Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Bigger Picture

On one of my old posts, I wrote about getting a calendar and hanging it on the back of the bathroom door, right where the scale is.  That was a few years ago.  My intent was to weigh every day, so I could see a "gain" right away and take care of it posthaste.  I know there are studies that say you shouldn't weigh every day, because you can become obsessed with it.  And there are studies that show people who weigh frequently do better at keeping off weight for the reason I stated- as soon as you see a 2-3 pound gain you can tackle it right away instead of being shocked by a 10 pound gain at your next doctor's appointment.  As for Weight Watchers' philosophy, I'm not sure.  I've had leaders say not to weigh at home, to only weigh at the meetings.  But again, I don't wish to have a big unwanted surprise when I step on the scale there every Friday morning.  Ambush!!

I've been keeping up with weighing, and don't ask me why, but I've saved all the calendars.  For the most part I have weighed every day, with small periodic bouts of denial and of pretending the scale wasn't sitting there in the corner glaring at me. Hanging up the 2015 calendar the other day made me want to go back and look at how far I've come.  Honestly, once I put the calendars away in my closet, I haven't glanced at them since.  So, as I type this post, I will be looking at them for the first time and I will track some of the highlights- and low points.  And some day soon, I'm going to gather up all my Weight Watchers' weigh-in books from over the years, for every time I started and stopped and started again- and record those here.

For now, here is what the calendar shows for the last few years:
  • January 1st 2012- 222.6 pounds
  • January 1st 2013- 226.8 pounds
  • January 1st 2014- 205.2 pounds
  • January 1st 2015- 211.8 pounds
Okay, so not much real progress there.  I know everyone's January 1st weight is a bit tough because it's the post holiday pounds, but it's still a good marker of how I'm doing by looking at several years at one time.  It's a bit disappointing to see it here, but I'm going to cheer myself that I haven't been steadily gaining ten pounds a year.  So now let me flip through some pages randomly and find some noteworthy info.
  • For 2012 it appears that my weight remained the same.  I fluctuated the entire year between 220 and 215.  Up and down but no real progress, and no pattern to attribute to the roller coaster ride.  I was working full time that year, so no exercise, no Weight Watchers, no anything!
  • In 2013, I spent the first few months in the low 220's.  In May as soon as I stopped working and started going to WW, my weight dropped to the 215-210 range.  June through August saw me around 205-195.  Great progress!  The end of the year saw me settle in around 205-200, after an October surgery slowed me down a bit.
  • 2014 started off well.  The holiday weight came off and by the end of January I was back at the 200-195 mark.  My low came in February at 193.  I stayed below 200 through early summer, but then I saw a steady creep the rest of the year.  On a vacation in June, I started having terrible knee pain which plagued me for many months, and I pretty much stopped walking on the treadmill.  During the fall I got back up to 215, went down about ten pounds, then added on a few more to finish off the year.
I'm 208 right now and true, that isn't great or healthy by any stretch of the imagination.  I'm not pleased with my lack of progress, but I do feel good about not gaining, especially since I'm at home now and it would be an easy thing to sit around and snack and never get off the couch.  But that's not who I am.  I can remember the days when the scale showed 240's, and the idea of hovering around 200 seemed like an insurmountable goal.  Now I know I can do it.  200 is within reach- only a few less calories a day and a bit more time on the treadmill each week.  2014 started off well, and I have no doubt I can get right back there again in 2015.

So I would rather be the 208 I am today than, say, the 227 I started off at in 2013.  I am happy that once I started Weight Watchers in the spring of 2013, I haven't been back to revisit the 220's.  I also hope that next time this month, I can still say I'm 208.  Yes I know that sounds weird to hope for "no loss" but what I'm hoping for is "no gain" because next weekend James and I leave for a 15 day cruise.  I plan to post one more time next week before I head off, to discuss strategies!


 (Winding down 2014 sailing the Tennessee River)