Monday, September 1, 2014

Lessons learned from my August Goal

I am proud to say that I met my August goal of not weighing myself save for the two times I had my weight and measurements taken at the gym!  I had my first weigh-in at the gym on August 2nd and did not weigh in again until Saturday, the 30th.  That is a huge accomplishment for me given that for most of my weight loss journey, I've weighed myself every day.  I've spoken a lot about the pros and cons of this method, so now I will share with you what I've learned from weighing myself on a monthly basis.  However, first, I will share with you my progress, or rather my lack thereof.

According to the scale at the gym, I gained 5 lbs (repeat to myself, I am more than just a number on a scale, I am more than just a number on a scale.)  I was originally somewhat ok with this number as I figured I had gained muscle mass.  However, my friend the body fat measurement tool told me otherwise, as my body fat percentage went up nearly a full 1%.  My BMI number also went up.  As far as my  measurements are concerned, everything stayed the same (shoulders, waist, hips, and arms) with the exception of my shoulders and chest, which each went down 1/2 inch.  So I lost a total of 1 inch.  Hooray, I suppose.

To say I'm disappointed with my numbers would be an understatement, but I'm not dwelling on it.  Yes, I have been going to the gym pretty regularly, but I have also been eating a lot of junk food.  In the interest of full disclosure, for the past two weeks, I have been drinking weight loss shakes for breakfast and for most of my lunches to help jump start my weight loss.  In my heart of hearts, I know this is not the solution for me, both in the short term and in the long term. I've been down this road before, but I thought that perhaps this time it would kick start my weight loss so I could get my momentum back.

However, what I found was happening was that I was so hungry around 4 p.m. each day, that I was continually eating from that point on.  I was famished when I got home from work and would munch on whatever was around.  And to think, the scale said I gained 5 lbs.  Who would have thought?

In any case, I talked to the trainer at the gym on Saturday a little bit about my numbers and my eating habits and he encouraged me to look at the ingredients on the weight loss shake.  He told me if I could pronounce even one of the ingredients on the label, then by all means, continue to drink them.  I didn't even have to look at the label to know that he was right.  I know that the shakes are not the solution for me and talking to him was the kick in the ass I needed.

I need to go back to eating three healthy meals a day with healthy snacks interspersed throughout the day.  Tonight, I prepared a big batch of steel cut oats to have for breakfast each morning as well as a batch of bow tie pasta with grilled shrimp that tastes divine (I may have had a taste test before I put it in the fridge) for my lunches at work this week along with a side salad.  I also made a batch of homemade trail mix (peanuts, mini chocolate chip morsels, and raisins) to snack on during the day.  Having such a good lunch to look forward to well help curb the inevitable "I want to eat out today" thoughts that happen around 11:30 in the morning.  By having healthy, hearty day time meals and snacks, combined with healthier dinners and a return to running mixed with cross-training, I feel confident that I can get back on track.

I certainly don't mean to diminish the plans of anyone who has found success with weight loss shakes.  I think that if you find what works for you, you should stick with it, however, I know that it is a plan that does not work for me personally, so I need to return to what does work for me.  Running, cross-training, and eating healthy meals throughout the day.

Back to my thoughts, though, about weighing myself on a monthly basis.  I really enjoyed the freedom of not weighing myself everyday (maybe a bit too much), but I admit, it was hard some days to not get on the scale.  It was tempting on more than one occasion, but I stuck to my plan.  I think, though, that it would have been helpful to see at some point mid-way through that I was not on track for weight loss.  Rather than wait an entire month to see that I've gained 5 lbs. perhaps it would have been helpful to see that I was up a few pounds a few weeks into the month to get back on track.  I don't see myself going back to daily weigh-ins, because it is emotionally draining, but I think that perhaps weekly weigh-ins will be key to help keep my sanity and keep me on track.

Wishing everyone a great week!

"You don't have to eat less, you just have to eat right."