Over the past 4.5 months, my fitness mentors, informal nutrition advisors, Team Sopherocious members & personal cheerleaders have all (wisely & rightly) advised me to ignore the scale. After all, weight-loss is only one of numerous ways to measure the effectiveness of a work-out regimen and/or healthy diet.
But when Dr. Darling and I started eating #LCHF (essentially Sweden’s version of the Atkins diet, but with less protein, more fat and a ton of non-starchy veg) on July 1 (the 1st anniversary of implementing our new fitness routine in preparation for the 2014 MalmöMilen 10K race), I felt like I needed to set some kind of goal … or at least an initial one that was reasonably achievable.
So I picked a number: 25 lbs. I knew that ultimately I planned (and needed) to lose more than that, but 25 lbs. seemed like a good place to start. There would be no deadline involved … the point was to do it healthily but steadily. And for the most part, this attitude has held and worked well for me so far. While I do get on the scale every-other-day, it’s primarily to learn how my body reacts to different levels of carbohydrate intake, NOT because I’m worried about the number it displays.
There have been really good weeks when I’ve dropped several lbs., and other weeks when I would lose nothing or even gain a pound or two. But the trend has always been downward, and since there’s been no deadline, I’ve managed to stay pretty calm when the scale has stopped moving or (quelle horreur!) moved the wrong direction for a short period of time.
Then as Halloween approached, I realized that I might actually be able to hit this first 25 lb. goal before I travel to the U.S. for Thanksgiving. I was only 2 lbs. away … surely I could drop that in the 3 weeks before we fly on Nov. 23, right? And suddenly the number on the scale … which I had spent months convincing myself DID NOT MATTER AT ALL in the grand scheme of things … became a very big deal. Especially when I then proceeded to have two consecutive weeks of small gains. Gaaaaahhhhhh!
Fortunately for Dr. Darling‘s sanity, the upward trend finally reversed itself earlier this week, and when I got on the scale this morning (after an early morning outdoor Tabata work-out), I had managed to hit the 25 lb. mark with 5 days to spare. W00t!!!
I was ridiculously happy about this for about 5 minutes. But because I’ve also learned a lot about my body over the past 4.5 months, I know that it’s highly likely that this current “new” weight will bounce around by a pound or two for a while before it starts to move downward again. Plus the fact that I’m about to head to the carb-Mecca Midwestern United States for a holiday that is basically centered around a HUGE starchy and sweet meal (5 different kinds of pie, anyone?) pretty much GUARANTEES some serious bouncing.
Which is why I am instead focusing on how to maintain some kind of a fitness routine while travelling and on what my next weight-loss goal should be. (Well, those things and packing … which I haven’t even started yet.) Once again, it should be a number that is reasonably achievable with no specific timeline, though as this episode has clearly demonstrated, even my metabolism seems to perform best under pressure. 😉