A few days ago, I received a comment I didn't publish. It was a valid question, I guess, but since it was laced with profanity and phrased in an accusatory way, I deleted it. But it raised an interesting question (which I will paraphrase without the extra wording): how can you call it a success when you lose one pound? One pound is nothing.
Is it? Is one pound nothing? Well, it depends. A pound lost or gained is meaningless in the big scheme of things if it's just a fluctuation from salt, hormones, bathroom habits, etc. I've always said I can lose or gain a couple of pounds at the drop of a hat just by eating certain foods. If I wanted my weigh in today to be a couple pounds lighter, all I'd have to do is spend 2 days eating very low carb, no added salt, and drink lots of lemon water. I could even take a diuretic or a laxative if I wanted a dramatic loss (as some people do when "competing" in diet contests like Diet Bet). Those things would make my weight drop but it wouldn't be permanent or meaningful at all. If I wanted (for some weird reason) to have a *higher* number on the scale, that's easy too! I could spend a day eating processed, salty and sugary, high-carb foods, drink some sodas, and sit around all day. Overnight I would be up 3 pounds or so. So you could say if a person is manipulating their weight in those ways, consciously or without meaning to, a pound lost or gained is truly meaningless.
But if a person is going along with a consistent way of eating and moving, without any major deviations going on, and if hormone levels aren't swinging wildly, a pound gained or lost is meaningful. It's an indication of the direction a person's weight is going and will continue going if they don't make changes. One pound in a week might be an accurate indicator, but the better picture is seen by looking at weight change over the month, 6 months, year. That is why I have a page of my weight by month and weight by year: I can see the bigger trends and make changes as needed.
I may have only lost a pound in January, but it means something to me because I have been on an overall losing trend for months (-17 since January 2015). A pound or two lost per month does add up, as I can see by my current size versus my size a year ago.
Today's weigh in was holding steady at 228. All indicators so far point towards me continuing to lose very slowly, a pound or two a month as I've been doing. This is a really comfortable and easy weight loss for me; I eat what I want in reasonable amounts and am not in any way deprived. I feel good. I know that with a bit more 'push' (as I mentioned last week) with the upcoming spring weather, I will probably see this speed up slightly. I'm looking forward to losing the next ten pounds.
I admit it is hard for me to get moving enough in the winter. I *hate* being outside in the cold unless it is snowing. On the sunny days I do get out and walk, but I tend to rely on weather as a motivator for activity. I really like being outside, walking, hiking, doing yard work so I think my weight loss will speed up over the spring months and my eating will be even healthier when the local produce starts showing up at the Farmer's Market!
I also want to add this: weight is only one small part of each person. It is only as important as THEY want it to be, and as important as it impacts their health. While I do want to get to a smaller size for the sake of my health, weight loss is just a small part of a much bigger life. Do not let anyone call you a failure because you are fat, or because you aren't losing weight. If you are a good friend, if you are a good family member in whatever role you are in (mother, daughter, sibling, grandchild, step-parent), if you are an honest and hard-working employee, if you are a good and moral PERSON, be proud of that. Be happy because of that. Your weight doesn't change that. If you have people who love you, those are the ones who matter. If you are trying to improve your health and struggling with it, that does not change who you are. Keep working at it, improve at your own rate, and believe in your own goodness!
I am 38 years old, female, a degree-holding stay-at-home-mom, and I weigh 278 pounds. I have been obese for ten years now. Time to get out of this fat prison I have made for myself.
--This is the original introduction I wrote when I first started this blog in 2007. I leave it as a reminder to myself of where I came from. Currently, I am 46 years old and weigh significantly less...see the blog for details. I lost 103 pounds, then had a partial regain, and am once again working at weight loss and better health.
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