A Bumpy Ride #weightloss

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I’ve made it to my latest mini-milestone – I finally got to 60 pounds’ weight loss.  But that last four pounds has been very slow to shift. And tough too; a real bumpy ride.

I got to my last mini-milestone (56 pounds/four stone loss) on 1st May.  Thrilled, I re-set my Fitbit goal to the next marker, just four pounds further down the scales, and that enticing round number – 60 pounds. I figured it would take me maybe three weeks, four at the outside, to crush those little babies.

2016-06-17 06.58.08But I’ve been thrown about since then – up a bit, down a bit; tantalisingly close one minute (ten whole days ago!) and then, like a wartime bouncing bomb, soaring back up the scales, out of reach and frustrated beyond all reason. You can see, can’t you?

But yesterday I had reason to break all my usual habits. I had to go into Central London very early to attend a client event. I missed my morning walk.  I missed my usual breakfast. Instead I teetered (high heels, friends) into a branch of Pure in Moorgate and treated myself to a tub of scrambled egg and mushrooms, accompanied by an astoundingly good smoothie made from kale, spinach, avocado, orange, apple and mint. Lunch was laid on – but fifteen platters of sandwiches, rolls and wraps offered scant choice for little low-carb me, so I necked an obscene amount of black coffee instead and breathed through the hunger.  It subsided soon enough. When I got home, I made a giant fresh salad, topped with prawns and chorizo sautéed in coconut oil and garlic.  Happy days.   All this, it seems, was just enough to make that last stubborn pound surrender, and this morning… my scales gave me the best news.

Seven weeks it’s taken. SEVEN. Gah!

Oh, I know. I’ll probably have bounced right back up again after today. But I’m going to bask in my latest success for a few hours longer. I’ve already recalibrated my Fitbit app to the next mini-milestone, just six pounds away (the 30 kilo weight-loss mark, for those of you who work in new money).

I wrote about mini-milestones a while back, and they continue to inspire my progress.  Most of them are between five and ten pounds apart, which means that with a following wind, I get to celebrate (in a non-food kind of a way) every few weeks. When you have a BIG weight-loss goal, in three figures, (mine is somewhere between 100-130 pounds, depending on how I feel when I get a little closer), those mini-milestones are precious indeed.

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To weigh, or not to weigh; that is the question

weigh-689873_1920Every dieter there ever was has been told, ‘don’t weigh yourself too often’. Once a week is enough, we’re told. But I beg to disagree. And it seems these days, that even the experts are on my side.

Previously when I’ve been trying to lose weight, I would weigh myself every seven days. That’s what they said you should do.  Weigh yourself too often, they said, and you’ll become obsessive about it.

That pre-shower moment on Monday mornings could make or break my week.  It could catapult me into orbit… ‘oh, the joy, I’ve lost TWO pounds!’… or it could send me plummeting into a pit of irrational desperation.  Yes, it can be so disheartening, after a week of careful eating and energetic exercise, to get that exquisitely cruel Monday Morning Feeling, when the weighing scales refuse to play ball.

In truth, it happens, for so many reasons:

  • You had a big dinner last night
  • You usually starve yourself on Sundays and this week, you didn’t
  • You’re retaining water, time-of-the-month stylie
  • You forgot yourself and drank a glass of water before you jumped on the scales
  • Your obstinate body is retaining water for no apparent reason
  • You drank too much water
  • You didn’t drink enough water
  • You drank wine last night – heaven forfend!
  • You consumed a Twiglet, a toffee bonbon, a KitKat… [insert favourite temptation here]
  • You’re exercising, so you’re building muscle
  • You’re not exercising so you’re laying down fat
  • Your once rigorously controlled portion sizes have begun to creep up
  • Your colon is in a sluggish mood
  • You haven’t been for a couple of days
  • You’re not eating enough fibre
  • You’re eating too much meat
  • You have plateaued, the dieter’s ultimate frustration…

A few weeks after I acquired my Fitbit, I treated myself to some Fitbit Aria scales. They link up to my Fitbit app via Bluetooth. I step on the scales and a minute later, the result is pinging up on my iPhone.  Up until my Aria scales came into service, I had weighed myself once a week.  It was alright at first, as everyone knows weight loss in the first 3 or 4 weeks is (thanks to water loss) swift and encouraging. Once things slow down though, it’s a different matter.

Once a week just isn’t enough (for me…).

But I’d noticed the experts had changed their tune. Apparently now, if it helps you (oh, the breakthrough!), it’s okay to weigh yourself every day. Well, that’s alright then.

So with Aria, I began to weigh… every day.  At first it was chaotic.  I went up. I went down. I went up on days I thought I’d go down, and down on days I thought I’d go up. Then I realised Aria for all its high-tech digital Bluetoothyness, is no more accurate than any other set of scales, so I began to go for a best of three approach. Aria would present me with three weights – sometimes, horror of horrors, they’d be a pound or more apart! So I would choose the middle one (unless I needed cheering up, in which case it would, with only the tiniest twinge of guilt, and the knowledge that I would surely suffer for it tomorrow, be the bottom one). One day I did best of five but even I knew that was taking things too far.  Obsessive? Moi?

So, I have a daily weight figure, but I’ve learned not to hold too much store by it.  The good thing is, if I don’t like it, I don’t have to suffer for a week; there’ll be another one along tomorrow.

Best of all, Aria takes all those daily weights and gives me a mean average figure for each week, and that’s the one that really counts in my book. I can see from that figure, what I can’t see from the up/down concertina effect daily graph – that I am… going down, and down.  And here’s the proof – a little Excel spreadsheet of my weekly averages over the last 5 months or so.  Except for one nightmare week in November, even the weeks which looked like a plateau have given me me a little downward tweak of the weekly average figure.

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A definite downward line, for all the ziggy-zaggy that goes on each week. And that works for me.