Published March 5, 2010

Losing Weight – Day 5: 1 Pound Up

by Helen M. Ryan

The Old Me Would Have Screamed

Before I had my massive weight loss a few years back, if I had tried to lose weight and gained a pound it would have been the end of the world. I would eat every carb in sight, punishing myself for what I would perceive as something I had done wrong.

I weighed myself today, and I did not scream even though I weigh one pound more than when I started this project five days ago.  Last time I lost between 1/4 and 1/2 pound per day. Yes, I had a lot of weight to lose back then and yes, I was younger. But still...
Did I get discouraged?
No. I had a brief moment where I thought, "Oh crap. All that work for nothing. What the...?" Because I know that my weight fluctuates depending on how much salt I've eaten, where I am in my cycle, how much sleep I've gotten, and how much water I've ingested, I did not throw in the towel at this piece of bad news. I'm really not expecting to see any change in my weight for about two more weeks. That may be hard to swallow for some, considering all the "miraculous" results we see on television and read about in magazines, but it's the reality. There are many, many factors to consider when it comes to actual weight loss.
Just because I haven't lost anything measurable on a scale doesn't mean I'm not losing fat. Actual weight loss hinges on too many variables to hang our hats on one particular element. Fat loss, rather than weight loss, is something you can feel. Fat loss can be judged in terms of looks and clothing fit. Sometimes we need to say, "To hell with the scale!" and continue on. Could  I have given up? Yes. But...

I look at it this way: I can either lose, maintain or gain weight. The first two are OK. The third is not. That's how I ended up here.

The Benefit of Being Unfit

I work out about 350 minutes per week on average. The "magic" number, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, is 250 minutes or more per week of exercise to speed up weight loss (read my article on exercise and weight loss to learn more). However, when you already exercise a lot, your body gets accustomed to it and compensates accordingly. There is no "shock" to get your body going. For someone who hasn't exercised regularly, any type of physical activity is bound to kick-start weight loss, thus, someone who hasn't worked out at all but eats the same as I do will lose weight faster than I will. That's my reality.

The Real Life

I eat too much sugar and I know that already. Am I willing to give up the chocolate chips in my oatmeal I start each morning with? No, so I need to work around that.  This blog is about losing weight in the real world, where we are parents and spouses and employees or business owners. We don't have time to measure everything we put in our mouths. We are stressed, busy and tired, but we can still make adjustments that benefit our health and help us reach our goals. It might just take a little big longer.
Based on what I've written this week, the adjustments I need to make to spur my weight loss are:

  • Sleep more.
  • Eat less sugar (way less sugar).
  • Drink more water (a lot more water).
  • Make sure I eat before I head out.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables.
  • Add something different to my exercise program.

This is what I will be implementing next week. It's all about fine-turning what works for our own bodies. No two people are the alike and not all solutions work for everyone. So we make a change, monitor the result, and tweak. Make a change, monitor the result, and tweak. And so on.

The Near Binge

I wasn't even hungry today, so why was I fantasizing about a carb-laden binge? Because I slept less than 5 hours last night and when I am tired I eat. I had low fat frozen yogurt again earlier when I couldn't stay awake. Not a deal-breaker but not the best of choices. It's all about making better and better choices, every meal, every day.
I tell you, though, if I were not writing this series I would be eating. Now I feel naked and accountable to people I can't even see. It's weird, but effective too, I suppose. I thought of sneaking in a binge and not documenting it but then I realized how pointless that would be. If I am going to binge, I am going to tell you. Why? Because I am not perfect. Why pretend that weight loss is easy? The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
If I lie to you, I am helping no one.
Onward and forward.
Until tomorrow.

How did you do today? Share your thoughts. You can do so anonymously. I'd like to hear from you.

4.5 hours of sleep.
30 hard, consistent minutes of core (stomach and back) training, butt workout and kettlebells. One set of double arm kettlebell swings (x25 f*&!), two sets single arm kettlebell swings (x20 f*&!), two sets of deep kettlebell squats (x8  f*&!f*&!).
For food?

  • Plain oatmeal with flax seeds, nonfat milk, walnuts pieces and chocolate chips (60% cocoa - a must) - breakfast.
  • Left-over Boca Burger, green beans and black beans with a dash of reduced fat Mexican cheese blend mixture from yesterday's dinner - lunch.
  • Apple - snack.
  • Low fat frozen yogurt - snack.
  • Smart Ones Vegetable Pizza Minis - dinner.
  • Artichoke hearts and broccoli - dinner.
  • Liquid amino acids (bleh).
  • 1/2 orange- snack.

[Click on the Weight Loss category to read earlier posts...from Day 1 and on.]

>Continue to Day 6 - Snacking