Thursday, January 19, 2012

Slow and Steady... Kinda Sucks!

But it's necessary.

With numbers being a very prominent feature on MFP (tickers, weigh ins on the Newsfeed, calorie goals, etc.), it's easy to get caught up in the fever for big weight loss numbers every week. I know I get a thrill when I see the scale plummeting at a rate of a few tenths of a pound a day. But how much of that is actual fat loss, and how much of it is that I had a light dinner the night before?

I know I'm guilty of trying to "bend the scale to my will", so to speak. I'll have a protein shake for dinner the night before a weigh in. But is that really doing me any favors? In all likelyhood, it's just artificially increasing my weight loss number. And it sets me up for a huge bounce back up on the scale from the weekend if I'm not 100% strict on the food. Given that I'm in the 150s and am 5'2.5", it's not really all that realistic to see fat loss of 2 pounds a week anymore. So when I see those numbers, it's fishy and it's something that I shouldn't be trying to force myself to do.

I'm putting this out there because I know I'm not the only one in this situation. Not everyone on MFP has 50 pounds to lose anymore (even though we may have at some point in the past year or two). Not everyone even has 10 pounds to lose anymore. So it's a balance between seeing results that fit our bodies and comparing them to people who are capable of losing 2+ pounds a week. I'd love to put up huge numbers, but I need to see that I can be just as happy with one pound, or half a pound. I know it's slow and painful, but playing tricks with food and exercise and forcing my weight low for one day isn't helping.

The moral of the story is that I need to resize my expectations. I'd rather be down 1 pound this week and know that I've gotten rid of a pound of fat than be down 2 pounds and see the number jump right back up again on Monday after I ate a real meal. Hopefully by keeping a steady schedule and not inflating my weight loss number, I'll have a steady decline and I'll be able to keep it off. I really want to be in top shape once I get to my 5K race on March 25th. Lugging an extra 5-10 pounds around for 3 miles is not fun and I feel my best when I run regularly. Not fueling my body isn't going to help that at all.

Here's to hoping for a small loss tomorrow... as long as it's a loss, I'm happy.

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