Thursday, March 24, 2011

What the Heck Do I Even Weigh?

I have no idea.

I am scared to get on the scale. I can't even REMEMBER the last time I was truly scared to get on the scale. Usually I weigh daily. Sometimes I need a break and skip a few days or a week. If I feel like the numbers are messing with my head, I stay off it a bit and focus on other things *while* doing my best with healthy eating. But lately, I am really freaked out.

I was sick, I was on all those medications and even when I stayed totally on plan for days and days the scale was going UP instead of down. Then back down a bit, back up, senseless fluctuations... so I stayed off. Scales lie. So I figured I'd wing it for a week or two and get back on later for a progress report.

No dice. I cannot bring myself to step on it.

I had a moment the other day. It's been nice out... springy, warm, sunny this week. I busted out the tee shirts. I have not worn short sleeves in what, 5 or 6 months? I weigh about the same as I did in the fall. But apparently I got quite used to seeing my nice trim(ish) self in the mirror with normal-looking arms in long sleeves because the other day when I walked into the bathroom with that tee shirt on I almost fell over in horror. I actually gasped at how my arms look. Oh my gosh, what happened?? It was like overnight I went from having decent, slim(ish) looking arms with a nice smooth unbroken silhouette to having globs, yes *globs* of fat/skin/melting-wax-looking paleness hanging off my arm bones. Dear lord, did they really look that bad last fall, too? Holy Toledo. Seriously, I was aghast. I had to go get a jacket on to cover them up. I felt like a freak show. I am horrified at the way my arms look disfigured. I may have to take a picture to share because sometimes pictures help me "see" things differently. I can only pray they are not as bad as they looked in the mirror... that my mind was playing a trick on me... by I am really afraid, in fact certain, that I saw reality.

My pants don't fit right. They're NOT too tight, well, at least not all over. They are BAGGY in the butt, gappy in the hips, I have to hike them up when I walk, yet when I sit down they cut me in half at the gut and hurt my stomach and when I try to take them off it's like peeling sausage casings off my calves. And these are the pants that fit *perfectly* in the fall. A shirt I used to wear... I tried it on and it is too tight for my comfort now. My underthings cut into me or fall off depending on the article but they ALL used to fit! How is this even possible? How are some things too big and some too small, and how is the skin and flab melting off my arms yet hanging, sagging there in such an unsightly manner?

This... all of it... converges into a mess in my head that makes me afraid of the scale. Makes me wonder what the heck is going on with me. Wonder when I will feel comfortable stepping on again.

Usually I know what I weigh within 3 or 4 pounds, even if I stay off the scale a bit. Now? I couldn't hazard a guess. I just couldn't. Because I have two delusional voices in my head shouting, "You weigh 240!" and "You weigh 175!" and I know I am neither.

For now, I just keep plugging along, doing the best I can. I always, always post a weigh-in on the first of every month, so I guess I better get used to the idea. And spend a little more time looking at the arms and figuring out what the heck happened there.


Verity Vaudeville said...

I think it's cause when you lose weight, it doesn't break down solids, just bits of fat at a time. So at first you always appear rounder than you are. Once you're on to the next solid, you'll probably see more of a firmness.

Try not to obsess if you can. I'm sure it's not as bad as you think it is x

Julia Stambor said...

Hmmm...pants that are loose at the butt but cut into the belly, and calves that are swollen...might just be that your body has been holding on to too much fluid because of the medications you had to take. The good news in that case would be that, once the cause has gone, the effect will disappear, too. I have found that happens quite often, and paradoxically it happens faster when I up my fluid intake.
Don´t let this discourage you! Even if you did have a setback of sorts, you are probably nowhere near where you started from, and you have proved to yourself already that you have the ability to do this. Facing the music after being off the wagon for some time may be difficult, but then- wouldn´t it be better to *know* the extent of the damages than to fear the unknown? I wish you courage and perseverance to continue.
And the arms? I also found mine looking worse when the skin wasn´t stretched tight by fat any more. For me, ditching the sleeveless tops in favor of something with a bit of upper arm coverage was a cheap price to pay for starting to get away from morbid obesity.
Keep on keeping on!

Hanlie said...

I just had a thought as I was reading this... dieting really changes our body shape. You know when you lose weight, and then regain some, the excess doesn't go on the places where you lost it from? Depending on our body type, we can gain weight in our belly area, while we most recently lost in our hip and buttocks area. This is most unfair, because with every regain we end up looking worse than before! It's certainly happened to me, and yes, my belly area is a big problem. A friend commented recently that my pants were far too big, but they actually only just fit around my waist.

Diandra said...

My recommendation: Get on the scale. Right now. Not first thing tomorrow morning, right now. And then again, tomorrow morning - at least there will most likely be a "loss" between now and then, so that might be encouraging.

I've come to think that maybe your subconscious is messing with you. You've been so close to your goal weight, and ever since it has been up and down and up and up and down again... right now I am at a comparable point (half of the "optional" weight is gone), and I've been trying to lose more for WEEKS without real success. As soon as I see the numbers on the scale are below 75kg, some switch in my head flips and I mess up until I am close to 76kg again. For now, I have changed my routine to weekly weigh-ins, and hope this helps me get far enough away from that dreaded 75kg that I can obsess about the next goal (below 72kg, which would give me a normal BMI - my "goal weight" is below 65kg).

So, maybe your subconscious is afraid (or clueless) about what you will do once you reach your goal weight? Maybe it thinks you cannot maintain that weight, once you'll be there, and thus keeps you gaining and losing because you've been doing so really, really great at losing weight? (Subconscious, "Hey, at least that's something we know we can manage!")

And now, get on that scale. You don't even have to tell anyone that number. And maybe, if you cannot find the courage, look at your old pictures. You've come so far!

Val N. said...

I think you should just step on that scale! You seem anxious about it, and anxiety is caused by not knowing. Get on and face it, whatever it says. Then if you don't like what it says, you know what you have to do. Even your dreams are telling you to act. You can do this!

Anonymous said...

I'm with Julia. You're retaining water honey. Drink lots of H2O and tea. Eat lots of fresh fruit and veggies. Stay off the processed and packaged for a few days. Low salt and get some exercise in the fresh air. This will help. Couldn't hurt, right?
BTW I think you are doing great. Look at what you've done. You're amazing.
And about those arms...Been doing much weight lifting lately? Maybe it's time to do some push ups and break out the dumbells. I've seen dumbells work miracles in 6 weeks.
Love you!

K said...

This is the first time I've commented, but I've been following your blog and I have a section on my blog dedicated to it. I weighed myself today and I had gained weight. It was seriously disheartening.

But I don't want to fall off the bandwagon when I'm just starting to build good habits. I agree with Julia, get out in the fresh air and walk around! It couldn't hurt!!!

Leslie said...

Hi Lyn -

I think you're very wise to stay off the scale if it's messing with your head. I get that way and do the same thing. Eventually I know I need to see the number, and I do so that if I'm up it doesn't go too far. But with weightloss for some of us being such a head game, it's a method of self care to stay off the scale if it could send you to a bad place. After a few on-track days with lots of water and low carbs is a good time to survey the landscape!

timothy said...

it's not as bad as you think, stay on program today drink lots of water to flush your system and weigh in the mornin after you wake up and pee, that's the only time you get a "true" weight. it'll be ok knowledge is power and when you know where you're at you can figure out what you need to do to reach youe goal. it'll be ok no matter what you can and WILL do it!

crazyjojo said...

Keep on working on it. I have those days as well. This will pass! Say that to yourself. You WILL have a day (soon) that you feel gorgeous, fit and confident. You are just having a hard day.

Take care!

Lori said...

I have very similar things happen to me when I regain, only I regain in my belly. Clothes fit so strangely I have no idea what to put on in the morning. I am so glad I am not alone in this.

I have also found that my body snaps back fairly quickly with a few good days strung together. It takes a little longer for the scales to catch up.

Personally, I continue to weigh. First, I know that it will take a while for that number to get closer to reality. And, two, I start thinking that I weigh waaaaayyyy more than reality and then start the downward spiral of "I might as well eat" type thinking.

You'll know when it is time to step on the scales. You have a very good intuition about yourself. Remember how far you've come and how close you are to goal. You'll get there.

Anonymous said...

I agree, step on the scale now and get it over with. Then you know where you stand and move on from there. I find if I've gained 5 or even 10 pounds it doesn't take long to get it off again...It's probably not as bad as you think.. some of that could be that you're retaining water because of the foods you may be eating or because you were sick. Being out of commission for a while, it happens to all of us.. when i first started working out I broke my toe, then I was sick.. I kept getting set backs but I kept going back because when you are working out and eating healthy.. you feel great and you want to feel great again so you always go back! It won't take long I swear!

Twix said...

Go step on the scale.

I want to share with you. Fot two weeks now I've been terrified of my new smaller pants. So much so that I wouldn't let myself put them on. I left them out and each time I saw them I freaked out. There's no way I can fit them. They're to small. Very nutso thinking. Finally on Tuesday I said screw this fear and put them on. Ugh what's wrong with me...haha. I seem to have this irrational fear that I'm to big for clothes. Even clothes I know clearly fit me. So I have been wearing my old clothes which are pretty much falling off of me. Those pants fit just fine. Not tight in the calfs. Even baggy a little in the behind and hips. Holy heck it dawned on me then I can wear smaller things. That I'm not to big for the big lady store. Wow...I've just been plain silly.

Long sleevs hide your arms. You still have the beautiful arms you had over the fall and winter. Love them! Squeeze them. They are worth it. You are WORTH IT!

Go step on the scale. It can't tell you what you are worth. You already know you are. Now continue to love you. (((hugs for you this fine Friday)))

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comments that say get on the scale and do it now. You need to do it in order to STOP THE TRAIN. Either the number is not so bad and you have been having anxiety dreams for some other reason, or the number is not good and you need the reality check. Maybe your weight has re-distributed or the image of your arms in the mirror is distorted. You won't know until you see the number and deal with it. Otherwise you are just sitting on the side of the track waiting for the wreck.

Anonymous said...

Have you totally given up on exercising, you don't seem to be talking about it, even the therapy exercises? When you work out, especially lifting weights, nice things happen to the body.


Anonymous said...

It does sound like you might be retaining fluid, maybe due to meds?

A lot of people never step on the scale, saying weight doesn't matter. To me it does. I get exactly where you are if I don't weigh every day, or every other day. If I wait too long, I assume the worst, and bad behavior sets in.

I would step up there, meet it head on, and take it from there. At least you would be over that awful fear, knowing where you stand. It might not be as bad as you fear.

Anonymous said...

Well, the thing is...the scale really never lies...

It has no emotional investment in what you weigh, it doesn't play the excuse games that people play, it just weighs you.

Karin said...

It's just a number...a number to guide you. Step on the scale. Have you gained weight? yeah, probably...but you've also weighed WAY've lost a TON of KNOW what to's just a number to guide you. Period. That's it. It's a tool...not a measure of your self worth or attitude. And for water retention... drink a cup of hot water with a tablespoon (or two if you can handle it) of Apple cider vinegar, 1/2 lemon and some stevia..I do two or three of those when i'm bloaty Mcbloatington and it works wonders. Now, just go do it and lay those horrible dreams to rest.

Stace said...

I have a love hate relationship with the scale too. Sometimes I weigh daily other times i will go a week. it too will mess with my head. Like if stay the same in a 7 day period i feel like i wasted a week. I try to not have that thinking but sometimes you can not help it.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there!!! Today I got on the scale and a portion of me was happy - 8.5 pounds lost so far. The other part of me was angry - I lost this same 8.5 pounds last July! I have MS and got sick last October, and lots of depression and steroids put the weight back on so fast. I am finally back on track and losing... again.

You are an inspiration and you are not alone in your struggles... but you have proven you CAN do it! Keep going!

Anonymous said...

From what you wrote, I would advise staying off the scale, drinking a ton of water, and keep focusing on catching up from being sick. After being ill, even once we feel better and have more energy, our bodies are still depleted. Give your body time to slowly climb back, in terms of energy, vitality, and health.

You WILL eventually get back to your daily PT exercises. The slowly warming weather will help put a spring in your step and boost your mood. Be patient with your body and treat it well... it has been through a lot in the last two months.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Diandra. Get on the scale and record the number. (Then shrug, no matter what it shows. Shrug and walk away. Observe your thoughts about the number but remember they are just electrical brain impulses on their way to oblivian.)

However, I disagree with Diandra about your unconscious mind "messing with you". Quite the opposite. It's your conscious thoughts that are messing with you. Your conscious thoughts are not predictive or reflective of anything about YOU, yet like virtually everyone in our culture you have been taught to identify very strongly with those thoughts to the point that they terrify you.

Stop identifying with your thoughts as if they are gods who can be influenced by your worship of them and your sacrifices to them. LOL. I know it sounds funny, but humans have turned thinking into a religion instead of a tool.

The dream you had tells a different story from the conscious thoughts that are freaking you out. In the dream, your unconsciousness is represented by the train, VERY POWERFUL; neither it nor the car (your body) can be controlled by your conscious will power because control over your behavior and your thoughts is an illusion (the attempt to control the car's movement--recall the car represents your physical body--by pressing the child's block indicates the illusion of control that you keep insisting you have over your body).


There is an alternative. It involves trusting your powerful inner self. That SELF did not lead you to lose all that weight only to abandon you now and watch you regain it all. Trust your inner power. If you have to fight to try and control then you cannot *hear* the communication taking place.

The dream was an awesome example of your SELF trying to get your attention, trying to HELP you, to show you how you can give up the illusion of control and trust your SELF to guide your actions in a different direction. Your conscious thoughts keep saying to do the behaviors and think the same, over and over, that led you to this frightening reality. In truth, all the scary things that your thoughts seem to reveal are completely illusory, are constructed in your brain, but do not have the power of gods to make those illusions become real. If you identify with them, and *worship* them, THEN those frightening thoughts about regain may become real...

Of course, I could be out to lunch. :)

If you ever want to hear more, I can send you my blog site info.


Princess Dieter said...

Sounds like bloat from your recent bout with pharmaceuticals and illness. need to nip the anxiety now.

Get on the scale.

Eat potassium rich foods and plenty of clean water.

Be patient.

Bloat will pass Body will respond to sound nutrition and movement.

I am still battling bloat from a salt-fest on Sunday...and it's FIVE days later and finally down to Saturday weigh-in took THAT long, despite 1100 to 1300 calories of a lot of veggies, fruit, low fat dairy and lean protein to make my body flush out the damage from a day of Japanese and Feta cheese...(didn't binge, just can't handle soy sauce and a lot of salt in one day apparently).

Take photos...weigh...record...patience.

My arms are gross. Despite having muscle, and me being able to see what they COULD have looked like under the hanging flap of skin, they're gross. This is the damage I did to myself being morbidly obese for so long. Well, nothing to do but keep getting healthier and hope there is improvement. In your case, you are bloated and once that passes, you may love your arms again.

Weigh. The anxiety comes from mystery...kill the mystery..

Anonymous said...

It can't be that bad. Just face it and get it out of the way. I always weigh myself daily but went away on an all-inclusive eating and drinking vacation. I thought the scale would be up 10 pounds but it was only up 2. Knowledge is power.