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BDS Day 21: Get Ready to Weigh In

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

This will be a shorter blog entry since this is more of a preparatory mechanical task than anything else. However, in the book Dr. Beck does go into some detail in explaining how you 'should' interpret what you see on the scales when you do weigh. I also might add that if weighing in is a difficult task for you and wrought with a lot of anxiety and tension there is another book I would recommend that you read. "Friends with the Scales" by Linda Spangle. She also is a proponent of using behavioral techniques when losing weight and is a licensed nurse and social worker who works in this field as well. It is an easy book to read and it has some great pointers that will ease any anxiety or trepidation you feel when you weigh in weekly.

As for me, I weigh every day and I have for years. I also test my blood sugar every day and what we are told is that the daily testing of your blood sugar only reflects that moment and that what medical people look at is your overall readings over a period of 90 days. That test is called A1C. Why 90 days? It is actually quite simple. That is the life span of a single blood cell. It dies on day 90 and rejuvenates on Day 1. Although my blood sugar does remain stable there are times, like when an infection is present, that the numbers are much different and worth noting. However, the process becomes quite routine as should weighing in. If you can see that when you step on the scales it is only showing that moment's and what may have happened the previous 12-24 hours then you will not as 'throw' by the numbers reflecting back at you.

This is what I have learned about what those numbers mean at any given time:

1) have I had a BM in the past 24 hours? Not to sound gross, but I read at any given time most people are carrying within their digestive system 5 lbs. of waste and yes this will show up on the scales.

2) did I dine out the night before? Many restaurants use MSG as a seasoning agent [ and not just Asian restaurants I have since found out---I have a favorite Greek restaurant that does] and that is triple the sodium of what regular table salt is and it can easily show up as a 2-3 lbs. temporary weight gain.

3) did I do my strength workouts the day before and possibly even add some heavier weights? Your muscles can swell in response to a heavier load and that is usually body fluids. It will cycle out of your body provided you flush it with water but it will be there until it is flushed out.

4) are you under a lot of extra stress? There are hormones at play within our body and not just at 'that time of the month' either that can impact our weekly weighing in. Often the body when under duress will hang onto a few extra pounds. My understanding is that is how we are 'made up of'---it is a complex biological phenomena but it is for real and it does exist. Lack of or poor sleep also falls under this 'category'.

5) certain medications. I have been under short term usage of some medications, that although do not have any apparent sodium in them, nevertheless can cause the body to temporary hang onto some water retention weight. Others can alter your body chemistry as well. Usually when you are prescribed these the fact sheet will mention that as a side effect. How important they are to recovery from an illness and how they may impact your weight loss goals is only something you can make a decision on.

Those are the most common ones that I have encountered over the years. The main point that I am making is that we do not attempt weight loss in a 'bubble' so we just need to accept and expect to a certain extent that there will be external factors that will impact our efforts no matter how closely we stick to them. Of course, these are outside the realm of emotional eating and unplanned eating but then there are other days in this book to cover those issues.

In the meantime, remember it is only a number and does reflect all of your choices that you made leading up to that which you are taking to create a 'better version of yourself'. This is when you need to remember what a "NSV" is (non scale victory) and celebrate those as well no matter what the scales says. After all, it is only one measure of all the good work you are doing for yourself and it should not be allowed to negate the rest of your hard work. I know that I don't.

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