Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Daily Weigh

Weight: 333.2
Total loss: 16.8 pounds

Well, I went up a pound from yesterday. I can feel bloat in my hands, so that doesn't surprise me. I also had to improvise a little last night for dinner as I attending this professional development seminar for artists, food provided. I made due with the sandwiches they offered, but it turned out that I ate a wee bit too much. If only I hadn't touched that chicken salad sandwich before I realized what it was! Well, it's OK. I've probably got some water retention, not to mention that after almost a week's worth of losing and losing, I'm not surprised to see a little spike. But read on!

You may have noticed that I weigh myself every day. That's because I am a PhysicsDiet convert.

You can look at the scale issue from many angles. On one hand, when I first started to lose weight in early January, I didn't have a scale. We used to have one, but it only went up to 300-something (probably 330), and both The Guy and I surpassed that limit a while ago, so when we moved into the house in July, the scale was chucked.

Anyway, I also happened to be pretty broke back in January (ah, so long ago, it seems!), so I didn't have the extra funds to buy a scale that suited our needs until three or four weeks in. I have to say, after years of being scale-obsessed, it was really liberating to be free from those numbers and the effect they would have on my mood any given day. It was nice, and I felt better just eating better foods and less of them. I knew I was doing well even if I didn't have numbers telling me so.

At the same time I really wanted to know where I was at. Also, there is no denying that having a quantitative measure of my success would help keep me motivated. So I did buy a scale. It weighs up to 380 pounds (The Guy is also big, and he's taller than me, so he was right up there). Initially I was having mixed feelings about it, because I do tend to get obsessed by the numbers and wanted to weigh every morning. I also know that it's usually recommended that someone who's losing weight only weigh once a week, because all sorts of biological fluctuations can show up in funny ways on a scale and end up being discouraging.

Once I discovered Physics Diet, where you do weigh in every day, I realized that there is more than one way to look at the daily weigh. Sure, it can be devastating for some dieters, but if you see the daily weigh as merely data collection that becomes part of a bigger picture, it can be a really useful tool. It takes the emotion out of it for me. The scale is no longer a judge, it is simply a reporter when viewed in this way.

As I have mentioned before, I don't fully understand all the math and science behind this stuff, but I do love the graphs and charts that result. You can see here on the Public Profiles page what I am talking about. You can click on mine (listed as "radiosilents") and see how an average loss is computed and that, even if you hit a rough spot or a plateau, it gives you a beautiful overall picture of progress, which of course further motivates!

I'm not saying this approach is for everyone (The Guy is totally not even willing to check it out), but for me and many others it is just the ticket for a more successful, less frustrating journey.

4 comments:

BioGirl said...

Hi there
Hardly a blip on the PhysicsDiet graph! Seriously - that's what I'm finding so amazing about it - if you go up, the trend line is generally still going down, and if you go down, it just comes down even faster! You can't lose. Pschologically unhooking all that emotion from those increased numbers on the scale is so powerful.
I must admit that the seminar snacks (I attend a good number of those) are a real killer - the best bet is to eat beforehand, and not be seduced by the 'free food' tag - just because it's free, doesn't mean you HAVE to eat it! (Same goes for meal at restuarants - it's not a crime to not eat everything!) We're all so programmed not to waste, and get a bargain (supersize anyone?), that it's really hard to resist.
I used to plan not to pack lunch on the days we had seminars because I knew there was free food, now I make it a point to make alternative plans - then graze on the fruit and veg nibbles instead of the sandwiches (or, gulp, pies!).
Anyway - part of this whole process is figuring out how to deal with these sorts of situations.

p.s. I'm happy to be your first commenter! You're on my blog list now to check when I log on, so you won't get rid of me any time soon!

radiosilents said...

Yeah, that's why I love PhysicsDiet so much, too -- plus, it's not really a diet in the way people think. So that's two really big pluses in my book.

As for the seminar food... it wasn't exactly free as I paid a lump sum to attend a series of them, which culminates in a big shindig at the end in NYC, so I guess I feel like, Well, I paid for this food, so I'm not going to pay again for something else! Ha ha. I guess what happened was that I underestimated the calorie counts on things overall vs. what I had leftover for dinner, and that I touched the chicken salad sandwich before I realized what it was. I couldn't exactly touch it and then not take it, right? Well, I guess I could have taken it anyway and just not eaten it, too.

But, I as I keep telling myself, this is a learning process, a science experiment, a "this is the result when you take this action, so don't do it again" kind of thing as opposed to the "oh no, I totally f*cked up and now I will go back to my old way of living because it is totally hopeless"... it's a really great feeling to KNOW that in my heart.

:)

kitmouse said...

I haven't checked out the Physics diet yet, but that's TOTALLY what I'm doing and how I'm thinking. Someone said to me, "you're an exquisite problem solver" and I agreed, saying that I was a scientist and that's what we do. Then it occured to me...wait, step back. It's all DATA, dork (talking to myself, of course)! It's not an emotional thing, it's not a judgment, it's not whether I'm a good person or not. It's just data! That flipped a switch in me and I could see a way to make this really, really work for me and the way my mind processes information.

radiosilents said...

kitmouse,

It's a total revelation that now seems so obvious to me, I'm not sure how I never thought of it before...