Putting a Small Backslide Into Perspective

As you have probably read on one of Chad’s previous posts, he had his first weight gain of 40 X 40. Since he had previously gone four months without a gain, or even a week of no change, I was expecting some sort of backslide or plateau at some point, and would often prepare Chad for that on the mornings he went to weigh-in with some trepidation about what the scale would reveal. (This was usually after a particularly festive weekend, or a stressful week.) For most people working on weight loss, this kind of thing happens more than we would like it to, but with Chad’s focus and drive, he has avoided that desperate feeling of spending a week “being good,” without anything to show for it. (At least, nothing on the scale to show for it.)  This is often where one bad week grows into two, and each week that goes by, it gets harder to lock down that drive that got you this far; Chad would tell you he has had that experience too many times.

So when he told me he had a gain of 3#, I did not see it as a negative, but as an opportunity, and perhaps a bit of a reminder. As he previously wrote, I contacted him right away to see if he needed to talk about this, and I was prepared with the following:

  1. He HAS made it quite a while without any type of backslide, where others would have plateaued and needed to change their approach to keep losing.
  2. He has lost 42.6# in 17 weeks, which is a loss of 2.5# per week. This is above the goal we had set of two pounds per week loss. So even with this gain he is OVER-ACHIEVING! (See graphs below.)
  3. He has had the most non-routine week of 40 X 40 so far, with Thanksgiving, deer camp, and the first snow, which impacted his exercise schedule. This is NOT to excuse the loss, but to learn from it.

When I spoke to him, however, Chad did not need me; he already had all of these thoughts in his head, and had moved past the letdown and feelings of insecurity to determination and being a little pissed-off, which he intends to carry into this week’s weight-in.

The one conversation we did have was regarding his calories. He had previously been losing weight a little too fast for comfort. (Perhaps I was more concerned than he was.) To address this, we raised his calorie limit slightly. (And for those that remember he has a high upper limit and lower upper limit, we only raised the lower upper limit.) One thought Chad had was to lower his calorie limit back to what it had been. I thought that was a bit unwarranted at this time, and that was because he already had weeks at this new limit and still experienced weight loss. So in my opinion, it seemed to be all the other factors that tipped the scale (sorry about the pun) and not the calorie limit. I suggested we keep the calories the same, and focus on the other issues.

Also, thanks to myfitnesspal, we have some great tracking tools that are able to provide some needed perspective at times like these. Looking at his latest month, which has been his roughest time for weight loss/gain, you see what looks like a large spike in weight.

Slide1However, if you take the 17 weeks as a whole, you see this:Slide2Even after this recent gain, he is still under the 340# mark, and looking at the second graph, this 3# seems like a tiny blip. Seeing his determination, along with his new, additional goal of walking the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for a Cure, 60-mile walk, I would wager that a blip IS all it will be for him! And just imagine how this blip will look after he reaches his goal…

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