Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Numbers Game (Or Why I Need to Work on My Attitude)

I think Thomas is about two Weigh Ins from hitting me upside the head with something large and heavy. Fortunately for me, I can't be used as a weapon to cudgel myself with - not in the literal, at any rate. I do a perfectly good job at it in the figurative.

My weight in was -.4, which brought my total losses to exactly five pounds. Thomas is sneaking ahead of me, finally. He was down 1 pound which brings his total to -5.4.

I was... eh, ok with this during the meeting. At least I didn't spend the entire meeting trying not to cry, like I did last week.

And I got my little 5 star, which I promptly stuck on my bookmark. (Thomas put his on his Weigh In book, since he thinks the bookmarks are silly).

After the meeting, we went over to the Food Lion to get some more eggs. I've been going through eggs like crazy for the last several weeks. Between my eating an egg almost every morning for breakfast, and Thomas taking a hardboiled one in to work, and about half the time, Darcy wants whatever Mommy's having for breakfast, a dozen eggs are NOT lasting long around here at all.

And Thomas says to me, big grin on his face, "So, better this week?" I opened my mouth to say, "Sure." And just couldn't. My throat ached and my nose went stuffy and I was suddenly blinking furiously.

"Not really, no."

Thomas drew up short. "What?"

"Well, it's like our savings account, you know," I said, trying not to cry there on the sidewalk like a baby. "At the end of the year, we get about seventy cents from keeping our money in savings. It's like... why bother? I can get seventy cents walking along the street and picking up discarded pennies in a lot less time. It might be one thing if I was lying. Or cheating. Or not working out. But I am doing everything I'm supposed to be doing, and I'm getting almost nothing out of it."

Thomas glared at me. It did occur to me at that moment that bitching about my five pounds loss, his wasn't all that much more. But I didn't say anything. "I don't know why you can't be happy with what we have," he snapped, then headed into the Food Lion without looking at me again.

The meetings aren't helping me as much as I'd wanted. Part of it is the repetition of things. We're only at our sixth meeting and she's already not telling me anything I don't already know. The other part - the big part - is how much better everyone else seems to be doing. There was an eleven pound loss this week. And a 6.8 loss. And the guy in the back row has lost 35 pounds in 2 months.

I always say I'm not a very competitive person. I don't care for football or basketball or PvP for the same reasons... it's not so much that I wouldn't like to be better than someone else, it's that I know I'm not, and that I can never be. And it's too damn painful to set myself up every single time hoping I'll "win" something, and I never do. (I know, I know. But we're not talking about logic. Or actual. Or reality. We're talking about how I feel, and how I feel seldom has anything to do with logic.)

Logically these are the things I know:

1 - we're in it for the long haul. It's not going to happen overnight.

2 - I've lost a significant amount of inches. Even from when I last posted them. I did them again last night (since it was my one month marker) and what I got was this: Arm: 12 3/4 (down 2 and 1/4 inches total) Waist: 43 1/2 (down 2 1/2 inches) Hips: 49 1/4 (down 2 3/4 inches) and Thigh: 24 1/4 (down 2 3/4 inches)

3 - slow losses are easier to keep off

4 - Any dramatic weight loss I had is over. I started eating better in November without weighing or measuring, so whatever dramatic loss I might have had, I won't ever know it, or see it

5 - being angry and upset isn't helping anything. all it's doing is making Thomas mad.

I really do wish I knew a better way to keep my spirits up about this. I feel so good during the week, and as soon as I step on that scale, everything else is unimportant.


Anonymous said...

I wish I could provide some comfort to you on this. Because I do understand your frustration, even if my situation isn't exactly the same. But I know that my situation is different enough that it might not be the best comparison for being comforting.

So instead, I'll offer you two things to think about:

1) Are you eating exactly the same number of points every day? If so, it's possible that you're leaving your body too used to getting the exact same intake, and your metabolism has leveled out to consume that amount and not more. One tip I've read several times over the years is to vary your intake. Under the Flex plan, that means using some of your weekly points, but that's ok. By varying, I mean, have 27 points one day, 33 the next, 30 the next, etc. It keeps your body moving on your metabolism so you don't get in a rut.

2) How much exercise are you actually getting? If you're getting enough exercise, your metabolism might be slowing down because you're actually not getting *enough* calories. Maybe talk to your meeting leader or retake that "how many points do I get?" quiz, or both, to make sure you aren't confusing your body into thinking it needs to save up stuff.

I hope either or both of those thoughts are helpful. Sometimes just having something new to try or having an explanation for why things are happening, can make it easier to deal with.


Le Butterfly said...

Interesting. Thank you both for sharing.

HappyBlogChick said...

I don't have brilliant words of wisdom or insight for you, but for what it's worth I empathize. Don't you hate it when your heart and your head aren't on the same page? We can know something logically, but that doesn't mean we're *feeling* it.

My only advice is to stick with it. No matter how you're feeling, if you stick with it, it works.

Of course, your head already knows that ...

Chanda (aka Bea) said...

I know exactly how you feel. It's the same way I felt at each weigh in every week. And I made it worse by weighing myself in the morning on my scale, then on the WW scale at 6:30 at night. I was always at least 4 lbs heavier at WW and it would mess with my head! Even if the numbers were down. It's why I quit, and for a while I was fine on my own. Now I regret my decision, I wish I had stuck with it. It's harder to go back once you've quit that it is to stick with it. I hope you decide to stick with it. You are doing the right thing! Don't let the scales undermine you.

Oh! and by the way, the inches lost are outstanding! You should be way proud of that!

I hope you have a good week. Hang in there!

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Susie said...

Hey you lost.4! So woo hoo! Better than nothing.He's a guy--they always lose faster and more...The scale is so nasty. Yesterday I was up +4 since friday and was all PO'd about it. Today..only up 1. Glad you looked at the other aspects..like the inital losses and your inches. Those things are AWESOME. Doesn't it feel good to be more in control of what you are eating? And it feels good when someone notices the weight loss too...There's lots of good stuff to accompany your "doing everything right" lifestyle..not just the #'s. Easier said that done. Keep it up. As you told me, IT'S A JOURNEY...a long, sometimes pleasant and sometimes not,journey. You will have a loss next week too!!! and it will be a bigger one than someone else at the meeting..Stay focused. :)

Hanlie said...

Just checking in to welcome you to the Challenge!

Please don't be discouraged by small losses. This is a longterm thing and the scale is only one way of measuring progress. Each day that you eat well and exercise is a victory, not each pound lost!

Twix said...

I guess I expected my WW coach too, to tell me something I didn't already know. It is frustrating. It does make you wonder what the point of going to the meeting is for. And I don't like that our meetings are like less than a half an hour. I have to spend over an hour on the road to get to and from my meeting so it makes me wonder if it is/was worth it. I am still a member. I just haven't gone to a meeting in a few months. The WW online tools are nice. I wasn't losing much either with joining the program. Maybe I need to switch things around like someone else here had to say. So yes! I can relate to you on WW. :D Keep going and don't give up on you. You will get there!

Anonymous said...

Not competitive? Psh. But if the scale's depressing you and you want some numbers to count on, try these on for size.

Your scale is NOT telling the whole story. By my math, you've dropped TWO DRESS SIZES in a month! How is that not impressive?

Unknown said...

Congrats on the 5 lbs. I am sorry that you are feeling frustrated about the slowness of it. I can feel your frustration even though I have had a great loss I am tired of being at a stand still. I know what my issues are but I can see you are faithful about journaling so my advice for you would be to use more if your flex points, especially if you are getting alot of exercise. I know I have told you this before but I lose the best when I eat most of mine.

I have to add that I admire how openly you admit your feelings and are willing to share. I do wish you well and I am cheering you on.

Tammy said...

Hi Lynn :)
It is really tough to stay mentally in the game and it's so easy to feel frustrated when your body isn't cooperating. Five pounds is a great loss! Pick up a four pound bag of sugar and then think about the fact that although it doesn't seem like much, it is that much less weight you are hauling around with you today. The five pounds add up over time. And time gets behind you, so eventually you will really see the progress. It took me four months to lose 30lbs and since then it's taken me a month to lose two pounds, but at least it's still coming off. Remember that your body is different than anyone else's. Don't pay attention to what others are losing at the WW meetings. This is all about YOU! I started watching the Biggest Loser last fall when I started my weight loss journey and it would have been so easy to get frustrated when I saw the women losing six-plus pounds a week, but I know that is not realistic. I don't have six hours a day to exercise, nor do I have people cooking for me. Experts will tell you that a loss of one to two pounds a week is what you should shoot for if you want to keep the weight off long term. TBL people probably gain most of their weight back within a year or two--you don't really hear much about them after the fact.

Anyway, don't be discouraged. Just keep doing what you are doing and you will make progress. And when you feel down, get some exercise. Endorphins do wonders for your mood! Good luck to you!!

Anonymous said...

Lynn, 5 pounds is wonderful. It really is. You have every right to be proud.

But I do understand how you feel. I've had exactly the same thought - is it worth all this work and effort and stress for just this? Just a half pound a week or less? It gets so frustrating...

And it's easy for me to tell you "focus on the measurements" or even "focus on the behaviors" but I know that it doesn't make you feel any better. I'll say it anyway though. :-)

If you're eating the way you know you should be, and you are increasing your activity levels gradually and getting a healthy amount of exercise, you can be proud of that. I agree with Leigh, that you may actually be too low on your calories/points if you're exercising regularly. I've had to increase mine and have to consistently stay above what most people of my weight need, because if I drop then I stop losing. It's definitely something to look into.

Also I don't know what your hormonal situation is, but I know that I struggle with that a LOT. I will lose seven pounds only to put back on four because I hit a stretch of several weeks when my hormones get seriously out of whack. That might be something to think about as well.

But bottom line, you have so much right to be proud of yourself and happy with what you've done, by all the behaviors you've changed. I'm glad you've rewarded yourself for your five pounds because you deserve it. Hang in there!