Wednesday, December 21, 2011

When weight gain isn't a bad thing

Just as I expected, I did my Wednesday Weigh-In and I gained weight this week. I started running regularly again (4 weeks post-op) and as I mentioned, starting an exercise program ALWAYS makes me either gain or maintain my weight for a couple of weeks. Which can be frustrating, if you're only looking at the number on the scale!

However, we all know that exercise is GOOD for us... and as long as we're not eating like pigs, we're not going to gain fat from exercise. I took an A.C.E. personal training course years ago, and one thing that really struck me was that our muscles retain water when we start an exercise program--and they hold onto that water until we stop our exercise program. (Which is probably part of the reason why I dropped 9 pounds the week after surgery--I stopped exercising, and my muscles released all that water). So if you're a regular exerciser, your muscles are probably holding onto some water at all times.

When you see the number on the scale go up after starting an exercise program, you may have lost some fat from exercise, but gained water weight, and that's why the number on the scale kind of sucks. (At least this is how I understand it, from the class I took). This was clear to me today when I recorded my weight and my body fat percentage.

My weight went UP (just half a pound, but it was up nonetheless) and my body fat percentage went DOWN. Meaning the weight I gained had to be the water weight I was talking about.
Weight is 135, up 0.5 pounds from last week

Body fat is 19.6%, down 0.8% from last week
The reason I mention all of this is because if any of you notice a small gain or you're having a hard time losing weight when you start an exercise program, it's not necessarily a bad thing. If you're doing everything "right" (meaning you're eating well, not gorging yourself, and you're exercising) then you shouldn't have anything to worry about.

Keep in mind that every BODY is different, so this may not be the case for everyone. It's just something I noticed over my (many, many, many) years of yo-yo dieting. It usually takes me about 2-3 weeks before I start noticing a good drop in weight again (and that was when I was very heavy, so this is new territory for me right now). I'm only two pounds from my goal weight, so it should be interesting to see how long it takes me to get there :)

I've been binge-free for 5 weeks and 2 days now!! I'm much prouder of that accomplishment than I am from the weight loss I've had over those weeks. I still struggle with urges to binge, but I keep reminding myself that once I do it ONE TIME, it'll be so much easier to get back in the bingeing habit, always promising to start a new streak "tomorrow". I'm determined to beat my last binge-free streak!

(By the way, if you've sent me e-mail recently and I haven't responded yet, I'm not ignoring you--I've been putting all my spare computer time and focus on switching the blog to WordPress--but since I gave up on that, hopefully I'll get caught up on e-mails this week).

16 comments:

  1. I am so happy that you are feeling well. I am sorry to hear that wordpress is difficult :(

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  2. Yay for a great run yesterday - and for being binge-free! Another idea to make a little money with your blog - you could include Amazon links to items that you use. As an Amazon affiliate, you make a percentage of any sales made when people click through your link to buy...I only thought of that because I saw your picture of your bodyfat calculator/measuring tool, and was thinking of buying one myself.

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  3. I notice the same thing Katie. I lose more slowly when I am exercising.

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  4. I just wanted to say that I made Noah's Spaghetti Pie tonight and it was super yummy!

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  5. Jen Larson has a great idea about Amazon. After you posted a picture of that BMI tool that you hold, I bought one on Amazon. Now about retaining water weight. When I went to Fitness Ridge for 4 weeks and exercised 7 hours a day and ate 1200 calories per day, that first week I only lost 3 pounds. I was in TEARS! But, the trainer gave me a pep talk about the very thing you mentioned and the following week I lost 9 lbs or so. The body is an amazing thing. Keep up the great work and nice pedicure!

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  6. The first week I starting running I gained 6 lbs! I laughed it off. I couldn't gain weight that fast when I was being lazy and over-eating!
    Keep it all in perspective.

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  7. Off the subject, but when I started blogging a couple of years ago, I tried to move to Wordpress and I had a terrible experience too. Here's the post I wrote about it: http://www.adventuresinsavings.com/2010/02/adventures-in-not-moving-blog.html. I thought you might get a laugh :)

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  8. Thanks for the info Katie! Aunt Flo is here this week so I'm ignoring the scale as well!

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  9. I actually did buy that body fat monitor because of you Katie! :) lol.

    What was your body fat % prior to surgery? Just curious what your normal number has been. Do you find it fluctuates fairly easily? I think I check mine too often. lol!

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  10. oh this makes sense. haha i never thought of it that way. my YMCA closes down for a week at the end of summer every year, i lost about 2 lbs that week and i was shocked cause normally i am at the gym just about every day (5 days a week) so iwas like wait i didnt work out once and i lost weight!!?? and my diet didnt change at all.
    lessoff

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  11. Thankssss definitely needed to hear that yesterday!! lol. I'm feeling much better already today though because I'm back down again. haha. Stupid scale...

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  12. Great info! I have a question about clothes sizes. I'm going down 1 size for every 20 lbs. Was that your experience, and at what point did your pant size go down with fewer pounds? I think you said you went from a 24W to 8 at 100 pounds and now you are a size 4.

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  13. @Jen

    Jen, I only check it once a week (at most). I don't really have a "normal" number, because it fluctuates with my weight. At my lowest weight of 128 (a year ago), it was a little over 17%. During the summer, when I put on some weight and got up to about 150, it was around 26%. At 253 pounds, it was almost 50%!

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  14. @annjeanbs
    At first, it took me about 20 pounds to lose a size as well. Once the clothes get to a certain number (I believe 8 or 10) there is only a 1-inch waist difference rather than a 2-inch difference, so you will drop sizes faster. Once I got down to about a 14 or 16, I started dropping sizes much faster.

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  15. Hi Katie. WOW...I HAVE noticed that!!!! And now, it just makes sense. Hope you are having a wonderful Friday.

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)