The Pain of a Gain

13th weigh in this morning and I’ve gained a pound.  Not the result I was hoping for, but certainly not the end of the world.  So why does it feel like it is?

It’s a strange thing this weight loss malarkey.  Psychologically, it’s fascinating at times, and would be really amazing to study if it was happening to someone else.  With it being a little more personal, it has a tendency to be just that little bit more painful.  Which is nice.

One of the keys to successful weight loss is that slow is better than quick, or so I’m told by those in the know.  I believe that to be very sensible and very true, and that’s why, at times I’ve taken action to slow my weight loss down to try to keep it around the 2lbs a week.  An integral part of getting that right in your head is coming to terms with the fact that losing 1lb in a week is a great success.  It’s easy to see a loss of 3 or 4 or 5lb as being significant, but it takes a little bit more work to see just 1lb as really meaningful, particularly when you’ve as much to lose as I have (interestingly enough, my weight loss has tended to come in larger chunks – just in case you’ve not noticed, there’s a link to the Shrinking Log at the top of the page, which shows you the statistics of my little journey).

Just as I start to come to terms with the fact that a 1lb loss is indeed a truly wonderful thing, I then go and do something stupid like put 1lb on.  This is fun isn’t it?  All the carefully balanced and considered reasons why losing a 1lb is great are now suddenly working against me.  Aaaargh!

This is what I’m supposed to think:  Gaining a pound means nothing in the longer scheme of things.  Your body can gain quite a few pounds at any point just by retaining water. Your scales probably aren’t accurate enough to consistently measure identically down to such small quantities.

The thing is, I believe all of these too!  They’re very sensible and very true as well!  They just don’t fit very well with the other side of the coin 🙂

The bottom line is this.  Nothing that happens in any individual week matters.  Not in itself.  It only matters in relation to how you deal with the coming weeks. Whether you gain a pound or lose five pounds what matters isn’t the loss or gain, but what that loss or gain means for how you approach your weight loss in the next few weeks and months.  I’m not overweight because of what’s happened in any given week.  I’m overweight because I’ve eaten badly over the last 25 years or so.  I’m overweight because I’ve unlearned how to eat sensibly over many years.

What I’m doing right now is learning to eat sensibly again.  Learning to make sensible food choices each day, that will add up to a leaner and healthier me.  I’ve already made some great progress in that direction, but it will take time to undo all those years of harm, and that’s why the bigger picture doesn’t care if I put on a pound over the past seven days.  If I put on a pound a week for the next month, then that’s telling me something, but a single pound in a single week?  Be gone feeble annoyance.  Be gone.

By the way, I crossed the midget gem horizon this week.  Possibly a reckless decision, but it was bugging me and I wanted to see how I’d react to it  (For anyone reading this who doesn’t have the faintest idea what I’m talking about, then have a read here) .  For the record, I didn’t die.  I didn’t fall on the pack like a rabid dog, ripping the bag apart, sending jelly sweets all over the room in a frenzied desire for the sugary contents.

You know what?  I didn’t even eat the whole bag.  I just grabbed a handful, ate them slowly, enjoyed them, pointed them, and then stuck the bag back in the drawer.  I had a few more yesterday too.  There’s still three quarters of the bag left in there, and I was rather surprised to find that I have no desire whatsoever to dive downstairs and eat the whole bag after the weigh-in.

You have no hold on me anymore, you little jelly beasts you!

I am the master.

And I will shrink more.

Much more.

The Shrinking Man

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