The Scale is Stupid. No More Numbers!

One of the very first hubs that I wrote for Hub Pages was called "This Girl Lost 20 Lbs. With the Wii Fit - and Kept it Off!"

Guess what. It didn't stay off.

I've found this to be true fo any diet/exercise program, if you don't keep up with it or maintain it.

In 2003, I began the whole Atkins/"low carb way of living" when I went to the doctor for a regular check-up and was told that I weighed 154 pounds.  At that time, I only weighed about 10 pounds less than my husband, who is 5'10". 

The low-carb stuff wasn't that bad.  I actually adapted pretty quickly.  I did it all - lots of meat and green veggies, no bread, potatoes, rice, or beans, and heaven forbid, no sweets.  I bought the book, and the ketosis strips.  I joined a low-carb-living message board.  And I saw dramatic results.  In probably about 6 months, I dropped 30 pounds.  To a scarily-skinny 125 pound version of myself.  I'm only 5'3", so some BMI charts might suggest this was an okay weight, and at the time, I'm sure I enjoyed it.  But looking back at pictures, I don't look quite like myself.

I didn't exactly move slowly out of my "induction" phase of Atkins the way you're supposed to.  I cannon-balled.  I figured I'd just 30 pounds, I could have a bun with my hamburger if I wanted to.  I could have pizza.  I could have ice cream.  It wouldn't kill me!

A year later, I was probably right back where I started.

 A group of friends of mine tried Medi-Fast way of eating for awhile.  A lot of mail-order shakes, protein bars, oatmeal, pudding, and lean and green meals.  Essentially, Atkins, with all the other stuff.  It worked for awhile.  My friends saw dramatic results.  Before and after pictures are astounding.  I was definitely envious, but I never jumped on the bandwagon - the cost, the fact that I'd still have to cook for my husband (the temptation!) and the fact that I couldn't keep eating the same foods (oatmeal, milkshake, pudding) all day, all the time.

Alas, the same results... those that didn't keep up with the program, gained some weight back.

And then, there's my experience with the Wii Fit. As a short, chubby thing with a big chest and a knee injury from college, exercise has never been my strong suit. I'm not a runner.  But this seemed like a way for me to exercise in my home, without having a gym membership (I've done that, too.)  I wouldn't have to worry about going out in public where someone could see me struggling.  I could exercise in the privacy of my own home.  I could keep track of my weight and progress. 

It worked, great.  I decided that exercise must have been the "missing link" to my weight loss battle, because the weight dropped off steadily from September to the winter holidays, and I plateaued around March. 

And that's just it - I plateaued.  The weight stopped coming off.  I got bored.  I was doing the same exercises all the time.  I stopped seeing results.  The scale stopped moving.  Then the scale started going back in the other direction.  Then I figured, what's the point?!

Again, I found myself desperate to make a change. I decided to try Jillian Michaels' 30 Day-Shred. I was maybe a week into it, when I found myself slacking off... Too tired. Long day at work. Didn't feel like listening to her nag at me. I wanted to lose weight, to be thinner, to feel better about myself... but I just didn't think Jillian Michaels was going to be the one to help me do it.

Then I started hearing people talk about (and discuss on Facebook) their experience with P90X. Right away, I thought it must be a new trendy fad diet/workout program. I didn't really hear details about it, but I kept hearing people give it rave reviews; they claimed to have great success. Then it just so happened, a co-worker of my husband was doing it, so I asked for more information. He shared the program with me.

P90X is a workout program set up so that you work only a few muscle groups a day, maximum capacity, in 3 30-day phases, for a total of 90 days. The crazy workouts stress out your muscles and set you up for prime "muscle confusion" which I guess causes your muscles to repair at a faster rate, so that you see results much faster than a regular workout program.

Here's what the first 3 weeks of exercises look like:
Day 1: Chest/back and the Ab Ripper.
Day 2: Plyometrics.
Day 3: Shoulders/arms and the Ab Ripper.
Day 4: Yoga.
Day 5: Legs and the Ab Ripper.
Day 6: Ken Po.
Day 7: Rest or stretch.

I've been doing it for a month, and I'm already seeing results! I have a more cut-in waist, a better defined stomach, and less flab on my lower back. You can look at me and SEE the difference. Not only that, but my strength has improved - I can do more push-ups and sit-ups than when I started. My stamina has improved as well - I complete every hour-hour and a half-long workout and I feel GREAT afterwards.  I never thought I'd be the type of person who enjoys coming home after a long day of work, only to work out for an hour or an hour and a half EVERY SINGLE DAY.  I never thought I'd even be ABLE to do it.  But I am!  And I love it!

So what did I do wrong? I went and weighed myself, hoping to see a decrease in my weight. Did I? NOPE. I was disappointed to see that after 3-4 weeks of exericse, I hadn't lost any weight. In fact, I'd gained 1.3 pounds. But then I looked at myself in the mirror again, and decided that the numbers no longer matter. I look better. I FEEL better. And THAT'S all that matters.

 When starting any diet or exercise program, make sure to discuss it with your doctor.  Have a plan ready!  Pick exercises or activities that you are capable of doing, that you will ENJOY doing.  Work out with a buddy!  Find someone to support you.  And most importantly...

Don't be discouraged.  DON'T GIVE UP!

"A bend in the road is not the end of the road, unless you fail to make the turn."
- anonymous

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Comments 2 comments

Michael Jay profile image

Michael Jay 6 years ago

Great hub! Thank you very much for sharing this wonderful hub. This is very useful. Glad I've found this.

Arwen Taylor 6 years ago

Cool hub. Muscle weighs more than fat which is probably why you saw a gain in the scale instead of a loss. You lost fat and gained muscle.

I go rid of my scale and decided to just go by how I look and how my clothes fit. I do agree that you have to keep up with your diet and exercise program in order to maintain your results. That's why many people recommend making lifestyle changes you can live with for the rest of your life rather than quick fixes.

Good luck on your program. I'm sure you will do awesome.

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