I had this conversation with a friend of mine the other day and it really stuck with me. We’ll call my friend Jane for the sake of this post and to respect her privacy. She and I have very similar weight issues, i.e. far too much of it and no actual underlying health issues that aren’t weight related (like joint pain from feet being asked to carry too much weight). I think I started in about two lbs heavier than she was, but as I was 246 that put her at 244. For the past year we have both been inching along with our weight loss.
We were also meeting up once every week or so for moral support (and because our gym schedules happened to allign). I haven’t actually seen her since February at this point though.
When I spoke to her a few nights back she said that she wasn’t going to bother even thinking about her weight until the world returned to something more stable. Her argument was, quite simply, Why bother? Why bother focusing on weight loss when there are so many more important things to focus on right now? She even went so far as to put her scale in the cupboard.
I didn’t argue with her as weight and its loss are both very personal things that need to be dealt with individually, but I thought about what she said. I thought about it a lot.
And I have to say I disagree.
First off, I would like to say that, you should still pay attention to what is going on in the world. Sticking your head in the sand isn’t going to help you, although holing up like a hibernating bear might. Like most people I am following the news. However, there comes a point where paying too much attention is likely to drive me mad and having something other than the outside world to pay attention to has helped me tremendously.
While I am always thrilled when the scale shows me a lower number, and every weight loss no matter how small is celebrated by a happy dance, my goal at this time is merely not to gain weight. My weekly step on the scale is more of a monitoring process and part of my weekly routine.
Don’t get me wrong, I am still trying to lose weight, but I am more forgiving with myself than usual.
I find routines very important. Its why I started doing the weekly weigh in to begin with. I wanted a consitent day and time to step onto the scale to monitor my progress, lack of progress or even set backs. It keeps me honest and because I am sharing it with you, accountable.
Maintaining that routine makes me feel a bit more normal. In addition, at this point in my world because my weight loss plan involves monitoring my caloric intake and my exercising I sort of know how many calories I need to consume each day. With several week’s worth of groceries on hand, monitoring my weight each week actually helps me avoid some of my stress eating. Even if I only see my baby and no one else, I am still accountable to the scale each week. If I gain a bunch of weight, it probably means I am stress eating and need to stop.
If only so we don’t run out of groceries.
Being able to monitor the groceries also provides a level of comfort for me. Which is why I still have as healthy a meal plan as I can create at this point in time without constantly running out to the store for fresh veg and relying on a lot of frozen and dried produce from the freezer. Also much of that came from last year’s garden and needs to be cleared out as this year’s garden gets underway.
So the clearing out is actually a productive thing.
Adding workouts to my schedule despite not having access to the gym not only lets me build in breaks to my day, it also helps me relieve stress by focusing on just the way my body moves instead of following numerical progressions across the face of the globe. It not only keeps me active, which most doctors agree is a good thing, but I am doing exercises that force me to focus on my breathing.
During the exercise, whether I am following along with a Youtube yoga or five pound weight video or following along with the Planet Fitness Facebook page (my most common sources for videos) or walking around the neighborhood to stretch my legs in the sunshine between the rainstorms, there is my breath.
Steady in and steady out.
Not only does the action calm me, but as I don’t have any problems with the breathing in and out, I am also reassured that I am still healthy. I am reminded that I am fine.
No matter what news story I just finished watching.
While I respect my friend Jane and her decision not to even think about her weight or the scale for a while, for me, I believe there is ample reason to still bother monitoring my weight, even if it isn’t strictly to help with loss, and to maintain my workout routine, even if it isn’t completely for exercise.
I still focus on the outside world, but spending a little time focusing on myself actually helps me maintain a good balance so that I can deal with events without being overwhelmed. I know this isn’t technically speaking any sort of dieting tip, but I wanted to state why I am continuing with these posts the way they are. Hopefully you find the posts an enjoyable break from what’s going on in your life.
As for me, (and the lead photo for this post) my current pair of sneakers wore out and I just received their replacement. Actually my baby doll ordered the replacement based on a previous order. I was going to test out a different shoe this time around, but I forgot to tell him I was going to order them, so I have these.
I actually checked my chart and it was this time last year that I started monitoring my mileage on the shoes to see how many miles I got out of them before they were replaced. At that time I was alternating between the gym and the walking trail. At the moment, I am exclusively walking in the neighborhood and the walking trail. I think it just might be an interesting contrast to see how long this pair lasts compared to the others.
And yes that is another thing for me to keep track of, another item to add to my routine. I am by nature a list maker and I find this soothing. Hopefully you find it entertaining. So I will record this set of shoes for their mileage and compare it to last year. Then I’ll branch out to a different pair of shoes. maybe Reebok or Adidas next time instead of New Balance. We’ll see, for now the important thing is to just keep moving, one step at a time.