Friday, October 9, 2009

Gaining a Foothold

“You’re up this week.” Then the weigh-in guy at my weekly meeting started jotting something down in my weekly book.

I wasn’t sure what he meant. Up in what? Poker? Yes, that’s true. Then I understood---I was up in weight this week.

“You’re still doing great though!” He smiled as he handed back my book. He’s right; I’m down 6.4 pounds this month, and I’ve been eating lovely foods and exercising more and feeling mostly great about how I’m living. And in fairness, I felt a bit heavier and suspected that maybe this week would register a gain...but I followed the program, so I figured the heavy feelings were in my head.

Well, they weren’t. So now I’m trying to understand what happened. Maybe those weight-watchers/dieters among you can give me your thoughts on the situation.

I’ve been thinking about it in two different ways.

Way #1: I didn’t ACTUALLY gain a pound this week (although I probably didn’t lose anything either).

Supporting evidence:

I weighed myself at home yesterday morning, before eating/drinking/wearing anything, and I was down half a pound from last week.

I was potentially wearing slightly heavier clothes this week than last week (this one is probably negligible)

I ate a veggie/hommus snack and drank some water right before being weighed at the meeting.

Way #2: I did actually gain a pound this week, because even though I thought I stayed within my points, I didn’t actually.

Supporting evidence:

I ate at restaurants a LOT more this week than usual, and for at least two of them, I ate something blatantly unhealthy (usually I only have one blatantly unhealthy restaurant meal a week). While I included all these points in my points tracker, the likelihood of miscalculating point values in restaurants is quite high---you never know how much butter/oil/secret ingredients are being used in whatever you’re eating.

I haven’t been counting meals cumulatively, I’ve been counting them in pieces. For some foods/snacks, the combination of ingredients adds up to more points than the cumulative point value of the components. For example, I had fruit and yogurt for breakfast this morning. The yogurt was 0 points, the fruit (three varieties) was 0.5 points. Normally, I’d mark this down as 0.5 points. But I entered this combo into the WW Online calculator as a recipe, and together, the fruit + yogurt added up to 2 points. If this has happened a few times a day, that (plus the guesstimated point values of the restaurants) could account for mistakenly going over my points.

I’ve been drinking a LOT of diet soda this week. As in, several cans a day. I’ve read that soda causes you to retain water, which could account for part of the pound.

So, I’m a little disappointed because I felt like I followed the plan this week, but it’s certainly possible I accidentally (and unknowingly) fell off the wagon amidst all of these restaurants.

The goals for this week are as follows:

Record all meals/sandwiches/combinations of ingredients as recipes/meals in my online tracker to get a better record of cumulative points.

Each day, drink as many glasses of water as cans of soda. (I’d really like to avoid giving up diet soda entirely if I can help it)

Only one heavy (i.e., non-fish, non-salad, non-chicken; pasta, cheese, bread) restaurant meal allowed.

We’ll see how this goes. It helps that I am weighing myself independently and I know I’m doing okay, (and my official WW weight shows that I’m doing okay as an average weekly loss), but it’s still a bit disappointing. All of last night, I felt like I could feel my stomach expanding around me---I was hyperaware of my weight in a way that I haven’t been for the last three weeks of weight loss. I’m trying to focus on the fact that the choices I am making now are much better than the ones I’d been making before that had been causing me to slowly but surely gain.

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