Saturday, May 14, 2016

My #2 weight maintenance tool, daily weighing for the WIN! Because my insurance bills are high and I want my discount!

**Discaimer*** This post is about daily weighing, because it helps ME. So if that makes you mad, or is triggering, skip this post. Daily weighing is an awesome tool for me, even during weight gain, data is king.

For other people, daily weighing may kick up their eating disorders. It's your perfect right not to weigh at all and skip my blog all together. Stick with your tribe.

For me, daily weighing is my #2 tool in weigh maintenance I'm able to keep my body weight in the normal range. Daily weighing for me is is quick, and recommended by Barbara Berkeley, MD in the Refuse to Regain book as a tough rule to adopt. (I'd quote the book chapter, but I gave my  book to a friend... LOL)

My health insurance will charge me an $40 extra a month to be above a BMI of 25!!! I get weighed and  waist measured and my lab work for glucose and HA1c tested for metabolic syndrome annually. Want to pay my insurance bills???....... I hear crickets. I'll take that as a NO.....

 ... Just kidding, as a single parent, I manage my weight and my bills like a fully adult like person who strives to keep my family financially solvent.. So I prioritize weight maintenance like a BOSS! I like to take the extra money and use it for travel with my daughter and for other things. Money does not buy happiness. But it does make life easier. For sure. I get $40 per month to not smoke, too. That one is easier with my childhood asthma. I'd be in the ER daily if I smoked.

And,daily weighing helps me with daily or weekly, small adjustments in food template and movement. Does my current food template and do my current movement patterns help me lose, maintain or gain? Fast data feed back. It takes longer to sit and watch patterns emerge. Having a cool, data crunching approach to weight maintenance is required for me.

So does a lower body fat, it does contribute to my day-to-day wellness. Less pain- emotional and physical. Lower cancer and diabetes risks. I have a handle on my body weight  and what I call food addiction after 40 years of yo-yo dieting. Sweet!!! Weight maintenance ties in closely to my life plan and goals.

NEWS FLASH- weight gain in weight maintenance can and does happen. Don't lose your cool about it.... but do adopt tools that keep you working on weight maintenance.

The current  scoop on my daily weighing!!! Learning to weigh in and not lose my cool is a skill.
Not once have I returned to binge eating over a gain on the scale since early 2011. I've had a 4-8 lb gain over late 2014 until now, mid 2016. My regular readers know this, since I post my weight graphs every month.

 A slow, steady gain. My doc says menopause combined with a post morbid obesity.   Stress could be contributing, too. I think of it as my old fat cell metabolism wanting to come back and live in my body.  Combine in post auto immune thyroid disease, and 2+ years of menopause, more of a desk assignment lately at work. Boom- It is what it is.

Losing my cool is NOT an effective tool for my goals.  Or my family finances. Truth!
Karen P's 5 year weight graph 2011-2016

I've been making small changes here and there and I'm holding steady in weight maintenance. I've even had a 1.5 pound loss over the month thanks to some small adjustments. We'll see if I can sustain it or not. Time will tell. My weight data and how my clothes fit will give me some feedback.

I've learned not to get overly happy or overly sad about the data.

Karen P's Monthly weight data 4-14-2016 to 5-14-2016  
Hey, I'm 5'1" and weighed in today (May 14,2016)  at 122.8 lbs. That's solid weight maintenance for me, no complaints. Am I more fluffy (subcutaneous hip and thigh fat, not abdominal fat so much) than I was early in menopause (2013-2014)? Yes. Is this a fail? No!  It's real weight maintenance after 4 years. It's real life.

I cannot change what I cannot measure. I promise you I would gain a lot more with less frequent weighing and open the door to the food addiction that will always be in remission. It stays there , one bite away... No cure, but remission is totally possible with work.

The future:
I would like to drop 3-4 pounds of FAT for overall wellness and optimal clothes fit, but not the extra 2-3lbs of MUSCLE, because I am more muscular, so 119 may be optimal for me rather than 116 at this point. I have a super nice plateau at 119 lbs.  I'll know when or if I get there. I won't compromise my muscle strength for a number on the scale.

Here's how daily weighing works for me:
1. Every morning: Hop on , hop off, record the data in My Fitness Pal and  move on no matter what. It's not good, it's not bad, it's just a data set.

2.  Weekly I'll look at trends and shift 1-2 times per week, then make dietary or even some movement adjustments. Mostly , food effects the scale the most.

3. Monthly I put my weight graphs here, on the blog. That goes a long, long way to put a stop on my slippery slope thinking. For sure!

4. How I handle away from home situations. I'll take a break if I cannot find a scale at the travel location or if I'll wake up my traveling partners or family. I won't, I'll skip a day. No big deal for me.

I've weighed in on a cruise ship, on vacations, and at PaleoFX 2015. I was determined that if anyone hassled me about weighing myself at PaleoFx I'd tell them to buzz off, really.... no one did because Paleo Peeps are generally pretty laid back about bio-hacking and n=1 data gathering.

Mark Sisson and Chris Kresser stayed at my hotel. I saw them every morning chatting about stuff at breakfast. Nobody said boo about anything about what I did or ate. In fact, one speaker even talked about daily weighing as a tool for weight maintenance and used my example in a  talk presented at PaleoFX '15 (Dean Dwyer) That's my tribe!!! Chilling with the n=1.

No need to take away my Paleo Card for daily weighing. Bio-hacking , the n=1 is accepted and encouraged within the space.  Really, the scale is one tool. It' doesn't measure my upper body strength, my flexibility, or my sleep or my attitude or intentions. It measures my total body weight on that date. DATA. not good, not bad, just one number.

It is what it is. Small price to pay post almost eating myself to death. Big benefits to me. Plus the extra money. Hey! I'll show you vacation pics later... LOL.

Here's what didn't work in the past

1. Avoiding the scale because I binged on low points WW foods and low fat foods- because I thought dietary fat made me fat ( it was the sugar and carbs)

2. Weekly knowing I had gained weight from binge eating and as a symptom of food addiction, but not doing one dang thing to stop it.

3. Maybe, maybe weighing monthly and thinking, well, I'll start on Monday, so last supper on Sat-Sunday. Oh, and Wed I have to teach a class to my peers so I might as well medicate with candy...

4. Letting other people decide what habits were best. Really, its okay if  you don't like it. Find a group of people doing what you do and embrace what works for you. We are stronger in our tribes.

If you don't weigh daily or do, that's okay. Once you hit 50, you give fewer cares about ineffective methods or what others think. And that's a good thing.

Here's what didn't work in the past while counting WW points  and calorie counting and intuitive eating- so painful for me, so ineffective. Ugh. Weight gain. Easy to see from the graph. You can see I lost weight when I weighed in daily or weekly.

 Karen P's Weight Gain While counting calories, WW points, and other ineffective methods
WHUT? These two cats are the only two that care if I stop to weigh-in before breakfast 


  1. Really good post. I have read it several times.

    I appreciate that you look at your process as a science experiment (my term) because I think that is so helpful. It is whatever it is, we use the data to adjust. As you said not good, not bad, just factual. The facts help. A lot.

    1. Thanks, Vickie!!! I know in my past attempts, I would hit a little bit of gain and go right back to my binge foods, flying my victim poor me flag pretty high. This time, I think I'm older and wiser and can employ better tools. I know there are many who maintain- like you!!! So what do you do? Lots of things... Just being willing to show up every day and do the work is key for me. Thanks for stopping by. :)

  2. I really enjoy your blog, and I have been inching my way back to the blog world. I dropped out for a while, for a variety of reasons, mostly burn-out and a lack of things to say. I now need to come back, at least with occasional posts. I love how you have taken hold of your life and done what you had to do to make weight loss happen and to maintain. I'm currently evaluating my next steps, since I have sustained some weight gain, and I don't want to gain it all back. I believe in daily weigh-ins too. Anytime I have not gotten on the scale for even a few days, I lose track and throw caution to the wind. I am also thinking about getting the bulk of my weight off using a commercial plan (not WW), much like you did. Sometimes we just need a very structured boost before we can get down to the maintenance.

    1. Hi E. Jane!!! Long time... glad you are back. Yeah, I've got crappy genetics for obesity and type 2, but why not make the second half of my life as good as I can make it? Smart in getting to a maintenance or stop gaining trend, then looking at what needs to be done next.

      Oh my food addict mind goes way off the path, deep into food addiction- one bite won't hurt (yes, yes it will). Knowing that I am data collecting the next morning- and I'll need to account for the trend- well, daily weighing is a great tool to not start up again.

      I don't regret going the Medifast route. When you are a life long binge eater, getting sicker by the month, if 40 weeks of a packaged plan keeps you from having lap band/gastric sleeve, it's a money and time saver. Nothing wrong with those procedures - because morbid obesity is just that- life threatening. The 40 weeks really helped me to transfer back to real foods, with a smoother transition.

      I'm not sure I would be in full blown remission right now without those 40 weeks. Just a stepping stone, the right order for me. That had to happen first, then everything else. Good luck and welcome back to blogging.