The number on the scale

After one week of tracking my food and trying to make healthier choices, I am down 3 lbs.  I have 29.5 lbs to go until I’m at my pre-pregnancy weight.  That sounds so tough, but I know I can do it.  And I hope to lose more after.

While scale weight is one measure of weight loss, as I get closer to my goals, I will focus less on it.  For now, I have such a large amount I want to lose that it will work for me.  I’m also still in yoga pants making it tough to see changes in how my clothes feel.  But more important to me than the number on the scale is how my clothes fit and how I feel.  Scale weight is affected by so many things – sodium, water, time of day, time of month, etc.  It isn’t reliable and it isn’t something you can directly control.  How many times do you rock your week and see a gain on the scale?  How does that make you feel?

I long ago decided not to let the number get me down.  I have quit weighing myself for periods of time, opting instead to use a pair of jeans as the measure of my success.  I would rather look and feel great than to know that the scale says I weigh x, that my BMI is y or that my clothes are size z.

I do take measurements.  I plan to take them when I can begin working out again, and then every 2 months or so from then on.  I have a little spreadsheet that I track the results in, but many sites have them also including My Fitness Pal and Team Beachbody (get an account through my site ).  Measurements, especially when taken over time (not daily!) are a great way to track weight loss success.  And how awesome does it feel to see those inches coming off!  A loss of 10 lbs can look so different from person to person.  But lose 10″ and you know you’re seeing your success.

So I will be tracking my weight loss in multiple ways for a full picture.

My Fitness Pal

I mentioned my streak on My Fitness Pal (MFP) the other day. I thought I should talk a little more about the website/app, especially as their latest app update has fixed my major issue with using the app instead of the website.

I started tracking my food on MFP in April of 2011. At that point, I had been writing my food on paper, eating clean about 90% of the time. But I knew deep down that I needed more structure. Eating clean can be easy, and many people do well with it alone. But I like food in volume. I needed better portion control! So when I got home from a cruise, I started tracking online.

Like anything new, it takes a while to get used to. But MFP has such a huge database that it was fairly easy. And I love being able to scan my food with the app. You can also copy meals from that meal time for any previous day that week, which is super helpful if you eat the same thing most days. They show a list of your most added foods and your recently added foods on the website to make it easy to find these. On the app, you used to only be able to see recent foods from that meal time but the new update lets you also look at all recent foods.

I was able to add and rename meal times also. They start you with four (I think) but I have six (titled meals 1-6, but this can be changed also). I like that better than looking at everything I ate from 4 or 5am to noon in one “meal”! Making a recipe is easy to do, as is seeing the breakdown of your day by different categories. There are the usual calories, fat, protein, carbs and sodium but it will also show others and you can adjust the breakdown you want to aim for if you’d like.

There is also an exercise feature, which logs your workouts and adjusts your calories for the day accordingly. One issue I have is that adding any workouts in their “strength training” section does not change your calorie goal. I know not everyone is like this, but if I’m going to lift heavy, I need to adjust. I enter all workouts under the “cardiovascular” section.

Each day, when you complete your food diary, they tell you that if every day were like that day, you would weigh X lbs in Y weeks. Pretty nifty!

I’ve continued logging my food during pregnancy because I know myself and I would go overboard without some accountability. I don’t always stay within their calorie goal (I changed it from wanting to lose weight to maintenance), but I know that the act of writing it down…even virtually…is better than not. Most days I’m under slightly.

And to finish it out, a picture to mark 32 weeks (yesterday). This was on our way to Breastfeeding class.

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Workout yesterday – 20 minutes ellitical, lifting
Workout today – 20 minute prenatal yoga (free at YogaDownload)