This week has seen more non-scale victories, more lessons learned, and more weight lost. I’ll give the weigh-in results first and then the others. This morning I weighed 331 pounds. That is 53 total pounds lost on this program (in 6 weeks). I have reached 32% of my goal. If you look back over the past few weeks this one’s numbers are far less dramatic. I lost four pounds from last week. While this may not be nearly as impressive as the ten plus pounds lost in the earlier weeks, it is a far healthier and normal amount to lose on this program. I’ve learned that it is normal to start out with quite impressive losses and then balance down into a healthier rate of loss.
One thing I did this week was create a tool on Excel to help me record each step and predict possible outcomes. There is a table where I enter each week’s numbers and it compiles total pounds lost and calculates the percentage of goal. I can also query how many weeks to expect to reach goal if a certain weekly loss is maintained. For example, it tells me that from where I am now, if I average this week’s four pounds per week then it will take me just over 27 weeks, or 6 ½ months to reach my goal weight. I wanted to have this so that a few weeks from now, if I have some unreal expectations I can look back and see that I am actually right on track—it will also help me to see a problem early enough to fix it.
This brings up a lesson learned this week. Like most people, I have a problem with unrealistic expectations. One such expectation is the amount of weight to be lost each week. Recently I fell into the habit of looking to the scale each day—sometimes multiple times per day. The problem is that our weight can fluctuate all through the day and from day to day. I would look at the scale and see either the same weight as days before, or even a couple times it would look like I might have gained weight. However, I’ve learned to look at other things than the scale. While it is nice to see those numbers progress lower and lower, there are other benefits to losing weight that don’t involve a scale.
One way to overcome this ‘tyranny of the scale’ is to look for non-scale victories and not let the numbers dictate your mood. Also understand that, while it is nice to lose huge amounts (10 lbs. or more per week), such loss over an extended period is not healthy and can cause great problems. If you are like me, it took years to get overweight and unhealthy and such problems will not go away in a few weeks or even months. It can take a lifetime of good choices to correct a lifetime of bad choices. Go slow, have real expectations and look for good results that don’t just involve numbers on a scale.
I’ve had several good non-scale victories. Some I have shared before, like being taken off of meds for prediabetes. This week I found out I no longer need my C-PAP machine to sleep. I had discovered I could sleep without it, but the doctor insisted I use it until I had another sleep test. The latest sleep test shows I still have apnea, but it is mild enough to be treated with sleeping position and continued weight loss. Yesterday I had another such victory. Just a couple weeks ago I fit into old pants that had been too tight. I also cheered when I was able to go buy shorts off the shelf at a department store—instead of spending an arm and a leg at a Big & Tall specialty store. Then I was able to buy shirts there as well. Now, I have lost even more weight and had to go shopping for new pants. I was able to buy jeans off the shelf at the same department store. Let me explain why this is such a victory. Right now I am wearing several items of clothing including undergarments, a button down shirt, denim jeans and a leather belt—aren’t you glad to know I don’t write these in my birthday suit? All of these items were purchased off the shelf at a local department store. The reason this is exciting is that the combined cost of all of them was significantly less than a single pair of shorts at the specialty store I had to buy clothes from just over a month ago. I will always cheer loudly about stretching my budget and getting more for my money.