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Back to Basics

April 21, 2009

Yesterday’s weigh-in at Weight Watchers was not what I had expected or had hoped for. Prior to the weigh-in, I went on a 40 minute bike ride in the sun ( about 7 miles – yay!) and then a 50 minute walk with my walking gals. At the scale yesterday, I was up 1.2 pounds, and the week before I was up .4 of a pound. What gives? I’m sure that half box of Melba snacks on Friday didn’t help any as I dealt with a very stressful workday.

Although these were a better choice than, say, Doritos, still, they packed on some calories. I had figured though that with all the activity I’ve been doing (I earned a modestly calculated 28 activity points last week) that I’d be okay.

There is research to indicate that working out immediately before a weigh-in has adverse affects at the scale, and there’s the old “muscle is denser than fat” excuse, and all that may be true. However, I’m being honest here and disclosing that although I tracked all week, I wasn’t precise, and I wasn’t diligent. I’ve found that, more often than not, when I am not carefully tracking and measuring my portions, then the scale shows it.

I did have a long talk with my leader, and my fellow WW members, about the weight gain. I’ve been working hard the last couple months to lose this next five pounds and am becoming the queen of maintenance before my time fluctuating within these same three pounds. LOL. My leader thinks that perhaps I should eat a few of my activity points each week. The pitfall of doing this is to modestly calculate them. By that I mean, when I go for a 50 minute bike ride, I don’t calculate the whole ride as high intensity. I’ll split it up into portions – the warm up period, spurts of really hard riding, and moderate riding – into different intensity level calculations. I’ve been told of the pitfalls of overcalculating activity points and then eating them all leading to a gain at the scale.

So, this week, I’m measuring, weighing, tracking everything right away, as best I can, on a daily basis, as soon as I eat it, or before, so there are no surprises. I’ve mentioned before how  I use this handy little scale. Today I peeled my banana and weighed it. One point. I’d been posting it as 2 points because I’d just been looking it up online and guessing as to the size. I weighed my one cup (measured) of strawberries. Zero points. I’d been guessing here too. That on my one cup of oatmeal and half-cup of fat free milk makes my breakfast. I ran out of my non-dairy creamer today and used my daughter’s whole milk, so I need to count that half-cup too.

Tracking and paying attention to portion sizes has been the key to my success so far. Early on this journey, I was diligent, precise, consistent. I need to get back to basics and kick this next leg of my weight loss into gear. One day at a time, one week at a time. It’s a journey. Results like this at the scale happen to us all, and although it’s not what I hoped for, I’m not disappointed or depressed over it; rather, I’m motivated to get focused again and just try harder. I’m stubborn that way. 😉

Happy Tuesday to you all, and if you have sun in your neck of the woods, may you find something pleasing outside to do to enjoy it! I know I will.

  1. April 21, 2009 7:43 am

    Thanks for your posting today. I’ve never been on a weight watcher’s program. That’s probably because most of my life (until recent years), I’ve been fairly thin. I just wanted to offer you some encouragement, though, it doesn’t seem like you need it. I’ve never gotten so involved with all the precise measuring of food, and calories burned by working out. If that works for you, that’s great. I just hope you don’t ever get discouraged because of the numbers. As long as you’re working out, and eating healthily, your willingness to get truly fit will prevail. Just don’t ever let it get to you to the point where you stop taking such wonderful care of yourself. Your dedication and hard work are truly inspiring. Keep up the good work, and hang in there, I’m sure you’ll get to where you want to be.

    • April 21, 2009 8:51 am

      Thank you, Healthguy. Encouragement is *always* welcome. I only focus on the numbers because I know that’s what drives my success and will deliver me to the body shape and size I want to have – not to mention the even higher goal of a healthy lifestyle. I went for years ignoring the numbers and not taking care of myself – and frankly, not even caring. Now, with a different approach and focus, I don’t get discouraged so much as it makes me shift my focus and get re-energized. I truly am stubborn when I decide to do something I set my mind to. 😉 I like how you call it dedication, though. I think I’ll adopt that word.

  2. Mary permalink
    April 21, 2009 8:40 am

    Hang in there…there are other factors at play that could explain your weight gain this week…it could have been water weight, related to where you are in your hormonal cycle plus the added stress you are under. Sometimes you hit a plateau and have a minor weight gain, but I don’t have to tell you…you know all this stuff. Don’t be discouraged…you have come so far and I have no doubt you will reach your goals…You are AWESOME!!!

    • April 21, 2009 8:54 am

      Thanks, Mary – you are right too about the other factors. I hope I’m not overanalyzing it, but rather refocusing and recommitting. And did I mention I have such great support from all you guys to keep me energized as well? Well, there, yes I do! Thank you so much.

      And the sun outside is so enticing. I know this is supposed to be my “day of rest” but I’m seriously tempted to go for an easy ride today. The rest of the week is supposed to be overcast and cooler, so perhaps I can have those days be my “rest” day.

  3. April 21, 2009 1:39 pm

    It’s normal for your weight to fluctuate 2 lbs even daily. Don’t worry so much. The precise weighing and measuring and obsessing doesn’t sound so healthy to me. I’m sorry to say that but I don’t want to worry about you! I do think you are very dedicated and work hard and I just hope you are getting what you want out of it.

    • April 21, 2009 1:47 pm

      I appreciate your concern, Birdpress. Not wanting anyone to worry about me, that’s for certain.

      Perhaps I didn’t get across the message I intended to, though. There is balance included in all of this. It’s not obsessive, but here’s how it works. If I *kinda* want to lose weight, I can *kinda* track points. Sometimes the difference between one and two tablespoons of something, or a cup or a cup and a half is significant in calories/points/fat – however you measure it. Over time, that all adds up.

      I got fat because I didn’t even pay any attention, nor did I really care. Now it’s about healthy eating and a balanced lifestyle. Eventually, being diligent and precise about measuring won’t be so important when I’m at maintenance mode, but it *is important* if I want to see the numbers go down to a healthy body weight.

      I’ve had blips on the radar before, and I am not discouraged, nor am I depressed over this. It’s all part of the journey. And 1.2 is nothing, really. It was just a little trigger to make me refocus.

      That’s what I was trying to convey (the refocusing because I had gotten lazy), and the importance of tracking overall.

  4. April 21, 2009 3:53 pm

    Could it be that all this biking has packed on some heavier muscle mass?

    • April 22, 2009 5:39 am

      Could very well be that, Mr. VV. Maybe I’ll have those hot bicycling legs all wraped in Lycra/Spandex when all is said and done. That would not be a bad thing.

  5. April 21, 2009 8:08 pm

    I’m sure you will figure out the problem. I have never seen that scale. How does it work? Does it weigh and figure out points? I agree that you really have to track ALL the time. I haven’t been tracking so I haven’t been losing. I also haven’t been going to meetings but I am trying to get back on track.

    • April 22, 2009 5:41 am

      The scale is really cool, Joan. You can use it to just weigh your food (figure out the oz or gms) or you can weigh it and it will tell you the points value, plus it has a memory in it with preloaded points values, and I think you can enter your own as well. It’s about $40 at a WW facility. Not sure if you can order it online, but I would assume so. Tracking is really essential, right? That was also this week’s topic so it was very timely. 🙂 You have a valid reason for not going, so when you are feeling better, you will, I know.

      When is Sarah’s baby due again? Not too long?

  6. run4change permalink
    April 22, 2009 5:52 pm

    I really relate and agree with your post on this. Deligence is a good thing. Watching your points closely and getting things right like you did in the beginning is a good thing. These are the things that bring/brought the success that you have already had. You have done great and it was not by accident nor was it by default because of activity or living on the healthy side of things. You worked at it and it worked.

    I also really liked your reply to healthy guy because I too didn’t worry about the numbers for years and it got me up to 307 lbs and once I started to think/care about the numbers I went down to 183.

    • April 22, 2009 5:56 pm

      Thanks, Run4change – You get it! Say, did you watch Biggest Loser last night? I’m waiting for your blog post on the outcome…. If you didn’t watch it, I won’t spoil it for you.

      • run4change permalink
        April 23, 2009 8:35 am

        No I have not watched it yet. I may watch it tonight so don’t tell me anything. 🙂 I have heard that Tara stayed on for one more week though 😦


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