Workout. Step on scale. Curse. Repeat.
This has been my pattern for the three years since I dubbed myself “The Fat Pastor.” This whole blog started in October 2008 when I first stepped on a scale and had to push the little black sliding thingy all the way to the 300. Since then I’ve done little more than slowly inch the little sliding thingy on the top over too.
Last week at the doctor I weighed in at 329 pounds. It was an all-time high for me. And the sad part is, this is in the midst of working out. I’ve been working out fairly regularly again for about four months. It has been so frustrating to get on a scale after a hard workout and think, “This scale is a dirty rotten liar.” It turns out that when I’m working out, I don’t lose weight, I just slow the gain. When I stop working out – even for a week – the weight starts to pile on.
I know that weight is not the only indicator of health. My blood pressure remains a solid 120/80. I also had blood work done, and am interested in what I’ll find about things like blood sugar and cholesterol (they have been high for as long as I’ve been testing them). I know that it can be unhealthy to obsess over the number on the scale, but I also know that weight is AN indicator. It is a number I cannot ignore.
There was a time when I could shed lbs easily – without changing anything but my activity level. Go and play basketball a few times a week, lift some weights for a month or two, pound the treadmill for a few miles a week, and I would shed weight fairly quickly. Those days are gone. I’ve realized that I need to do more than adjust the output level. I need to adjust the input level too – and that has been much harder to do. I eat. I love to eat. I love to cook and eat. I love to go out and eat. I am a lifetime member of the Clean Plate Club, and if you’re not going to eat that, I’ll help you join too!
About 10 days ago I decided that it had to stop. Inspired by my brother (who dropped a toddler about a year ago), and aided by my Nook, I downloaded Lose It! This app is simple – it provides a quick and easy way to log calories. Everything I’ve eaten in the last 10 days goes into the log. Every time I exercise, that goes in too. So far, it has been amazing. I get a certain caloric budget everyday. As long as I stay under that budget, I should drop a pound a week and get back to my college football weight in about a year.
It turns out that if I’m paying attention, it has been fairly easy to keep under my budget. Six Girl Scout cookies after dinner were bad. Two aren’t a big deal. Two Egg McMuffins at McDonald’s aren’t that bad (600 calories), but now I leave out the hash browns. A bowl of Cocoa-Roos, plus a refill and a half, at the end of the night isn’t a great snack. A bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats can usually fit easily under my budget. I’m avoiding sweets and chips, and really enjoying apples and air-popped popcorn sprinkled with hot sauce. Will it last? I don’t know, but a little positive reinforcement goes a long way, and my scale has stopped lying to me.
The results so far have been astounding. Remember the pattern I described at the top? Today, it went like this: Workout, step on scale, (see 317) shout “YES!” and pump fist in front of four other guys in locker room. I pray that this cycle “ends” with repeat too.