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Where I reflect on health and weight, yet again

by John on June 11th, 2012

I’ve always maintained that I would kick-ass on “The Moderate Loser.” When I can take the time to really sit back and concentrate on my health, I shed pounds and my body starts looking good.

The thing is, The Biggest Loser is not indicative of real life. You can’t just stop what you’re doing, head to a ranch for weeks on end, working to get the body you want. I love working out . . . where you push yourself just a little bit more . . . just one more rep, keep the intensity for just another 10 seconds — during a workout there are hundreds of little “atta boys” that you give yourself, and they never, ever get old. But, well, in order to work out, I need to work, and the reality is that I spend a lot more time in front of my computer screen than I spend on the road, or with a weight machine, or doing situps.

But, at The Biggest Loser, things are reversed.

I’ve written ad-nauseam, about the fact that “losing weight isn’t healthy,” but there’s no questioning that, when you see that somebody looks better than they did, the first thing that pops into your head (if not out of your mouth) is “did you lose weight?”

For a long, long time, I avoided the scale, completely — simply, I didn’t care how much I weighed, and I cared how I felt. And, I’m still of that same mindset — how I feel, how my clothes fit, is much more important than whatever a number on a scale might be. But, it sure feels better when the number on the scale is less than it was the day before, when you’re not really impressed with the reflection in the mirror.

So, these past few weeks have been a whirlwind . . . I was training for the half-marathon that wasn’t (meaning that I had stopped drinking), work had me jam-packed for a full week (business trip included), and then “the sick” hit me. Heck, my appetite still isn’t where it normally is.

Anyway, before the mad whirlwind, I weighed 245 pounds. Two weeks later, after a massive sweating spell, I stepped on the scale, where the number read 232 pounds. I lost 13 pounds over, about 13 days.

But this was not the healthy way of losing weight.

I managed to get back to the gym today, and I just felt weak. I pulled all of the weights way back from where I had been lifting, for fear of overdoing things. I pulled the resistance on the Arc Trainer back from my standard “instantaneous heart attack” setting to the level that I had set it at, when I first started going regularly.

I sweat. A lot.

The scale read 232 pounds.

I can’t help but think that, of those 13 pounds I lost, at least some of it was muscle. Heck, with the way my arms feel right now, I think most of it was muscle. At the same time, I can’t help but think “hey, I’m lighter than I’ve been in a long, long time.” I can’t help but think that my lack of drinking is, probably, no small part of this weight-loss . . . and that, um, just maybe, I should drink a lot less than I do. Then I think of how tasty beer is and I admonish myself for such a crazy idea.

I remind myself that the scale only reports a number.

I hate to say it, but I think I felt healthier when that number was just a little bit higher.

I’m going to get myself out to run tomorrow, for the first time in awhile — I’m not sure if it will be 2 or 10 miles (that will depend on how I’m feeling and how I sleep and what the weather is doing), but I’m trying to erase the thought of weight from my mind. I want to feel strong, and healthy, and flexible.

And I’m realizing that I want to attend all-day yoga classes.

I think I need to start heading to yoga regularly again. That seems the “path to healthy” that best fits me, erections or no.

16 Comments
  1. I hate the scale too.I always measured every week. Up til recently, I haven’t been on a scale in a very long time. Once I hit my pre-pregnancy weight, I won’t be on a scale again for a while. I only have about 7lbs to go too :) Good luck with getting back to that place

    • I really wish I had some magical number — that, once I weighed some magical weight, I’d be happy with my body. Alas, I sincerely doubt that such a day will ever come.

  2. Laura permalink

    Everything in moderation. I too want to lose weight, but refuse to “diet” because I figure if I diet, I’ll just gain it all back when I go off the diet. So, I made some lifestyle changes nearly two years ago (I started working out) and I lost about 8 pounds. Now I’m making another run at weight loss by keeping track of my calorie intake; being really mindful of what I eat, and I’ve lost another 3 pounds. I want to lose about 8 more pounds. If I accomplish this, I will have a “normal” BMI. I think that’s a good goal. So, I have no more sweets after dinner on weeknights, and no sweets at all at least once a week. We are alcohol-free three nights a week, and I continue to work out 2 or 3 times a week, yoga once a week, and outside cardio (for me that is walking) 3 or 4 days a week. If that doesn’t get me down another 8 pounds, well, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. It’s a journey, not a destination. Good luck!

    • Yeah, I hate the word “diet” as a verb — because it implies that it will end, and, as soon as it ends, you end up going back to wherever the heck it was that you started (at least, that’s how it works with me).

      I can, sincerely, say that most of the checking of my weight is, merely, a curiosity check at this point. Somewhat.

      But, I have no magic number — no idea what number will make me think “I’m good” or “I have work to go.”

  3. Hoping for a ten-mile day for you.

    Not because you need to run ten miles; but because this will mean you felt better.

    Here’s to the return of your strength. That’s what’s important.

    • I ended up getting a phone call, work-related, around one in the morning, and because of that, I slept in for about an hour. So, when I ran, I ran 4.5 miles . . . just about 6 miles short of the distance I would have run, had I had the extra hour.

      I think that means I’m back :-)

  4. I hate the scale also. I started loosing my weight when I reached 250 pounds. Yes, you read that right. I weighed 250. It would be nice if you could stop your life and go to a ranch. But you are right. That isn’t real life. That isn’t going to happen like on that show. We’ve got to take it day by day, choice by choice…Good luck …

    • I have a hard time picturing you at 250 pounds (really not far from where I am, but something tells me that I might have about a foot on you). I’ve been in the 300’s, and I’ve been about 180 — neither of those extremes was any good for me.

      Right now, I just want to regain some of the upper body strength that I lost over the two weeks of minimal exercise & sickness . . . if I can regain that while keeping off the little bit of belly I lost with the muscle, I’ll be quite happy.

  5. 13 pounds in 13 days. Woa. Go easy on those workouts. That’s crazy. I know you’re smart with your workouts/diet (well . . . I’ve seen those jalepeno poppers, so . . .) but that’s scary fast. I knew you were sick, but wow. Continue to rest, will you??

    • I have been easing back into the workouts . . . today was the first day that I actually felt that I pushed myself (slow run in the morning, then 3/4 of my normal lunchtime workout).

      The 13 pounds, I think, was a combination of not drinking (a serious problem for me) and a long weekend of not eating and sweating profusely . . . and while 13 pounds in 13 days is a lot, 13 pounds is, about, one-half of one-percent of my body weight, which is actually in the acceptable realm of weight loss.

      But, I’ll continue taking it easy, at least as easy as my legs will allow.

  6. I don’t do the scale.

    I go by the way my clothes fit.

    And it works. It works for my entire life.

    Hope you’re feeling strong again…affects your whole life, doesn’t it?

  7. First of all, once I went back and re-read it I now remember the yoga/Percy issue and will probably now think of it every time someone mentions yoga. Which will now make all references to yoga 79% more entertaining, so thank you. Second of all, there’s a instantaneous heart attack mode? ‘Cause that seems like something the company should try and avoid. But, then, I’ve never really got working out. (It’s the laziness.)

  8. The scale is so deceiving. The number is not a reflection of healthy or not, just how much you weigh at that particular time. Eat right, drink lots of water, and exercise.

  9. I hate weight. I have issues right now though.

    Sigh.

  10. if I were a guy I would have a serious problem with erections in yoga class. it just feels soooo goooood. and the view is usually pretty great, too.

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