The capricious workings of my internal combustion engine

cereal-805436_1920I’m fascinated – in a morbid kind of way – by the mysterious workings of my body.

Beneath my slowly diminishing folds of flesh, there is a processing plant of epic proportions, and a workforce of a billion trillion friendly bacteria, spinning nutritional gold out of the straw I consume; masticating, dissolving, digesting, extracting, absorbing, burning and eliminating.  Miles of colonic conveyor belt progress the rawest of materials along their 18-24-hour journey, mopping up the toxins and separating out the nutrients, transforming them into the fuel of my very existence.

What fascinates me more than anything about those mysterious workings is how the heck my body somehow manages randomly to increase and decrease weight on a daily basis, in a way which bears little to no relevance to the actual weight or volume of food I’ve consumed or (to put it delicately) the waste I have eliminated.

For me, this translates into moments of quite insane frustration, as I jump on the scales each morning.  Thank goodness for the weekly average weight my Fitbit shows me. If not for this, I would wonder if I were losing weight at all.  That weekly average tells me I am, even though, from one day to the next, my weight sometimes goes up by almost two pounds! How does that happen?

I look back at the food I consumed on one such frustrating day (the last time I fell foul of my capricious colon, a few days ago) – a breakfast of muesli with fruit and nuts, and a dollop of yoghurt, a lunchtime snack-on-the-run of a few slivers of chorizo and cheese; in the early evening, a salad (a mass of green stuff and seeds, no weighty dressing) topped with oven-baked salmon. Oh, and my one indulgence, a single handful of salted peanuts – I know, that was a bit naughty. Apart from that, there was water (I’m trying hard – a never-ending battle – to drink more water) and black coffee. That’s the sum of it.

So how come the magnificent processing plant beneath my skin managed to turn that into almost two pounds of added weight in the space of 24 hours?

I’m confounded, briefly, but whilst frustrated, I cannot afford to let it get me down. I weigh myself every day, and I’ve seen this happen time and time again. I know I’ll bounce back and on another day, perhaps one when I’ve consumed my own body-weight in soft fruit, my fickle internal factory will have somehow converted that into vapour, and I’ll see a pound or two loss that I don’t believe I deserve.

This is, however, why I think it’s worth weighing yourself every day. You get used to the unpredictable performance of your personal processing plant. You learn not to get too excited when you see an inexplicably large drop, nor too miserable when you’re dealt a mysterious body mass blow. And there’s always tomorrow, just a day a-weigh.

But focus your attention on that weekly average, because that’s where all becomes clear. And as long as that line on the graph is heading steadily downwards, you know you’re getting there.

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Author: Jools

Abundant, Bold, Confident, Determined, Empathetic, Forthright, Grumpy, Healthier, Individual, Just me, Kind, Loving, Mellifluous, Natural, Optimistic, imPatient, Quirky, Real-world, Single-minded, unTreatable, Unwound, Verbal, Wilful, eXtraordinary, Young and old, Zero-tolerance.

18 thoughts on “The capricious workings of my internal combustion engine”

  1. I was always told to only use the scales once a week, as the water content of our bodies varies from day to day. I tend to be in agreement that weighing once a week gives a more accurate picture.

    1. It’s an individual thing, Stevie. I’ve weighed weekly before, and this time, daily. So far I’m seeing my greatest success at bringing my eating habits under control, with a daily weigh-in, frustrating as it can sometimes be.

  2. Whenever I eat popcorn at the movie theater, I’m always a two pounds heavier the next day. All that salt leaves me fluid overloaded, I guess. Which I suppose means I should stop eating it…

  3. Scales are evil pieces of equiptment they whisper “look at me go on go on.” Then they lie, tell you that you put on weight although your trousers are loose. But we need them like an adict needs tobacco, a woman needs to look good.😇

    1. I do find it more helpful to weigh every day – because even when I get one of those frustrating days, I only have one 24-hour period to go, to get another marker in the sand. When you weigh only weekly, keeping up that motivation after a ‘bad weigh’ is all the harder.

  4. I agree that a daily weigh-in with an average weekly record is the best approach. Daily fluctuation ups may be due to water gain (excess salt, fibre or carbs which all make you retain water but not necessarily fat). Likewise a low weigh-in may be due to abnormal dehydration for the day. An average weight is the best approach for me and keeps me motivated.

    1. It’s working for me, and I’ve mostly got used to the weird ups and downs, and not getting too disheartened. It’s surprising, how much difference water/fluid makes to the picture, but once you understand how random it can look, it’s easier to ride the waves!

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