The human body is sometimes an opaque conundrum – and you can really tie yourself up in knots worrying about is confusing behaviour.
It really seems to do what it wants – and sometimes regardless of what you expect to happen your body goes awry and does the exact opposite.
I’m of course talking about weight (let’s face it – what else occupies my mind on a Saturday?!) and how it fluctuates for no apparent reason.
I’m writing this mostly because of some of the crestfallen faces around me in Slimming World today. These ladies were faced with a maintain, or even a gain that they genuinely seemed to think was completely unfounded.
I’m right there with them because sometimes my body is a complete mystery to me.
When the weather got warmer this week my weight suddenly went up.
Quite a lot in fact.
It’s true that I relax a bit at weekends now – but what happened seemed completely unwarranted.
When I stepped on the scales on Tuesday they reported a gobsmacking 15st 1lb. This came as a bit of a rude surprise – which is me really understating the situation.
This left me considering (right up until this morning) whether I was actually going to weight in at all or instead take a week off to fix things.
I only need to weigh in every eight weeks now I’m a target member – but because I live my ‘journey’ in public there’s sometimes a lot of (self imposed) pressure to go and do it anyway.
I feel like I’m cheating readers out of the truth if I don’t – which is probably the wrong way to think about things – but I’m paranoid about being honest with all I go through related to weight loss and maintenance.
So I have to be transparent with you all.
It seemed a lot.
An awful lot.
It hit me a bit hard.
I immediately got into a worried mental feedback loop about how on earth I’d manage to balance the books before Saturday.
However when I calmed down I realised it wasn’t the end of the world and I didn’t panic.
Instead of going into lockdown mode I carried on eating normally.
I just ahead with my planned meals – which are usually speedy salads and fish toward the end of the week anyway.
Then the next day the scales said 14st 12.5.
The day after they were at 14st 10, and after some walking and a rather light day of eating yesterday they dropped down again to a far more reasonable ‘normal’ Saturday weight.
Now there’s absolutely NO WAY that I’ve lost over half a stone of fat in the last 3 days – so this leaves mostly water or undigested food as the prime culprit.
It’s this that I’d like the people who read my blog to bear in mind – but planning ahead like this is a tricky proposition if you’re a Slimming World or Weight Watchers member that’s not yet at target – because when I was losing weight I was an evangelical advocate of never standing on your own scales at home.
If you’re not at a maintenance weight I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t caution against weighing midweek.
The only scales that should matter are the ones in your group on the day you climb on top of them.
However if (like me) you’re trying to stay in your range and understand how (or why) your body ‘normally’ works the way it does (in my view) they’re an indispensable tool – which is personally how I use them.
This morning after just getting on with things as normal for the rest of the week (standing in my pants) I was faced with the certain knowledge that things were a-ok.
Instead of having to worry about a colossal gain I was instead looking (bizarrely) at a loss!
I see this kind of ebb and flow a lot on the scales now (although not quite this extreme) and I’m beginning to recognise just how ‘normal’ it is.
However I still need to be aware of what’s going on (I can’t bury my head in the sand) which is why on a Tuesday or a Wednesday I ‘check in’ with the scales to see what’s happening and decide what I need to do to re-adjust.
Sometimes I need to eat a bit more – sometimes a bit less.
I know from speaking to other target members I’m not alone in this.
Typically (like those others in my group who have also reached target) my weekends have become more relaxed and my weekdays are where I balance the scales. For the last three months I’ve found that this (at least in my case) works.
So – I’m pretty sure that what the scales show is NOT fat.
This is what I’d like all of the crestfallen people that didn’t get the result that they wanted on the scales this week to remember.
They should remain focused on the fact that (whatever result they had) that few seconds on the scales is just a snapshot – and if you stay the course and carry on as you were the overall trend will always be downwards.
I know the power of this because one of the people I’m referring to in my group (just like me) announced today that his doctor has told him that he can also stop taking his diabetes medication.
He’s discontinued his metformin and I couldn’t be happier for him.
We now BOTH manage out diabetes with diet and exercise alone – and this is the power of positive choices and keeping a level head.
The lesson (as always) is…
For my part after group I swam off into town for my usual Saturday caffeine hit and I’m currently in colourful company.
Coffee may be cheap in Weatherspoons but at the weekend my fellow clientele are often a little more fruity than the denizens of Starbucks.
As I started typing a table of middle aged ladies celebrating someone’s birthday sat down with drinks.
One of them (after much merriment and loud chatter) got up to take a group photo.
As the group fell silent and smiled at the camera in unison I caught her eye and asked ‘would you like me to take a photo with you in too?’
‘Oh no dear.’ She replied. ‘I only have nude photos taken of myself.’
I think this comment would have been really useful when I wanted to lose weight a few days ago because almost as soon as the words left her mouth I nearly lost control of my bowels – mostly because she was looking me unwaveringly in the eye.
Feeling very much like a deer in car headlights I withdrew nervously from the conversation and looked at the floor.
Her camera (I suspect) has seen a lot of action.
As I type she’s loudly comparing the large sausage with her dinner to her vibrator at home – which apparently is coming up short in comparison – with the sausage streaking away in a clear first place.
I suspect her weapon of choice at home has an easier life however as it’s edible competition is currently impaled upon a fork and being waved in the air.
Sadly all I can think at the moment about this airborne phallic pork product is ‘that sausage probably has a lot of syns in it.’
Maybe this is why I’m still single – or possibly this is why I don’t have a sausage on my dinner platter and why I’m still in target.
So internet – my advice is don’t worry (unless you’re confronted with a well oiled sausage wielding lady with a camera) and if you don’t get the result you expect this week just keep swimming.