Archive for September, 2012

Monthly Cycle

September 27, 2012

I know at some point in women’s cycles women retain water. I think that’s fairly common knowledge. What I have always understood is that women retain water during the week leading up to their period.

I am wondering if there are other factors in a women’s cycle that influence weight loss. I have noticed a definite cycle to my weight loss. I lose the most weight right after my period. I will sometimes lose over half a pound a day. Then, around the middle of my cycle my weight will level off, dropping to very small increments, staying steady or even going up for a few days for no apparent reason. The overall trend will still be down, but it will be very slow with frustrating jumps that put me back a week or more so that I’m repeating the same loss for two or more weeks.

I’m reasonably sure this is all normal, since it seems to be part of a cycle that is consistent over months and is keeping me in a healthy weight loss zone, but I’d still like to know why it seems to kick in for me around day 10-14 of my cycle instead of day 21 which would be the last week.

First compliment

September 20, 2012

Today, slightly past the 25 lb mark I got my first “hey, you’ve lost a lot of weight” compliment.

I never know how to deal with these. It’s different when it’s people who I know are aware that I’m losing weight. Then I can be frank and open about the struggles. But, with people who don’t know and I don’t discuss these things with it’s hard to know how to respond.

It is of course very gratifying that someone notices, it feels like effort is paying off. It’s also a little terrifying that if I fail then they will notice that too.

For me at this time it’s also difficult to accept the compliment gracefully. I’m still struggling with the numbers. I ‘feel’ slightly over 200 lbs. I felt that way at 201.2 lbs, which was my lowest weight in 2010. I felt that way at 220 lbs, my default weight for the last five years. And, I felt that way at 237.8 lbs when I was wondering why my clothes were all too tight. So, in some ways I don’t feel as though I have lost any weight until I cross that 200 lb mark. At the same time I am trying to push myself to recognize that if I do lose 37.8 lbs that’s no small task, so I’m also trying to celebrate that.

Unfortunately, I ducked the issue in public and changed the subject quickly.

Positive vs. Negative

September 13, 2012

I work in a health-related industry. What does that mean? It means I work with a lot of information about health but I am not a health practitioner like a doctor, nurse etc… As such, I get a huge volume of information about health, and despite that I still struggle with weight. So, I’m pretty much case in point that you can have all of the information and it will not change your life.

One of the debates in health information, specifically about diet and exercise is if it should be communicated in positive or negative language. Is it more effective to warn people about the dangers of certain foods, the dangers of inactivity and tell people what not to do? Or, is it more effective to focus on positive language about what people should do, easy tips to increase activity and what foods you should eat. The reasonably simple answer here is that both types of information must be provided. If the patient / consumer doesn’t know that pop contains two cups of sugar and sugar will do all sorts of bad things to your system then they may think it is part of getting their daily intake of water. Likewise if you tell someone who has been raised on a steady diet of pop to stop drinking pop you also want to give them healthy alternatives and suggestions for how to transition off of pop.

As an individual I find that the positive vs. negative speak still merits a lot of consideration, especially as I think about food.

Common wisdom on the internet seems to lean towards the positive side. That when attempting a life style change that the direction should be to think about what foods you can have, what healthy foods you enjoy and to avoid focusing on what you cannot have and what you are not allowing yourself. Increasingly there is a push to not deny yourself foods so that you don’t end up binge eating on foods that you have denied yourself.

I believe all of this is very good advice. Especially if you have grown up on the Standard American Diet.

However, I am finding that the negative food speak is actually working better for me. It is not entirely one or the other. I still think a lot about what I do like to eat and what I do enjoy. However, to keep myself on track I am finding it easier to have a simple check list of “do not eat”. If I run down the checklist to make sure it does not have:

  • Dairy
  • Refined sugars
  • Grains
  • Legumes

Then I am all set to go. I feel confident in what I can select. I know what I’m cutting out and I don’t feel panicky about if I am going to go over my calories if I eat that piece of cake. I’m not going to eat the cake unless it’s a flourless cake. Simple.

I know this approach is not for everyone. I also realize it would be too restrictive for many and would result in a dive off the wagon and into the bag of chips. But, for me it is working so I thought I’d put it out there.

Mini-Goal: 25 lbs!

September 6, 2012

I’m surprised to be reaching my 25 lb mini-goal today. My weight has been jumping around a little, and while I am used to it jumping up I’m not used to it jumping down. Typically it will either jump up for no discernible reason, or more likely for a reason like drinking three pints of cider and then I will spend the next week really watching what I eat as it inches it’s way back down.

I’m getting very interested in learning how alcohol affects weight. I know that sodium makes me retain lots of water. When I overdo it on chips I will see a spike in my weight then when the salt is out of my system the water drops and my weight drops suddenly as well. Sugar is more long lasting. It packs the weight on like sodium but I have to fight every step of the way to get it off, there is no sudden water loss. Alcohol seems to be in-between the two. The weight seems to come on suddenly sometimes up to two days later and then I need to be careful for a few days but then it drops off suddenly like salt.

But, today is about celebrating the 25 lb mark. My reward for 25 lbs is a manicure. I’m backlogged on my rewards and probably will be for a little bit as the bank account is a bit tight right now. But in a couple of weeks I will have some fun.