Sunday, February 7, 2016

A Pound Is Nothing


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!


19 comments:

Jenn Kitty said...

One pound may not be a huge success, but it's the start of success, the start of a goal, and hopefully an indication of more to come (or in this case, more to be lost).

Jenn,
http://www.jenn.nu

Lori said...

Good for you!! My goal is a losing trend as well. I spent way too much time trying to reach unattainable specific weight goals. Making peace with food and eating generally as you please while still losing weight is INCREDIBLE!! You just keep on working your plan, and living your life.
Lori

Anonymous said...

A pound is a pound. Losing a pound or two per month since the start would have had you at goal and maintaining before now. Losing fast is more likely to gain back all the weight. You are doing it the right way according to doctors and science.

LHA said...

I love this post. Right on!

jirons42 said...

Well said!

Cyndi and Stumpy said...

If they fought the battle that we fought they would understand the significance of a pound, lost or gained.

More than that they would recognize the courage it takes to share these battles with the world.

Most of us can appreciate you, your courage and your battles.

Rachel rbs said...

Congrats on that well-earned pound!

Lyn said...

Thank you for the encouraging comments. We had a tough weekend ending in the loss of my daughter's kitty (old age/illness). Prayers and good thoughts welcome. I am okay, we knew it was coming, but my heart aches for my daughter. She's very sad.

It may seem silly but I am going out for a walk this morning in honor of our kitty's beautiful life. She loved sitting on the porch in the sunshine, so I will go out and walk in the sunshine in her memory. I like to think of her pouncing from cloud to cloud, watching the birds fly by :)

so wa said...

I don't know maybe they're right that what is a pound? ! BUT just go and see when you step on a scale and it says +1 or-1 and then ask what is a pound? ! Just that small -1 makes you want to dance :) so if that is making you happy, trust me that one pound is a big number :)

so wa said...

Oh I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty. She definitely is pouncing from cloud to cloud. Hugs to you and your little one.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you like the gym?

Lyn said...

Anon~

I just don't enjoy being there. I'd rather be at home, or doing something I love. Would rather be with family or friends. If I can take 30 minutes and improve my yard or home in some way, or walk the neighborhood or hike out in nature, that is a pleasure to me. Hanging out in a sweaty smelling, dim room full of metal equipment and people grunting and groaning has just never been something I enjoyed. Usually I can't wait to get out of there. Personal preference I guess.

Anonymous said...

Yard work is NOT exercise. Please drop that idea like a hot potato. Just because you get sweaty from doing something, doesn't mean that it increases your fitness or burn enough calories for weight loss. You can get sweaty from sitting out in the sun, it's not gonna make you skinny.

Lyn said...

Anonymous~

We'll have to disagree on that one! Yard work is exercise... emphasis on the "work."

JM said...

No one has to love your idea of exercise! its good to do what you enjoy and can. That said, its true that in our forties to lose weight and keep it off, more regular vigorous exercise is needed for most of us. I recently gained 30 pounds and am 45. My regular weight of 150 was maintained by 4-5 weekly 3 mile + fast walks or runs and 2x per week with a trainer. At 180, I do the same to lose. Once I hit 150 again, it will have to AT LEAST be that and watch my diet to keep it off, and shrinking carbs too, likely. BUT not everyone wants/ or needs to be 150! And its what will be required for me to get there, and I guess I m lucky that I love to exercise.

Josie said...

Hi Lyn,

Did you not publish my comment because I used the word "Bull Spit"? I don't really think of that as profanity but I know see that you may have. Could you publish my comment with the deletion of "Bull spit"?

Thanks,

Josie

Lyn said...

Josie~

I didn't see a comment from you on this post. Not in the spam folder either. Can you try posting again?

Josie said...

It was your last post, not this one. Hmmmm I could try to recreate it, without profanity. :)

Best,

Josie

Laura Hamilton said...

A pound is important. It's a pound less, it's a move in the right direction. It's also the same pound that many of us have lost and thought hmm, I thought I had lost more. You keep doing what you do xx