Last week I signed up for Katy's Virtual Biggest Loser Competition. Today is the first weigh in day of being on the competition (as in, a week has passed, today is the day to see how we did).
I have mixed emotions about it, truthfully. Like, what was my post about yesterday if I'm substituting one weigh in for another? Is that really healthy? What am I really getting from this competition? I already PAID for the entry fee (which was $10) so shouldn't I follow this through? Am I really a quitter one week into the competition? Isn't weighing in weekly a good idea - to help monitor if I'm "on track" or not? Wait, won't I KNOW if I'm on track by how I feel? If that's true, why am I depending on the scale anyway? GAH! But I already PAID for it! $10 could feed 30 thousand babies in Africa - why would I waste money on this? Sally Struthers is *so* going to call me out.
Suffice it to say, I didn't really know what to do about it. I even emailed Katy and indicated that I might drop out of the competition seeing as how I want to do what is healthy for me.
I've read that if you're going to weigh in, the best thing you can do is weigh yourself every day, put it on a chart, and then average your weight over the past week. The idea was that you compare averages of each week to see how you're doing. It eliminates the idea that one big meal will "ruin" your weigh in on any particular day.
When I started Weight Watchers almost two years ago, I decided that I would do the above and then, because I'm anal, take it one step further. The "one step further" involved me mapping and charting my weight loss. I included trend lines (indicating where I would be if I continued with the weight loss pace that I had up until that point). In addition to calculating my weight loss for the week (as well as weight loss to date), I calculated the percent changes from the previous week and from when I first started. It was actually very motivating.
But I got a tad obsessed with the numbers. I found myself thinking about the numbers (in a motivating and excited way) but probably a lot more than what was healthy. I found myself not wanting to eat heavy meals the night before a weigh in, not drinking water 4 hours before the meeting, and not eating any snacks in the afternoon before my meeting because that would make my weight higher.
I don't want to return to that mentality, and I don't want to get caught up in the numbers. Which is why I was kicking my behind at signing up for a competition that IS based on the weight loss.
So I slowed down. I took an hour or so to breathe and think about it in the back of my mind.
This is what I came up with:
Weighing in weekly isn't a bad thing. So why is it different than WW? Well, at WW, you get some questions about WHY you gained/lost weight and the meetings have information that supports their program. Their program is a bit different than mine - and in many ways it downright conflicts with what I'm working on. However, with the VBL competition, I weigh in, send off my info to Katy and that's the end of it.
What am I getting out of this that is different than WW? Well, for one thing, it's prompting me to look for (and honor) my body's signal that it wants to move. Take last night. Typically, I would've gone to WW, stopped someplace on the way home for take out, and then overeaten while watching A&E's "Intervention" (don't worry, the irony isn't lost on me).
But last night, I went home, ate some cheese, crackers, fruit, and an ice cream bar and read a book on the couch. Then could FEEL that my body wanted to move. I went to the workout room, ran for a mile and a half (fastest mile yet!), did the stair stepper thing for 15 minutes, lifted some weights, did my stretches for my back, and then went home to play the Wii. It was MUCH more enjoyable than my typical Monday night regimen and I really liked how I was prompted by the competition to honor my body's signal to move.
If signing up for a silly virtual competition helps keep me focused on tuning to with my body regularly, that's a GOOD thing in my opinion.
And yes, it's $10...but since the competition is about 12 weeks long, it's less than a dollar a week. And if Sally Struthers says that less than a dollar a day is no big deal, less than a dollar a week must not be either.
So I weighed in.
I weighed in this morning and lost 0.4 pounds from the week before. I had the "normal" reaction - happy that there was a loss, but a little disappointed that it wasn't higher. Until I realized that I really ate my heart out last week...in times when I wasn't hungry and past the point of satiety in some cases. Guess what that means? Typically you don't lose as much.
The numbers on the scale is just feedback...and I'm not sure that feedback on this journey is a bad thing. I mean, when I feel bloated it triggers me to re-evaluate my hunger level at the next meal to make sure that I'm eating just what I'm hungry for. Being bloated and lethargic is my cue to check in a bit deeper when eating my next meal. When my belt cinches tighter, it tells me that I'm taking better care of my body.
Feedback doesn't really need to have emotion attached to it.
And if I obsess about the scale throughout the week, maybe I'll skip the weigh in next Tuesday and/or put the scale away for longer.
Someone wise (and I can't harness the power of the internet to give credit to who) said,
This week, I'm not going to focus on the scale - what it did read, what it might read, or what it will read. I'm going to focus on taking care of my body and letting that be the guide for the decisions I make.
Am I sleepy? I'm going to take care of my body.
Am I hungry? I'm going to eat what I'm really hungry for.
Am I bored? I'm going to find something to occupy my time.
Am I restless to move? I'm going to move my body in a way that pleases and entertains ME - it might be running, it might be the Wii, yoga, or lifting weights. I will use that time to freshen myself and renew my commitment to the health that I *do* have.
What are you focusing on these days?