I very nearly ruined my 34th birthday on March 8 by doing the one thing I knew I shouldn’t do.
I hopped on the scale that morning, saw it go up about a pound overnight despite my best efforts, and was instantly ticked.
That feeling, that pattern, that habit wasn’t new. My husband has walked in on me sobbing after a weigh-in.
It’s something I voluntarily have been putting myself through on an almost daily basis since April 2018 when I decided to really kick it into gear with losing weight. As of my birthday, I was down about 55 lbs.
But back to that morning of my birthday… You see, on February 11 I decided to start keto because I was on a three month plateau FROM HELL, and within two weeks I had lost about 11 pounds. I was freakin’ elated. I was thinking I had finally found the magic macro ratio to land me back in my size 12 wedding dress. As the weight fell off those two weeks, I thought to myself, “Wow, maybe I’ll be at 60 pounds by my birthday!”
Then I basically lost nothing the next two weeks, because OF COURSE.
In fact I gained back about 2-3 pounds of the water weight I so easily purged initially on keto as my water levels leveled out. And when you’re giving up nearly every carbohydrate, joy and your sanity, and measuring ROMAINE LETTUCE to stay within your macros, gaining weight is not part of the deal.
WHAT MORE DID I HAVE TO GIVE UP?! So, right around my birthday was the end of this two weeks of me gaining back weight and I was just DONE.
Done with the scale. Done with keto for the day. Done. DONE. D-O-N-E.
I didn’t go nuts on my birthday—I had my fave meal at Chuy’s for lunch and enjoyed tortilla chips and jalapeno ranch. At dinner, I had a bunless burger with a low carb cocktail (rum and diet coke) and I looked super gorgeous as we headed out to see George Lopez. I wore a curve hugging dress that I bought years ago hoping I’d fit into someday, and it fit slightly big. I didn’t have cake or dessert; I kept it reasonable because the scale is always on my mind. I don’t want to do something to piss off the scale.
Then came March 9. I felt a little bloated given I definitely went over my 20g of keto carbs the day before. My husband encouraged me to not weigh myself.
So I didn’t.
And I didn’t again March 10, March 11, March 12 and so on. Then I got a terrible cold/flu and really didn’t want to see the scale at all. I kept trying to stay keto during all this time, but I kept going over on calories. Last weekend, I made some keto chocolate chip cookies from a recipe I found online. Truthfully, I wanted nothing more than a huge bowl of strawberries, but those are lotsa carbs… so cookies it is.
As I binge ate about five keto cookies (about 500 calories and 5g net carbs) in order to take my mind off the bowl of berries (about 100 calories and 14g net carbs), I asked myself if this was what I wanted to do. Was it sustainable?
Look, I know many people have had mega success on keto, and I wholeheartedly agree that breads, pastas, refined sugars/carbs are addicting and should be enjoyed seldomly if you’re insulin resistant, suffer from metabolic syndrome, are morbidly obese, etc. I agree that healthy fats have a place in a well-rounded diet. I agree carbs can be problematic.
I don’t agree that eating frankencookies is preferable to eating strawberries. I don’t agree eating 3 mini Babybel cheeses is better than eating strawberries.
Then I made some almond flour biscuits that tasted like cardboard and wasted so many expensive ingredients, and that was really it for me and hardcore keto.
Maybe this was all a perfect storm of me realizing a few things. No matter what I do—whether it be count calories, reduce carbs, do keto, carb cycle, count points, etc.—I always seem to lose weight for two weeks in a row, then nothing for two weeks in a row. Rinse. Repeat. I can’t explain why.
I’ve gone on tirades in my IG stories where I end up in tears because despite doing everything right, the scale says I didn’t. I get hundreds of comments telling me I’m beautiful, to persevere and that you all understand.
I have heard for years and years that weight loss is simple calories in; calories out. I see people in the comments section of websites say that fat people should just stop being lazy. Eat less. Move more. Eat a salad. Not eat bread. Drink water. Get off the couch. Take a walk. Skip meals. Stop snacking. Eat more protein.
I can tell you I’ve done every one of those things, and the scale does not always reward me with a lower number. It simply doesn’t. Am I broken? Emotionally, yes. I’ve fought obesity MY ENTIRE LIFE. My weight consumes about 80% of my thoughts as a 34 year old, and that’s sad.
I’ve had everything checked recently to make sure my thyroid and other things are ok, and they’re fine. On paper, I should be losing weight every damn week if weight loss were a simple mathematic equation.
I understand obesity is not healthy or sexy. I work hard every day to do something about it. I say that with great sincerity—I work on it every day. I can say I’ve gone from morbidly obese to plain obese in the last 11 months. I can fit into XL tops in the regular sizes even though my bottom half is still squarely stuck in plus size land.
BUT I’m tired of worrying about it, my friends. Tired of worrying about if my weight is offending someone who may have to look at me that day. Tired of tying my emotional well-being and self-worth to the number on the scale, my jeans or my Keto Mojo ketone readings. I am more than my weight. I am beautiful despite my weight.
I am worthy.
I am exhausted.
I want to track my food, eat as healthily as I can most of the time, live a little, be more active, get stronger and get to a healthy weight… without OBSESSING.
As I sit here, I do notice that I’ve probably put on a few more water pounds because I’m now up to 60g of carbs a day (mostly from veggies and fruit) after a month of very low carbs. Now that glycogen is back in heavier supply in my body, the water is coming back with it. Did I lose any actual fat on keto? Who knows.
Also, I have started increasing my steps again and started a fun 30 day cardio workout program that has me super sore. Eventually I’ll also resume lifting weights. I had stopped exercising after January ended because I kept seeing the scale go up despite me knowing it was the healthy thing to do for my body.
And so, I’ve decided to not weigh myself until Easter, which also be about the one year anniversary of me starting this journey. For many people who embark on a weight loss journey, the one year mark is usually when you hit your goal weight or the end of your journey. I won’t be anywhere close. I’m literally at about the halfway point of this journey with about 60 more pounds to go.
After Easter, I’ll probably resume regular weigh-ins, maybe every other Saturday or every Saturday, but definitely not every day like I was. Over the weekend, I bought a pair of pants that is really snug right now, so when I feel the urge to weigh myself, I’ll try those on instead to gauge my progress.
I also did have a big bowl of berries the other day, and it was fabulous.