This week has been a bit of a hard one mentally. As I have written before, I tend to weigh myself daily in an effort to stay on top of where I am on a very regular basis. It helps me to gather information on what different foods and activities tend to translate to on the scale and to understand the patterns that I see in a typical week or month. I know this practice is not for everyone – I am generally very good about separating myself emotionally from what the numbers say – but it has worked very well for me for nearly five months now. Well, this week was no different in that I used those daily check-ins as simply a way to track my progress, but it was unique in that I was constantly seeing a number higher than my last official weigh-in from January 2nd.
One of the patterns that I have noticed is that I tend to have low weigh-in days. What I mean is that when I step on the scale each Saturday it generally shows a number that I am pleased with, but then on Sunday I find that it is up a little bit, regardless of how carefully I stick to plan. Monday and even Tuesday are often still slightly up from that official weigh-in, and then by Wednesday I start to see more of a continued downward trend on the scale. This just happens to be what my body does and I am fine with that; it has been working for me and I see no reason to stress out when only the Saturday number is the one that actually counts.
However, this past Tuesday saw my very first reversion to old habits. I was drained from the cold I have, and in dire need of comfort, so I caved and ate a lot of things that have no real business being listed on a blog that claims to be aiming for health. I am not perfect and I am totally fine with the fact that I made a decision that slowed my progress. I accepted a long time ago that there would be slip-ups along the way and my goal of sustainability is far more important than any one overindulgent moment.
Wednesday morning I was back at it full force and even upped my work-out times in an attempt to remove the two pound gain I had from that binging episode. I put more energy into my activities too and was very diligent about eating properly, even though for a couple of days I was not very hungry and had to force myself to consume what I did.
So my point to all this is that my weigh-ins for the last week looked something like the following:
Saturday, January 2 – 181.2
Sunday, January 3 – 181.8
Monday, January 4 – 181.6
Tuesday, January 5 – 181.4
Wednesday, January 6 – 183.4
Thursday, January 7 – 182.2
Friday, January 8 – 181.4
Every day has been higher than last Saturday’s number and I wasn’t completely convinced that I would be able to claim a loss for today. I prepared myself throughout the second half of the week for the very real possibility of a gain and was honestly ready to be okay with that outcome. Ideal? No. But, it was a consequence that I knew I could live with because I accepted that I had made a poor choice with my Tuesday eating and that I had also done everything I could to rectify the results of that incident.
So, regardless of the fact that today I stepped on the scale to see 179.8, showing a 1.4 pound drop since my last official weigh-in, I am taking a lot more from this loss than just a scale victory. This week the number was not nearly so gratifying as the process that I had to go through to be more at peace with myself.
I proved that there will be days where I don’t get it ‘right’. I know now, with certainty, that those days do not have to mean that I have failed and do not need to lead to me giving up for the rest of the week. I have shown, without a shadow of a doubt, that it is possible to fix mistakes through hard work and determination and that those qualities do, indeed, reside within me. I was prepared to face a gain with grace and, though I didn’t need to, I am proud that I am working successfully towards a healthier outlook on this voyage as a whole.
This week was a big bump in the road for me. Fortunately, I learned that there are always alternatives to just giving up on a periodically rough journey. Of course you can just sit in your seat, slumped over the steering column, and wait for a rescue that may never come. But what about the other possibilities? You can look at the map and reassess either your route or your destination. You can think about how far you have come and decide if going back is an option. You can steel your determination and take the wheel and face those bumps with the knowledge that some of them may sideline you temporarily again, but that where you are going is worth the effort. And sometimes – yes, sometimes – even though you are exhausted and so close to just giving up, you can haul yourself out of your seat, grit your teeth, and push.