Sunday, March 24, 2013

Real talk about weight loss

I almost never post on Sundays anymore, but this is important, so I'm making an exception to the rule.  Also, I am going to proclaim right now that I am going to be painfully blunt in this post.  If you don't like that, I will be returning to my non-controversial posting tomorrow.  I love the idea that I blog about things that are 100% for me on the weekends.  Beers, my local scene, and now I'm adding in my unfiltered opinions.  When I look back, I have a feeling that these will be the posts I cherish the most.

Yesterday when I stepped on the scale, I saw a number that made me elated.  So elated, in fact, that I had to do a happy dance, THEN wake Ammon up long enough to share my news.  For the first time since sometime in 2011, the number on the scale was < 150.  Way back in 2007 when I toiled really hard to lose an awful lot of weight, I promised myself to never cross the 150 threshold again.  When I did so 4 years later, it was really painful for me, and even more painful when I couldn't get it under control for well over a year.  Is it far enough under 150 that I think it's permanent?  No.  I believe in weighing myself daily, for a lot of really scientific and physiological reasons, but chief among them that you need to take a running average of your daily weights to get the best sense of the actual weight you are currently fluctuating around.  When you weigh in once a week, or once a month, you run the risk of having a water-retaining day, or of not having had good poops the day before.  Also, I think people obsess when they weigh in once a week.  That number looms, man.  When I weigh in daily, that number just represents my state today.  Maybe I had way too much salt last night, and so I am up 2.5 pounds.  It'll be gone within 2 days.  However, if I see the number slowly inching, I know that I need to do something, because that is a sure sign I'm gaining for reals.  So once I'm under 150 for at least 5 days in a row, I will believe that I am actually and legitimately under 150. 

There's something else about weight loss that I don't get.  It's why people think that it should be easy, or that they should be able to lose the weight "no problem".  I try really flipping hard to be the ridiculously supportive blogger buddy who supports and uplifts every single person on their journey.  I like to think that I do a pretty good job of it most of the time.  However, when you talk about how you fall of the wagon and binge, or you don't work out for a week, or how you can't handle it when you gain a pound or two (and you're weighing weekly, not daily), I just want to scream.  Because there is no such thing as easy weight loss.  Losing weight and keeping it off is one of the hardest things that I have ever done.  Stop looking for the easy way and get to work.  Step away from the baked goods.  Drink water.  Go for a walk after dinner instead of snacking until 10pm.  It isn't rocket science.  You don't need a 4 year degree in Exercise Science to make good choices (although that degree does give me an awful lot of cool factoids to back up my good choices with), you just need to exercise common sense and your body.

And here's another thing:  Stop assuming that you "deserve" to see results unless you are giving everything you have to earn those results, and have consistently been doing so for several weeks.  I was on a plateau for the last 3.5 weeks, and I stayed my course.  I didn't give up, and I didn't throw a temper tantrum over it.  I did my thing, knowing that sooner or later my body was going to start responding again.  It did when it decided that I had earned it.  I swear, my body knows how to humble me and remind me that getting to my ideal takes more than a few weeks, more than a few token workouts.  It takes a dedication that transcends my weekly results.  It takes an unending commitment to my end game.

I'm sure by now you have noticed that I am perpetually setting a goal before myself.  This is always my end game, and I focus on that one goal with reckless abandon.  Right now it's looking HOTT in my wedding photos.  After that it will be finishing my fist half marathon.  And after that it will probably be on being a healthy host to a parasitic life form.  But right now, I fantasize about those wedding photos.  On nipping another inch from my wedding dress bodice.  On having tight arms that don't have to be photoshopped.  That is what pushes me forward through all of this.  It is why I continue when I don't feel like it.  It is what stops me from having a second glass of wine, or eating sugar, or skipping a workout, or whatever the temptation may be.  My end goal is greater and more important than any temptation you could set before me.  If you can not say the same thing, then maybe you really aren't ready for this process.  You aren't mentally there yet.  And there's nothing wrong with that.  But when you are met with resistance and temptation, your real desires tend to be revealed.  Get painfully honest with yourself.  When you are ready, you will move heaven and hell in order to meet your goals.  But before that you will be on board for a week or two, then something will come along and knock you off track.  It happens to everyone.  But don't make excuses when it happens.  Don't blame the event that knocked you off track.  It wasn't that.  It was YOU.

This is the paragraph where I would usually try to kiss and make up with all of you looking at me with "that" look.  But for what it's worth, my classes in college all substantiate the things I just talked about.  They all point to these factors as being critical for long term compliance with a diet and exercise program.  And those people who taught me those principles are at the forefront of obesity management research.  They aren't slouches, and I trust them.  Does this mean that I'm going to stop being supportive of you?  No.  I have had these thoughts all along.  It just means that I can't go on with this game unless I got all of this out.  Health and weight loss are topics that I am 100% passionate about, and I could talk for hours on.  I welcome your thoughts and opinions too.


  1. From a girl who may be guilty of some of the things you wrote about, I 100% agree! I've been choosing to share my own story, because I know that when I do hit my end goal I'll be so glad to have my mini "progress reports" of how I got there! I think what you said about needing to have a mental change before a long-lasting physical change will happen is completely on point. I've too often in the past fell victim to that myself- that I just tried to white knuckle through weight loss when really I wasn't mentally prepared for it- of course, it didn't work out so well. This time around, the weight loss and getting healthier overall IS my priority, and I'm treating it as such. I'm conscious of what I'm eating and how much I'm eating, I make sure that I get my workouts in, but I'm also realistic with myself- I will allow a little snack in every once in a while, because cutting those things out completely is, for me at least, unlikely to stick long-term. But the key is that I only do them occasionally. I'm also on the scale everyday, because I like seeing how my body reacts daily, rather than putting too much emphasis on a weekly reminder. That would stress me out too much! So this is pretty much a novel I just wrote- sorry for that :)

    That being said, I thank you for the support you give, because I always love reading your comments when I post about my own journey- which I think has been a pretty darn good one so far :) And congrats to you for being under 150!!! Whoo hooo!

  2. Its really hard to stay the course when I know there are kettle chips to be eaten. So i chose them for snack cheat day. But i understand so much about this. its a struggle and frustrating and i hope that i can succeed just like you. What an inspiration you are.

  3. Girl I am giving you a standing ovation right now.

    Nutrition is actually a huge passion of mine even though I haven't talked a lot about it. It was even my major in college for awhile. What you're saying is 100% true. It is absolutely not easy. Not even close! But I think losing weight and eating well is the most rewarding thing you can do for yourself. My weight has fluctuated a lot in the past 4 years (I typed that thinking I was still 22. I just had a heart attack when I realized my age. Whoa. Moving on!). I've gained it and lost it and gained it back. It has become extra hard to keep weight off as I've gotten older and now have a desk job. I have to REALLY make an effort now, whereas in college I walked to campus and all over campus everyday, PLUS I went to the gym. I don't have that anymore, but I'm learning how to still be active and eat well and lose weight. It's all about consistency. I am so proud of you and your hard work.

  4. I think you are SO right... you just have to show up and DO THE WORK. We're so programmed to want to take the "easy route". Constantly searching for what's "convenient" rather than what's going to be the most beneficial. Since really changing my lifestyle over the past few months, I've noticed SUCH a difference... but I'll still get those cravings for junk, eat it, and then be like "Why did I do that?! I just feel crappy now."

    Although, I do have to say, it's hard for me to hop on the scale. The whole number thing really freaks me out. I just hate having that as my focus. I'm really trying to guage things based on how I'm feeling, and how I'm looking... (hellooooo arm definition, oh how I've missed you...)

    BRAVO to you for sticking with it! Every time I see your pictures on Instagram, I'm always waving a celebratory flag in your direction :)

  5. Ummm.... yikes. First, good for you for where you are! I'm proud of you. But I'm going to go lick my wounds and cry because you yelled at me for calling you and bitching about my 3 pound gain. And... I can't weigh myself every day because it's too much pressure for me. I'd obsess about every little ounce change. Better for me to do it once a week. And... that's why there are 1029831029410357957 opinions and varieties to weight loss programs.

  6. I'm elated that you're elated :) being healthy and feeling good about yourself is soooo important!

  7. Preach it, sister. And I hope you give me a good kick in the pants after I have this baby and am trying to be back to pre-preg weight. I won't need the kick for workouts. My eating habits, on the other hand... Those could use some work, methinks.

  8. I think the eating thing is most challenging.

    Although honestly, I shouldn't talk at all. I'm naturally really petite and my mom is really petite. It's not that my weight hasn't fluctuated - it has, but I've never weighed more than 110 lbs.

    But from watching people like IC's mom who wants to be healthy and fit, she has no idea that the food she is consuming is a large part to why the scale isn't showing what she wants. Because she leaves out all the nibbles and bites she has between meals and thinks she's eating a healthy diet. (and it's not like she's huge...or needs desperately needs to lose weight, but she talks about it a lot).

    Anyhoo, my point is, preach on sister. Preach on.

  9. whoa whoa whoa whoa.

    Listen. I've never had a weight problem, outside of when I needed to gain weight. All I know for sure is that diet and eating properly are key elements to maintaining a healthy weight. you can run until you shit your pants, but you gotta watch what you eat.

    sorry for saying "*shit, twice.


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