Day 10 - Monitoring and Charting Your Weight
TODAY'S SHIFT FROM FAT TO THIN THINKING:
The number on the scale is information not permission to love or hate myself. I am loving myself down the scale.
Welcome to Your Thin Thinking Practice Day 10
Apprentice, I am sure your weight release had been an adventure up to this point. The first week, you may have seen a drop in your weight (which will have included water weight) and this week or next week, you may see a tapering off. As I explained in From Fat To Thin Thinking, in the first few weeks, because of initial water weight released, your weight might not be exactly aligned with the number of calories that you have burned, but by the end of the 30 days it should be settling into a steady weight release pattern.
The scale is a place to collect data, not to judge or criticize yourself—so keep the expectations of your Inner Critic off the scale-they are very heavy!
“I only lost ½ a pound this week!” I hear clients moan. Our cultural beliefs about the scale and what should happen on it has gotten out of hand. We feel entitled to see weight release every time on the scale when we are “trying”. Honestly, think about ½ pound of butter, the size of 2 butter cubes put together. Now imagine that amount being released from your waist or thighs—a half pound does not seem too shabby now—right?
There is a lot of shifting that we need to do—especially on the scale. Tracking our weight allows our Inner Coach to remove the emotions and get rational and scientific about the correlation between the data we collect from our food and exercise tracking (how many calories have we really been burning on a daily/ weekly basis) and translating it to the results on the scale (the weight released).
In today’s coaching session: Seeing is Believing (below) I want to introduce you to a tool that is surprisingly more powerful than it may seems on the surface. This is tracking your weight release on a chart—a paper chart (one provided below) or the one on your tracking app.
By practicing these self-monitoring skills over time, you not only release weight but also the frustration and heartache that comes from “hoping” you have lost weight because you have been “being good” and not seeing the results you expect, to the peace of mind that comes from really being able to see a direct correlation between your overall weekly calorie burn and the release you achieved on the scale.
Today's Shift From Fat To Thin Thinking: The number on the scale is information, not permission to love or hate myself. I am loving myself down the scale.
Rita’s Coaching: Seeing is Believing
Carrie came in to my office. After 9 months, she had achieved her ideal weight. She looked completely different having released 27 pounds off her tiny frame: healthy, lithe, beaming with pride from ear to ear.
She took out her Lose It app and showed me her weight graph. “Look at this”, she said proudly, “the last 3 months I have only lost ¼ pound a week. I think I would have given up if I didn’t have my graph to show me I was still progressing down the scale”.
I looked at her graph—there it was—in black and white—the graph line showing downs and ups and plateaus but her overall still progressing down the chart 27 pounds. “This thing,” she said of her chart, “helped me stay calm and in my master mind.”
I remember in my own journey down the scale and then into maintenance for many years, my chart kept me going, in loving scientist mode, showing me that the laws of physics do work. It proved to my brain that my weight release was on track (even if it took a very up and down way of getting there).
Recording your weight on a chart helps your mind “see” progress. Your calorie tracking app may do this as well but for the first 30 days, I encourage you to record your progress on this chart that you keep by your scale. This helps keep your Inner Scientist engaged. Print out the chart here.
Coaching for Charting Your Weight Progress
- Starting Date: Your weight at the beginning of your Shift Journey
- Current Weight/ Ideal Weight
- Write in Weight Numbers: Write in the top left column a weight number 5 pounds above where you are beginning and descend downwards from there. If you have a small amount to release, you may want to do this in half pound increments.
- Weight recording sample: Just put a dot where your weight is. You will see a lot of up and down, plateaus and then drops in weight along the way. This is normal. If you get on the scale and if it’s up 2 pounds from the day before, ask yourself, “did I really eat 7000 more calories over my daily body burn yesterday?” Chances are it is water weight, but you will only really know for sure if you are consistently tracking.
- Typical weight release plateau due to initial water weight loss now being replaced by weight release. My dear Apprentice, don’t get frustrated here. Focus on your tracking and reassure yourself that you will see consistent release if you stay within your daily budget for weight release.
- What a maintenance chart may look like: Cognitive studies have maintenance subjects draw a line 5 pounds above and below their idea weight. This visual cue lets people know when they are getting out of their maintenance zone. My weight fluctuates in a 5 pound range. It goes through yearly gain and release cycles.
Important Note: Women over 40 tend to release weight in chunks. The scale will plateau for a week or so and then show a drop and then bounce up and down. Is this annoying? Yes! Is this typical? Yes! That is why charting allows you to see your overall progress and not get hung up in the day to day numbers as much.
Note: When you release weight, your metabolism will decline. Sorry, when there is less of you to move around the world, as per the laws of physics, it requires less energy. It does not mean your metabolism is tanking because you are restricting food intake.
If you are journaling manually or your tracker doesn’t adjust, then for every ten pounds you release. subtract 50 calories from your Daily Calorie Budget and think about upping your exercise to compensate.
Keep charting your progress!!