Friday, January 7, 2011

Fitness Friday...ish

Here's a fun little story...

So the whole month before Christmas I embarked on a journey to lose 10 pounds & thus wear my honeymoon swimsuits on our Christmas vacation.  I counted calories like you've never seen.  I kept alcohol to a minimum.  I exercised just about every day - including some serious running.  In the end, I lost ~3-4 pounds and I did end up wearing the honeymoon swimsuits (but maybe slightly less well than I did on our honeymoon).  Whatev.

Then we went on our Christmas vacation.  On the trip I: didn't exercise - not one day; drank ~4 beers/night (sometimes in addition to splitting a bottle of wine at dinner); ate a TON of Doritos; ate a TON of Christmas cookies and chocolates; drank sugary drinks like juice and Gatorade.  Total diet disaster.

Then I got home and weighed myself....and I weighed 2 pounds less than I did when we left.

On a different note, Sarah and I were having a conversation before I left for vacation.  Basically, we both agreed that our individual bodies have a weight that is pretty easily maintained.  We both agreed that when we get above that weight, it's easy-ish to bring it back down.  And it's harder to try to get that weight "re-set" at a lower number.

We also both agreed that we wished the number - the "homebase" weight - was lower.

And I'm not sure I can explain the exact mental connection that was made in my head, but basically a light switch was turned on:

I need to stop f-ing obsessing about how much I weigh!

It's just a number.  It's a number that obviously moves around in weird ways (see the first part of the blog post).  This dumb, inconsequential number does not own me.  It doesn't deserve to make me feel happy or sad in the morning, depending which side of the "homebase weight" it's on.  And frankly, it doesn't deserve so much of my undivided attention.

For my height (5'9), the healthy weight range for a woman (as set by BMI) is 129-169 (thank you genes for making me so tall!).

So here's my new philosophy: continue to exercise most days of the week; continue to eat real food; and continue to keep my weight in the healthy BMI range.  I don't need to weigh 129.  In fact, I don't think that would be possible for me unless a significant portion of my general shape changed (although, I'll say, my boobs are free to get a little smaller if they want). 

Here's the annoying truth, since I know myself so well: I'm pretty sure there's no number on the scale that will ever make me content.  Like, even if I weighed 130 - just knowing myself, I'm pretty sure I'd obsess until I got into the 120s, because come on, so close! 

I'm also going to quit weighing myself so often.  I will once a week, just to make sure things haven't taken a drastic change.  But this every-morning-help-me-set-the-mood-for-the-day is over.

Do you guys think I'm being lax?  Like, should I try to be my most ideal weight (which would probably be about 5-10 pounds lower, in theory)?


Sarah said...

Good for you! I read a study that said people that weigh themselves once a week over a time have the healthiest habits. It basically agrees with your theory that it's important to check in but that daily weighing isn't necessary and creates obsessing or the likelihood to binge. I think your "new" attitude about food and fitness is a good step toward health over a lifetime which is more important than any number on a scale.

Tippy said...

I think it is best to only weigh once a week. That's why I just measure myself occasionally. Because sometimes I weigh less but my jeans are tighter. Other times I weight more but my jeans fall off me. I found the measurements are a better idea of if I'm in my range. But I only measure maybe once a month.

Since I moved here I walk more, eat less, eat better, drink more water, etc. And I've lost tons of weight without thinking/stressing about it. I'm happier for it too. :)

You look fabulous!!!

Claire said...

I think that's very sensible, Jackie. You'll drive yourself nuts stepping on a scale every morning. It sounds like you do an excellent job of staying healthy, so I wouldn't sweat the number too much. Just consider it a good way to keep you on track.