Monday, January 25, 2010

Some Thoughts on Accountability

So I've been plugging along these past couple weeks, attending Weight Watchers meeting regularly again. I've been paying for a monthly pass for about a year, but I haven't really consistently gone to meetings. Actually the last time I went to meetings before now was June. Wow...I wasted a lot of money; I could have been using that membership money well AND losing weight this whole time.

Anyway, I've proven to be extremely talkative in the meetings (as usual), and my leader directs her lecture at me a lot and often asks for my thoughts if she sees me nodding my head. I enjoy speaking up; it hammers home how much I need to be there when I realize how much I have in common with all these women (and men). During last week's meeting she asked me how much weight I'd lost, I answered in recent terms, automatically saying, "Well, I just started last week, so only two pounds." Of course everyone still applauded, and she noted that it was still something to be proud of.

Then I thought, "Wait. I should have said 22 pounds, because since I first started back in 2007, that's actually how much I've lost." Then I thought that since I've actually lost 40 pounds from my heaviest weight, maybe I should have said that. Two pounds really doesn't tell my whole story.

I thought about this question later on in the week--am I just beginning again, or is this all a continuation? I've been maintaining this weight for over three years, save for a few fluctuations in either direction. I expressed some frustration to Jeff that I haven't been losing weight faster. I have 50-60 pounds to lose--shouldn't I be seeing those initial big numbers (losses each week of 4-6 pounds) that give people the motivation to continue? "But you're not just beginning. You're not making some huge switch from terrible eating and no activity to perfect eating and tons of activity. It's not a shock to your body."

Good point, huh? I eat relatively well and get a decent amount of exercise, but I don't consistently restrict my calories enough to actually lose.

In comes the importance of accountability. Last weekend I splurged a little food wise in New York. I ate a bagel and some other Jewish deli deliciousness (cheese blintzes, anyone?). Here's a pic of us at the Jewish deli. I'm on the left:

I also ate some Mexican food, lots of drinks and part of a massive cupcakes. I temporarily lost my mind and proceeded to buy four cupcakes to take home:
If you've never been to Crumbs Bakery in New York, beware! These cupcakes were easily the size of large muffins. And NYC posts calorie information everywhere by law, so I actually saw exactly how many calories were in each of these bad boys (around 550-650).

Then for some reason, as soon as we got home I didn't even want them anymore. It was Sunday night, and I knew if I wanted to see a loss at my Wednesday meeting, I'd have to seriously watch my Points and get in some butt-kicking workouts. And that's exactly what I did. And I saw a loss.

Do you think under normal circumstances I would have worked hard to make sure my indulgences weren't reflected on the scale? I really doubt it. I was tired from a long, whirlwind weekend of bus rides, whisking around NYC and sleeping less than six hours a night. The last thing I wanted to do was get some intense workouts in before Wednesday. But I did it, and I saw a loss.

That's how I felt this weekend. We went out to dinner with friends on Saturday night, and while I tried to order smartly, I had several full-calorie beers. But I got my eating in order straight away on Sunday morning. Normally I'd have blown off good eating and exercise on Sunday in favor of waiting until Monday, but I ate really well and did 40 minutes of intense strength and cardio. And the scale was down this morning! Funny how that works. :)


  1. I'm with ya! I'm down more than 50lbs since I started losing weight (January 2007), but I haven't really lost any weight since November 2007. I've just bounced around and played with the same 5-10lbs.

    Although I'm very proud of my previous weight loss and subsequent maintenance (as you should be proud of your 40lb loss too), I find that it keeps me more mentally in the game if I just focus on my loss since January 1, 2010. The two pounds I've loss since then are NOT the whole story but it is the first chapter of a new book. And I expect that this one will be even better than the last!

    Also, Jeff's right! You're not new to this rodeo so your body isn't going into shock and dropping weight really quickly because you've already changed your lifestyle to focus on healthier eating and activity--delicious, Crumbs cupcake temptations aside. Also, as one Weight Watcher attendee told me when I first (slooooowly) started losing weight: "Slow weight loss is better. The ladies here will tell you some bullshit like how it's more likely to stay off but I think the biggest benefit to losing weight slowly is that you'll be less likely to get the saggy skin and bat wings that require surgical removal later on!"

  2. Thanks, Tina! It's so nice to get some reassurance there. I think the hardest part is to just KEEP GOING, even if it's only coming off in .5 pound increments. It's so easy to discredit that weight loss with all the extreme methods touted by TV and advertising. Plus, it's really easy to throw away a .5 loss in one day. You have to be really consistent but not extreme, which requires quite the lifestyle change. I've heard the slower you lose weight, the more you're likely to keep it off because you've really changed your lifestyle.