Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Monitoring Methods

Now that I'm heading deeper into the 6th month of my efforts to lose weight and be in control of my eating, I've decided that it is time to add in another form of monitoring my progress. I still have ambivalent feelings about the scale and will not be using it for the time being.

At this point, I still regard it as a "de-motivational" tool because of the way in which the readings cannot be trusted as a measure of progress. Weight values fluctuate greatly based on time of day, time of month, and increases in muscle mass. I don't want to find myself in despair because the readings haven't moved or have gone up when I know I've done everything right. I'll just keep doing everything right for the time being and let the chips fall where they may.

Previously, I've mentioned that my clothes have been my measure as well as observations of specific bodily changes. I'm also watching my interaction with my environment to see if things are changing. For example, I have a small half-bath bathroom which is little bigger than a small closet that I used to occasionally scrape my belly on when entering or exiting the room and I clear the door with more clearance than before. I also have a chair with arms which I barely squeezed into before which is a better fit, though this is probably one of the slower changing experiences since I'm losing weight so much more slowly in my lower body.

The next monitoring phase is coming photographically. I had my husband take a picture of me about a week ago and download it to his computer. I can't bear to look at it myself, but I am going to have him take regular pictures at 4-month intervals and ask him to check for visible progress. I'm guessing I'll have the courage to look at them myself about a year into this journey, or whenever he does a comparison and reports that progress is clearly visible.

I wish I had had him take a picture at the beginning, but I think that would have put pressure on me to succeed and I simply was not ready at that point. I can only chart my progress if I expect to make it, and I'm not sure I had the highest expectations at the beginning. It wasn't that I expected to fail necessarily, but rather that embarking on this trip was enough of a stretch for me.

No comments: