularly for us and it was such an easy way to get legumes in.  My dinner portions are still a bit bigger than they should be and my afternoon snack is still 3 unhealthy cookies.  There is a big difference with cookies, you should read the packages carefully.  Many have more in common with a donut that you’d like.  There are better cookies, ones with whole grains and whose sweeteners is not just a list of words ending in “ose” – you know sucrose, glucose, fructose.  Though I know some of them are more like mini granola bars, they are tasty and filling.  They also have been noticeably absent from my kitchen.  So you see, my progress has been slow for a reason.

If I were a climber, it has been like trying to get past an overhang.  In order to get above it, you must work hard moving vertically out to get to the lip.  It is very dangerous and the consequences will bring you much further back down the mountain if you fail.  The overhang blocks all light from above and is cold and damp.  Instead of wanting to put my hands out and grab the next hand hold, I instinctively want to curl up in a ball and not do what needs to be done.  My thoughts are taunted with the fact that I don’t know what the overhang looks like.  It could be a thin rock and once I am on the other side I can hoist myself to a landing or it could just be another sheer rock face going up.  In either option I will be in the sunshine again, I will be warmed.  But if it has a ledge I can stop, rest and make a proper meal.  The idea that after fighting so hard against my own fatigue I must then go back right away to climbing… slows me down further.  Yet, I know not what the path ahead is.  I have to focus on the fact that there will be sunshine, there will be warmth.  I will be given what I need to start moving again.  But now it is cold and damp.  I don’t want to move forward and so I am moving slower and slower.

This is an overhang, progress cannot be measured by the height I climb, but if I have fallen (i.e. have I  held my vertical ground). The scale is still going down.  This is now two and a half months later.  There is horizontal progress.  There will be many times in life where I can’t exercise the way I should, and I still need to be able to maintain my weight.  I have done exactly that.  But I have to get my butt back in gear and exercise more.  I won’t get past this overhang if I don’t.  The cold and darkness of the overhang will not end till I reach forward.  So on that note, I’m off to get outside and do a vigorous walk, not an errand, but real walk in the sunshine.

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