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LJI Exhibit A, Week 1: We're All Mad Here

This is my entry this week for the Exhibit A competition of therealljidol. I invite you to read and vote for the many fine entries. This week's topic is "Am I Crazy?"

The digital display of my brand-new scale rolls through the numbers until it settles on 198.6. Really? The same number as last week? But I worked so hard!

I thought about all the mornings I'd gotten up to slip in an extra 15-minute yoga workout; the morning Zumba and water aerobics classes at the YMCA; afternoons spent having wild "dance parties" with my 2-1/2-year-old son, or putting him in the stroller and walking 3 miles round trip to the grocery store or post office.

I thought about the morning shakes: chia seeds, protein powder and berries. I thought of all the lean meats, fiber-filled starchy carbs (like lentils and sweet potatoes), the non-starchy veggies (like broccoli, peppers and spinach); and healthy fats (like tree nuts, avocado and olive oil).

I thought of all the things I hadn't eaten: sugars and sweeteners; gluten; corn; eggs; peanuts; soy; and dairy. I thought of the processed foods I'd left on the grocery stores and the half a slice of chocolate cake my husband brought back from an office dinner and put in the freezer for me when I told him I couldn't eat it.

There was no way that my number was the same as last week, especially when almost all my measurements had gone down. My pants were getting so loose that even a belt couldn't keep me from walking on them. I'd danced right out of my loose exercise bra in my Zumba class, for heaven's sake!

Maybe if I moved the scale to a different part of the floor, it would show my true results. I moved it to a wobbly place where my old scale had always registered as much as a pound difference. The scale blinked thoughtfully and showed me: 198.6.

I know! It was probably because of my full bladder (even though I customarily pee before weighing myself). So I made an effort to squeeze any remaining liquid out of my system and tried again. The scale would not relent: 198.6.

You know, I was feeling a little -- how can I put this delicately -- backed up, so maybe I'd just go downstairs, drink a cup (or two) of coffee, and let nature get the digestive system moving. Then, I'd try again, and surely, that would show me the number I deserved to see. But sadly, this too could not convince the scale to budge. Sure, initially, it showed 198.0, but then when I moved it to yet another spot in the floor, it returned to its original assessment: 198.6.

You've got to be kidding me.

A longtime watcher of "The Biggest Loser," I was familiar with such nonsensical scale results. I'd watched contestants sweet and pant and work, only to find that their big losses of the first week were followed by either moderate or downright pathetic results the second and third weeks.

In my case, I'd lost an amazing 8 pounds the first week, following the Virgin Diet, created by nutritionist J.J. Virgin. Her plan, which operates on the principle of identifying problem foods that may be getting in the way of weight loss, is essentially an elimination diet, used for years by doctors to spot food tolerance problems. In addition, she adds recommendations for foods that can heal the digestive system while also being tasty and satisfying, as well as other tips on portion sizes, meal times and water consumption. As someone who's been struggling to lose the 50+ pounds I gained when pregnant with my little Kung Fu Panda -- now 2 1/2 -- I was thrilled to see such dramatic results. Last week, my second week on the plan, I'd lost a more modest 1 pound. But today's standstill in terms of weight-loss progress was not making me happy.

Well, I told myself, I might as well accept the results and concentrate on moving forward. As I put my clothes back on, I thought about all the positive reviews I'd read of this scale, which was the reason I'd bought it. Reviewers had raved about its consistency, its accuracy.

But then I remembered: one reviewer said that her scale never zeroed out properly on the first reading and was as much as 4 pounds high. On the second and subsequent weighings, she'd called it remarkably accurate. Well, I'd better try it one more time, just in case.

For those who aren't familiar with the saying, I was basing this piece on the adage that "the definition of insanity is to repeat the same actions, expecting different results." And don't we all?


( 52 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Deleted comment)
Jan. 25th, 2013 02:46 am (UTC)
As everyone kept assuring me, it could have been that I've been gaining muscle. That's why I find it's important to take measurements, too, which provides a fuller picture.

Love the falling snow icon!
Jan. 25th, 2013 12:58 am (UTC)
This made me smile. I'm afraid to get on the scale after the three weeks in the hospital sitting around.
Jan. 25th, 2013 02:45 am (UTC)
Glad that you're out and about again! Hope that things continue to get better.
Jan. 25th, 2013 01:05 am (UTC)
Dieting is so hard! Good luck and keep at it. AW
Jan. 25th, 2013 02:44 am (UTC)
Thank you! The first time I did it, losing 70 pounds and keeping it off for several years, was much easier.
Jan. 25th, 2013 02:27 am (UTC)
Try standing on it with just one foot, so it only shows half your weight. That should work, right?
Jan. 25th, 2013 02:43 am (UTC)
Or maybe if I inhale lots of helium first...
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 25th, 2013 03:54 am (UTC)
Don't lose hope! I've been there, done that, and for much longer than I'd intended. We can do it!
Jan. 25th, 2013 03:05 am (UTC)
nice peace and it highlights a major problem with body issues.
Muscle is heavier then fat so it is possible to loose inchs with out looseing pounds.
That is important to remember - you can be 50 lbs over "Ideal" with out actually being fat.
Jan. 25th, 2013 03:55 am (UTC)
Thanks! Of course, I think the people who are 50 pounds over the "ideal" weight and not considered fat are those who are much more muscular than I am. But I've always tended to have "heavy bones," as they say. :)
Jan. 25th, 2013 03:05 am (UTC)
Sometimes consistency is exasperating. Especially when the consistent results are the ones we don't want.
Jan. 25th, 2013 03:56 am (UTC)
How about it? In a way, though, it's better than getting that result I wanted on a second (or third) reading, since that way I don't risk becoming complacent.
Jan. 25th, 2013 03:29 am (UTC)
I've been there too. Down a few pounds one week, up the next. Dieting is the most frustrating thing EVER!
Jan. 25th, 2013 03:58 am (UTC)
Oh, I hate that! For the past two years, it seems like I would lose 2 to 4 pounds a month only to put it back on. It was as regular as clockwork. This is the first month since I first came home from the hospital that I expect to enter the next month down by a noticeable margin.
Jan. 25th, 2013 03:36 am (UTC)
I like how you didn't directly say the topic in your entry.

Good luck with your weight loss plan
Jan. 25th, 2013 03:59 am (UTC)
You know, I try not to do that unless I can find a way to work it in seamlessly. It's in response to some GR comments I read once, where a bunch of people agreed that they prefer entries that aren't too obvious.

Thanks for the good wishes!
Jan. 25th, 2013 03:42 am (UTC)
That nasty scale! It can be dangerous to trust it. Trust those loose pants!
Jan. 25th, 2013 04:00 am (UTC)
That's right, it's the scale's fault! Mean, nasty scale! :)

In happier news, I went jeans shopping today, and I didn't even have to shop in the Plus department, for the first time since having KFP.
(no subject) - kandigurl - Jan. 25th, 2013 04:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alycewilson - Jan. 25th, 2013 04:04 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - millysdaughter - Jan. 25th, 2013 05:23 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 25th, 2013 05:33 am (UTC)
I totally understand weighing yourself again and again, especially if you don't like the result!

The change in measurements is your success here,though I know it's less motivating. You're trading fat for muscle, so you're stronger... but also leaner.

Keep up the great work!
Jan. 26th, 2013 01:27 am (UTC)
Thanks! It's definitely a journey. At least this past month, I've had more progress than in any month since bringing my Kung Fu Panda home.
Jan. 25th, 2013 01:33 pm (UTC)
I swear some of them are evil, or just plain wrong. It's good to hear you're feeling a change in yourself, though! That's the most important part.
Jan. 26th, 2013 01:28 am (UTC)
I definitely am, and that feels good.
Jan. 25th, 2013 04:28 pm (UTC)
Something that many of us can relate to.

Part of the point of my post yesterday about the seven-day workweek was to outline for myself where I can start fitting in things like long walks through town and sessions on my stationary reclining bike. I miss both so dreadfully, not merely to see the numbers on the scale go down, but in and of themselves.

Weight loss maintenance is a balancing act, and it can make one crazy to focus on the numbers.

[edited for spelling]

Edited at 2013-01-25 04:29 pm (UTC)
Jan. 26th, 2013 08:12 am (UTC)
Having a routine is essential to fitting in exercise. That's why I've been incorporating KFP into my exercise routine, because as long as he's enjoying it, I'm going to have more of a chance to do it.

Good luck with fitting more activity into your life!
Jan. 25th, 2013 04:59 pm (UTC)
ha ha, that 'oh! i'll have a cup of coffee to ...' before weighing in again is so spot on.
Jan. 26th, 2013 08:13 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. Had high hopes for that technique, but no such luck.
Jan. 25th, 2013 05:22 pm (UTC)
Oh my gosh! This is all so very true. I am a small person but I still keep my weight in check and do all the healthy things. I marvel at the drive and successes of the contestants on The Biggest Loser. I don't watch it all the time but it is very inspiring, for sure. If you are at a plateau, may your numbers go down soon!
Jan. 26th, 2013 08:14 am (UTC)
Thank you! I hope they will, but as everyone keeps reminding me, the measurements are what really matter. It's good that you're keeping yourself healthy, too.
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