Sunday, December 15, 2013

2 Day Diet: Week 6, Hidden Loss

Beginning weight 11/3/13: 209 lbs.
Height 5'8" Age: 61
Goal weight: 165 lbs.
Total loss goal: 44 lbs.
Beginning waist size: 43 in.
Current waist size: 41.5 in.
Weight end of week 6: 197 lbs.
Gain/Loss this week: 0
Total Gain/Loss: -12 lbs.

Unless you're as involved in this effort to change my eating behavior as I am, you might expect me to express disappointment or frustration this week, as I did last week. But I feel good about my weight loss prospects this week, even though my weekly Sunday morning weigh-in showed no loss. Why? Several reasons, which I'll get back to.

I was considering this week how I became obese. It took many years. I started gaining weight around the age of 13 when I stopped riding my bike all over the place, playing outside for hours at a time, and began spending more time in front of the TV or reading, and despite parental efforts to stop it, began smoking. By age 16, I'd reached my full height and weighed about 165 pounds, somewhat overweight. A series of bouts with strep throat during which I ate mostly soup helped me take off some pounds, and with my decreased appetite, I managed to get my overeating under control and lose some more. In my late teens and early 20's I weighed between 135 and 145: I basically lived an outdoor, rural lifestyle: gaining muscle, staying trim, eating whatever I wanted. At age thirty, I began working in an office and later, a classroom. My activity level decreased and my eating stayed the same. So in the next thirty years I gained sixty-five pounds, an average of two pounds a year. Actually, I gained sixty of those pounds in only 20 years, an average of 3 pounds a year. Probably once each decade, I dieted, losing from 5 to 25 pounds during a diet and putting it back on over the next two to five years. So probably in some years I gained five or more pounds while in others I stayed even or lost. The point is, while we might weigh ourselves every day, we actually get used to seeing a range of weights when we step on the scale, and we constantly adjust to what looks like an acceptable weight.

At some point, at many points, those of us who have been living overweight or obese, knowing how hard it is to lose weight, just try to hold the line. When we see a new high weight appear on our scales, we might eat a little more carefully for a few days and see weights a few pounds beneath that, but a few weeks or months later when a new high shows up, we've become used to weighing a pound more than we had previously, and little by little we get used to our new upper limit. In some cases, we go through a period where we say, to hell with it, I'm eating whatever I want (holiday season), and will go on a diet later. Only the diet as we know, usually doesn't last.

So, back to this week, and why I'm feeling good and not frustrated despite not having shown any weight loss for the last two weeks. Most of the weeks since I've started the the 2 Day Diet  (restricted carbs for two days a week and eating Mediterranean--small portions of fish/lean meat, whole grains, fat free dairy, more green veges, limited fruit--the rest of the week), my Sunday morning weigh-in has been equal to the least I've weighed when I weigh myself each morning (most diet books recommend not weighing yourself every day, but I can't help myself--I want to know). This week, on most mornings I weighed less than I did on Sunday; I saw 194 one morning. And, I'm sure you didn't notice this in the stats above, but my waist circumference showed another inch decrease this week, from 41 to 40. I ran out of notches on my belt this week and had to pull an old belt out of the closet. My wedding ring is feeling looser. Finally, I know that the last two nights during which I attended no less than three holiday parties, I ate more than I should have, and a few of those things were not on any of the lists of allowable foods in my guide book. So, I am patting myself on the back for staying even this week, and feeling confident that my scale will be more generous next week (as long as I can avoid parties or convincing myself that just one or two cookies or a small piece of pie, or both, won't make a difference especially when added to the couple crackers with artichoke crab dip).

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