Saturday, May 28, 2016

To Weigh or Not to Weigh

That really is the question, and a damn tough one to boot.

As many of you know, I started a new healthier living regime last July. I was sick and tired of my rump not fitting into the seats at public venues. I opted to use portion control and hatha/vinyasa yoga to help me slim down while I grew stronger and more flexible. Weighing myself once a week seemed like plenty to me. From July to the end of December, I lost 47 pounds. Go me!

Sounds darn good, right? I thought so too. I was stoked to see 2016 start so I could continue seeing great results. Well, so far, 2016 has been a real bitch, pardon my French. From January to now, I've lost 5 pounds. Yes, you read that right. 5 pounds. I have not changed what I was doing, I've even added walking (which I do every other day so that I can continue doing yoga which I love) thinking it might jump start my weight loss. Nope. Now I do understand that since I'm now walking around 8-10 miles a week I'm building muscle and losing fat. Muscle weighs more than fat, yep, I get that truly I do but man alive, getting on that scale every Saturday was getting to be depressing. And then I slowly started seeing where I was going wrong.

It was the scale. I was letting myself fixate on those numbers instead of seeing how much better I felt, how much stronger I had become, how much bigger my old clothes were (I even went down a full cup size which is AMAZINGLY GROOVY) and how proud I was of my achievements. A good friend of mine who goes to a personal trainer had been telling me all along not to weigh or measure. This is what her trainer tells her and I can now see the merit of that thinking.

But yet, how do we know if we're getting thinner if we don't step on that scale or use that measuring tape? Well, I have to think it comes back to how we feel in our own skin. Choosing healthy foods, fueling our bodies right, and exercising in whatever form we enjoy and are comfortable doing should guide us, not those numbers. Seeing that I can climb uphill in the morning to do chores and not gasp for breath, going from a 5 X down to a 2X, looking forward to the rush that walking gives me or the serenity of my yoga practice.

All of these things are what tells me that what I'm doing is working. Deep in my soul, I know I'm doing good things for my body by eating better, working my muscles by walking, and refreshing my soul with yoga. Do I really need those numbers? I don't know but I'm willing to find out.

I plan to cut down to monthly weigh-ins while I battle with my body and this damn set point my metabolism seems to be stuck in. I hope that with patience, continued healthy eating, and slowly walking further and further I can kick this mucky-magoo my healthy living plan (I don't like the word diet and try not to use it) has fallen into in the backside. We'll see how it goes but even if I don't lose another pound, I've started to change my eating habits, seen how enjoyable exercise can be, and have found peace through my yoga practices.

And, you know, that is pretty awesome all by itself.

What do you think about weekly/daily/monthly weigh-ins? Are they beneficial or detrimental to you? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!


S. J. Qualls said...

Ever think of doing plain old exercising? Get down on the floor and flop around with leg lifts and that stuff? I can't do it anymore, they would find me dead on the floor, but the old fashioned gym exercises could be swapped out and maybe fool your metabolism. I have been a dieter since I was a teen and I have gone on nearly every route there is to get back in shape when I fell off the wagon. (The sensible eating wagon) I learned long ago that I would stop losing at a certain point. My body would be perfectly fine with 3 miles on the bike, or treadmill. I would have to get back on the floor and do those stupid crunches and leg lifts and the weight would start coming off again. Change up your routine, put the scale in the closet and only drag it out once a month or so to check that you aren't gaining. Buy a new outfit (top and bottom) that is one size too small, try that on when you want to check your progress. Hang in there and don't worry so much - just enough so that you don't give up.
P. S. Turn the radio on and dance!

V.L. Locey said...

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences, SJ! Sadly, due to my GERD any kind of rigorous exercise such as dancing, weight lifting, jumping jacks, running, etc. throws me into a flare-up that lasts for days. The reflux is why I originally went with hatha yoga which is gentle and flows from one move to another. During yoga we do leg lifts, deep bends, and even a few Pilates moves so the floor exercise should be covered well. I do like the idea of buying an outfit a size smaller as a means to check progress. No worries, I have no plans of giving up!

It's so great to hear from others who are trying to get healthier!

Angie Malone said...

The only time I get on the scale is at the doctors office! My healthy eating plan started in January & I have gone down one size. But I too find how i feel is more important than a number. So many of my friends want a number so I make one up! Continuing on my healthy journey is much more important than any number. Thanks for the inspiration! Hugs to you!

Misty Harvey said...

I understand the scale thing. When the hubby man and I decided to change our way of life we'd weigh in once a week. He'd Los double digits and I'd lose two to three pounds. I grew frustrated and discouraged quickly. I ended up going off the restricted eating he was doing in favor of smaller well balanced portions of veggies and meat. I found my energy level increase and was working harder toward getting in shape. I may not have lost a ton, but I'm feeling better, healthier and more energetic one step at a time.

Samantha Cooper said...

This is a great post!!!! Even though I absolutely know not to focus on weight from a scale point of view I still do it. It is probably one of the most helpful tools gone terribly wrong. You are 100% right. There are lots of things that aren't taught with weight loss like many people put on weight for the first two weeks, then start to lose.Or that plateaus are completely needed for your body to reestablish its chemical balances. Even knowing all of that our society has placed this idea that less weight= more health when it most certainly does not. Health and weight loss correlate but can be completely seperate and hence bad fad diets that lead to yo yoing weight which is horrible. I love your approach to health. It is the most healthy approach and you are looking amazing and even better feeling better!! ♡♡♡♡♡

V.L. Locey said...

Thank you all so much for your comments! It's wonderful to hear from others who are trying to live healthier lives. Knowing that you're not alone as you battle against the fad diets and numbers on the scale makes the journey that much easier.

Cathy Brockman said...

This is a great post. I loved reading all the comments. I get so depressed about the weight issue. Last year I gained 20 pounds of 40 that I had lost over three years and kept off. I started seeing a personal trainer twice a week in December and since then have only lost 10 pounds.I was frustrated until he reminded me that I was gaining muscle and my body mass was shifting. I am almost back into last years clothing though I wish I was going past that. I am much healthier, feel much better have a better outlook and know I need to just keep working and like you I have deemed this a lifestyle. not a diet. I eat healthier fresher foods, I understand the gerd as I have something similar and I too am only weighing once a month now and I think I may measure then as well. It is great to know I am not alone.

V.L. Locey said...

Thanks for sharing some of your story, Cat. Healthier living is not an easy choice but it is certainly doable. Support from others and sharing our ups and downs I find to be truly helpful, way more so than listening to snake-oil salesmen spouting off about their latest "discovery" to lose 50 pounds in a week. None of us are alone. If anyone feels like they are please feel free to contact me on Facebook. Having an understanding and sympathetic ear can be a real lifesaver when trying to improve our health.