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Friday, July 18, 2008

A Box of Springs is Not Going to Run My Life

Yep, it's weigh-in day. I always dread and look forward to this day every week. Living a healthier life (notice I did not say dieting) means lots of moments with mixed feelings for me. Joy at saying no to birthday cake at a party and then immediate regret when I realize I just said no to my all time favorite treat. Cursing the workout queen who's DVD I'm only ten minutes into and then elation at having finished it and feeling fantastic. Cheers when almost all my clothes no longer fit and then depression when I have nothing to wear. None of these conflicting feelings are really overwhelming to me. Well, one is.

I call it my Popeye moment. Remember how in the cartoons, a character's eyes would literally pop right out of his head in a shocking moment? Well, that's usually how I feel on the scale. I'm either Pop-eying because I'm thrilled with the number or Pop-eying because the number isn't what I expected. And yes, Pop-eying is a word. Weigh-in day is both looked forward to and dreaded at the same time.

This morning, I wasn't happily Pop-eying. I'm up .6 and for the first time on this journey, I cried on the scale. I've never done that before and I was so mad at myself. At the beginning of this journey, I had promised myself that I wouldn't let a box of springs run my life. It was not going to break me, but there I was naked, crying, and cursing that damn box. Not a pretty picture, huh? (Come on, I know I'm not the ONLY one that weighs-in naked! And, no, I don't strip at meetings, I'm an online only member, thank you very much.)

****Little pause here, Young One's hamster nipped him while he was cleaning out her cage. Many tears, some shaking, and a Bandaid later, he's back to cleaning his room and I got to finish cleaning the hamster cage. A quick check online to see if Hamsters are official carriers of alarming Hamster-ouch-itis, a very contagious, yet imaginary disease and I'm back! Oh, the joy of being a stay at home mom! I can't remember the last time I had uninterrupted time.****

Back to the scale. Now, I'm mad at myself for crying on it. It is just an impersonal box of springs, even though it does tell me my body fat percentage (which is going down!) and the weight of my skeleton (which is a little odd and a bit encouraging since it hasn't changed, wouldn't want to be losing bones and not fat now would I? Ha, imagine that reality. "Doctor, I'm very frustrated, my bones have disappeared and now I'm just a gelatinous blob. No, I can't come into the office, I have no bone structure." Oh, I've got to stay more focused when I write, where was I?)

There are any number of reasons that it went up this week instead of down. I've been working out like crazy and I'm really sore. Physiologically, I know that sore muscles hold water and so this probably explains my weight "gain". I also was sipping iced coffee and Vitamin Water like crazy and, despite logging it, it may have been more points than I thought. Maybe I wasn't really honest with my reporting this week? I plan to review my Points Tracker with great scrutiny to see if maybe I made some mistakes there. I didn't eat all my Flexies or my Activity Points, maybe I didn't eat enough. Like I said, there could be many reasons, but what is most important is that I take a good look at it, be honest in my reflection, and then move on and keep going.

I have to be reality focused here. I can't let that box, that number, take over my life. I am feeling better than I have in years. I am going down in clothing sizes and seeing definition in muscles that I haven't seen in a long time (or when I could see them, I took them for granted!). I feel great after working out and it's doing good things for my heart and bone health. I'm eating healthier and I feel better about my food choices--where they come from and what I'm eating. Most importantly, I feel more in control and less lost, less depressed about being fat.

It's very hard to be overweight. It's very hard to lose weight. You have to decide which hard you want to have. No, I didn't come up with that clever little phrase, it's an old Weight Watchers saying that gets passed around. Those phrases are a little trite, but sometimes valuable. Although if I hear, "If you're not hungry enough to eat an apple, then you're not hungry" again I'm going to trachea punch the speaker. Yes, this week, the scale got the best of me, just for a moment. I doubt that there will be a next time because, like anything else in this journey, I've logged it, learned from it, and now I'm moving on.

In the meantime, I'm fantasizing about the many ways one could do away with their scale. Launching it out the window is tempting, but just too simple and uninspired. I'd rather see it go in a flaming blaze of glory, perhaps launched from a trebuchet into the great beyond.

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Taking a little time to play with words, to play with food, and just to play!