Monday, February 16, 2015

The Weigh In Dilemma and Other First World Problems

With all of the snow shoveling and other interruptions (or additions I guess) to my workout schedule it has been strange trying to track my weight. Of course there is a certain level of calm in the fact that I really don’t need to track my weight, but as a creature of habit I like to do this. The three or four people who actually look at MyFitnessPal statuses, might even assume that I am fading away to nothing, as every few days it will post “Jeremy has lost .4lbs since his last weigh in” or “Jeremy has lost 1lb since his last weigh in” but since I track my weigh every single day, you can basically fill in the blanks on the days it doesn’t feel like congratulating me. Those days I put on something, and usually quite a bit.

All of that aside, I weigh myself every day before I take my shower. I stopped micro managing the exact times that I weigh myself because I learned a while ago, that I can’t even explain the factors that go into what I weigh at a given time. I have a few friends who have asked me recently what time they should weigh themselves and I really don’t know. My only reaction to this is “the same time” because that is the only way you are going to get a realistic outlook, regardless of eating or fitness schedule. Weight is a journey, not a destination or even a sprint to the finish line.

So what I did for research purposes, using my favorite test subject (meaning myself, I work cheap anyway) was to weigh myself throughout the day and try to figure out what changes what. This was actually pretty funny, and I will warn you that some of it may get a little crass, or too honest. One thing I have never done is weighed myself right when I wake up in the morning, because I am usually too disorganized, and I want some coffee in me before I do anything. Yesterday on a lark I did, and I registered a whopping 164.8 which is high end for my weight. I would have thought that I was quite empty at that moment, but I guess not.

I drank a pot of coffee, had a good trip to the bathroom (you know what I mean, no need to explain really) and weighed in at 164.2 which also is on the high end. I went out for a quarter mile walk in a blizzard (really good for the quads let me tell you) shoveled a bit of snow, and ate my breakfast. In theory I should have burned some calories and dehydrated myself a bit, but I added about 700 calories of food into my system. The scale registered 163.2 and that shocked me a bit. More coffee, a bit more shoveling, and I am ready for my shower which would be my usual weigh in time. The scale said 163.8 which I guess is normal based on my normal weigh in time.

Shower done, I am now doing loads of laundry, two loads of dishes, outside to finish the bulk of the shoveling, and I have eaten a couple of liverwurst and cottage cheese on pumpernickel (don’t judge!) and a strawberry yogurt. My weight at this point is 162.8 and I figured that might happen. For some strange reason I can come home from work after eating all day and weigh less than I did starving to death before work. As I said before I don’t know all the factors that go into it. For dinner I made a special Mexican pizza and had three big slices with a lot of lettuce and southwest dressing. It’s actually more of a bottom for a taco salad than it is a pizza. Before I went to bed, with a full belly I was back up to 163.4 and saw that despite the trends my weight is a given.

Today I was back to the usual, big pot of coffee, a good trip to the bathroom, at the gym dumping chemicals in myself to gain water, lots of water, great back and shoulders workout, home to 700 calories (Muscle Milk, Whey, 2 Eggs, 1 Cup Yogurt) and upstairs for my shower so I can go to work. My weight is at 163.2 (and MyFitnessPal is bragging to my friends that I lost a full pound) and the world goes on. In other words I can’t tell you the perfect weigh in time, and as I just showed, I don’t think anyone has that science. I prefer to look in the mirror or feel a little room in my pants to determine my weight, but I suggest that you just weigh yourself at the same time everyday and be honest about it. It’s the only way to truly track a journey, without worrying about the sprint at the finish.