Monday, August 13, 2007

Oops. . . I Did it Again

I stepped on the scale
Let go of the rail
I wanted to see
The damage to me
Oh, weigh me, weigh me. . . Oops. . . I did it again. . .
(a la Britney, circa 2000)*

I think the last time I knew my weight was about six months ago (dr's visit). And now, a couple of seasons later, I felt a sudden curiosity one day at the gym. I knew I'd gained--the fact that I haven't been fitting into about 1/3 of my wardrobe could have told me that. But, I wanted to know. . . THE NUMBER.

And, here it was, staring me right back in the face.

12 pounds.

I really thought it would have been about 8. But, it was 12.

12 pounds, I've gained in just about six months. The why's are unimportant here (and I'm sure I could speculate forever), but, what's more important, for our purpose, is what I did. My options? You must all know them quite well. . . .

Freak out.

Begin restricting that afternoon, or at least enroll in or plan for a full-fledged diet that Monday.

Commit to a more intensive exercise plan.

Hate myself.

Get back on the scale and try again (maybe taking off my adorning towel, because we all know how much a dry towel can weigh).

Do nothing.

I kinda handed you this one. I did nothing. I went about my shower, getting dressed, and returned to work. My exercise and eating habits didn't change a bit, and I really wasn't distressed at all. Would I like to have seen less of a weight-gain, or not one at all? Sure. I'd be lying if I said I didn't, especially because some of my favorite wardrobe items have been neglected as of late. But, I've bought some new stuff, bringing the mountain to Mohammed, and I'm really not sweating the 12 pounds at all. Because in the scope of what I do and who I am and the world I live in, 12 pounds of extra flesh amount to absolutely nothing.

*Sorry, it's just that she's been in the news so much lately, and the tune sort of lent itself to the material. . . .


JPask said...

That is a very healthy attitude, and one I'd like to see in myself after awhile. Good on you!

PalmTreeChick said...

And I would do all of the above, but the option you chose. It would be nice to just move on and enjoy life as it was. Like you said, 12 lbs is not going to make a difference with anything.

The Rotund said...

The picture you have chosen to illustrate this post really says it all to me - we are, from young age, taught to fear that number on the scale as a direct indicator of our worth as individuals.

Jeanne said...

And inspiring.

I'm not sure that I'm at a point where I can know my weight exactly and not do something. But on the other hand, I have an idea of what I weigh, and I generally don't think about it. It's just a number - that changes and fluctuates like grass in the wind.

Sarah said...

but how do you get there? I would like to be there. But honestly, right now I would do all but the last option.

Lindsay said...

That is a monumental accomplishment. Thanks for the inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that you would post about this, I did the same thing yesterday too. I was curious what my weight was in that I 'felt' lighter, my clothes were not at all tight and I also thought I had been eating less and while not 'perfectly', not outrageously either.

OH MY, it was the HIGHEST I have ever seen! Disappointment to say the least, but it didn't drive me into an eating binge either - phew!

What I did was start 'talking' to myself (in my head - hubby didn't need to wonder more about me - lol) along the line of "Hmmm, I guess I am not doing all that I really need to do for making the positive (read downward) body change I want. OK, what am I not doing well that I can do better?"

I have suspected that I haven't been 'honoring my hunger' well. And while my eating at meals has slowed, I'm still not checking in on my hunger as I eat or even savoring the food either. Back to basics I go and mantra-ing 'this process takes time, this process takes time and practice too.' And this is NOT beating myself up, just a 'strong' talk with myself about what I am really serious about.

ps22 said...

I had no idea those were the lyrics in that song. Good lord, what crap. I'm embarrassed that I ever bobbed my head to such nonsense.

Anonymous said...

ps22 don't worry, i think those lyrics are a joke, not the real lyrics from the song :)

Anonymous said...

Okay Dr. Stacey. Good attitude. For you.

BUT....12 pounds is not a small amount of weight to gain in six months. The reasons ARE important. Because if you continue to do the same thing you're doing to gain that weight, then eventually, one should be concerned about what health effects it would have. If, on the other hand, the reasons you might have gained that weight are temporary in nature, then you are right to not be concerned at all.

At what point do you begin to worry? What about a woman who is over 180 pounds (at 5'4'')gaining that kind of weight in six months? Would you also tell her to go on about her day like no big deal? Isn't it much healthier to take a realistic attitude and admit that some healthy changes need to be made, while not freaking about it?

There is a happy medium you know between not worrying at all, and worrying to a healthy degree and doing something constructive and sane.

The example I gave you is of one of my good friends who refuses to admit she might have a problem even when she has high blood pressure and terrible eating habits. Who am I to tell her though.

I, on the other hand, if I were to gain 12 pounds on my already healthy frame, would probably examine the reasons and whether or not I wanted to continue on the path.

With all due respect.

CGgirl said...

to the anonymous comment above:

The point is not ur friend's weight gain, but her health, and as u say - she has high blood pressure. THAT is something to worry about.

Had dr stacy said "my blood pressure is too high but i dont intend to investigate why or try to change it", i'd think dr stacy was making a mistake.

Same is true for any other health issue.
THAT is what we should check and focus on. Not check weight and become concerned over that.

So when i read ur comment, please forgive me but i felt like here is another person missing the point.
I feel like we all act like extra weight automatically means a health problem. And may i venture a guess that most people (maybe not u but most) would not show ANY concern over a 12 pound weight LOSS, they wouldnt worry if the very fact that weight was fluctuating is a sign something is wrong, but when the weight goes up they do.

Of course i mean no disrespect to ur opinion, that's all i'm giving here too - just my thoughts.
I suggest we all focus on the health issues themselves, not the weight. I bet we'd discover a few pounds here or there or not nearly as big a deal as we thought they were, provided we are eating pretty much for our hunger (not obsesively for emotional reasons) and keeping active, if only a little bit, because lets face it - being active AND having a full stomach after a meal feels good :)

PalmTreeChick said...

I have to agree with cggirl, we don't know the circumstances behind drstacey's weight gain, but there could be several reasons. Maybe she's been eating too much, maybe she hasn't been working out as much, maybe she's taking medicine which causes weight gain, maybe she really didn't gain 12 lbs but 9 lbs and 3 of it was water...who knows. The point is, if her health remains fine then there is no need for concern.

Anonymous said...

I am just wondering, and wish maybe Dr. Stacy would chime in. How much "fluctuation" in weight is too much? And by "too much" I mean either a health risk (say for an "average 5'5" woman), or a "slippery slope" that if not nipped in the bud, WILL lead to an unhealthy gain. How many of us would really not care about a 12 lb. gain? I'd not only be very disappointed but by that time would be having knee pain, back pain, difficulty participating in my usual physical activities, and tight pants. Are those worth worrying about?

leslie said...

RE "Because in the scope of what I do and who I am and the world I live in, 12 pounds of extra flesh amount to absolutely nothing."

This is a mantra we all should live by. Bravo!

Zmama75 said...

I hope to be able to do that someday.

Anonymous said...

RE "Because in the scope of what I do and who I am and the world I live in, 12 pounds of extra flesh amount to absolutely nothing."

But it CAN amount to something- stress on your joints, increased blood pressure... 12 lbs is not "nothing". 3 lbs is nothing.

CGgirl said...

Ok once again i must chime in.

I read something like "knee pain, back pain, difficulty participating in my usual physical activities" as something you might expect if u gain 12 pounds.


Granted, I've never seen you and you know your body better than anyone. So maybe it's true for you. But I have NEVER met anyone who had such problems because they gained 12 pounds. People, it's NOT THAT MUCH.

I think people DO get the problems you describe in your comments from not being active enough, not stretching and being flexible enough. (That's a pet peeve of mine recently - nobody gives any importance to stretching cuz hey, it doesn't burn calories so it doesn't matter. Yet many problems I've seen, in myself when I was injured and in other too, are solved by simple friggin STRETCHES. But I digress.)

And really, the comment about "stress on your joints, increased blood pressure" - I don't buy it and here is why:

NONE of you actually asked "Dr. stacy, how is your blood pressure? And how do your joints feel?"
You assume based on her weight gain.
Furthermore, I doubt you'd ask this of yourself or anyone else as long as they are skinny.

Forgive me if I sound snappish, I don't mean to disrespect your opinions and if you have info to back that up that you want to share by all means do.
I just am sick of everyone crying out "health" to excuse our obsession with being thin.
If you care about someone's health, ASK THEM HOW THEY FEEL, don't analyze their weight or YOUR perception of their lifestyle, dietary and excercise choices.

And for goodness sake, if you must worry about people's health (your own or loved ones), worry about the health of someone losing weight or skinny once in awhile. :)

Oh, and the slippery slope? While I understand your concerns, I've found (for myself and people around me, I'm not saying you all have to adopt this) - that the real slippery slope is obsessing about your weight. And I've seen, in my personal experience at least, that NOT worrying about the weight itself is the best thing, and worrying about it leads to unhealthy habits, crazy weight fluctuations and god only knows what else.

Ok, end of rant.

Megan said...

I read the post and Dr. Stacey almost got me.

And then, I got to the end...Fuck ya.

Enough said. Who cares why.

carry on ya'll...

Samantha said...

You are so right, I have always though that EVERY WOMAN has an eating disorder. I know that I must. I think about food constantly, unless I am asleep anyway.
Your story truly freaked me out a bit. It caused me some anxiety. I know what I would have done in your case. Went to the book store, that's what. I would have started obsessively plunging into 5 or six diet books while I drank my unsweetened ice tea and a rice crispy treat.
I would screw up and downed three cookies instead of one and then promised myself I would be better tomorrow.
I sound obsessive compulsive here. The first time I comment on your blog and I sound like a crazy person. Bad Sam, bad.

Anonymous said...

As an athlete, gaining 12 lbs. would severely hinder my ability to train pain-free. If I saw I gained 12 lbs. in six months I wouldn't freak out - but I would certainly begin to restructure my food intake and activity levels.

I mean, if you gained 12lbs. in the past 6 months, that means you could potentially gain 24 in one year...48 in two years...100 in four years...

I guess I believe in nipping it in the bud. I also wouldn't enjoy feeling overweight. I like feeling lean. - Jojo

CGgirl said...

RE: "I like feeling lean."

Funny, I like feeling happy.

Ok ok I won't be so mean.

I think it's great if you like feeling lean. Most people like LOOKING lean but I'm not lumping you into that category, I'm assuming you mean what you say and it's the feeling.

(Have you ever not been lean? Did it feel different? Cuz for me, I was skinny as a girl and I'm more full figured now and asside from needing a good bra to be able to jump around and dance comfortable, I feel no difference. That's just an aside... maybe to you it does feel different.)

Anyway, assuming you feel better lean, I think the question is: what bad feelings would you have to go to to stay lean, if you were NOT naturally lean at this point in your life. That answer is different for everyone... I'm just making the point that besides raising the question of whether we even WANT to be thinner, if we do feel better thinner, how bad are we willing to feel to get there? And will we have to keep feeling bad once we're there to keep the leanness going?

I dunno if I'm making sense, it's late, so bye all and thank you for sharing, lean ladies too :)

Anonymous said...

Why do you assume that being/feeling lean requires any degree of feeling bad? Maybe it feels good to be physically active. Maybe it feels good not to eat sugary junk. Maybe it feels good to leave the table not feeling stuffed. Unless the person is starving herself or exercising to the point of pain, why assume she has to "feel bad" to "feel good"?

Anonymous said...


I, also. like feeling happy. I LIKE feeling lean. Are other things in my life more important? Sure.

I am a competitive athlete. I eat +3,500 calories a day. I train +20 hours a week. I know I am not the "norm" on this site (or even in the American cluture). Do not assume I struggle with dieting to stay lean. I have never dieted.

In the off season I gain about 5-8lbs - and my feet get achy and my knees hurt. For some, this may not be the case - all I can say is my PERSONAL experience is my joints are not the same when I am heavier - and when my training season rolls around I am ready to lean up again.

I am also a small person (5'2''), so 8lbs. is a lot for me. If a genetically bigger/taller person gained 8lbs it would not have the same effect. Perhaps Dr. Stacy is 6'0'' - in this case, it may take more weight to make a difference on the musculoskeletcal system.

- Jojo

cggirl said...

To Jojo:

I'm sorry jojo, I didn't mean to question your lifstyle or imply that you're unhealthy somehow.
It's more like, I felt like our society goes overboard with the emphasis on leanness, so I felt like countering that, but I didn't mean to direct it at you personally.
And I believe you that it feels different in the off season. I still must ask, how do you know you feel worse because you're less active in the off season, rather than because of the weight itself?
I mean, you know your own body, I'm really only asking not trying to imply anything.

To the anonymous comment that asked:

"Why do you assume that being/feeling lean requires any degree of feeling bad?"

For me, it does. I'm sure it's different for everyone. So I didn't mean people SHOULDNT be lean, just that for some people it comes easier and for some it requires some REALLY serious effort that can be at the expense of other aspects of health, so we must all find the right approach for ourselves.

You said:
"Maybe it feels good to be physically active. Maybe it feels good not to eat sugary junk. Maybe it feels good to leave the table not feeling stuffed."

Yes, it goes, and all those things describe me perfectly. Yet I am not lean. Those things you describe feel good, and - for ME at least - being lean in and of itself has no good/bad feeling.

However, to BECOME lean, yes I would have to do a lot of bad feeling stuff.

So basically, I agree with you completely except that I detach the lean part from the lifestyle part, because for many people they live the way you describe yet are not lean... And also, many people eat leass and exercise not because those lifestyle choices make them feel good but because they hope it will make them thin, and/or it's just REALLY encouraged by society.
Just my two cents.

cggirl said...

oops i meant to say:
"how do you know you IF feel worse because ..." ya know, how do u know whether it's the weight or the lack of activity.

hope thats not too confusing.

But in any case jojo, i'm sorry, i didn't mean to make u feel undermined, I think it's great that you're such an athlete.

Ls said...

Thanks for the support!

Sarah said...

Anon, nobody cares how your body shape makes you feel. Don't assume that everybody in the world has to be "perfect" like you. I know being smug and self-righteous probably makes you feel good, but it accomplishes nothing.