Finally, the scale is moving again. After such a long, frustrating time of stepping on the scale and seeing the same number (or, the horror, A HIGHER NUMBER), finally, FINALLY, my hard work is being rewarded. I know what you’re thinking: I must have fallen off the diet wagon, right? I messed up, and that’s why the scale stopped cooperating. Nope, I did everything right.
- Creating a calorie deficit between calories consumed and calories burned: check!
- Eating healthier foods: check!
- Exercising several days a week: check!
And yet, with all those healthy choices, with all that hard work, the scale WOULD. NOT BUDGE. How long was I stuck in this horrific nightmare of no-progress, you ask? A week. A whole week! Look, I get it: Weight loss is not linear and you shouldn’t get hung up on the numbers from day to day, or even week to week. I know all that, I do, but my anxiety does not want to hear all that logic nonsense. My anxiety wants me to get on the scale multiple times a day in the hopes of seeing a “good” number, a number that makes me feel like I’m on the right track. My anxiety wants me to exercise harder or eat less based on the number on the scale even though I know those daily choices won’t have the desired overall effect. My anxiety knows that if I don’t weigh myself every day then I won’t know if I’m “doing it right” and then I might keep doing the wrong thing for days or weeks and I don’t have that kind of time to waste. I’m turning 31 next month. I’m an old lady with no time to lose.
Look, I’ve all the articles, I’ve done the research. I know I shouldn’t weigh myself every day. I know I shouldn’t care what the scale says. And if you figure out some way to make my brain stop worrying about things, let me know. I would greatly appreciate the information.
To be fair, I’m doing really well so far. I weighed 309 pounds on February 9 when I first started trying to lose weight. I joined Weight Watchers since I’ve used it before and needed to start somewhere. A few weeks in, I switched to counting calories using my Fitbit app which works well for me and doesn’t cost $20 a month like WW online, so I dropped my WW membership and have been happily, freely counting calories since. When the scale decided to stop cooperating, I had lost 22 pounds in less that two months, which is insanely good progress. Some people will tell you “that’s too fast, you should only lose 1-2 pounds a week!” That advice, like most things in this world, is tailored to people much smaller than I am. I found an article recently positing 1% loss of body weight per week as a more reasonable and widely applicable goal and I like that. Getting information about weight loss that actually applies to the people who actually need to lose a lot of weight is super refreshing. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re someone who needs to lose 10, 20, 50, etc. pounds (ie, way less than I need to lose), I’m not judging you and I’m not saying your journey isn’t difficult, because I know it is. Honestly, I’m jealous. Why didn’t I realize I needed to make a change sooner? How did I get to the point where I weighed over 300 pounds, for multiple years? What was I thinking? How did I fail so thoroughly?
Sigh. That’s where my mind goes several times a day and then the depression kicks in and then I want to drown my sorrows in a whole pizza and an entire bottle of wine. So far, I’ve managed to resist the urge to fall back into bad habits by reminding myself how much progress I’ve already made. As of today, I’ve lost 25 pounds! That’s a significant amount of weight, I’m actually really proud of myself…well, I was proud of myself until I wrote that line and then started thinking about the 135 pounds I still need to lose just to get into the very top of the healthy weight range. That’s a big number, maybe even an impossible number for me. It certainly feels impossible when the scale doesn’t move or when I take my body measurements and my stomach still feels absurdly huge even when the numbers tell me I’ve lost a few inches in my waist since last month.
To make matters even more complicated, on top of my distress over aging and my anxiety about weight loss, I’m constantly struggling with the idea that I haven’t done anything worthwhile with my life. I left the only career I knew a few years ago and, while I’m very happy to be away from that nightmare, it’s hard knowing that I’ve wasted my twenties. I’m taking web development classes, I’m learning marketable skills, but I know that being qualified doesn’t guarantee I’ll ever get hired. So, then I will have wasted a ton of money and still be a failure. Delightful.
So, consider that your crash course in me. This blog will be filled with frustration and excitement and distress and probably more than a few tears. Hope you enjoy!