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Back to the Scale

August 3, 2012

A few weeks ago, I weighed myself for the first time in months. And I wasn’t happy with the number.

Now here’s the deal: I talk a big game about being happy with my body and caring more about what it can do rather than how much it weighs, and all of this is true. However, since my weight loss, I’ve found that I have a “happy weight” range of 5-7 lbs where I am most comfortable. It’s very difficult for me to maintain a weight under this range, but it’s way too easy for me too creep above it. Unfortunately, I’m 5’2 and have been blessed with the slowest metabolism known to man; as a result, a couple of extra pounds on my frame are not only not cute—they’re actually uncomfortable.

So when I finally got the nerve to weigh myself, and when I saw that I was rapidly creeping above my comfortable weight range, I decided to do two things I haven’t done in a long, long time: weigh myself daily and count calories. These are two things that are apparently very controversial for a lot of people but have worked for me in the past; I have tended to stay away from doing either because they can both be the beginning of a slippery slope for me: there’s a fine line between using them as weight loss tools and using them to be obsessively restrictive. I have absolutely no intention of using either of them as the latter.

A few weeks before my two week vacation, I began to weigh myself daily and keep track of everything I ate. Weighing myself first thing in the morning kept me motivated all day, and keeping track of my calories let me see where I was slipping up (hello, spoonfuls of peanut butter from the jar) or how many calories I was wasting on junk rather than, say, protein at lunch. As a result, I adjusted my meals, still enjoyed treats, and saw myself making progress very quickly—which then motivated me even more.

When I went on vacation, I didn’t have access to a scale, and I had no intention of counting calories. I enjoyed myself, ate the foods I loved in moderation, exercised when I could, and tried to be mindful of the habits I had rebuilt over the past few weeks (less mindless snacking, smart portion control, etc.) When I got home and weighed myself for the first time in two weeks, I was shocked to find that, even on vacation, I had continued to lose weight.

In the past five weeks, I’ve lost about seven pounds; it might not seem like much, but I’m back to my comfortable weight, and I’m happy with it and with myself. My clothes fit better, I have more energy when I’m working out, and I just feel more comfortable with how I look and feel. I haven’t decided if I’m going to continue counting calories, but I think I will continue to weigh myself daily. The scale gives me consistent motivation and a realistic reminder of how daily choices add up over time, for better or for worse.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2012 5:01 pm

    This totally sounds like a post I would have written! I need calorie counting when I want to shed a few pounds… It keeps me honest and motivated. I also step on the scale almost every morning- I like seeing fluctuations in weight because it helps me realize that sometimes I haven’t actually gained fat, it is just water weight. Congrats on losing those uncomfortable pounds! So awesome!

    • August 3, 2012 5:28 pm

      Yeah, it’s definitely a process, and (to be honest) not something I love doing in the long term. But it works for me, and that’s really all that matters right now, I guess!

  2. August 4, 2012 7:24 am

    I’m right there with you. I absolutely loathing measuring food and writing it all down, but I’m starting to do the same. When you see the number creepy up out of the comfort zone, I’m of the opinion that being proactive is super smart. 🙂

    • August 4, 2012 8:22 am

      Yeah, I know it can be a touchy subject for a lot of people, but I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that, for me, it works and gets results!

  3. August 4, 2012 11:13 am

    Good for you, doing it the right way, the healthy way! I hope you had a fabulous vacation!

  4. August 13, 2012 8:00 pm

    looks like you found a system that works for you and is healthy for your body and mind!

  5. August 19, 2012 10:26 am

    Congrats on losing the 7 pounds! I’m trying as hard as I can to lose some weight too. I also have a vacation coming up in about a month and I’m really hoping that I don’t come back with an additional 5 pounds packed on.

    • August 19, 2012 12:30 pm

      Yeah, I was pretty surprised I was able to maintain the loss on vacation—luckily, I was still able (and willing!) to exercise while away, so I guess that helped a bit! Good luck!

  6. August 22, 2012 9:50 pm

    Lady 7 pounds is a lot on a fellow short person, so I hear you, and that’s awesome. I like that you also have a range, that’s how I am too. There’s a window where my pants fit, and then a window where I slowly have to sit with them unbuttoned at my desk in order to breath.

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