I wanted to write a short post about this, because I find it interesting and I’m trying not to put things off as much in 2018. So here we go.
I use myfitnesspal to track everything I eat. Not everybody subscribes to this method, but it’s worked for me. It doesn’t work for everybody, and that’s okay. Personally, I love the discipline and consistency and effectiveness of it. It works for me so I do it.
I used it a few years ago to lose 25 pounds, and after two years off (and about 12 pounds gained), I started using it again last April. I might stop using it this April – I have a feeling after a full year, I’ll have ingrained what I need to do into my head.
I also weigh myself every day, another thing I know not everyone does or recommends. I actually don’t do this to obsessively concern myself with every pound, but rather to – from what I like to think is a distant, scientific standpoint – observe the natural, daily ebb and flow of my weight. I think of it more like a science experiment than anything else, and try to view it objectively.
A few months ago I reached my goal weight, and I’ve been maintaining it ever since. This is a harder stage to be in than losing, I think, as it’s more precise – the window you need to stay in is smaller. But what does “maintain” mean, anyway? Does it mean staying at literally the same weight every single day?
The answer to that is HELL NO.
Here’s a graph of my weight over the past three months. This is the result of me being EXTREMELY ANAL about my food intake, calorie counting, exercise. Everything. Yes, there were a few “eat more than normal” days in there, but for the most part, this is me being super duper careful, consistent, and diligent.
Look at how much I fluctuated! This is a range of six pounds, by the way – nothing insane. I doubt one could even tell by looking at me whether I was in the low or high end of those six pounds. Still, I ate and exercised extremely consistently, yet have a graph that looks like this.
And after all of that, I’m virtually the same weight as I was three months ago.
My point here is this: if I can be ridiculously careful about my weight and fluctuate this much, someone else who isn’t as fastidious might have an even harder time staying on track.
So if you are currently trying to maintain, lose, or gain weight, DON’T WORRY IF YOU VEER OFF COURSE. It’s okay if you do. You are okay. Everything is okay. If you’re consistent over the long run, it’ll work out in the end. Don’t let the little fluctuations stress you out. It’s not worth it because they don’t matter.
By the way, I blacked out the numbers for a specific reason, and it’s not that I’m embarrassed. I don’t like sharing my weight publicly because I don’t want anyone thinking that my numbers should match theirs – even if we’re the same height. Everyone has a different build and different weights work for different people. It’s all so individualized. I just don’t want anyone thinking MY numbers are the “right” ones.
Okay glad we had this talk!
2 thoughts on “The Totally Fine Normalcy of Weight Fluctuations”
Excellent post. Weight fluctuations are totally normal. If you eat something one evening that is high in sodium like sushi, Chinese, pizza, or soup, you are going to retain water. It is crazy how that works. Add in hormones for women and it makes things even a bit wilder. I too like to weigh myself daily. I think it keeps my mind on track and I avoid “feeling” heavy.
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Yes, so much is water weight and dependent on what you ate the day before! I agree – I used to weigh myself weekly, but I think it’s more reassuring to see the day-to-day fluctuations because they tend to mean less. Like I am less stressed about them the more I see them.
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