Still triumphant after my 5k time, I’ve been jollying along this week embracing the Christmas Spirit. I’m a self-confessed Christmas junkie, and the only thing ruining it for me this year is the lack of crispy, cold weather. I can’t attend weigh-in before Christmas now due to work, so it’s kind of screwed up my thought processes a bit, and makes me worry about all my merry-making. I’ve decided to weigh-in at home, and keep myself as sensible as possible.
Off my original train of thought here but still on the subject of sensible, I was reading a popular running magazine last night and I often like to read about all the new scientific breakthrough reports. (I get really excited when they use proper sciency words, just because I know what they’re talking about!) I was HORRIFIED to read a segment on self-weighing. A woman who is a lead author for a study published in ‘Obesity’ (A leading scientific journal on fighting weight problems) suggests that ‘DAILY self-weighing can produce clinically significant weight loss’
This is typical of the scientific community and also of the media. And it makes me VERY annoyed. Scientific studies are very stark, controlled and black and white. They have to be in order to assess the effect of one factor, so they can say for certain one way or another, or prove or disprove. All other variables have to be controlled in order to achieve this. But in real life, when is this actually true? Never. There are always variables, and when it comes to losing weight, we can rarely control all of them. I think our obesity specialist needs to team up with a psychologist. Anyone who has ever had concerns about their weight knows that stepping on the scales every day is unhealthy, and often counter-productive.
I realise that this particular publication is not aimed at people who have food issues/weight problems, but, many readers of running magazines are running to lose weight, this statement was printed in the ‘fat-burning’ section of the magazine, and comes from a journal focusing on obesity. It’s exactly this type of sly placement that encourages obsessive behaviours (and maybe even more so in people who are a healthy weight) and is NOT the key to successful weight loss. There is no information on how, where or why this experiment was conducted, just this sensational claim marked as ‘Instant Wisdom’. Do not implement everything you read.
With the Christmas Spirit comes, um, spirits. This weekend we had our Festive Party, inviting all our friends down to stay.Lots of tree-decorating, mulled wine, crackers and TONS of food (and drink!). I love cooking for people, and spent the whole of Saturday afternoon in my kitchen making lots of lovely tasty things. My halo was shining (even if it was propped up by an empty Jack Daniels’ bottle) as I made WWs recipe lasagne and a chicken arribiata pasta. Perfect.
Unfortunately, I am not a person of self control when it comes to parties, although I kept the main-course foodie-eating to a minimum, Walter basically sat on my shoulder all weekend shoving mince pies and beer down my throat. I tried to discreetly slide him onto my guests’ shoulders. Fail. Did I have fun? Yes. Would I do it again? Hell Yeah! BUT……. I have that usual nagging feeling on this here Monday morning. I could have been good. I feel guilty. I’m glad to be back to normal. I’ve put on loads of weight over the weekend. Think how much lighter I would be if I had more self control.
I was thinking about this in the car the other day. I think about my life over the last six months. If I omitted every social occasion and didn’t drink, what would I be left with? Working odd hours, running and feeding animals. That’s pretty much it. The only time I wouldn’t be on a farm is if I was out running or at the supermarket. To me, that’s pretty sad. When you pare it down like that, it’s pretty obvious that I NEED stuff like that in my life to keep a sense of balance. So what if it takes me two years to get to target? Life is for living, and the older I get the more I realise that life slips away so quickly. A friend of mine that lost weight and kept it off said to me once: “Enjoy the journey, the mini-goals and the triumphs, because maintaining your weight is not nearly as much fun as the changes you go through on the way”
I think she’s right. Much as I still enjoy having my party hat on, I think I’ll swap it back for my running shoes this afternoon – after all, my 10k PB isn’t going to beat itself, is it? 😉