I’d like to start out by saying that I believe that there is a place for everything; certain exercises, foods, supplements, etc.
As a trainer, I’m all about trying to help people look better, feel better, as well as have more of positive outlook on themselves in general. There are certain things, however, that will constantly bring us down because of its inconsistent nature.
Of course I’m talking about the scale.
Earlier this week I decided to start reducing my carb intake in order to get my bodyweight down to be able to enter the 181# weight class. My girlfriend influenced me to document this publicly in order to show the ins n’ outs of losing weight. Not wasting anytime, I announced on my Facebook page that I will be documenting my weight for over 24 hours.
So at 3pm, I weighed myself on a Taylor Home scale that is located at work as well as my apartment.
Here’s how the experience went:
By this time, I had1-solo cup of my “Mojo Shake” (OJ, Oats, Banana, Frozen Strawberries, Ice, Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, Protein Powder) and close to 100oz. of water. I started work at 6am, showered, napped from 7ish-8, worked 830a-1230p, another nap, had a pound of lean beef and broccoli at work.
I was wearing biker shorts during the weigh-in, and then headed to work at 330p.
5:02p: 190.8lbs (-1.4lbs)
I’ve had 2 clients since the last weigh-in. Consumed nothing but water (with BCAAs)and then proceeded to weigh myself. I’m not at all surprised by the weight loss within the last 2 hours or so; mainly because it was hot a balls and I’ve been peeing like an old man.
I was wearing biker shorts.
7:30p: 191.8lbs (+1lbs)
Even though I haven’t been peeing as much, I certainly have become hungrier by this time. I weigh myself before I leave the gym and head home to end the work day. I am starving. This already is starting to suck.
I was wearing my work clothes (undies, shorts, socks, and shirt)
9:07p: 191.0lbs (-.8lbs)
So it’s night time aaand I can’t take it anymore. I have a super early day (again) and I have to squat big, one of my biggest squat days yet. I should also mention that it’s supposed to be in the high 90’s and humid. So I head to Fresh Market after work to pick up a regular rotisserie chicken from and 2-Youkon Potatoes. I wiped but satisfied my hunger.
I weigh myself on the scale at home before heading to bed wearing socks, shorts and undies.
Tuesday-5:57a: 190.2lbs (-.8lbs)
It’s stupid early as this is the first week I will be waking up before 6am, 5-days a week. It’s a short 30-minute session after which I plan to go home and nap again (note: I like naps). I have my shake to keep the hunger pangs away. I have another half-hour appointment at 8am and plan on training afterwards.
Before arriving to work, I shower and start downing the water preparing for my training session in the hours ahead as it starts getting hotter and hotter outside.
I weigh myself right before my appointment wearing work clothes (biker shorts, shorts, and shirt).
10:13a: 190.0 (+3.8lbs)
I start my workout at 9am warming up on squats (look out for my training blog at the end of the week). I knew I was going to feel like ass doing it so I was going to take my time before my next appointment at 1130am. Downing water because it’s already in the mid-90’s outside, JJ (CFBN/BNAF Owner) mentions that I’m probably going to retain water and bloat from the workout and supplements. Knowing me, not everything applies. 😉
I weigh myself wearing my workout gear (shorts, biker shorts, shirt, and socks) on the scale at work.
1:31p: 189.0lbs (-1lb)
I mention on my update that I forgot to weigh myself after working out and working. Seriously though, I was tired, it was hot and I just had an awesome squat session. I really didn’t give a shit about my weight at that point because I had more important things to focus on. With more water and a little food, I have one more weigh-in to go.
I weigh myself in my work clothes (shorts, biker shorts, socks, and shirt).
Final Weigh-in 4p: 193.0 (+4lbs)
With more work and programming to be done, I clearly forgot to weigh myself again. It’s the last one and I couldn’t care less if I didn’t see another scale for the rest of the week.
Some of you may be thinking: wow, that fluctuation is cray, son!!
Because you know…everyone talks like that.
I ended up making 7 eggs and half a bag of hasbrowns with salsa and cheese. It. Was. Delicious.
But it made me realize how some people, including some of my clients, feel about their weight and how they go about life in dealing with it.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE??
It was hard. I hated having to check my watch for every 2 hours of the day. It was weird because when I weighed in past the deadline, I was kind of annoyed. I found myself thinking about it the whole time, mostly because I was interested in how it was going to turn out.
WHAT DID I EAT???
Monday I had my “Mojo Shake”, lunch (as referred to earlier in the log) and dinner. Tuesday I had more of the shake, but a bigger lunch in having tilapia and broccoli. Later that evening I made the eggs and hashbrowns I explain earlier.
To some of you folks, this may not sound too bad; Monday I had basically 2-3 meals as well as Tuesday.
But I’m a high level Powerlifter. I require 4-5,000 k/cals daily (more so on training days) and doing what I normally do with a calorie reduction seriously was messing me up. Tuesday and Wednesday I practiced my lifts for my competition upwards of 85-90% of my max. As you can imagine I was a bit cranky when I woke up, could barely get out of bed and longing for another nap soon.
WHAT WAS THE POINT OF ALL THIS???
I was told that going through what my clients go through is a great way to understand where they’re coming from so I can relate to them better. I agree completely. However, it doesn’t mean that they SHOULD be weighing themselves daily.
I do understand though that some have lost 10, 15, 50, 100 or more pounds and never want to go back. Based on some research at LIVESTRONG, people are going to gain some weight on average every year.
This piece reads:
“Between the ages of 25 and 44, the annual increase in weight jumped to 3.4 percent in men and 5.2 percent in women. This means that if a man and a woman who each weigh 160 pounds both gained weight at this rate, the man would gain a little more than five pounds each year and the woman would gain a little more than eight pounds each year.”
What many don’t realize is that fluctuating +/- 5lbs IS NOT going to make you look any different. Sure people wear their weight differently, but the bigger picture is whether or not you feel better, are performing more efficiently, and looking better as a result. I remind you, YOU ARE WHAT YOU DO.
Everything that you do in life; how you handle stress, what you eat, how you eat, and how hard you train is all going to have an effect on your body…including your weight.
Ultimately, I went through a lot to try and lose weight in a short amount of time and I ended up gaining a whopping .8lbs. For some this would be frustrating to go through all of that, but people do this shit every day. It’s crazy and time consuming.
Again, I felt no better. I performed well but not better than I knew I could because I was tired and “under-nourished.” I also didn’t look any different. While I understand where my clients are coming from, it still makes no sense to weigh yourself every single day.
There’s too much manipulation involved at the mercy of how you perform and how you feel. A gallon of water weighs 8.34lbs. If you drink that daily or more, you’re constantly gaining 8+lbs. Sure you’ll pee a lot, but don’t weigh yourself right afterwards. You’ll probably freak out.
See how silly that sounded? All you did was drink water!! Not cookies, or pies, or junk food.
“Water retention can cause an increase in weight beyond what is normal and has medical, hormonal and dietary causes. Common medical causes of water retention include heart and kidney problems because there is a reduction of fluids being moved through your body. Circulation problems may also cause water retention and swelling in various extremities. Lymphedema — prevention of lymph drainage because of lymphatic system congestion — can occur after surgery or as the result of a sedentary lifestyle. Hormonal fluctuates during a woman’s menstrual cycle may lead to water retention. In addition, cortisone released during periods of extreme stress can cause your body to retain water. Finally, too much salt in your diet can cause minor water retention and weight gain because it causes your body to hold onto fluids.”-Jackie Carmichael, LIVESTRONG.COM
Fortunately, most people don’t say “well I’m on water reduction to lose weight.” In fact, when they do gain, water is one of the last places people look. Why? Because It’s just water damn it! Chill the F out!!
Now, let’s say you want to weigh yourself. I recommend doing it once/week. Want you want to lose is body fat. The less fat you have, the better you’ll look and keep THAT weight off. Since diet is a big contributor in weight gain/loss, it’s important to keep that under control.
You want to aim for .75-1lb/week. This is different for everyone of course; the more you have, the more likely it is to come off quicker. The less you have to lose (regardless of what YOU think) the harder it’s going to be. The body likes to get to a certain state at some point. So when there is a plateau, you have to do something different. What that is, is going to take some time and work on your part.
My body likes being around 188-195 naturally. If I want to get under that it is going to take a lot of work to get some off and keep it off. Otherwise, I let go for even a little bit and it’s going to shoot way up like it as shown on Tuesdays log before regulating.
Weighing yourself is totally a waste of time.
You worry? You gain weight.
You get stressed?? You gain weight.
You eat more calories than you expend? You gain weight.
You drink more water than you normally do? You gain weight.
All of these things happen on a daily basis. Life happens and you have to deal. The last thing you need to do is finish or start your day by getting on the scale and making things worse. YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU WEIGH.
I tell my clients all the time, no one walks down the street with a number above their heads for people to see. What we see ourselves in other people.
Yet no one else feels what you feel. No one else does what you do on a regular basis. To be judged or judge yourself on how much you weigh is so insignificant to everything else that you’ve accomplished and will accomplish. Don’t get hung up.
Be happy with yourself. Choose your path wisely. Look forward to where you want to. Don’t stop until you get there.