Weight Loss Frustrations

by Melissa on June 28, 2012

Hey, guys…guess who woke up this morning a wee bit aggravated with herself? This girl.

I have these days, you know…I’m not always so motivated and giddy and…you get the picture. Today is just one of those days. I woke up, almost in the same position in which I fell asleep, and instantly felt all cramped up. All of this running and strength training is seriously leaving me sleeping like a rock, but I’m waking up sore and uncomfortable. Today was no exception, so I woke up a little cranky, and…

Then I stepped on the scale.

Seriously?Seriously?Yeah, seriously. I was down two pounds already this week and now I’m back up. I know what all of you are thinking, trust me. I’m sure there was some rolling of the eyes in there, too. Maybe even some forehead slapping. I can’t help it sometimes…I’m not exactly the most patient person in the world, that’s for sure.

I know what I wrote when I wrote the recap of my Longest Day 10-miler. I said “Fuck the weight!” I know I did…but I’ve been battling this for about 23 years now. It’s hard for me to quit. The old me still lingers. I’m finally seeing myself succeed in something physical, which was unheard of three years ago, and yet…I’m still battling weight. Someone slap me, because the more I read what I’m writing, the more ridiculous I sound, I know.

A few months ago, I discovered that I’ve been completely out of my mind…I’ve been caving to the “standard” that people think we should meet. I’d plan my goals around some number that I simply just pulled out of my ass because it sounded “about right”. I thought that with my height, I needed to be, oh, right about here. 140. Just pick a number and go for it. Bullshit. I’ve done this all my life.

I’m shooting for 130, because I really want a six-pack. I want to be a size 4, and I want to see my collarbone.

I’m shooting for 170, because I don’t want to be all toned and cut and jacked. I want to be soft – I’m a woman.

Do you see the problem there? I was trying to convince myself of two totally different things, depending on how (un)inspired or how (un)motivated I was. I would go for the “softer” goal when I was feeling like I was always meant to be “bigger”…and I’d go with the lower number, because I was feeling too fat or too…dare I say it, disordered.

The problem with both of those “goals” is that I have never seen those numbers before. I have no clue what my body looks like at those weights, because it’s been years since I’ve been there. So long ago that I don’t even think I was stepping on a scale yet. It had to have at least been the beginning of high school, maybe younger. I literally just pulled those numbers out of thin air and slapped them on paper and called them goals. Smart, isn’t it? Anyways, back to a few months ago. I learned a little something in my exercise science class. Actually, I learned something so big that it changed the way I saw my weight loss goals entirely. I was taught how to use my body weight and body fat percentage to determine how much of me is actually fat and how much is actually lean mass. (Those numbers surprised the crap out of me.) Then, I learned how to take those numbers and figure out what body fat percentage I’d like to be at and how much I need to lose to get there. (Of course, those numbers will change slightly depending on how much muscle I build or don’t build.)

Those few little equations and measurements changed my life. I went from thinking that I needed to lose between 60-100 pounds to be happy with my body…to knowing that based on my body fat percentage, I only need to lose 34 pounds to be considered “lean”. Yep. 34 pounds.

Do you see how disordered those “standard” numbers have us thinking???

That’s a whole other post, people. I can get pretty crazy up in here talking about what people see as “standard”. Actually, I have before. Anyways, I have this secret little goal of mine…that I probably shouldn’t keep so secret anymore, because I’m all about getting/giving support. I’ll be 30 in 63 days. I’m trying to lose ten pounds a month until then. (That’s roughly two pounds a week.) 20 pounds in 63 days. (I also have a BF% goal…because you never know with weight.) (I have a post for this goal…stay tuned.) The only way I’m going to be able to do this, though, is if I give up the scale. The scale makes me crazy…and I have no idea why I got back to that daily weigh-in thing bullshit. (Hey, ’cause that’s what it is.)

weight scale, smash the scale, scale Source.

I’m busting serious ass with this half marathon training. I’ve accomplished so much more than I thought I could. I’m taking care of myself. I’m setting weekly goals. (If you haven’t checked out The Weekly Chase yet, you need to. Link up next week…it’s been AWESOME!) I’m so proud of myself and how far I’ve come, but, I am really trying to get my weight down when it comes to my waistline. I don’t want to battle it anymore. I want to ring in 30 with a whole new, healthy body & mind. We want to get pregnant this Christmas/New Year (stayin’ busy in those cold, cooped-up months lol)…we’d like to try for one more baby before we call it “quits” (watch, now we’ll get a big surprise a couple years down the road just because I said something). I want to be healthy…I want to continue to run while I’m pregnant. I don’t want to make excuses to eat like crap when I’m pregnant…because I’ll tell ya…after this second baby…the weight has been twice as hard to drop. They don’t lie about that, and it has a lot to do with the fact that I was not healthy before hand. I just don’t want to battle this anymore.

fat, maintaining weight, getting skinny, losing weight

Source.

I feel like I’m all over the place with this post, but that’s what my head’s doing right now. Up and down and all around.Scatterbrained. I had to write it out. I had to get these frustrating thoughts out and “on paper”, because a lot of you know how hard this has been for me…and those of you that are new to me should know how hard I really do work. This entire healthy journey of mine has required somemajor discipline. Change doesn’t come easy. It takes a lot of will and determination…but we’re all human. We all have these moments of weakness, and I, my friends, am far from perfect.

But I’m still fighting.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda @RunToTheFinish June 28, 2012 at 11:21 am

i think one thing that helped me was to start focusing on positive things…so i not i want to lose weight, but I want to eat 7-9 servings of fruits and veggies. I want to run X fast etc. Those focuses for me helped to make the scale a little less important, but we all go through phases!

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Melissa June 28, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I don’t like phases. Do you? At least these kind of phases. lol I forget that I’ve lost 17 pounds since April 29th. I’m not sure why it’s so slow for me, but it is. I don’t think I’ve ever been a fast weight-dropper. (Sometimes, when I’m really down…I wish I were a guy. lol They lose 10 pounds almost instantly. GAH!) I might start posting about positive health-related things when I do the weekly chase updates. ;) Thanks for the reminder, girl.

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Sarah June 28, 2012 at 11:28 am

I had one of those mornings myself. I didn’t feel like getting out of bed, I didn’t feel like going running and the whole time I was out there, I couldn’t find my stride or control my breathing. I was far slower than usual and frustrated as hell. I saw 3 STOP AHEAD signs on my trail and wanted so badly to take them as a sign. I blame all of this on the early am sneak to the scale only to reveal I had not lost even a single ounce this week. I ruined my own run!!!

I am headed to the gym to do my weights now so I can prove to myself I can do this today! Thanks for the post! It reminded me I’m not the only one that has bad days!!

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Melissa June 28, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Nope…you’re certainly not the only one! This is so bad, but I feel terrible when I’m on Facebook (or here) and I post all this positive stuff. All my accomplishments, things that make me happy, etc. I had a friend actually tell me she hated me a lot of days because of how often I’m happy. Isn’t that terrible!?!?! I always feel like people see it that way…and I’m trying to balance it here on the blog. You all SHOULD know when I’m having an “eh” day. I’m not perfect. Things don’t always happen the way I want them to or how I want them to. I’m human, and this is how it goes. Two steps forward, one step back. It leads to growth.

I’m SO glad you didn’t stop when you saw those signs. SO glad. I hope the gym helps you get a grasp on your day…and know you’re never alone.

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Jenny June 28, 2012 at 11:55 am

I find taking progress pictures helps me a lot when I get frustrated with the scale. I’m 34 weeks pregnant with our second and looking back at pictures from when I was training for my first half marathon this time last year I can’t believe how fat I thought I was when in reality that was not the case. It’s tough to stay away from the scale and all about finding balance in measuring weight loss. I’m nervous and anxious to start my own weight loss journey (again) once the baby arrives!

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Melissa June 28, 2012 at 1:23 pm

I will never ever forget the first time my mom showed me a picture from when I was 22 years old. It was on my birthday, I was wearing a tank top and skirt and a silly umbrella hat. Instead of laughing at the hat, I gasped.

What the hell was I thinking when I thought I was FAT at that age!?!?!?! I wasn’t fat at all! I still had a little weight to lose, but I wasn’t as fat as I thought. You’re right. Photos would do me good, wouldn’t they? Perception. It’s all about perception.

Congratulations on baby #2!!! Almost there! :D I honestly think the key to the whole weight loss thing post baby lies in two things:

1. How healthy you were before the baby and while you were pregnant.
2. How quickly you get yourself back at it.

I let it slide after my first 5K, which was about 7 months postpartum (baby #2). I let work get the best of me…and I gained 30 pounds back. Grr. I’m still working on that.

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Maureen June 28, 2012 at 11:59 am

Isn’t it funny how f****d up our perception of how much we are “supposed” to weigh can be? About 3 years ago {at age 28} I thought I was supposed to weigh 130. Let me tell you, the last time I weighed 130 was in high school when I was playing soccer 6 days a week {sometimes twice a day}. But I finally have let that go {for the most part}. I still have days where I feel like a fat blob of ickiness! Thanks for writing this post. I am sure so many of us relate! :)

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Melissa June 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm

I think that’s the big thing we as women need to conquer!! We grow up without the wisdom of age or education to be able to tell ourselves, no, 130 isn’t the ideal weight. There is no standard weight for women. Even women the same height! (Which is why I think BMI is a bunch of BS.) I have a large frame. No dainty bone in my body anywhere. Okay, so maybe in my little toe. Anyways, point is, we never consider our frame, how strong we are (muscle mass), etc. We just think we’re defined by this stupid freaking number…and some days, we let this standard little number ruin us. For the most part, I’ve given that up as well. PS: I’m sure the last time I weighed 130 pounds was when I was in 7th grade. lol That was before I shot up 6″ in one summer.

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Heather @ Better With Veggies June 28, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I love jenny’s idea above of progress pictures. Or measurements. The scale is so fickle and can be off by 5 pounds easily with water weight and such, but it really can sap your joy and motivation if you let it. Focus on the positive changes you’ve made and making the small good decisions. You’ll get there!!

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Melissa June 28, 2012 at 1:51 pm

I love the idea, too. The one thing I forgot to remind myself of was the fact that it was a day after a weight training session. Of course I’m going to retain water. Duh. ;)

I think I’m going to do the progress pictures. When I hit goal, that’s when I’ll share them with everyone. ;)

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Erin June 28, 2012 at 12:43 pm

I have those days, too. But one thing to remember about working out is that it is converting fat to muscle. I think you are on the right track to think about body weight and not the number of the scale. You talk about 2 pounds but I swear I could fluxuate 2 pounds in one day! I think of a scale as a dangerous tool. If not use properly it can damage us. I think we need to se it rarely and wisely and possibly not at all. How did you feel after your 10-mile run? I think that feeling of accomplishment, of knowing your body did something extraordinary, is priceless compared to a number on a dangerous tool.

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Melissa June 28, 2012 at 1:11 pm

This is exactly what I needed to hear today. You’re right…I need to harness the feeling I got after my 10-miler. Even when I was 20 pounds lighter, I couldn’t do what I’m doing now, and I need to remind myself of that. One thing my longer-term readers can tell you is that I have a history of feeling this way. It’s been a long time since I have, but it comes and goes as it pleases. I just need to set aside that damn scale. Once a week. That’s it. I’m staying away. ;) Thank you, Erin.

And you’re absolutely right…I can fluctuate between 3-4 pounds some days. Craziness.

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Jenna June 28, 2012 at 1:35 pm

GREAT POST!!!!!! Seriously was having the same issues this morning! I’ll admit I’m a scale junky, even when my husband hides it I search to find it to weigh myself constantly, then feel guilty if I gain, even though there are tons of reasons why the number fluctuate several times throughoutmthenday. I too have a ‘goal, no idea if it’s doable, but I’m trying, and although the numbers don’t match up with my idea of ‘healthy’, I know this is the healthiest I have ever been in my whole life…isn’t that sad? I played sportsmallmthe time when I was younger was constantly active, but I also ate McDonalds and all that crap ALL the time. So now I know I’m healthiest I’ve ever been in diet/lifestyle and body….still working on the whole mental aspect of seeing myself as healthy vs. perfect.

You are doing great with all your running and all those delicious meals your making. You are healthy, strong and beautiful…and that’s all you need to worry about. No one knows your weight or clothes size unless you tell them!

Good luck with baby #3. :). We again are very similar in thoughts about having another baby. We want to start trying again in November and I too want to run and stay ‘fit’ during pregnancy. If we can believe it we can do it…right? ;)

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Melissa June 28, 2012 at 1:56 pm

One of the most awesome things I was ever told was…

“If you can see it, you can be it.”

I picture myself at the end of the finish line all. the. time. It works…and the funny thing is, I cry every time I do it. (Sometimes, I cry more picturing it than I do when I actually achieve the goal. Isn’t that strange?!)

I remember you being active in school! And you look phenomenal right now…post baby and all. You LOOK healthy…and very happy.

Yay for another cutie patootie!!! I actually just commented on a picture of her…I can’t get over how sparkly and beautiful her eyes are! :D

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Christine @ Love, Life, Surf June 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm

I totally get this. It drives me crazy that that silly litte number of the scale can determine how I feel about myself. It’s kind of ridiculous, right? I completely agree – our perceptions of what is “fit” and “healthy” and “ideal” is all messed up. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been trying to focus more on what my body and do and accomplish versus just how it looks. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely days and times that I stare at the mirror and am not pleased with what I see but I try to remind myself that I’ve carried 2 babies, have run marathons and triathlons, swum and surfed, hiked and played, etc. And you my friend are doing so great and really are crushing your half marathon training. I’m really happy for you. We just need to get the voices in our heads to stop and take a look around sometimes at the whole picture and not just one sliver.

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Krysten Siba Bishop (@darwinianfail) June 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm

THE SCALE IS EVIL. Don’t get me wrong, I step on it most days, but by shifting my focus to exercise and fitness goals has made a big difference. I am still working on this myself, but I try to focus on loving my body for what it can do rather than what it looks like. And I try to centered on health rather than weight and that helps me make better decisions and stay positive about my body.

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Elle June 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Sounds like you have some serious thinking to do! I gained a few pounds during my half marathon training this Spring and am now fighting to get rid of them… but I was hungry ALL the time when I was running so intensely and long… Good luck with it.

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Melissa June 28, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I was just talking about hunger and the likes the other day…I’m not hungry at ALL on days I’m running. I have to remind myself to eat, which isn’t something I’m thrilled with. On days that I don’t run (every other day) I’m ravenous. I’m trying to find a balance with that.

Ever since I started training, I’ve lost 17 pounds. (Since April 29th.) That’s a big deal! Slow, steady, gone. It’s just one of those mornings you wake up, step on the scale (after strength training the day before) and you’re stunned. It was stupid and yet so silly.

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Lindsay @ Lindsay's List June 28, 2012 at 7:36 pm

i ditched the scale about 2 years ago! I’ll never go back…not worth the mental struggle!

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Kim @ Living, Laughing & Losing June 29, 2012 at 9:00 am

I really need to ditch the scale as well. I step on the stupid thing EVERY morning and it completely dictates my mood.

I just started taking progress pictures and measured myself for the first time.

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ilene June 29, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Fuck the weight is right. Listen, you are beautiful. And you motivate so many people to live full, happy, fit lives.

You and all of us are so much more than that number on the scale. Don’t buy into that number and keep doing all of the beautiful things that you do.

I won’t nudge you about yoga today. But next time, for sure. xo

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lindsay June 29, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Once you start seeing success is when you start wanting more.. and NOW! It’s all about YOUR PRESENT WELLNESS, how are you are STRIVING… FOR HEALTH, for LIFE, not a number. Not a size. But life.. Yes, go tackle it and live it well! Love you!

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jobo July 2, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Pulling numbers out of thin air – worst idea ever. Because I’ve done this too, and it never works. It’s focusing on what you came around to here, focusing on the achievable, realistic, beautiful self that you want to be and that you are working towards. The effing scale? Can eff itself ;-) Seriously agree there. I weigh myself once in a blue moon and no matter WHAT the number, it ALWAYS effs with me. ALWAYS. I hope you are feeling better today, and after seeing your before and after from January, you are kicking ASS. XOXO

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