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Fitness Update - Trust the plan



213.2

That is what the scale said this morning. After 2 weeks of being back on track with Lose It!, trying to watch what I eat, working out like crazy, and weighing in every day, I am at 213.2 pounds, exactly where I started.

During this time I weighed in at 210.4 after a run, and in a shocking development, I had a 3 pound upward spike and hit 215.6, later that day it was 216.2. I was stunned, but not surprised. It happened on Wednesday to Thursday. I knew I was going to go out to eat twice on Wednesday. I had a sushi lunch with my boss, and that night I had a business meeting over dinner. I started off the day with the 9 mile run to earn myself some points, to counterbalance the meals I knew were coming. Apparently it did not work

There are a couple of schools of thought about how often the person should weigh in while they are trying to lose weight. When I worked with Weight Watchers a few years ago we had a weekly weigh-in that was our “official” weigh-in. I always liked having mine on Mondays because it helped me stay focused over the weekend. They encouraged fewer weigh-ins in order to not get discouraged by spikes like the one I had this week. I go the other direction; I weigh-in every day, write it down, and worry. I don’t really worry, I just get frustrated, but I know if I stick with the plan that it will work in the long run.

While it was distressing to see a 3 pound spike I knew it was coming. I knew that with sushi and Chinese food there was no way I was going to avoid it, however, I knew it would come off quickly as well, and it did. I am back to where I started.

If Wednesday was my weigh-in day on a weekly schedule I would have been devastated to be up so much with 7 full days to wait to see if I have any changes.

I like to correlate what I eat with what I weigh, though I know that is not an exact science. Water weight, bowel habits, calories versus roughage versus bulk, all play into what the scale says. Also, there is not a daily correlation because what I eat today does not get metabolized before I go to bed, it has to work its way through the system in the body pulls out fat, sugar, nutrients, and water, and does all sorts of miraculous things with it. Unfortunately, some of that miracle involves storing fat so I have to get away from the idea of “dodging a bullet” on days when I eat poorly.

Just because I have a good weigh-ion the next day, doesn’t mean the bad news is over. The cheeseburger and fries I eat today doesn’t count until tomorrow or the next when my body’s done with it.

The key is to not get discouraged.

Gaining weight is easy, losing weight is hard. We all know that but we somehow think we have the magic bullet solution. We think that if we drink lots of water, avoid one particular food like chocolate, or go to the gym for a little bit longer that it will work before the next wedding, date night, shopping trip, or trip to the scale.

The one thing I have not yet measured during this round is my body fat percentage. At my old gym I had access to some of the trainers and their tools and a body fat meter was one of them. I have a feeling that my body fat percentage is going down, but that usually just turns out to be wishful thinking.

It is like today in the pool. I am getting better in the pool. I am swimming longer without stopping which is my main goal, endurance. I am not, however, getting much faster. That is all about technique and energy level. Today I swam for 45 minutes without stopping, at my pace that is 45 laps or 1.25 miles. That is very good. I do not, however, know how fast I was really going. In the middle of the swim I felt very fast I was at a good stroke pace (stop giggling) and felt like I was moving along better than usual. But when I looked at my watch, reality struck and I was still right around the one minute per lap pace I’m always at.

The fact that I felt good, felt fast, and wasn’t getting tired is the best sign, but my optimism always outstrips reality, and I think I’m faster, leaner, or better than I am. Coldhearted measurements me bring me back to earth but, like the scale, they do improve over time so I have to keep measuring. I have to keep track because in the long run, it gets better.

So don’t get discouraged in your plan. Keep track, write it down, measure the progress, and allow yourself time. Allow yourself to have good days and bad days, fast ones and slow ones. If you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up, just get out the next day. If it is too cold outside, do something inside. If you are too tired, be extra good with your eating. Increase your water, eat more vegetables, make simple changes that allow you to feel good about each day.

If anyone has particular ideas on what is working for them, please share them in the comments, I hope that these Monday posts can act as inspiration for more than just me.

Never give up the fight! No healthy choices ever wasted, no effort goes unnoticed,, and every step is a step in the right direction.
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