Remission: How I Measure Weight Loss

There are two ways to measure weight. One is to weigh oneself once a week, usually on a Monday. The other is to do it daily. Weekly gives you a consistent number to work with and only causes anxiety that first morning. Daily can be nerve-wracking, but it does give you an idea of how certain foods and activities will impact your body. Just don’t be shocked when that long night of beer, wings, and mozzarella sticks add 3-5 pounds that don’t go away by the next morning.

I do daily, but there’s a caveat. If I jump on the scale one morning and see a number that’s a goal weight (this week, 255 pounds), I don’t automatically assume I’ve met my goal. This was once a source of frustration that derailed previous attempts to lose weight and get in shape. You can have a day where you eat little, drink lots of fluids, and are physically active, resulting in a very nice reading on the scale the next morning. The problem is you have a perfectly normal day the next day. Or you have a business lunch or are so busy the only food you get is a Whopper and fries. Then the scale is not so nice.

I do my weight daily because it gives me a trend. I also have to check blood sugar and blood pressure daily, so my weight gives me an additional health factor to gauge how I’m doing. I get up, do what it is we do when we first roll out of bed, then hit the scale. This is when you’re at your lightest. Everything after that is added weight that hasn’t been absorbed yet.  If I’m at or under my target weight, it’s a good morning. But it doesn’t count as meeting my goal. Not until I’ve had 7 consecutive readings at or below my target weight. After that, it’s pretty obvious the target weight is the new normal, and I can move on.

How’s it worked? I talked recently about stopping several medications. I am now about to stop using a CPAP machine to sleep. This is a milestone. Plus, I’d like to be able to travel over night with nothing but my laptop and an overnight bag.

I am writing this on Sunday morning, which now marks 3 days under 255 pounds. My original goal for 2013 was 250 pounds. If those numbers hold by the time you read this, I will be less than 5 pounds away from my goal for the year.