Over the course of the last six weeks or so, I’ve been handling the bulk of the household grocery shopping. I don’t particularly enjoy the process but it ensures that I’ll have all of the foods on hand that I want for breakfast and lunch the following week.
Typically, when I go grocery shopping it happens before dawn on a day that I work from home. The store is empty and I don’t generally have to wait too long for a cashier to begin checking me out. Best of all, I can run through the store like a madman and not have to worry about running down another shopper as they step out into an aisle without looking first.
I like to joke with my wife that I can make three trips through the grocery store in the time it takes her to make one (my method is to get what I need and get the hell out while my wife prefers the slow methodical approach).
On a typical grocery run I’ll buy the usual stuff – milk, eggs, bacon, yogurt (the stuff we eat on a regular basis). When it comes to snack food I try and get a blend of fruit. If watermelon is on sale I’ll pick one up, maybe get a half-dozen plums, a few apples, and some bananas.
My wife, on the other hand, allows our daughter to influence the snack purchases. She’ll come home with animal crackers, microwave popcorn, granola bars. Those types of snack foods aren’t the worst she could do but I don’t like eating them. Too many calories and they never leave me feeling satisfied.
Last week was a rough week for my dietary change. There wasn’t much fruit to snack on and as a result I’ve been eating more processed food than I would like. And if I can eat a fistful of animal crackers at home, why not try out those new Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Bars that just arrived in the break room at work?
I’ve been snacking on more junk food than I should but I still expected to lose weight during this weeks weigh-in. I’ve been keeping my calories in check so I was shooting for a loss of about a pound to a pound and a half.
I stepped on the scale Saturday morning and literally blurted out “Oh hell no” when the digital number appeared. I didn’t lose anything, I was up three and a half pounds. I didn’t allow panic to set in, I thought about the week I had and tried to make a logical guess as to why my weight was up so much.
My weight gain was definitely not due to fat. By the numbers I would have to have over-eaten by roughly 12,250 calories over the course of a week. I definitely indulged throughout the week but I’m sure I was in a deficit and most certainly not at a surplus of that magnitude.
Looking back through my food diary I started to see a trend. A lot of processed snacks meant a big uptick in my sodium content. Perhaps my body was holding on to a lot more water than it has been lately. It is a fair assumption, isn’t it?
Later that evening I hopped on the treadmill to burn off some excess calories and shed some of the water-weight I imagined I was holding on to. Energy-wise I felt great and was able to run for a distance of eight miles. My pace was 4.5mph for the majority of the run but I had to slow down to 4mph for a couple of minutes to allow a painful cramp in my side to pass.
I covered the distance in 104 minutes and felt like I could have probably squeaked out another mile if I really needed to (my legs were beginning to get sore and I didn’t want to push it). I won’t win any races at that pace but the distance surprised me. It was a new personal best.
On Sunday morning I hopped back on the scale and saw a different number. Ignoring the previous days weight, I was down 0.2 pounds. It isn’t much in the way of a loss but I’ll take it. Any week the scale moves in the right direction is a good week. Some will be better than others but as I keep telling myself, this process is a marathon and not a sprint.
Typically I take body measurements on the same day that I take my weight but at the time I’m writing this I haven’t had the chance just yet. I suspect that while the loss on the scale is small, I’ll see some better numbers on the tape measure.
Coincidentally, I took a photo of myself at work a couple of weeks ago. I was trying to see if something was noticeable (which had nothing to do with my weight). I was looking for something on my phone when I came across that photo so I took another a few days ago. I’m beginning to see changes and I’m pretty happy with how things are going.