How Much Attention Is Needed To Actually Lose Weight?

October 18, 2010

Old-School Kitchen Scales
Creative Commons License photo credit: Marcus Jeffrey

Question : How Much Attention Is Needed To Actually Lose Weight?

One of the topics I continue to revisit is trying to find the point where I pay enough attention to my weight loss efforts to move the scale downwards, without putting so much attention on it that it becomes a major preoccupation and source of stress.

Recently I started to experiment with “intuitive weight loss” (which some astutely suggested I call ‘mindful’ weight loss).  It’s worked to reduce my stress.  It seems like it might even be starting to work to get me out of the exercise resistance I’ve been feeling for several weeks.

Answer : More Attention Than I’m Giving, Apparently…

According to the scale this morning, this approach is not doing much to actually get me to lose weight.  It’s not a particularly good day to judge I suppose – I’m extra PMS-y right now.  I’m some but I’m somewhat generously reporting as “flat” to my previous weigh in – so no real progress, but no real backsliding either.

Is “Intuitive” Weight Loss Possible?

Over the past few weeks, the approach has felt like it’s helped reduce stress, and that’s a welcome benefit right now, so I’m cautiously extending the approach for another 3 weeks – next weigh in November 8th.   If I don’t see downward movement at that point, I’ll have to accept that this approach works for maintenance only & then either reset my expectations for weight loss, or switch to an approach that will move the scale.  I’m willing to keep the experiment going another few weeks, and the stress-reducing approach is the clincher (although that “learning to trust myself” thing is pretty impressive too).

Most of my past successful periods of weight loss have been at times when I’ve put a lot of attention on my weight & the weight-loss efforts.  Over the past few years I’ve been trying to find a different balance – a way to manage my weight without losing my mind.  I’m hoping I can find a point at which things are dialed back enough to get noticeable weight loss and not just weight maintenance, but I’m open to that not being aligned to reality.   I do take comfort in the fact that I seem to have found several things that are easy for me to live with and that definitely keep the scale pretty stable – if all I get from these experiments is a solid maintenance strategy I’ll take that success with pleasure.  Still, I hope there’s a way to go even further.


Weekly Weight Loss Plan : Recap of last week

After several weeks of failures in my goals, last week I cut back to the one major stumbling block and made only one goal :

1) Exercise when and how I feel like it : Success!

I’m thrilled to say that the Exercise Resistance seems to be fading.  I do think I needed major attention to make the change, but it seems to be helping.

4 days of the week I did some extra walking – I dug out my pedometer and chalked up a minimum of 8,000 steps on 3 days.

I went to the gym twice.

I also applied some old-school “habit change techniques” thinking and started by blogging about my motivations – the reasons I want to become a regular exerciser.

Weekly Weight Loss Plan : Goals for the week

This is another high-travel week but I’m going to keep going on the single focus on exercise.

The plan for the week

  • Continue with “Intuitive Weight Loss“, (now in phase 2, week 1 of 3)
  • 1) Exercise when and how I feel like it

I will also continue with the writing prompts (not requirements) to write about how I feel before, during & after exercise.

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