It's been one week since I renewed my fitness vows to myself. If this was purely a numbers game, then the week was a runaway success. Week over week, I lost just over 3 pounds coming in at a slightly leaner 203 pounds. Not much else changed by way of body fat percentage or measurements, but I'll take the weight loss. A solid start on the road back to peak shape.
But alas, this is not a numbers game. There are a lot of elements at play here: frequency and intensity of workouts, macronutrient requirements, amount of sleep, stress levels, etc. The workout part has been the easiest for me. I genuinely enjoy working out-the endorphin rush, the time to myself to process the day ahead of or behind me, the positive health benefits. I consider working out fun, and just like any other fun activity, I'll make the time for it. If I commit to working out five times during the week, I'll make it to the gym five times regardless of the obstacles. I'll fight through a blizzard to get a workout in.
The real challenge is my diet. And it's not for lack of knowledge. I know exactly how much fat and protein I need each day. I know how many carbs I need to consume. I log every calorie, including the gum I chew, in MyFitnessPal. But I don't prepare my meals in advance and deciding what to eat at lunch can feel like nutrition roulette. Do I go through door number 1 with the side of fries and pay for it tomorrow with more cardio? Do I go through door number 2 with a healthier but less satisfying salad option? Meal prepping would surely take the uncertainty out of lunch. But as I'm sure most people on the go can agree with, finding the time to cook in any given week is rare. Some weeks I have a stronger chance of being struck by lightning than having a spare minute to prepare a meal.
I started off the week on the right note. I was hitting my macros for the most part, working out consistently, and the extra weight seemed to melt off. I was at 201 pounds after only two days. Then I had another really great day. I stepped on the scale and I was back at 203 pounds. What? Sure I'd had a few extra carbs the day before, but nothing substantial enough to cause a reverse two pound weight gain. I was frustrated and confused. I was doing so well, and only a few days in, I was experiencing a setback.
I was nostalgic for all the wrong reasons. I'd been here before. I remembered obsessively weighing myself every day and feeling a sense of disappointment if I hadn't lost any weight. I then remembered that the scale is not my friend.
Our bodies go through a lot in any given week. Different foods react differently with our digestive system. Some days there's excess gas. Some days there's not. Some days there's water retention. Some days it isn't an issue. Based on what we're ingesting or experiencing, our bodies naturally experience 1-2 pound fluctuations. So stepping on the scale every day can be really harmful to our progress and self esteem if we don't take this into consideration.
I've decided to weigh myself week over week. This is a true measure of my progress and dedication. It removes the anxiety of the daily weigh in, and it allows for those minor fluctuations. If I step on the scale next Monday and see a gain, then that'll be another story. Bring on the two-a-days!!