The Ultimate Frustration (Weigh-in)

All right: first things first. Thank you all so, so much for your comments on yesterday’s post on debt. I was more terrified publishing that than I have ever been about posting my weight (though that may have changed after this morning’s weigh-in…) and I was blown away by your willingness to share your own financial stories as well. It is, as always, very comforting to know that I’m certainly not alone in my struggles.

So what better way to recover from the emotional stress of confessing my financial woes to the world than by spending even more money on my favoritist thing ever?

Suuuuuushi

Oh, c’mon, I kid! I kid! Don’t worry, this guy paid:

Tag Along
And he was super psyched about it, too!

Yep, even amongst all my preparing for my upcoming Ottawa trip (I leave tomorrow!), Steve and I managed to find time for a quick but awesome (as usual) sushi dinner at Koi Koi. Well, sushi for me, teriyaki for him. Getting his sushi-resistant self just to take me to the restaurant is progress enough for me though!

Onlookers

And before dinner? A smile-inducing trip to the dog park!

Leader of the Pack
Gimme!

Daxter, ever the social butterfly, managed to make friends with the big dogs…

Big Dog, Little Dog

… as well as the even-smaller-than-he-is dogs.

Who's the wiener?

While Harry, reporting for duty as the fun police, was quick to break up encounters with any of the aforementioned big dogs that could have possibly roughed up his little bro.

Roaming Free

It’s actually pretty cute that he’s so protective of Daxter, though somewhat obnoxious. I guess Harry’s just a family man dog, through and through.

Family

And now for the main event. I hope you have the above images of happy puppies deeply ingrained in your mind, ’cause it’s weigh-in time. And I’ve already alluded to the fact that this morning did not bring pleasant news (which is just what I wanted right before taking a trip to the land of beavertails and poutine!) There’s no use delaying the inevitable, so here it is:

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 186.0 lbs
This Weigh-in: 188.3 lbs
Difference: +2.3 lbs

WOMPITY WOMP WOMP WOMP.

*Deep breath*

Okay, so perhaps you can see why this is, er, mildly frustrating. Like, back to the 5 Stages of Grief type-frustrating. The last time I stepped on a scale, albeit unofficially, I was down to 183 lbs. Of course, this was in the wake of my latest kidney stone episode and my eating & drinking had been totally out of whack. Since I hadn’t been eating much, I knew that weigh-in didn’t count. Still, I couldn’t simply forget about that three-pound loss, “real” or not. And now I’ve actually gained two pounds from my last “official” weigh-in, which actually puts FIVE extra pounds on the scale from what I had last seen!

WTF?

This isn’t necessarily an “I don’t know what happened!” kind of situation. It’s not like I can’t guess at some of the probable factors that contributed to this gain: My body trying to regulate itself after three days of barely eating and haphazard fluid consumption. Sushi last night, which means soy sauce, which means sodium, which leads to water retention. Celebrating my dad’s early birthday Sunday. Emotional tensions running high in my house leading to emotional eating. And so on, and so forth.

But it isn’t as if these things (aside from the kidney-stone-induced loss of appetite) are that out of the ordinary for me. And part of what makes this gain particularly frustrating is that I’ve actually been exercising, running, and legitimately TRYING in terms of physical activity, which, as you’re all aware, is certainly NOT the norm for me. I’ve been sticking to my race training plan surprisingly well, and the miles are starting to get easier. But evidently, the scale doesn’t really seem to care about how hard I’m trying in the fitness department. Ugh.

It’s just so difficult, because the truth is that I often feel quite happy at the weight I am right now. I feel accomplished for having lost as much weight as I have. I feel beautiful most of the time, and sometimes, if I’m dressed just right, I even feel–gasp!–thin. But acknowledging that, I still KNOW that I want to lose more weight, that I can still be much healthier, that I have further to go. I know that I’m still overweight, though VASTLY less so than I used to be, and I want to continue to make strides in the right direction. It sometimes feels as if I am battling myself, almost as if being in any way happy with my body means I can’t make progress in my weight loss. And that kind of thinking borders very dangerously on the self-loathing mentality that I swore never to return to. Like I said: it’s frustrating.

Sorry to be ending this wit a bit of a downer. Just scroll back up to the puppies and everything will be okay! I mean, it’s not like I’m not giving up (aw, HELL no!), I knew from the beginning that I was in this for the long haul. So I let myself deal, I get it all out here, and I press on.

So say we all.

35 Comments

  1. I love sushi, too, so I can understand the urge to eat boatloads of it!

    I find that the only way for me to stay sane is to really be honest with myself and track what I eat (I use MyFitnessPal). I also track the calories I burn through exercise. Of course, my body doesn’t always react like I want it to, but at least I can look back and see the evidence backing up the results. If I start slipping with the tracking I find myself playing that oh-so-fun rationalizing game in my head where I lose all sense of how many calories something has and tell myself it’s really ok!

    Try not to be frustrated on your trip. That’s no fun! Instead, try to eat consciously and fit in some exercise when you can. And have fun! Always the most important.

    • Sigh, you’re so totally right. I need to just get over myself, stop whining, and get back to doing what I know works, like calorie counting. Back to basics, and all that! Hopefully this won’t put too much of a damper on my trip, but will simply cause me to be more thoughtful about what I eat while I’m there.

      • I agree that it sucks, but I do my best when I’m hypervigilant. I end up feeling better knowing that I gave my best effort at it, too, even though I’m really a half-asser at heart!

  2. SO frustrating! I hate when stress and sickness show up on the scale (hey, alliteration!) I think I’ve commented this before, but I weigh something different everyday. I fluctuate between 3 pounds (down AND up), so..it happens to the best of us. Try not to worry about it on your trip! HAVE FUN!!!

  3. aimeesays:

    Hi there! Frequent reader yet have never commented.
    I too am on a weight loss journey and like the reader above I too use myfitnesspal.com

    I noticed that when you were doing a daily track of your calories you were losing– obviously its not always a straight line downward– but there was a pattern.

    Really take a hard look at your daily calories, your daily sodium intake, processed foods and alcohol. I noticed once I did a deep dive into those and made some minor changes the weight literally melted off. One other thing too– sometimes you may need to up your calories– especially now that you are running. It may be wise to eat your exercise calories back.

    Good luck to you!
    Aimee

    • Yup, you’ve hit the nail on the head. I do still track my calories but… really only when it’s convenient for me to do so. So hardly ever when I’m not cooking for myself, or on the weekends. I don’t really drink alcohol very often, but I’m sure my sodium is off the charts. Therefore, nobody to blame but myself, unfortunately! Calorie counting just gets so… tedious. Which is no excuse if I want to keep losing weight, I know. I just have to shut up and do it, haha.

  4. Oh, those gainer weeks are the worst, but I also find them inspiring. They’re usually a nice kick in the pants and by next week I’m back down because I really pushed myself. And if it makes you feel better, I plan on dancing naked in the streets once I’ve lost as much weight as you have! You look great- keep on keeping on!

  5. Do you strength train? I lost about 30 lbs many years ago and I believe that strength training played a huge part in it. I know it can be hard to fit in when you’re training for a race, but maybe give it a go if you haven’t.

    • I don’t really strength train. It’s something I had always thought of in a “oh, after I lose some weight I’ll work on strength training, but for now I just need to cardiocardiocardio!” way. But I guess I’m there, now that you point it out! I will definitely try to start fitting this in.

  6. Battlestar Galactica reference FTW!

  7. Anniesays:

    remember and cherish those days you feel THIN!!! isn’t it great that you can feel that way! The first day I felt that way was when I was working out and it is what gets me through when I have gain weeks. I had NEVER felt thin, so to feel thin 5 lbs heavier than I am now, makes me remember, I only look better than before!! (does this make sense)..have fun on your trip, be aware of consumption and where you can cut back but don’t let it control the trip!! have a great time 🙂 LOVE taking my pup to the dog park too!! Annie

  8. Jennysays:

    Oh Gretchen I feel your pain. About 3 months ago I weighed 10 pounds less than I do now – I had to stop running due to an injury and unless I run 15-20 miles/week and watch my food very closely I gain weight. My body is stuck right now at a weight it must like but I don’t! I’m just now jumping back into running regularly again so I expect the numbers to slowly start dropping again but it’s so frustrating! I was 20 lbs away from goal and now I’m 30. BUT (and this is a huge but!) I’m still 50 pounds lighter than my highest weight so I’m definitely still in a better place. Still – 10 pounds in 3 months scares me and it’s enough of a wake-up call. I won’t allow myself to backslide any further!

    Enjoy your vacation and don’t let this put a damper on it. Watch what you eat but don’t control it so much that it begins to impact your fun. When you get back, stay focused and things will fall back into place. Plus you’ll be training for the HC 15k and that will help things move in the right direction.

  9. You’re dogs are so cute, I can’t wait till I finally get one!

    The amazing thing is that although you are upset about the weight gain, you aren’t giving up. That’s an achievement in and of itself, trust me. Every time I step on the scale and see it hasn’t budged, I want to quit. It’s taken a lot of hard work to get myself to where I can just brush it off and get back up on my feet. Before, I would be so frustrated I wouldn’t step foor in a gym for at least a month after and go back to eating junk. Just keep up the great work and you will reap the rewards.

  10. Rikkisays:

    Those weeks suck!I find that when I start to feel a little out of control, it is best to consciously, and kindly to take back control. I tend to spend 3-5 days not eating out, and just eating basic, whole, easy to digest and utilize food.. i.e, salad and brown rice for meals and fruit and veg for snacks. This always gets me back on track, that is if I’m ready to be back on track : ) Also, strength training is the best gift you can give yourself. I was so resistant to it for so long, but it’s totally a gift… the more muscles you’ve got the more fat your body will burn… even when you are doing nothing…. um… me likey burning fat for hour and hours and hours after I’ve only done strength training for 15-20 minutes! My routine changes from time to time… but the basics… a little bit of push-up, the girly kind with knees on the floor are a great way to start out, I use 10 lb weights and do some triceps, and biceps, also, squats and lunges which require no equipment and can be done anywhere. I also, love, love, love vinyasa yoga classes,hot or not. I found these suckers totally changed my body, but I was super consistent, practicing 3-4 times a week… which would have been expensive, but luckily i get to use the gym a my husband’s university which includes awesome free yoga classes! Anyhow, keep on keepin’ on. Have a fun trip, enjoy some ketchup chips for me…. or not as that might feel counterproductive now… so rather just drool at ketchup chips for me! Safe travels.

    • Surprisingly enough, vinyasa yoga is actually the one kind of exercise I also love! Unfortunately, like you mentioned, it is FRACKING expensive. And I do not have access to free classes. *cry*

      But what you mention in terms of girly pushups, squats, lunges, and some light weights-work sounds totally reasonable. I was trying to do the 100 pushups challenge or whatever a couple months back, and I did make it to be able to do 8 REAL, full-length pushups, but didn’t follow-through past that (who, me? No follow-through? Get outta town! :P)

      And yes, the ketchup chips may have to be ogled from afar. But you can bet your sweet bippy there will be a beavertail in my tummy before long.

  11. Ugh! I know how frustrating it can be…but you are correct…you are beautiful and you have accomplished so much; I know you will not let this discourage you. Keep up the great work!!! 🙂

  12. Oh well, time to brush off the bad week and focus on the week ahead. I know it’s easy to focus on the bad weigh-in, but try to focus on goals for the upcoming week. Like, getting back to calorie counting and continuing the awesome job you are doing with running. 🙂

    PS: I need to hide the Halloween candy from myself, it’s becoming a problem.

  13. Take a deep breath! I know the scale can be SO frustrating when it goes in the opposite direction than you want to. That said, you have been exercising way more than normal, and that can lead to temporary water retention. Plus, sodium from soy sauce in itself can easily lead to 3+ lbs of the same. Even though it didn’t show up this week, I am sure you’ll get what you deserve next week on the scale front! But, trust me, I feel you. I’m struggling with my weight as well right now and it is soooo annoying.

  14. Angel Ssays:

    As usual we are at the same place, which isn’t a good one on the scale:(. Down a total of 75lbs, hit an all time unofficial low of 179, exercising like crazy, but …. Not eating like I should. Weight this morning – 187!!!! Whuttt? I keep wondering – is this enough weight loss for me? I know I am healthier, look better, feel better. Reality check – still got AT LEAST 30 lbs to go …. Cant let my lazy mind convince my rationale mind otherwise. Tells me we need to refocus on food and what excuses we are making about why we are eating like we are (like the “we”?:)). I know you can do it, and I’ll be doing it with you. Smile and keep working it.

  15. Lisasays:

    Hi. This is my first comment ever on this blog but I wanted to say two things:

    1. I hope you are aware of how much you’ve accomplished and what a great motivator this site is for so many people, so don’t beat yourself up too much and

    2. Our bodies hold water differently when we exercise so some the gain could actually be water weight.

    Have a great trip!

  16. kristen @ livinlifeinlouiesays:

    i think I said something along the line of this on twitter… But girl. YOU CAN DO THIS. just start today with new positive thoughts and get your body moving. Today is a new day!

  17. Press on girl! Press on!
    If it’ll help give you peace of mind, we can split all beavertail and poutine consumption so that you’re only taking in half the calories (and so will I).

  18. First, I’m glad to hear you feel beautiful most of the time — you are! 🙂
    Second, I am always so super disappointed when I gain even a little bit, but I *try* to trick myself and say that gaining is good because if it is water weight, I’ll get to see a big loss soon. Those sorts of “these are not the droids you’re looking for” tricks only work every so often.
    Oh and third! Someone above mentioned strength training… I looove Jillian’s “No More Trouble Zones” video. In the mornings, I only have a few minutes, so I’ll do the warmup and one circuit. It takes less than 20 minutes and if your legs are sore from running, you can do chest + abs instead. 🙂
    Anyways, you rock and you’ll bounce back.

  19. Jen Robinsonsays:

    Maybe this is a good reminder before you head off to Ottawa and all your memory-lane dining trips to keep it all in check and that it’s possible to have a bite of poutine and call it a day (and what is a beavertail again?! that sounds SO weird.) Keep plugging!!

  20. These things you have to take one week at a time. I know exactly what you mean by how frustrating it is when the scale fluctuates but you know that your body is trying to figure out what’s going on after your kidney stones. And the soy…oh how i love soy but oh how it makes me hate the scale!

    I think you’re doing great, I think this coming week will prove that to you. Just keep a positive mind frame (as much as you can girlie!) and just go head first into this week’s food and fitness!

    On another note, I lost like 3 lbs and was super stoked, I got on the scale (albeit knowing I’d be a tad heavier since I felt heavy. Make sense?) and i was 4lbs up. Traumatic? Yes. Do I just have to push through because the goal is so much more than the one day of feeling sorry for myself? yes.

  21. Catherinesays:

    Gretchen,
    First, please don’t be discouraged! You are on a journey, and you have made/are making legitimate, positive life changes; even if today the scale said you’d gained some weight, you are still trending downward, and more importantly, you are still taking care of yourself and living life! THAT is sustainable, even if your weigh-in this morning was (more than?) a little disappointing. Also, I love that picture of you smiling at the dog park; you look beautiful, peaceful, and happy!

    A few (hopefully helpful) thoughts I had while reading your post: what kind of scale are you using? Is it one that gives you more information that just your weight? If so, disregard this 🙂 If not, I HIGHLY recommend investing in one (yes, I DID read your post yesterday…sometimes you just need to splurge :)) I use one made by Tanita, and it tells me my weight, body fat%, body water %, and some other information. I find that it helps me a lot, when my weight suddenly rises, to have some other factors to take into consideration. It’s one thing to say, “I’m probably retaining water because I had a lot of sodium yesterday.” It’s another thing to look at a number on the scale and say, “Yes, as a matter of fact, I AM retaining water!” Likewise, it’s frustrating to work really hard and not see the number budge, and it helps to actually see that body fat is decreasing even if overall weight is not. Scales like this just give a more comprehensive analysis of what’s going on with your body, and I personally find it very helpful. Again, if you already do have a scale like this, please disregard all that 🙂

    Also, I wholeheartedly agree with those suggesting weight training! It doesn’t get your heart rate up the way cardio does, and it won’t instantly give you a 6-pack, but you just FEEL better. AND, you don’t have to go to the gym or buy expensive equipment; there are tons of exercises you can do for all muscle groups using only your body weight as resistance. I prefer to do my crunches, push-ups, and squats in the privacy of my own home 🙂

    Again, don’t be discouraged by today’s weigh-in. You’re doing great!

    • Nope, I just have a normal weight-only scale. That’s a very interesting thought though… looking at measurements like body fat % and whatnot as well. It’s probably something I should have been doing all along, as well as tracking my body measurements! I just didn’t have the heart to take my measurements in the beginning, along with weighing myself and seeing the big 2-4-6 on there, hahaha. I will definitely consider making the investment. 🙂

  22. Chris Zeiglersays:

    SO SAY WE ALL! ; )

  23. Weight is such a funny thing. Sometimes when I think I am doing amazing and everything right, I step on the scale and gain weight and then sometimes when I just don’t think about it, I’ll step on the scale and have lost weight. It doesn’t make a lot of sense. I find that once you get to a certain point, you have to measure health by your habits and not what the scale says. You’re running and running is Fing hard. You’re eating is balanced which is also hard. You’ve conquered a HUGE crutch of binge eating, and yes I say conquered–I am confident that you are never going back, so I feel safe saying conquered 🙂 You will never be able to control the actual number. I got to a scary place when I hit my plateau and my efforts seemed to make no difference. Don’t let it get the best of you. You ARE healthy regardless of what a stupid scale says. My suggestion would be to focus on tracking your progress differently–in your actions and what you accomplish, the things you can control. Maybe even stop having a “weekly weigh in”. That just adds pressure and importance to that number. You are so much more than that. I’m still trying to lose the famous last 20 lbs and if I were to post my weight every week, you would see -1, +3, -1, +-0, all over the place craziness. There comes a point with some of us where it becomes beyond our control and our bodies can be stubborn or need a break. You’ve got this, and giving yourself patience and grace is not the same as giving up! You will get there!!!

    • It’s funny that you say that, because I was seriously JUST thinking about how maybe I want to take a break from my weekly weigh-ins, because they’re so emotionally trying. Even when it’s a loss, the build-up and the anxiety that I feel the night before is not very fun. But I didn’t want anyone to think that I was giving up by doing that, or phoning it in, or whatever.

      I haven’t made any kind of decision on that front yet, but your comment timing is just very apt. 🙂

  24. Oh, Gretchen… Sometimes you seem like a mindreader to me. Like you know exactly how I’m thinking and where my head is in this weight loss process. We weigh almost identically, and I seriously have the a lot of the thoughts. I feel like I look great, look thin (sometimes), and I’m just happy. I’m not sure how much more you have left to lose. I have the last 23 lbs to go, and I’ve been VERY slow to lose them.

    I feel better than I have in FOREVER, and I know that those lbs will eventually fall off. I know the same will be true for you, too! You seem to work out so much more than I do… which is awesome!

    Best of luck to you, lady! You look fabulous and you’re such an inspiration!

  25. Gretchen, you write beautifully. I’m so sorry you are frustrated right now. Please know that though you aren’t where you want to be, you are still a true inspiration for the rest of us on this weight loss journey. Have a good Wed.

  26. I’ve come to the realization that losing weight sucks, but for all the times I said I was trying to lose weight, all I did was maintain and then be pissed at myself for staying within the same 3-5lbs. I re-joined weight watchers about 4 weeks ago and as much as I hate tracking my points, weighing and measuring food, I know it’s what I have to do right now. I’m not happy with my current size, clothing size or weight right now, so I’m just doing what I have to do. Sucks.
    Have fun on your trip!!!

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