Every morning I run through a little Cammy Inventory. How do I feel? Exercise going okay? Eating in check? Clothes still fit okay? To-do list getting smaller? Things like that. This morning was an awesome inventory, unexpected given the emotion and stress of attending (and being asked to speak at) Kathleen’s memorial service. Not to mention that Mother Nature is gearing up for the big whammy. But I had worked my way through the week in good form and felt good about myself as I headed off to the gym.
And then (c’mon, you knew there as an ‘and then’ coming, didn’t you?), as I was walking into the gym, I decided to get on the scale for a “sneak-peek” weigh-in prior to the weekend. Silly Cammy. According to the metal beast, I am up a whopping four pounds since Monday! Talk about surprised.
The fifteen-second walk to the back of the gym was gruesome. Four pounds might as well have been forty. Why was I even at the gym, when it was clear it wasn’t doing any good? I was doomed and regretted giving away all my larger clothes, because I was certain to need those size 22 pants before the weekend was over. Crazy thoughts.
As I was cleaning my mat, the niggles started:
- Hey, weren’t you the woman who, not fifteen minutes ago, was praising herself for being on track? Yeah, you said your nutrition could use a boost (hello leafy greens), but you also said that your calories were normal and that your clothes felt fine.
- And aren’t you the woman who has already done 250 push-ups this week and is preparing to do 125 more in the next half hour, not to mention all the sit-ups and squats and cardio? Didn’t you move from week 3 to week 4 of your training even though you thought you couldn’t?
- Think, Cammy, think. Did you have 14,000 extra calories between noon on Monday and this morning? Have you had 14,000 extra calories this year even? Because that’s what it would have taken to earn a 4-pound gain. Use your brain.
- And hasn’t it always been your belief that the scale captures a single moment in time and isn’t the greatest measure of success? And that sometimes it’s a big fat liar, anyway? Especially if you’ve been doing the right things.
- And do you think there’s the slightest chance that Mother Nature hovering around your body, poised to attack at any moment, might explain how you could take an unjustified gain and transform it into disaster and certain ruin?
That was the point at which I started laughing. I laughed so hard that I’ll never get invited to breakfast now. The breakfast club probably thinks I’m certifiable, and they wouldn’t be far from the truth. Because that’s just crazy thinking, the kind of thinking that kept me in the diet cycle for far too many years. The kind of thinking that traps many people.
Our weight fluctuates, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. Mine usually bounces around 2 pounds or so, up and down, before coming back to the goal mark. It doesn’t seem to be related to anything I’m doing. It appears to bounce of its own free will. That’s why I don’t record weight in my notebook, but I do record the minutes exercised and any splurges I have along the way. Those are the only things I can control.
Even though the whole episode lasted less than a minute, it bothered me. Not the fact that I was surprised. Who wouldn’t be if they’d been on track, even a wider track like mine? What bothered me was the way the crazy thoughts rushed in. I thought I was beyond this kind of crazy thinking, but it seems I’m not. I do pat myself on the back for stopping it fairly quickly, and I’ll take it as a sign of some progress.
This is the largest gain I’ve shown in the nine months I’ve been at goal, and I’m guessing that’s the reason I didn’t take it so well. Since I haven’t even had any splurges and I’ve been exercising regularly, I suspect I just haven’t caught the scale at this particular time of the month yet. Thus, my plan is to do nothing different this weekend and see if the scale returns to normal next week. I suspect that it will.
I share this in the event that anyone else is experiencing, or feels close to experiencing, a scale-based meltdown. My hopes are that you will also see that that’s just crazy thinking, and that even when our thoughts go wacky, a quick reality check can talk us down from the ledge, so to speak. As long as we focus on the actions we can control and react with our brains as opposed to our hearts, we’ll be fine, with doom and ruination nowhere on the radar.
Hope you have a great weekend!