September 2017 Weigh-In

If you were to guess how I feel about September’s weight journey based on this graph, I wouldn’t blame you if you assumed I’d be disappointed.

Average daily weight up by about a pound.

I also wouldn’t blame you if you were perplexed by this graph of my daily weight.

Five pound flux multiple times this month

So, here’s where I’m at, physically and mentally.

This slow creep upward on the scale has taken its toll. I’m no longer feeling comfortable in my own skin, generally speaking. Most of my work pants are now ill-fitting, and give me mad crazy muffin top. Same with my workout pants. I haven’t been visiting the Fitness Center at work as often as I used to (I could make the excuse that they’re not holding classes I want to attend, but that would just be an excuse), and I’ve lost a great deal of upper body and core strength.

As evidenced by my daily weight graph above, I’ll have an awesome week and then a suck week. Rinse and repeat. Last month, I claimed to have set “black-and-white goals” to track every meal and to eat protein with every meal.

One out of two ain’t bad?

That daily graph is also showing some rapid weight loss that last week of September, though. What’s up with that, and how do I plan to keep it going this time?

Number one: I’ve set myself a reward system based mostly on behaviors rather than outcomes. I earn a set number of points for certain things: one point for weighing in less than the day before, two points for staying with my “Healthy Eating Zone” (within a few Weight Watchers SmartPoints™ of my daily target), and one point for each 32 fluid ounces of water I drink. If I earn 25 points in a week, I get a reward — one item of moderately fancy clothing. If I earn 20 points in a week AND weigh in less than the week before, I get sushi for lunch. It’s worked to keep me on track this week (MM.LaFleur FTW, although that was quite a splurge this week), and I’m hoping it will continue to do so in the week(s) to come.

Number two: I’ve been getting to sleep earlier. I’ve known for quite some time now that if I get to bed by 10pm, I sleep better than if I stay up till 11. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve let myself go to bed when I’m tired — once even going to bed at 9:30pm (which I should honestly probably be doing every night). I’m still not in as standard of a bedtime routine as my kindergartner (bathe, brush teeth, take allergy meds, put on jammies, put a sticker on the calendar, read a book, lights out), but I’m working toward that. There’s something to be said for routine and ritual: it basically eliminates decisions, in favor of a pre-planned process.

Number three: I’ve pulled from my wardrobe any clothes that don’t make look and feel totally awesome. That means I’ve been rocking lots of sheath dresses, especially ones made of thicker fabric that skims my curves but doesn’t hug them. Some of the offending clothes have gone into the ThredUp Clean-Out bag that I keep constantly filling, while others (like pants that are currently a half-size too small) are just on hiatus.

Number four: I took a chance on romance and ordered grass-fed beef, chicken, and pork from ButcherBox, so now I have more protein in my freezer than I possibly ever have before. Expect a review (or at least a lengthy description) later on, but so far we’ve enjoyed strip steaks — cooked sous vide, of course, for maximum medium-rareness — and hamburger stroganoff. Tomorrow will be burgers, then we’ll need to power through three giant chicken breasts, four pork chops, another pound of ground beef, bacon, and two sirloins before our next box arrives in two months (if we decide to continue the subscription box). We’re so unused to eating meat that this is an extra super luxury — not just meat, but grass-fed, pasture-raised meat. I’m no Social Justice Warrior for humane farming, but given the opportunity to eat this kind of meat, and have it delivered to my door, at that… well, why wouldn’t I?

It’s more SmartPoints / calories / fat, yes. But it’s worth it.

I should probably do something similar with artificial sweeteners, too… but, baby steps. Splenda has become such a part of my life — in my coffee or chai, in my low-cal desserts, even in my cooking and baking — that I’d really have to retool things… and, yeah, this is totally me making excuses for being a sucralose junkie and not wanting to stop. I’m not quite on board with the total Clean Eating thing yet, although I do know I feel better when I eat less processed and prepackaged food, and more food that I cook and bake myself.

But I digress. I was talking about losing weight, and how I’m planning to stay on plan.

I’ve got this. I’ve totally got this. I know how much better I feel, both physically and mentally, when I stick to plan. It gives me a sense of accomplishment, and it gives me more energy and helps me stand up a little straighter — which helps flatten out that muffin top.

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