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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Weigh in day! Houston we have a problem...

Well it's wednesday and that means weigh in day. But, as my title stated we have a problem. I happened to go to the dr's office on Monday for my 3 month routine diabetes group meeting and thought I'd stop on to the health ED office and weigh myself. The health ED scale being the one that I've been checking my weight on for the last month. Well I didn't get to far because the power in the building was out and I guess they don't allocate emergency power to scales.

Figuring that the power would probably be up by the time I got done with my group meeting i headed up stairs to check in. While checking in I happened to ask if I could use the scale in the dr's med station and they graciously said "sure thing" . Well I stepped on the scale and was excited to see that I had lost 14 lbs! Freakin' A! That's great. I went to my group and I was beaming the whole time. I met with my Dr and told him that things were going great. I was quite proud of myself. But, I couldn't leave well enough alone. Inoticed that the power had returned to the rest of the building so I wondered back down to health ED to double check my results on the scale that i was used to. I stepped on the scale expecting it to be a little different but when the result came up I just got sick to my stomach. 534lbs!! That's 6 lbs more than 2 weeks ago and 7 lbs more than I weighed 1 month ago when I started this whole thing. Well, needless to say i was not a happy camper and even if I had been camping it would not have lightened my mood.

I walked over to an official looking gentleman in a near by office and asked him how accurate this scale was. He told me that it should be pretty accurate, that seeral people use it daily and that they say that it seems accurate to their home scale. I couldn't understand it... I asked him how accurate the ones in the dr's office were and he said that he wasn't sure. I explained to him that I had been working out for a month now and told him that i had cut my caloric intake down about 3000 calories a day and by that alone I should be losing something by now. He agreed with me and insisted that he wasn't sure why I wasn't losing weight. We talked for a little while longer. Mostly it was me trying to figure out why in the world i was gaining weight when he got this look on his face like he had just remembered something.... "Oh! Hey wait a minute! I just remembered something!", he said.

He proceded to tell me that the manuel stated something about the scale, while having a capacity of 700lbs, can have an error range of up to 10% under weights of 500lbs or greater.

10%...and this little fact just slipped his mind. That's an error range of up to 50 lbs! 50 LBS what the hell am I gonna do with a reading that can be up to 50 lbs off? Of course I don't know what to believe now. Plausibly thescale could be very accurate for someone who weighs 150 to 350 lbs so of course no one has ever complained but when was the last time they got someone my size to check their weight regularly...um maybe never? So for someone my size the scale could be way off and with the other scale reading 514lbs who knows?

He assured me that he would try to get someone out there to calibrate it soon. But until then I'm reluctant to rely on it so I'm back to the drawing board. I have to admit that I don't know exactly what I weigh and until I lose a dramatic amount of weight and or find somewhere that has a very accurate scale for weights as much as mine i may not be able to accurately report my weight on this blog. I'm going to stick with 527 as my starting weight just for records sake. I figure that by the time I lose enough to get me near that 250lb goal a couple of lbs either way shouldn't be a huge issue. Maybe I'll lose 260 before I declare it a success. Just to be safe...

What I may do in the mean time is start posting some measurements. That way you can still "watch" my loss. I guess I'll be shopping for an extra long measuring tape today.

I tell you what though. It just adds to the drama right? It also goes to show another aspect of being this size...it's difficult to measure progress because the equipment available is not trustworthy.

21 Comments:

Blogger TH said...

Keep the faith, mate! I'm only about 175 pounds, but I find that the thing that might throw my weight around a lot is how hydrated I am. In the course of a hard, long exercise I might lose up to 3 litres of fluid, so consequently my weight drops 6 pounds compared to what I "normally" weigh. But, this I "gain" back when I rehydrate afterwards. Therefore I think the percentage of bodyfat and the other measurements are more important than weight. The most important thing, of course, is how you feel. And if you say you are feeling better now, then you must be doing the right things!

While weekly weightings might fluctuate up and down, I'm sure that the way you're progressing now, the longer-term trend will point down.

One more comment, about your earlier post about your diet. You said you can't snack with fruit as you're diabetic. I'm diabetic too, type 1, though. The thing to watch is obviously the carbohydrate content, or sugars. Fruit have plenty, but so does bread, rice etc. I find that the glycaemic index tells me more about the foodstuff than pure carb content. For instance, apples have a relatively low GI and are slow to impact your blood glucose levels while white bread is fast, and so an apple will have a "smoother" impact to my BG than white bread, that has a very high GI and tends to shoot it through the roof. I see you're into wholemeals and darker breads, which is definitely the way to go. Do you have any thoughts on this, how does this work for you?

Oh, finally, I suggestion for topics: how has your everyday routine changed, are you walking more / using car less etc. All that everyday moving about that burns a lot of calories in the corse of the day without us realising it - any change there?

All the best!

4:21 AM, July 05, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Sean, I was sorry to hear about how unreliable scales are (although I must admit I've had my doubts for years, ha!). Don't be discouraged, I'm sure you will be able to find a scale that works properly. Bye for now, keep it up!!!

~V

5:52 AM, July 05, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also remember that you weigh different amounts on different floors due to gravity.

The higher the floor, the less you weigh on a scale...

6:17 AM, July 05, 2006  
Blogger The EYE said...

hey sean - don't sweat it, man. it sucks that the scale isn't accurate for you (for now anyway...), but definitely don't lose heart about it... the numbers will matter eventually, but for right now, focus on other stuff. for example...

tell me this: how are your pants fitting? have you had to think about adding a new hole to your belt? can you see a difference in your face in a mirror yet? sometimes it doesnt take much weigth loss to see a difference in your face and extremities long before it hits your torso.

anyway, keep looking up. it really sounds like youre eating well enough, but like mentioned in the comments to the previous post, look for ways to add good fats to your food. consider munching on raw almonds (keep them in the fridge, though... and avoid roasted or salted), or adding sliced avocado to your turkey sandwiches (super tasty!). also, a number of the protein bars that people mentioned sometimes have some good fats in them, and they make a handy meal 1 to eat on your commute.

btw, for an update from my own loss watch - i lost 4lbs in the last two weeks (i weigh myself every day and take the average for the week... so thats the average of one week minus the average of another week). also my pants are already getting a little loose, and i'm considering adding another hole to the belt... 4th of july festivities may have ruined me at the moment... but no reason to stop now.

keep it up, man!

7:23 AM, July 05, 2006  
Blogger Scrapnqueen said...

Hey, Sean! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I answered your comment over there, so I won't repeat myself.

I second "the eye!" What are the measurements/fit of your clothes? Muscle weighs more than fat, remember? At first, you may not be seeing a huge change because your body is on hard-core "burn fat, make muscle" mode.

As you start incorparating more healthy fats in your diet, you will probably see your number dropping (unless the scale is having a temperamental day, apparently.) Other things to avoid: anything with refined white flour, white rice, or refined sugar (white, brown, or so-called "raw".) As a diabetic, I am sure these were already fairly limited. However, you would be surprised how much impact these can have on your weight, since they give you lots of energy with no nutritional compensation.

Hey, I just found some recipes for cooking with coconut oil. Enjoy!

Talena

8:03 AM, July 05, 2006  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

It does add to the drama buddy! It's okay...just keep going because it's just a number anyways. Your clothes will start to be an indicator of your changes.

I have been almost organized to post your paintings progress...tomorrow morning okay so go check it out. Meantime...you are my comment #10 for "20 Comments Wednesday"e experiment...

http://ateapie.blogspot.com/

cheers
Candy
http://gnosticminx.blogspot.com/

9:15 AM, July 05, 2006  
Anonymous Donna said...

Hey Sean,

Sorry about your scale-induced funk...I know what that's like!

Have you ever heard of or read My Big Fat Greek Diet? Dr. Nick Yphantides began his weightloss journey weighing 467 pounds. For his weigh-ins at first, he used two medical quality floor scales - one for each foot, and he was able to get an accurate reading. (You can read the account on page 13 of his book).
I thought of this when I read your post and just thought I'd mention it to you.
I think you're doing great and always look forward to your updates. Blessings to you.

10:29 AM, July 05, 2006  
Anonymous Wizie said...

Ah, young grasshopper, you have now learned that not all scales are the same. :( Your best bet, for someone of your weight is to use the one that is regularly found in Dr.'s offices; the ones with the weights you have to adjust yourself so that the arm swings in the middle of the metal holder (it's hard to describe!). The electronic ones are cool though, especially the ones which tell you how much body fat you have (which I think is the same as the one in the video?). Do not loose heart! If you really want to swallow your pride, you could also go to a meat packer (not the local butcher) or a cattle market, and put yourself on their scale ('cause size matters there for sure!)

10:41 AM, July 05, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Sean,

VERY important to remember when just starting to work out that it is MUCH easier to add a pound of muscle than to lose a pound of fat...its very typical to see some small initial weight gains due to increased muscle mass...but it will not stay that way...hang in there!

3:39 PM, July 05, 2006  
Anonymous amy said...

Sean, I see that everyone else is being all supportive & stuff, so I'll say this...I'm pissed off for you...the whole scale thing SUCKS!

4:57 PM, July 05, 2006  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Although my problem is about the opposite of yours (I'm pretty underweight, albeit unintentionally), I can relate to your scale problem too. Every time I step on a scale it seems like I weigh something different. Good luck resolving your scale problem, and don't let it get you down.
Your determination to do this of your own free will is really inspiring and totally cool, more cool than I could tell you. I'm certainly rooting for you--I was away from my computer last week, and I kept wondering how you were doing and mentally encouraging you.
Good luck, and congratulations on how hard you've worked so far.

5:39 PM, July 05, 2006  
Blogger Paul Babin said...

Dude its been a good minute since I dropped a line, but I just wanted to say hello and good job man. I like how you've been getting tons of support from everyone. Dude that blows about the scales. a %10 error is atrocious for a scale. Anywise . . . thanks for commenting on your prior diet and your current food intake. I thought that you'd be hungrier and it is interesting that the new food is actually filling you up. Anywise . . . keep up the work and be concious of all that you do!

8:59 PM, July 05, 2006  
Blogger housefrau said...

Well, they always say that it's better to rely on non-numeric success indicators, like how clothes feel or how much easier it is to walk a flight of stairs, etc. But boy, it sure is nice to have some numbers. We as a society crave quantification.

I have heard of a method of weighing in which one immerses oneself in water and your weight (or maybe it's mass) is measured by the displaced water. Probably only something they do at very fancy places. Still, that might be cool to look into.

And hey, if you don't want to find an extra-long tape measure, just get some ribbon. Mark your current measurement on it, and then as you go along you can keep marking as you get smaller. Some people find that a more positive way to measure--it becomes less about an abstract number and more about your own body. And besides, ribbon is prettier.

10:29 PM, July 05, 2006  
Blogger Billy Guilfoyle said...

Sup brutha!!! Hey, just fix it like the old-time American way: hit it over and over until it behaves agreeably. Do this with your hand, and not a weapon like the government would do. Ha! Love ya man. Spirits soaring!

11:36 PM, July 05, 2006  
Blogger TH said...

Practical advise for the scales-problem (which might be counter-productive considering the IMO good advise from people not to stare at the numbers too much in the first place):

You could first establish how inaccurate the scales you usually use is by weighing yourself, say 5 times in a row with it. If the scales gives you different readings every time, you will get an idea of the error margin of it. The average of those readings might be closer to your actual weight.

Then, you could weigh yourself with a number of different scales. Again, you will probably get a range of readings, the average of which might be close to your actual weight.

The latter method (or combination of the two) probably yields more accurate results than the first alone. But, this hassle is only worth it if you really need to know how much you weigh, which I don't think you do. How you feel is so much more important.

9:01 AM, July 06, 2006  
Blogger pseudojoe said...

hey sean,

don't let it get you down. i know it's stupid to say, but it's true. at the very least, you're moving in the right direction...which is a lot more than most people are willing to do. keep it up.

joe

1:52 PM, July 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This may not mean much from a stranger but I am so proud of you! Dont ever give up. I still shy away from the scale, and i've had to write my own diet and workout schedule. Which is so much better for me. My key is just trying to burn off all my excess energy before i have trouble sleeping. Oh and something we should also note is there needs to be some fitness attention targeted towards the young,young being 18-, all those kids get left out of all kinds of benifical programs that are affordable, and fun. I feel they are forgotten. I know that i never found one.

1:12 AM, August 14, 2006  
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