So here’s what’s been going on.
I’ve been on what is referred to as a “plateau” for about six months. Except it’s not really a plateau, it’s been a very slow weight gain of around eight pounds from my lowest recorded weight. When I have a plateau, it’s not because I’ve been doing everything right and still inexplicably not changing, it’s because I haven’t been doing what I know I need to do nutritionally or getting enough physical activity. So I’ve known exactly why things weren’t moving along the way I want them to.
A little over two weeks ago, I refocused. Spring was here and I could get back outside – so I did. I’ve worked out every single day, without missing a day, for the past sixteen days. I walk, I sometimes jog a bit, I ride my stationary bike, I do core circuit training, I lift weights. My entire right foot is essentially one giant blister and I can’t turn my head to the left, but I’m feeling pretty motivated.
I also got my calories back where I want them – between 1,400 and 1,800 per day with good nutritional practices.
One week in, I had shed two pounds. Exactly what I was expecting to see. Encouraged, I pushed on.
The second week in, I went away for a small weekend vacation. This involved some indulgent food that I don’t normally eat, like cream of crab soup and margarita pizza. Still, I tracked my calories diligently the whole time and upped my physical activity to compensate. Both mornings at the hotel, I got up and did two miles of fast walking in the workout room, then hit the pool for laps, then took a decent little hike across some sand dunes while out sightseeing (walking over dry sand is amazing for the calf muscles).
I came in to my group meeting yesterday expecting to have lost a pound, maybe two if all went well.
I gained five. Five pounds. In a single week of working out daily and carefully watching what I consumed, even on a two day vacation.
To say I hit rock bottom emotionally is something of an understatement.
I never wanted to be that member freaking out at a weight loss meeting and fighting back tears, but there it was. A very public and embarrassing meltdown. From a purely scientific standpoint in order to put on that much weight in a single week I would have had to eat roughly 6,000 calories per day, every day.
Let me assure you, I did not.
I said there had to be some mistake and asked to be weighed again on their alternate scale. The nice ladies who run my meeting said of course.
I was still five pounds heavier than last week.
I didn’t run out of the meeting, I stayed. But I think it’s obvious that I need to shake things up somehow in a very big way. My group meetings are not expensive, but I’ve been paying for them for six months now and the only change that’s happened is that I’m twelve pounds heavier. I also fundamentally don’t agree with this particular group on some of their nutritional ideas, like their insistence that an adult consume at least two servings of cow’s baby food every day (I think they must have some kind of corporate deal going on with the dairy farmers association or something).
I have one pre-paid ticket left, so I don’t need to make this decision this week. I know all of the reasons why these kinds of spontaneous and heartbreaking weight hikes happen to people who haven’t eaten even remotely enough to warrant them: too much salt, water retention, and as a good and wise friend pointed out to me my muscles are probably swollen and retaining water from my failure to take a single rest day in the past two and a half week period.
So today I rested. I had a healthy fish dinner. I didn’t binge and I didn’t cry.
However, my faith that it's even remotely possible for me to win this battle is shaken. Profoundly.