Friday, September 4, 2009

Weigh ins, challenges, and what's worth reading

Weight: 250.1
BMI: 42.92

There are lots of great things about being weighing in daily. There's some evidence that weighing in every day (as opposed to less frequently) might be beneficial for losing and maintaining weight. I find it motivating and helpful in staving off binges: there's no time for recovery, no chance to hide my mistakes. But, there are a few parts of daily weigh ins that suck. Like, when you do everything perfectly, like, say, eat 1200 calories and go on a two hour walk, and instead of rewarding you, the scale just says "meh."

Today I was hoping to see the 240s. I worked really quite hard yesterday to make sure I'd get a glimpse of them. But, sometimes, that's just not your luck. So, I'm up .1 pounds.

I'm also starting to worry if I'm maybe being too ambitious with my mini goal. Today's small gain (and the passage of time with the lack of a loss) combine for a scary 2.92 sustained loss for the rest of the goal, which is pretty darn close to the wrong side of reasonable. It's not all lost, though. On July 31st, after all, I was looking at a needed loss of 2.95 to make my last goal, and I made it with time to spare.

I think at this point I'm going to stick with it. It might be a bit too hard, a bit more than I can really do, but I'd rather be pushing myself than feeling like I can slack. If I don't make it, I don't make it, but I'm going to try.

One thing that will be absolutely key is not messing up this weekend. Describing how we're going to handle the holiday is part of this week's GAG challenge. (The second part of the challenge is a recipe, which I will pitifully attempt later in the post.)

My challenge this weekend is going to be sticking on plan with my brother around. He's coming down from Philadelphia on Saturday around noon. Since he's not coming till relatively late in the day, I plan on waking up early and getting in a good long workout. Lunch is probably going to be Five Guys. There, I'll get a little bacon burger with lettuce and tomato. Not the best, but better than it could be. We'll end up getting an order of fries, but I plan to eat not many of them. I'll try to discreetly count them out beforehand. That night we're going out to dinner at Matchbox. I'm planning on the cast iron roasted chicken. I'll eat the carrots first, then the peas, then some of the chicken. I'll avoid all the potatoes.

Sunday morning we'll walk up to the Dupont Circle Farmers market and I'll get some fruit for breakfast. Sunday afternoon and night he's going to be at a friend's bachelor party, so I'll go for a long walk and possibly do a gym workout. We might have to do some sort of breakfast on Monday, but it'll be okay. Both Sunday and Monday will be one meal things, so I can easily make up calories the rest of the day.

As far as a recipe, well, I don't have much experience cooking healthy things for large crowds. So here's a non cooking but still bringing something survival guide:

2 pints of strawberries
1 pint of blueberries
4 packets of splenda

Wash both fruits. Quarter the strawberries. Mix it all together with the splenda, which will help the cut up fruit keep in the afternoon and make it desert-level sweet. Bring a can of fat-free Redi Whip. It's 5 calories for two tablespoons, and the perfect touch.

And, there's my mini-challenge. I'm not sure I enjoy the writing silly response challenges as much as I like the rest of the competition, and may end up opting out of them before too long. The camaraderie (go, team Prancer go!), the competition? I'm there. The drudge homework assignments? Eh, perhaps not so much. (Don't take this as a knock against organizer Mrs. Sheila in any way shape or form. She's fabulously awesome and I'm so grateful she set up the challenge.)

I mean, why do we blog what we blog? If you look at a given post, each sentence and each paragraph has a point, a reason why we wrote it in the first place. Maybe it's to hold ourselves accountable, or to help ourselves figure out something and to help others do the same. Maybe it's to share good news, to (hopefully) make someone laugh, or just to link to something we think is really frigging awesome.

All of you people who stop by and read this blog, I adore you guys. I read your blogs, if I know about them, and comment if I can. There are others who read regularly but leave no footprints beyond showing up on Google Analytics. Every single one of you I know seems awesome from everything I can tell, and I'd be willing to bet on the coolness of those I don't. Because I have these awesome readers (not many, but awesome nonetheless), when I post stuff, it ought to be things that are worth reading. The simple act of posting something says, Trust me guys, I think this is worth your time. And, seriously, "Cut up some fruit and toss some artificial sweetener in there so it won't spoil"? That's not worth reading.

What if I had a better recipe? Would that be worth reading? Well, it might be, but I have no experience whatsoever with this. At 23, I'm just on the cusp of adulthood, and I've only lived as a post-college grown up for a year. I have not once in my entire life tried to cook something healthy for a large group of people. Sure, I could post a recipe I find online and hope it will be good, but I can't vouch for it, I can't say, trust me because I just won't know.

I posted what I was going to do with my brother and the "recipe" not because they were illuminating, helpful, or fun, but because I'm a dirty, dirty point whore. I love accolades and credit of all kinds. When I used to play video games with my brother as a kid, I could spend ages jumping up and down trying to get on a box to get on another box to get a single coin. "Hadley, it's not worth it," he'd tell me, but by gosh if there was a coin there I wanted it. Because that's who I am. I don't do things half way.

So, I'm going to have to figure out what I want to do as far as the challenges. I'm sure, down the road, there will be ones that I have an interesting take on that will work as normal posts. But for the rest? I just don't know. Maybe I'll accept that doing all the mini challenges isn't for me and just pick and choose a few. Maybe I'll cordon them off with a "WARNING: Lame post of Lameness" title so you unsuspecting readers don't accidentally wander in. Another theoretical option would be to actually research all the challenges enough that I could do a good job on them, but since the effort required would be far inordinate to my amount of care, that's just not going to happen.


The contemplation shall continue. Do you guys think you have an implicit contract with your readers to provide, well, posts that are worth reading? How would you approach the whole mini-challenge thing: try to do them all, or ignore all but the ones I find of interest? Do you have any experience with challenges and mini challenges in the past? And last but not least, how totally lame was that "recipe"?

Anyway, I hope you all have a fantabulous Labor Day Weekend. Enjoy your day off (if you get one) and take some time to treasure your family and friends. In all my "how I'll deal with food issues this weekend" shpiel, I left off how incredibly excited and happy I am that I'll get to see my brother. At the end of the day, there really is nothing more important than the ones we love.


  1. I say post whatever you want. I too am a points whore by the way. :)
    As for something quick and low points (are you doing WW??) how about a veggie tray???
    I also am a huge fan of 98% Fat Free hot dogs (Oscar Mayer) and white wheat hot dog buns. That's a 2 point hot dog! :)
    Good luck!!

  2. Good post! I think you should blog about the mini challenges if you feel strongly about them, otherwise just keep up what you are doing. I love when bloggers blog about more than just weight loss, it really does help my "journey" if that makes sense. It makes me feel like there is MORE to life than just worrying about weight, which is why I love your blog.

    I cannot wait for you to reach your goal!

  3. If we can only post when we have something "worth reading," I'm gonna have to hit the brakes pretty hard. ;)

    Have a great weekend!

  4. the almighty "they" discourage weighing in daily because your weight can fluctuate between .5 and 2 lbs per day depending on certain things in your diet. if you weigh yourself on the same day every week, at the same time, with the same situations (i.e. if you've eaten or not) it's much much more accurate. you take away the daily variable and keep your number a controlled result. i weigh myself every 2 weeks. i'm trying to focus on how i feel rather than the number on the scale, and everyone's different, but i thought i'd offer my opinion :)

    and as far as blogging...sometimes, when i think of stuff like general topics rather than day to day ones, i write them down in a journal or save them in my post list and use those when i have a blank day. but hey, people's day to day junk is great to read too, so don't force it if it's not there.

    enjoy your labor day!

  5. I suspect that despite being a 'dirty, dirty point whore' that you are a pretty cool and awesome person too!

  6. As I get to know you I see that analytical brain of yours working OVERTIME! Teehee... I teeter on topics to write too so don't fret too much about it. It really is a tool for you and you get the added bonus of letting us "watch" you.

  7. The purpose of my blog is to get things out that are important to me, things that are bugging me & things I want to celebrate.

    That being said, I do have readers whom I absolutly adore so I so try to put out (ha!) a little more effort to post some popular & helpful 'extras' such as recipes, survival tips, yada yada yada.
    The important thing to me is that it has to come from my heart. I'm not going to write something I really do not believe in.
    I'm not going to just copy & paste some random crap & say "Ta Da" read this!
    It may read like that some days, but I'm really making it all up as I go along. ;)

    I don't mind the challenge topics, but then again I'm a foodie at heart (and hips) so I have recipes out the wazoo.
    I'm also {slightly...okay a decade} older than you, so I may have more 'been there done that' type stuff to offer on how to go to a BBQ & not bust out of your jeans so that post wasn't a hardship for me.

    Anyway, my point is - your blog is *your* blog. It should be helpful, it should be fun, it should be a connection to others who can & will offer support... It should never be dreaded homework.

    And I say that, even though I too am a point whore, as your team mate. I don't know if we're being pointed as a team or seperately, but I don't think you should feel you have to 'take one for the team', KWIM?

    Quit thinking too hard - you're making my brain hurt! lol

    Have a great weekend & enjoy the visit with your brother!

  8. I definitely do not feel an obligation to only post when I have something important/worthwhile to say. If I put that kind of pressure on myself, I'd never post. :-) Primarily, I write my blog for myself. It makes me happy that other people read it, but if I was writing for those who read, it would just become another stressful obligation instead of something that is useful to me. I like to think it's not too boring, but if in doubt, I'll err on the side of potentially boring to others but useful to me. :-)

  9. I don't think I would want to weigh myself everyday (if I ever get a scale that is). Too much setting myself up for failure I think, but everyone is different! I liked the recipe you chose, not everyone can or has the time to cook, so these simpler recipes that are "chop & mix" are great for alot of folks. When I am doing something for just myself I don't usually put alot of time into it, unlike meals I cook for the fam. Kudos to you on planning ahead your food for the weekend! Thanks for your tip on my blog about what my mini-goal should be. I think I am going to go with your suggestion, it seems reasonable, challenging and yet doable! Thanks! Enjoy your weekend with your brother.

  10. There is enough room for everyone in blogland. I don't just read a certain kind of blog, and I'll bet you don't either. I just try to be honest...with myself. That's why I started blogging in the 1st place.

    Enjoy the weekend with your brother. Staying on track will be well worth it.

  11. I was having this same internal conversation, wondering if I wanted the added pressure of writing something just for challenge points vs. writing something for the usual reasons (want to remember something, working something out emotionally, etc.).

    The good news with me is I don't have to worry about quality suffering because I usually just blather on about what's going on in my life ... nothing that's going to be considered "quality" to begin with.

    I definitely want to participate in whatever dialogue is going on in the challenge because, quite frankly, it's been a pretty kick ass tool for motivation. I'm loving it! But .. I don't know that I want to use my time writing about something that isn't important to me (when I could be spending time with my kids, posting my usual nonsense or exercising!) so I will probably pick and choose, depending on the topic.

    Whatever you decide, enjoy your holiday weekend! =)

  12. I have an easy recipe for you if you want! Watermelon soup, which I hope to post tomorrow.
    As for the blogging, I say post whatever you want. I do. If it's on my mind I just blurt it out. Sometimes it's fluff, and sometimes its deep enough to freak me out. But once it's off my mind and on my blog I feel all the better for it.
    And I never would have guessed that you're a dirty, dirty point whore! You seem so nice here in your blog! :-)

  13. I weigh myself everyday too. Sometimes it pisses me off but most times, it's a blessing because it encourages me everyday to keep up even when I struggle.

    And don't forget, this is YOUR blog, so you post whatever the heck you want! If people don't want to read it, they don't have to!


  14. I am a daily weigher as well, in fact I often weigh in twice a day, just because I am weird like that!

    As for posting something you really don't want to... then don't silly! Not all the challenges will be like this one, each week is going to be different. Some dealing with food, exercise, some deep emotional thinking. The whole point of the point challenges are to expand our thinking, and to grow internally. Never ever compromise your feelings to satisfy the requirment.

  15. Hadley,
    Here are my thoughts. It is YOUR blog, so post what you want. If someone doesn't want to read it, they won't! Let your readers decide what is interesting or not to them.
    You post quality content all the time - and by quality, I mean: you share your experiences, your thoughts, your slip-ups and triumphs. Most of us want to read all that! Don't worry about what your writing too much - just have fun, write from the heart and it will all be okay.

  16. I'm not sure what this mini-challenge thing is, but I weigh everyday myself and I think it sets the tone for my day as far as keeping focused on my diet.
    Keep up the good work.

  17. I approached the challenge sincerely. I knew the point was not to amuse or entertain others, but for us to think about and plan how to get through a holiday party without consuming too many calories, and share that strategy with others. Course it's helped that I had a kick-ass low calorie margarita recipe! And yea, I guess I'm a point whore too- lol!

  18. I saw a graph in one of your earlier posts and I wanted to ask you about the daily weigh-ins. My first thought was for me it would mean nothing but stress but now I see your point.

    About the recipe 'problem' ... I read lots of blogs, people post tons of recipes but I can't. I have no experience with cooking, it's not a natural thing for me. I hope along the way I may find the courage and the interest to try but now ... i don't know. (:

    Have a lovely weekend.

  19. Its your blog and you can cry if you want to or say what the heck you feel. Because until someone has been in your shoes they will never understand. I am 230lbs and just 10 days ago I decided to get back on the wagon. I was doing fine losing weight and living. Making oaths that I will never be 200lbs again and then in April of this year my little brother died and
    all the promises I made to myself went out the window. And I gain that weight back and some more. I started a blog as a effort to get back on track. You be encouraged. You are not alone in this fight for freedom to lose weight.
    My blog is

  20. hun, Breath! I think thats about all you need to do. First off I weigh myself every day too and the day after a big workout, you are swollen with water and will always weigh more! its ok! Also I post on my blog for me! its a way for me to get out there and own up to what I am saying! I take pride in my words(as screwy as they are), and whatever you have to say is important! I value what you have to say because I want to get to know you better... so even something stupid/silly, I will find pleasure in reading it!