The two-week mark: in which we talk numbers

I track my weight daily. The standard advice used to be to weigh yourself no more than once a week. Your weight fluctuates daily, and even over the course of a day, depending on lots of different factors: exercise, sweat, water consumption, blah blah blah. I think the idea behind the “once per week” advice was that you would get discouraged by these fluctuations.

On the contrary, I find it helpful to know about the fluctuations. Let’s say I weigh myself in the morning, and I’m 165.7 lbs. UGH. I feel sad. But if I know that I weighed 163 the three days before today, then I know it’s probably just a little bump up due to the weather or my menstrual cycle or the crappy salty junk I ate yesterday. In fact, if I eat especially well or poorly, and my weight changes the following day, that is rather useful, immediate feedback for me. My scale lets me know: “No, seriously, Jean… pizza makes you fat.” And while I know that correlation isn’t causation, when it’s appropriate, I’m willing to let that psychology work for me.
 
By weighing myself every day, I have more data points and a more realistic idea of where I am. Research is now showing that dieters who weigh themselves daily do better at sticking to their diets. (That said, each individual should do what works for them.)
 
On to some actual numbers!
 
Over the past two weeks, my highest weight was 165.2 lbs, and my lowest 159.7 lbs. That’s the first time I’ve weighed in at less than 160 in several months, so I was pretty excited about that. While it’s tempting to say, “I’ve lost nearly five pounds!” that isn’t quite true. Mostly, my weight at the beginning was hanging around 163 lbs., and in the last few days, it’s been more like 161 lbs—though today I weighed in at 160.2 lbs. So I’m going to say that over the past two weeks, I’ve lost two or three pounds. Not drastic, but not bad, honestly!
 
My body fat measurement tells a stronger story, I think. My scale does body fat, too, and my body fat over the past two weeks has very been falling very consistently. When I started VB6 two weeks ago, my body fat was 37.1 percent (102 lbs. lean / 60.7 lbs. fat). Today, it was 35.8 percent (102.8 lbs lean / 57.4 lbs fat). I’ve seen very little back-and-forth fluctuation in that measurement—just a nice, steady, daily drop. And that feels pretty good.

 

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