Weigh-In

Here's where things get interesting. So I'm no longer supposed to weigh myself just once per week, but daily. Studies show that more frequent weighing results in more weight loss.

But I'm going to step on the scale more than once daily, you'll see why:

9am: 198.6 lbs naked
9:45am: 200.8 lbs with clothes
10:00am: 198.2 lbs with clothes (after nursing)
3:30pm: 203.6 lbs
3:36pm: 203.0 lbs (after peeing)

So in 6.5 hours I've already had a fluctuation of 5.4 pounds.

Can you see why it's difficult for me to tell if I'm actually losing weight or not? Or in the case of today, gaining weight? Or losing weight in the morning, then gaining it back after lunch?

When I can gain or lose over five pounds in a number of hours, what should my weight-loss goal for the week be? And how do I measure it? From the highest weight of the previous week? From the lowest?

My weight has been fluctuating like this pretty much since the second week after Max was born (the first two weeks I just steadily lost weight).

Although I have seen a tad more fluctuation lately, because previously the scale never got below 200 lbs, and now it does from time to time. But in general, I've weighed between 200 and 206 pounds since M's birth. Now I think the range is down to about 198 to 204, but I'll just keep posting it daily. If I get it down in writing, it might help me to get a better handle on it. It's very confusing to keep track of in my head, and since it's all over the place I just presume I'm not really gaining or losing weight, I'm just fluctuating, if that makes sense.

6:30pm: 203.4 lbs
6:50pm: 201.8 lbs (after shower, no clothes)

Imputed weight of clothes this morning = 2.2 lbs
Imputed weight of clothes this evening = 1.6 lbs

But they were the same clothes. I suppose it's possible that my hair is .6 lbs heavier when it's wet, which it was in the evening after my shower but not this morning.

Maybe I need to invest in a new scale. Tomorrow I'll compare weights with and without clothes and keep my hair dry both times to rule that out as a cause of fluctuation.

My First Food Log

I might use a less formal food log than is shown in the diet book. I'll just wing it. If I understood the gist of the beginning pages I got to read today, the doing of something is more important than the proper implementation. For this project, I'm not going to let the perfect win out over the good enough.

I read the book right after lunch, so I'll start then, let me think back over my day (insert harp music and a thought bubble over my head here. . .).

Lunch
Noon-ish. 1/2 a local apple with some peanut butter, and 1 Bodo's poppyseed bagel topped with smoked whitefish from Harris Teeter, water.

Snack
none

Dinner
5:00pm. Big Steak Omelet at IHOP (I handily ate the whole thing). I drank water, but also finished my son's glass of milk and 2 of the pancakes that came on the side (gave the 3rd to my son), with butter & syrup. Since I didn't have an afternoon snack, I was ravenous.

Snack
9pm. I'm not hungry now so I probably won't eat again (it was a big dinner after all), but I usually have a drink while I watch TV with T. I started increasing the nutritional level of my nightcap last night, and I'll repeat the effort tonight-- I'll have 2 oz of vodka mixed with a V-8, so I'll at least get two servings of vegetables with my alcohol. . . Plus I usually drink 2 canteens of water while I watch TV, and they're 24 oz each.

Diet Photo - Day 1

One of the things to do "today" in the Flex Diet, is to take a picture of yourself. The author stressed that you didn't have to wear a bikini or anything, just something and somewhere you could take the exact same photo again in 30 days, and again in 60 days. He's under the impression that one can lose 20 pounds in eight weeks of his diet. We'll see. That'd be great. Since I would be happy with that result, I'm trying to follow his instructions as much as possible.

So I post my "before" photos on the internet, in all their glory. I just weighed myself in this outfit, and I come in at 200.6 pounds. That's officially "obese" given my height of 5'8", in case you were wondering. Although if I get down to 199 then I'll just be regular old "overweight".

My ideal weight, according to a range of height/weight/age charts I consulted, is 140 pounds. This is because I have small bones (I think the minimum healthy weight was something around 126 lbs, which I haven't seen since high school). But right now (and I haven't read what the book says about goal weights so it might change), I think my GOAL weight is slightly higher than calculated ideal, at 145 pounds. In my past experience, I've found that the effort required to lost those last five pounds aren't worth it to me. I think I'll look pretty good at 145. Of course, the last time I was at that weight was in early 2007, and I've had two kids since then. If I no longer look good at 145 lbs, I'll adjust to set my goal to where I look and feel at my best, which might be even a little heavier. I base this on the time I got back to my high school weight about six years after high school, and I did NOT look as good as I did in high school since my body shape had changed, I looked much better 10 lbs heavier. But I'm a looong way from my high school weight, so we'll just wait and see what I end up with now.

I'm going to put on my calendar right now a reminder to take a photo again on November 4th (30 days) and December 4th (60 days). I seriously have my doubts that we will notice a difference, but I can suspend my disbelief for at least the 30 days until the next photo, and will continue on this program until that time.

Oh, and this is a photo of me wearing my postpartum girdle. My stomach is this big COMPRESSED. But at least no one has patted my belly and said, "and another one on the way!" since I started wearing it. Which happened to me TWICE before I got the girdle. When I was holding a 2-month-old baby. I wonder exactly how many months pregnant they thought I looked, and given that I just told them the babe in my arms was 2 months old, they really should have quickly done the math and kept their big mouths shut, no?

My New Diet Blog

I got a new diet book a few days ago, but just started reading it today. And I didn't get too far into the book, because I only had time to read it during the moments while W was playing nicely by himself and M wasn't fussing while we were all down at the playground.

But I got far enough to remember a few things. First, the author pointed out that it's a good idea to start your diet TODAY. Don't wait until a Monday, or the first of the next month, or tomorrow morning. Today.

OK. Done. I read this book after lunch on a Wednesday, but in the spirit of giving this diet a fair chance, I decided I could start right away, why not?

Then there was a big list of seemingly dozens of things you could do to change your lifestyle starting right now. Maybe not dozens, but it was more than I could remember.

One of the things that apparently helps people to lose weight is to keep a blog.

Really?

I've been keeping a blog for years, but have pretty much just gained weight. So I gather one must keep a DIET blog in order to lose weight.

I am withholding my skepticism of this guy's diet strategies until I give them a fair chance. And I thought about it, and decided I could keep a diet blog. And I'll combine it with the other record-keeping sorts of things he recommends.

For instance, he says that studies have shown that weighing yourself DAILY increases weight-loss. I had heard that you were best off NOT weighing yourself daily and just checking once a week (which I have been doing every Sunday). But if frequent weigh-ins correspond to success, then I can do daily weigh-ins.

I usually don't put too much private information like this online, but I did give it some thought this afternoon. Part of the reason for a blog is for the accountability, and for the support. It's not practical for me to join a group that requires me to travel to regular meetings right now because of the young children I have in tow all day long (and all night, too, for the infant). And I'm used to blogging, so I know I can fit it into my schedule here and there.

But I decided to go ahead and use real numbers to increase the amount of support I get. Just yesterday I mentioned to a friend that I was carrying my toddler on walks in an effort to lose weight, and to paraphrase she was like, "why go to such extremes? you look great!" But then I told her literally how many pounds I weighed and how much over my "ideal weight" I was, and she could better understand my concern. In fact, she was SHOCKED that I was so heavy. I take it as a credit to my ability to dress to hide my figure flaws, plus the industrial-strength girdle I wear daily. While it does boost my mood when people compliment my looks, it doesn't really help motivate me toward weight loss when the comment is to the effect that I look fine as I am. I need encouragement to lose weight.

So I will post my actual weight, and you can follow along with the ups and downs. I thought about it, and I don't really care if people know how much I weigh.

Another thing that supposedly helps with weight loss is keeping a food diary. Ugh, it is a chore, but I can see how it could help. If I actually have to write down and post in public everything that I eat, then it might have a psychological effect to make me take more responsibility when I choose to eat cookies, instead of living in denial about it.

So these are the sorts of things that will go into my food blog. I'll try to keep it very to-the-point.

I will also discuss new strategies from this diet. By the way, it's called "The Flex Diet" because it allows you to pick and choose from hundreds of different little strategies to come up with a solution that's right for you. I'll review the book when I finish reading it.

I will continue to post about the rest of my life in the "Life" section of the blog. This way, people who only care about (or are merely curious about) my life in general won't have to wade through food diaries and weigh-ins and stuff like that. They can go straight to hearing about their grandchildren by clicking on the "Life" button (yes, I know my most faithful readers are the grandparents of my children, I suspect that's true with many personal blogs. . .). But now anyone else who wants support in dieting but could care less about what plants I added around the pond can just focus on my dieting blog.

The author of the diet book says that people can get support just by reading about the dieting trials of others, so I'm doing a bit of public service here, apparently. You've got to get a login for this blog in order to comment, and I have to approve your login. It's because when I didn't require this the whole blog got clogged up with spam. But I'll welcome comments, and anyone who wants to join me on this Flex Diet is welcome. If you don't have the book, I'll be blogging about the different strategies as I employ them, so you can do the same.

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