A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Monthly vs. Weekly

Warning:  I’m one of those women who has opted not to feel shame and embarrassment about natural functions that mean our bodies are working in a healthy and correct manner.  So if you are one of the folks who find a discussion of “female issues” to be distasteful, consider yourself as having been appropriately forewarned.  I realize that everyone’s comfort level is not the same.

Last night I informed my husband that I was a sad little water balloon with lower back pain.

Once he’d managed to stop laughing he was very sympathetic.

Prior to being put on the pill, things were getting very difficult for me during my period.  I was having intense pain that sometimes sent me home from work and into bed in tears.  During those times, my cat Wish would always curl up against my back and purr loudly, trying to help.

After they put me on the pill the pain subsided and I was able to function like a normal person for the whole month rather than just for most of it.  Now, over ten years later, I’m getting bad symptoms again.  Not the horrible cramping (thank God), but water retention, emotional sadness and pain in my lower back where my tail would have been, had I been born with one.

I also can’t loose weight the week  before, or – I’ve found out – the week during.  Which means that for two weeks out of every four, the best I can hope for is maintenance.  The pill that keeps me functional might be partially responsible for this effect, and while it’s frustrating I’m not willing to give it up yet for the sake of steady weight loss.

It does mean though that stepping on the scale weekly to check my progress is a bad idea.

Right now I’m doing cardio aerobics three to five times a week, and weight training twice a week.  They’re not long workout sessions but they are daily (except for Sundays, I get a day of rest).  I’m also eating intuitively and practicing my simple steps.  I have a deal with my stomach: if you’re legitimately empty, then you get fuel.  In exchange, when you’re not empty there’s nothing incoming, not even if what you’re looking at is really really tasty and you really reeeeeealy want it.  It’s all part of the process of learning to distinguish mental hunger from legitimate body hunger.

All of this is, in fact, hard work.  And at the end of a week of hard work I want a reward.  I’m not rewarding myself with food, so I want to step on the scale and see a difference.  When I step on and, at best, I’ve simply stayed the same, I feel extremely discouraged and figure that since none of my work mattered I might as well go eat cookies until I explode.

I can’t afford for this to keep happening so I’m just going to have to avoid the scale.  I’m switching to monthly weigh-ins from weekly.  This way I won’t be able to tell that only half my month was proactive, I’ll just know that at the end of it I’ve gotten somewhere, and it doesn’t matter when during the time it happened.

Which means I need to come up with something else positive to give myself as weekly rewards.  Anybody have any good suggestions?


  1. Every time you win a battle & walk out of your kitchen without over-indulging put a star on the memo board. At the end of the week look at all the stars & know how amazing you are. Don't track the slip ups, don't erase stars if you eat something you regret. Just every victory gets a notch. At the end of the week tally them up & write down the number added to the previous weeks. It will give you a running total of wins. A number you can keep track of. When you eat one too many cookies you can turn to yourself and say that's ok I've won 30 battles, one cookie won't cost me this war!

  2. Have you thought about changing the pill that you're on? I've had thyroid issues my whole life, and when I was first put on the pill as a teenager to regulate my period, I gained a tremendous amount of weight within a couple of months - something like 40-50 pounds - and I never really lost all of it, even through my 20s. I actually lost weight when I stopped using the pill...I think I retained a great deal of water all the time on it and I actually felt much better not being on it at all.

    Maybe if you've been on the same pill for a long time, it stops working and you need to rejigger the hormone ratio? Or trying a different form of control altogether?