My Weight Loss Journey: Celebrate Small Triumphs

The sun rose today, the day after Halloween, and I smiled. I achieved two things I never thought would be possible:

1) I got through Halloween with not one piece of candy passing my lips!

After months and months of cognitive training I am better at not allowing my unhelpful thoughts (the nasty Voice) become my destiny. "There is so much candy in the house, of course I will eat it and blow my calorie budget." Inevitable, right? And yesterday was a particular challenge. I had the following in my house: ice cream, left over cherry cobler from a dinner party, made with real butter, mind you! Twixts, Starbursts, Andre mints, and Skittles.

Earlier at Wegmans while my daughter chose the candy for Trick or Treaters, my eyes fell on a display of grapes. Hmmm. Colorful, juicy, gumdrop sized bursts of sweetness! Grapes were exactly what I needed to keep the candy monster at bay. My healthy self was open to options and Behold! A brilliant one presented itself.

All evening long I gave out sweets to monsters and scary politicians (one little kid was dressed as Carl Paladino!), my husband ate cherry pastry with ice cream and my daughter and invited guests ate pizza. I munched on grapes!

The real sweetness for me is the triumph of telling the nasty Voice in my head that wants me to stay plump (because that's how I was labled in my childhood and that's how it shall ever be in omnia selcula seaculorum), to take a long hike off a short pier!

2) I got through a three week weight plateau (143 pounds) and hit 140.9!

I am laughing at myself in my heart, for being so thrilled it's silly. Why we put so much power in the scale is something I puzzle over. When it says my weight is up, it is so devastating and then when it's down the clouds part and heavenly trumpets sound a fanfare! Ridiculous.

A reader sent me a link to an interesting article about this topic, The Scale: Don't Give It Too Much Power.

I liked the writer's take on the scale thing but with a condition. He appears to be speaking from a healthy, normal weight person's perspective. But I've got to admit, he has a very good point. Many of us do tend to give the scale way (weigh, get it? :-/) too much power to make or break our mood.

In my personal experience and in my experience coaching others with weight issues, you can't correct that by just saying "Stop allowing the scale to rule your mood. Just stop it!"  You may as well tell a hard core addict to "Just say no." It's so much harder, and complicated than that.

Some people do solve this problem by not weighing themselves at all. They go with how they feel. In other words, they use abstinence as a way to keep the scale from ruling over their self-esteem. That is a reasonable strategy.

I choose to weigh myself once a week while I work on getting my weight down to just within a healthy BMI (139). It's the balance I need to tame the scale-beast. Every time the poundage is higher than it was the last weigh-in, I give myself a pep talk. "It's just a number indicating the gravitational pull of my body to the Earth. Nothing more." (BTW, I weigh 127 pounds on Venus. I love Venus!)

More often than once a week means misery or too much ecstasy, like today. Either way the reaction is overboard.

Maybe someday in the future, when I've lived within my goal weight for a while, I will become more ho-hum about what's on the scale. For now I am doing a Snoopy happy dance!

To read more about my weight loss journey click here.

One comment

  • SD

    Dr Aletta,
    Congratulations!!! I too do the Snoopy Happy Dance when I lose weight. I just feel better all around. The bad part is when the gain happens. Even a small gain can lead me to a feeding frenzy. That “nasty voice” says I am not good enough to lose weight or I wont do enough to lose weight so just eat and eat and eat.
    I am also a numbers person so I do weigh myself each day but only consider weight loss once a week. For me I need to see the ups and downs. The not knowing is worse than seeing the temporary gains or losses during the week. And believe me there are many of them.
    I am working on not listening to the “nasty voice”. Some days are grape eating days(the days when I beat the nasty voice) and some are ice cream days (the days the nasty voice wins). I am at the point when the ice cream days are getting farther and farther apart. That is a victory for me.
    Thank you for writing about your weight loss journey.


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