I've done a couple of posts now about how I'm working on losing some weight post Twin Cities Marathon including how I'm eating and my workout schedule. One thing I haven't talked about is a new habit I've started every single morning. And in terms of weight loss, it's a controversial one. I did a little bit of digging around on the internet just before writing this to get an idea of what else was out there and most of what I came across was against doing this habit. So what is it that I'm doing daily?
I'm hopping on the scale every single morning and recording that weight down. I know that probably doesn't sound super controversial in terms of dieting and weight loss compared to some of the crazy things people are doing out there. But I think the one reason that stepping on a scale daily is controversial is that a lot of people take that number on the scale and it affects how they feel for the rest of the day. So if it's up even a little bit, they get down and ruins their day right off the bat. And going the opposite way, they see it go down and it makes them feel awesome until they step on the scale again the next morning and they're up a little bit.
But one thing I had in mind when I decided to track my weight daily is that I'm going to have fluctuations. It's a normal thing with people, just depending on how much water you take in that day, how much salt you have or especially for women what part of your menstrual cycle are you in. So I knew starting off that I couldn't let my day be set by what number I saw on the scale that morning. In a way it's actually broken me of that habit of letting the number on the scale dictate how I'm feeling about my body and myself. Because in reality I know there's no way if I'm sticking to my macro goals and getting my workouts in that my body just magically decided to gain a pound of actual fat overnight. It's just not possible when I'm tracking what I'm eating and it's at a deficit from my maintenance level.
What I'm finding most helpful about weighing in daily is that I'm starting to see patterns how my weight fluctuates from day to day which is really interesting along with seeing a weekly average of my weight. I think the biggest thing that affects how my weight is on the scale is actually my work out the day before.
I've noticed that typically my weight goes up on Monday and Tuesday which makes a ton of sense because Sundays are long run days and then Monday I have a strength training and cardio session after work. I'd expect my weight to go up after those days just because when Tuesday rolls around I'm feeling pretty sore even if I've been diligent with foam rolling and stretching. So when I see my weight going up those days it tells me what I'm doing is working. My body is holding onto water to help my muscles repair after those strenuous workouts. Following that, I start seeing my weight go down on Wednesdays as I'm starting to feel how sore I am decrease even though I'm continuing to work out. And overall, my weekly average is down from the previous week.
I’ve seen a very interesting new fluctuation emerge this week. Starting on Wednesday, I decided to get back into tracking how much water I'm drinking, which I did a lot during marathon training and then stopped. But I decided to get back into it because I felt like I wasn't quite getting enough water in. So I set up some tasks in ToDoist so that I drink five of my water bottles every day which is around a 100 ounces of water in addition to whatever else I might drink during the day. And what I saw was a pretty dramatic downswing in my weight Thursday that's continued to hold on today which is Friday. It might not be statistically relevant since I’ll probably go up a little bit from this but it's just really interesting to see this pattern emerge in relationship to how much water I'm consciously taking in every day.
What happened is that I've been right around between 137.5 to 138.5 basically since the honeymoon. And before that the lowest I got down to was 137.1 right before we left on the honeymoon. So I wasn't surprised that I was just kind of going up and down and fluctuating after the honeymoon throughout the week and seeing a slight increase week-to-week. I had seen some really big drops those first two weeks of cutting before we left on a honeymoon (which was probably just water weight and my body recovering from the marathon) so I was just glad to kind of see that decrease post-honeymoon when I hadn't been tracking a strictly or working out as much as I might have at home.
So this week, I saw my weigh in Monday and Tuesday coming in higher which I was expecting because like I said before I tend to go up a little bit those days. Wednesday, I dropped down a pound (again wasn't surprising I wasn't feeling sore from my workouts so I expected that water weight to go away) and I was like “okay I might see it go down a little bit more this week.” I was expecting maybe a half a pound decrease at the most when I weighed in on Thursday. So I hopped on the scale Thursday morning and immediately had to get off and back on a couple of times to make sure there wasn't something strange going on with my scale because of what number it was showing. 136.2 on a scale that morning, the lowest I've been probably since my half in May. So you can see how I was kind of worried that something was going on with my scale because I've been in this kind of similar pattern of losing weight recently and I hadn’t seen that weight in a long time. I actually got really excited about seeing this weight and took a picture of my scale for Instagram stories just because I was not expecting this at all. I know before when I was much heavier and losing weight I kind of see this whoosh on the scale suddenly when I was doing once a week weigh-ins but I haven't really seen that at all with these daily weigh-ins.
So Thursday goes by, I did weights and a run that day and I was feeling pretty sore by the end of the day. I started the weeks 5 through 8 cycle of Strong Curves this week so it was a new program for me, my reps have been increased for all the exercises I'm doing and I could feel it. Especially in my glutes because the cycle has weighted walking lunges for my Wednesday workout and that is what I was feeling soreness in that night. I foam rolled twice Thursday just trying to get some of the soreness down and just kept thinking “okay we've had this low weight this morning. But now we're feeling pretty sore so expect to see the scale go up with water weight again.” Just mentally preparing myself to not freak out the next morning if I was suddenly up to 138-139 lbs on the scale. Because there was obviously no way I was going to gain two or three pounds of “real weight” overnight but I just wanted to mentally keep that in mind as I was going throughout the day.
So I headed to bed feeling sore still. and then I woke up on today (Friday as I’m writing this up) and again did my routine of jumping on the scale. Once again shocked to see the number it was showing. For the second day in a row, my body decided to do something I wasn't expecting it to do based on how I was feeling and what my prior weigh-ins had been. I was at 136.1 so basically holding even with the previous day. Even though I was feeling sore still that morning (I'm feeling sore right now as we are as I'm writing this after I’ve had a good yoga session this morning trying to stretch out my glutes). So it's just funny how even though I kind of have this record of what my body's been doing day to day and has been in a set routine of how my weight fluctuate throughout the week it can still surprise me.
It will be really interesting for me to see if this is just part of a bigger pattern that my body is in. What I'm thinking it might be is that my body is doing these small decreases for a couple of weeks and then all the sudden I see this big woosh and my weight goes down then sits in this holding pattern for a little bit. Seeing this big drop also makes me conscious of if I need to up my calories. That’s something else I'm going to be keeping an eye on over the next couple of weeks. If I start dropping weight too quickly for a consistent amount of time, I’ll up my calories o make sure that I'm feeding my body enough so I’m losing a lot of muscle during this time.
My plan still is to continue cutting through the end of December and just getting to that 130 to 135 pound range before I start marathon training in on January 1st. Yes I officially have a start date for Eau Claire marathon training because I set up my plan to sync to my Polar watch already. I am over prepared for everything. Realistically I know I'll probably be closer to that 135-pound mark rather than the 130 by the end of December because losing 6 lb in just over a month isn't super realistic for me. For one thing, I'm not in a huge deficit with my calories. For another, I'm also in a healthy weight range right now and just trying to lose a little bit more fat while keep some muscle on me. So I don't want my body to be losing muscle just to see my weight drop more.
I’d like to hear if any of you guys have stories about crazy weight fluctuations you've seen personally or what your thoughts are on how often you weigh yourself. I know everyone has different reasons for how and why they weigh themselves. It's really interesting to hear from people what helps keeps them on track.