Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ack! Back on the Scale!

That is correct.

After refusing to step upon the wretched appliance since the first of this year, I took the plunge. And literally, my heart plunged. Do I regret the choice? No, I guess not. At least my eyes are open now.

Denial is a powerful force. I know I've said this before. The pounds can creep up on you while you're busy attending to everything else in your life. You can manage to pretend you are just staying the same. Sure, your clothes are a bit tight. But you have other clothes. Looser styles. Those pants that used to be too big. And the time right around menopause is notorious for weight gain. Healthy women who have been svelte all their lives can suddenly put on an extra layer of insulation. (Fifteen pounds of insulation is not uncommon!) Just in case winter never ends.

But winter is over, my friends. Now it is spring. And bikini season is right around the corner. Beware.

I've been using My Fitness Pal for a full week already. I have been dutifully logging my foods for every meal and snack. I have not put anything into my mouth that was not planned and calculated. I have been keeping to my calorie limit (almost every single day!) although this does include the extra calories allotted for exercise expenditure. I should have been losing weight.

So when I hopped on the scale, I was expecting a number that would not cause my heart to sink into my shoes. Oh well. The number I saw was a half pound higher than the weight I had entered one week ago as my starting weight for My Fitness Pal. (As you may remember, that weight was my best guess at the time. Such a surprise: I estimated low!!!) Not an uplifting number. Not a cause for celebration. Not a number I would care to share with you.

So I am keeping in mind that I am on a journey. This is a process. The reason most diet plans don't work is not because the plan itself is flawed. Almost any reputable diet plan (Atkins, South Beach, Zone, Weight Watchers) will work. The reason is because most people give up. As soon as the going gets a little bit tough. As soon as the results are smaller than they hoped. As soon as there is a hiccup in the progress, people quit. 

Healthy, safe weight loss takes time. It is NOT like on The Biggest Loser, where contestants consistently drop double digits week after week. Nope. For me, I am hoping to lose about a pound a week. So ten pounds could take me close to three months. If I have some setbacks, it could take longer. But if I give up and throw in the towel, I'll probably end up GAINING instead of losing.

I expect I'll be counting my calories for a while. Probably years. Even if I drop the ten pounds I'm hoping to shed, I'll need to be vigilant in order to keep them off. So I can't think of this as a temporary situation. If counting calories works for me, it must become my new way of life. That's how I'll be able to sustain my weight loss and maintain my eventual (fingers crossed!) goal weight.

I've been hating my scale for quite a while now. And therefore avoiding it. Maybe, just maybe, my scale and I can develop a better relationship. Perhaps, with time and commitment, we can foster a more healthy, mutual respect. I'm going to do my part to make that happen.


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