Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Good Weather

Love... love is something else. It's the weather being good everyday, because wind and rain are just another kind of good weather. --Andrea Bruni, Casanova

This is a good analogy for fitness and health lifestyle changes, you know.

I know a lot of us get wrapped up in scale obsession. A loss can perk up a bad mood, and have us dancing in the streets for a whole week. A sunny day. A gain, and suddenly it doesn't matter how "good" we were, or how much exercise we got, or that we resisted the donuts in the break-room. We did "bad" that week, and our mood reflects it.

I know I'm a serious Scale Junkie. Ok, well, not that Scale Junkie. But you know what I mean... I let the scale dictate my mood... (I actually wrote a post about it, but it's a guest post at my dear friend, Mizfit's site, so I won't ruin it by telling you what I said, you'll just have to wait. Have I mentioned how excited I am to have been asked to write a guest post by someone as cool as Mizfit?? Look for it around the beginning of October. But you should read her site anyway, she's brilliant!)

[Complete sideline, I can't believe I forgot to mention this two weeks ago, god only knows where my brain has gone off to... I WON Thinking Thin's Biggest Loser contest! In three months, I lost a little under 12% of my body weight! I feel slightly weird bragging about this, and yet, I'm so damned hard on myself all the time, I really think I need to sit my ass down - my much SMALLER ASS, thank you very much - and take credit for what I've done. I've done WELL. Sunny day!]

And yet, even my gains aren't that bad, and they're not a steady trend. The scale's shown me at a fairly consistent loss. I've lost 51.6 pounds in the last 37 weeks. That's about 1.4 pounds per week.

I've had a remarkable year of good weather. And yes, it rains sometimes. (I have gains, or 3 week long plateaus.) And the wind blows. (I hear a piece of cheesecake calling my name. Or I nibble. Or I find myself standing in front of the fridge for the third time in 10 minutes, just positive that there will be something - anything - in there that I actually want to eat.)

But rain and wind are just another kind of good weather.

Yes, I have gains. It's unrealistic of me to think that I won't. Biology doesn't work in such short periods of time... a week isn't enough time to track a trend. And there are always the myriad reasons why there might be a gain; too much salt, time of the month, ate something that the body just wants to hold onto for a while... It's the long term, months, quarters, years, that show a real change in body.

If I look at my weekly weigh in line, it's a bit jagged. Up, down, down, down, up, same, same, down, down... If I look at my monthly weigh ins? It's a fairly steady downhill slope. The least amount of weight I've lost in a single month is 4.4 pounds... If I lost only that, every month, for the whole year, I will have lost 58 pounds by the end of the year.

Now, someone tell me why I have trouble seeing that as being anything less than an incredible accomplishment?

Yes, I stray off the strict path of the diet. So what? It's not the end of the world. So I had an over-sized slice of cheesecake this month... 23 points worth of cheesecake. So? It was wonderful, and I enjoyed every bite of it. I had a gain this week. So? I'm pretty sure I'll be back to losing this week upcoming. No harm, no foul.

That's the nice thing about this whole healthy lifestyle. It's a lifestyle. That means I only have the most final of deadlines. (Pun intended.) My lifestyle change isn't finished until I'm dead. That gives me an awful lot of time to ditch one slice of cheesecake. Or even a whole cheesecake.

There's no rush. The only deadlines around here are the ones I dictate to myself.

Well, self, it's time to cut us some slack.

Wind and rain are just another kind of good weather.


Summer said...

I love following along on your intellectual journey... not only have you done incredible things physically, you've also had fabulous insights into the process.

You're so right: the end point isn't a number on the scale or a particular size of jeans. I've been having thoughts along those lines as well, especially now that I'm living on the Retiree Peninsula. I'm surrounded by old people, and some are fit and happy, some are bent and shuffling, and some are driving around WalMart in those electric scooter carts. It's given me a different perspective on my own healthy-living efforts... the most important thing isn't how I look in a bikini right this second, it's how many years from now I'll still be dancing on the beach.

kikimonster said...

Wow! Congrats on the Biggest Loser title :) And I can't wait to read your post on MizFit's site. I'm one of those people too... although, sad to say, I used to be worse!

Anonymous said...

and I cant wait to post's coming. you are one talented motivated kind generous ROLE MODEL woman.


Anonymous said...

Lifestyle change, and (much harder, I think) ATTITUDE change. Go you for making great strides on both of them!

K @ Running Through Life said...

Woohoo! Congrats on winning the BL challenge and I can't wait to read your post on MizFit's site!!!
You have a great attitude and have accomplished so much! Congrats! Your lifestyle change is paying off and you inspire others!

Lynn said...

It really is amazing how much the scale can effect our moods. When I see a loss, I almost bounce around the house, smiling, and all giddy inside. I am even a better mother when I have experienced a weight loss. Now, how sad is that? My children shouldn't rely on my scale as to whether or not they will have a happy Mommy that day. That's just all kinds of wrong!

Thanks for the post.

Anonymous said...

51.6 pounds is just so freaking impressive - yo should be ultra proud of yourself. Most people can't get that far and you are doing spectacularly.
I hate the scale so much -particularly for the way its readout can impact/shape my day. I'm currently on a 5-month break...wish me luck! And luck to you, too.