Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Week Seven, Almost There: Women's Magazines and Scales

Open any women’s magazine, point to a page at random, and chances are the contents will be about weight loss. (Actually it will be an ad. For a weight loss product. Or mascara.) But if the page talks about weight loss, then somewhere amongst the five ways you can lose two inches in two weeks, the author will mention how scales are not accurate measurements of weight loss progress for the short term. They get too confused over silly things like bloating and can’t tell when I haven’t, in fact, gained half a pound, because I’ve been so good so something else must be going on.

Even though it should go both ways, I (like most people) don’t question the number on the scale when it’s lower than it was the week before. I don’t think, Oh, that’s not a real loss, I’m a bit dehydrated at the moment. Hell no - I do a mockery football-touchdown dance and gleefully mark it in whatever place I’m using to track everything. But if the number isn’t what I like, I quickly think over any possible reason that could explain how I could have actually lost weight and the scale just isn’t reflecting it. Sometimes it’s true - even my fancy body fat scale can change its own numbers if I weigh myself in different parts of the room - sometimes I just ate too much, and need to accept that the number might be accurate.

This is one of the reasons tracking calories can be so helpful. A couple of months ago, it helped me realize that bloat wasn't the culprit in my stagnating weight, just conveniently forgotten bad days. Hence my “reboot” plan to be more aware of calories. Currently, I am on the last week of my Eight Week Reboot plan and my average calorie intake is still on the "one pound loss per week train," of which I’m proud. I'd like it to be a little higher, but one pound a week adds up.

To more pounds.

According to the numbers - assuming I burn 1850 on an average day - I “should” see an eight pound loss when I step on the scale next week. That would bring me to 183 or so. Whatever the scale says, I know I’ve shed nearly eight pound from my body, and I have the data to prove this. So while I really want to see that number and then get the hell out of the 180s forever, I need to be okay with that not happening.

The last week of this plan will have some challenges. J and I will be heading north with the rest of my family for the wedding of a close family friend, and I’ll be taking off work this Friday to drive up to Connecticut. I’m so excited for the wedding, but will need to remind myself I don’t need to eat everything in order to properly celebrate. And just because I’m not at home in a familiar setting doesn’t mean I’m missing out if I say no. J will be there with me, that will help a lot, and I’ll do my best.


I have no official meal plan for this week since we’re heading out on Thursday and I’m making dinners based on what I find in the fridge. However, I did accomplish my main food-related Sunday goal, which is to make one dish that can serve as lunch for at least four days during the week. This week is vegetable lo mein - made with lo mein noodles, purple cabbage, onions, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. It’s not ideal protein-wise but I have some dairy on the side. Making one dish to serve for multiple lunches is cheaper and removes the decision of what to eat or how to estimate it during lunchtime.

As I’ve said, this is the last “official” week of my plan, but I’m going to keep going with this method of 1000-1100 calories per day, and then perhaps start increasing the calories over time. having a lower goal actually helps me end up in a good deficit place because there’s such a good cushion. Cheap psychological trick, but effective. I’ve felt great, eaten well and haven’t been hungry, so I’ll continue on this way.

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