Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Weighing Every Day

***NERD ALERT***

Well...here I am...

...thinking about weighing every day.

There are about as many opinions on weighing every day as there are people trying to lose weight.

Some folks like the accountability they get from weighing every day, while the thought of weighing every day drives other folks right slap up a tree.

I've discovered that I'm one of those folks who likes to weigh every day.  However, there is a caveat.  That caveat is the fact that I also plot my weight.

In the past, each time I weighed, the weight was compared against the previous weight loss, whether it was from the previous day or the previous week.  Because my brain is full of so much useless information, it was difficult for me to remember much more than that.  As a result, my measure of success or failure was based on two points.  If you know anything about math, you know that two points can't give you the big picture.

For some reason that I don't know, I decided to weigh myself on a daily basis and to record that weight.  Shortly after that, I decided to plot my weight.  Now, since I'm the ultimate nerd  (I even wear plastic black-rimmed glasses!), I keep a spreadsheet, akin to a food diary, to maintain a record.  After I put in my weight, the spreadsheet automatically updates to show new statistics.  I also update the graph on my blog every day along with the weight itself.

Now, mind you, most of these stats aren't really needed, but being a nerd, I like seeing the various numbers.  I've turned into my own science experiment.  The one thing that has been quite informative to me, in addition to the graph itself, is the notes I have for each day.  The notes are simple - whether or not I ate out, if I took some medication other than daily meds, or if I started.  Simple one/two word notes.

One thing I like about the graph is that is really is giving me the "big picture".  I can see that my weight is going down - really going down.  It's not water weight, it's real weight.  It also shows me that my weight fluctuates, which is totally normal.  The graph leaves no question that my weight is on the way down and I'm on a good path.

If I didn't have the graph, I think I would have given up a long time ago.  Some of the 3-4 day intervals in the beginning didn't look so promising, but they don't give the big picture.  Same thing with 7 day intervals - they didn't look so promising either.  But the trend over time is definitely there!

The weird thing is that even though I'm recording a number every day, it's the trend in the graph that I concentrate on.  It takes away the emotional impact of the number, no matter what it may be.  What's the saying?  One picture's worth a thousand words.  That's the case for me here.

There are a few things I've discovered with the graph as well.  The first is that the scale is *NEVER* down the morning after eating out the night before.  WITHOUT FAIL.  That doesn't mean that I'm doing anything wrong because I make every effort to make great choices.  To me, it means that there's additives, salt, msg, etc., in restaurant food that is going to cause me to retain water weight.  As well, I think we can estimate what we're eating, but do we really know what goes into restaurant food?

For years, I've blamed my period for weight gain.  Well - I'm starting to rethink that.  Because if I look at my notes and look at my weight for those times, I've actually LOST weight when I have my little friend.  Even looking at my weight the 2-3 days before I start, my weight is still lower at the end - every time so far!  I think what I've been blaming on my period in the past was really that elbow disease I had!  That elbow disease being bending my elbow so that fork could shovel food into my face!

Now I'm not by any means suggesting that folks keep a daily plot of their weight - not by any stretch.  It's what works for me.  You should only do it if it's helpful to you.

What I am suggesting is that we should make sure we take the longer view of our efforts.  Don't let perceived lack of progress in a week, or even a month, interfere with the real, long term progress that we may be making.  We all know it, but it really is true, we didn't gain it in a day, we're not going to lose it in a day.

Onward!

6 comments:

  1. I love when people explain why certain things work for them and you articulated well why you weigh and record daily. Keep strong and do what works for you! I have let other opinions sway me too many times!

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    1. Well thank you Diva!! Sometimes I feel that my writing is a illogical and nonsensical because I just write what I'm thinking.

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  2. I am a weigh every day girl and I also have found out soooo much about my body. I know certain meals that will always make my weight pop. I know that if i wake up thirst that my weight will be up. It's amazing how much I learned. :-)

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    1. I'm glad there's someone else like me! And you're right - it's amazing what you learn about your body once you give it a little time!

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  3. Nerdness is rooted in science. You are Science, my friend.
    I can't weigh everyday due to a previous weighing addiction (yup, sometimes 6X per day). I'm better with two weigh-ins per month now. Oh, and I also love excel spreadsheets, just in case you were wondering. :)

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    1. YumY - If you only *knew* how truly nerdy I am! But it's me!! I think I may love you - another Excel spreadsheet lover?!?! Be still my heart! :-)

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