underestimating sodium/mental games

  • I made Chicken Chow Mein two night ago and used my usual GENEROUS doucing of soy sauce. I *knew* the sodium was through the roof and I *knew* it would cause water retention. I told myself I'm not worried about water weight, my focus is FAT loss.

    Fast forward two mornings later and the scale is still up two pounds. I've eaten clean, so I know I haven't gained fat. Still, I'm finding those two pounds are acting like a dark cloud hanging over my head.

    How do you not let scale fluctuations get you down? I manged to get through the TOM fluctuations by just grinning and bearing the stall. This time I'm not doing so well. It seems I struggle more with the MENTAL part of weightloss than the actual physical part, and the MENTAL part is exhausting me.

    So many of you have been WILDLY successful at weightloss and you are such an inspiration to me. Surely, you had to overcome the mental part to achieve your success. Please share your wisdom.

  • Hi there! Don't claim to have solved the mental games about scale bumps. But what works for me is to NOT weigh every day. I get discouraged with the bumps UP and overconfident with the bumps DOWN. So daily weighing for ME is unproductive. I weigh weekly, and if there is a bump UP and I can identify the probable cause, I acknowledge the bump and stop thinking about it. Because worrying about it won't make the scale go down.

    All I can say is acknowledge it, and get over it! And maybe, if daily fluctations are a source of distress, try weighing in once a week...

  • Thanks for the response, Kira!
    Your success is one that inspires me as we are the same height and our start weights and goal weights are very similar. I always notice your posts.

    I've been drinking water like mad today and think I'll watch the sodium until I can better handle these fluctuations. I lack the willpower not to weigh-in when i wake up I will work on not letting the numbers on a digital machine in the morning dictate my mood, though. I think it will just take me some practice....a few times of seeing it raise and then fall and then it won't upset me so much. That's why the TOM gain didn't bother me this month....I've seen it before

    Thanks again!
  • Hon, it took me YEARS and finally TELLING my DH to HIDE THE FREAKING SCALE before I broke the habit of daily weighing, because that worked for me. Daily weighing MAY work for you, but it does take time to wrap your head around the "I WANT IT NOW WHY ISN"T IT HAPPENING!!!" mindset that for me comes with stepping on the scale.

    You'll get there, PROMISE -- you're almost in onederland, and from THERE it is all downhill. And you'll get the hang of it...

  • Here are some "games" I play with myself:

    Here's one:
    Pretend I only weigh myself once a week:

    Put the scale away for a week. That's all. Just a week. Then pull it out and weigh yourself. Record it. Then see if you can go another week.

    (I may weigh myself "in between" my regular once a week weigh in's--but if it's not my official weigh in, I am free to ignore it and go about my day, eating "on plan.")

    Here's another:
    Sodium doesn't scare me, oh no, it doesn't.

    Sodium does not affect me weight: it messes with my head. Therefore, I will go and buy low sodium soy sauce. Or--I will make sure I eat it the day after my "official" weigh in day, that way whatever water gain there may be, I won't even know about it.

    Hope that helps!

    PS: I weigh in tomorrow. I'm drinking TONS of water. Way more than usual. It helps.
  • I don't think some salt (though it is not good for you) 2 days ago would cause 2 pounds of weight gain. Weight fluxuates. Unless you ride a horse in races and need to weigh 110, 2 pounds should not be a focus. Even people who are at perfect weight fluxuate from day to day, and sometimes from hour to hour, and frankly when it is such a small weight, it is not even worth really noticing. Seriously-- the phases of the moon even effect all life forms who are made of water and we are like 95% or something. I actually believe in not weighing yourself very often. I personally think that on a diet you shouldn't weigh yourself more than a few times a week. The mental part comes from "obsession" with something that you feel you should see happening. If you lose 100 pound over a year (365 days) at a steady rate, you will be losing less than 1/4 th of a pound per day (okay, about the weight of a hamburger patty). You have to look at weight loss as a long term project, so you can't get impatient about it.
  • I am totally on board about salt. I have been losing weight since January and never thought about salt. Just never did. I also never weighed myself. We did a Biggest Loser like contest at work so I weighed in for January and again in May.

    For monitoring weight loss, I just had many pieces of too small clothes that I bought last year when I thought they were adult sizes--but were from a teen section. Each month I fit in to another item of clothes so I knew I was shrinking. Otherwise, I had no clue.

    As for why salt is on my mind, I felt very suddenly thin last week and wondered at it. I'm on the last pounds before goal so I was happy. I realized that it just happend that I had been really eating "clean". So, I connected happenstance success and wondered if I could maintain a low salt plan. Unfortunately, I had a run-in with some buffalo wings which were nasty salty (something I NEVER thought I'd ever say).

    Today's weigh in has me up three pounds with small hints that I might be getting my TOM. So, I'm trying to take it in stride and stay on plan until vacation (Aug 20). I'm also instituting HIIT in to my exercise routine (2-3x weekly).

    But I will be working to eat food that just doesn't "need" salt and reducing salt in foods that I have control over as an ingredient. In general, I eat home-made anyway and usually whole food ingredients--spinach, tomatoes, beans.

    I grew up eating so much salt and never thinking about it. This new life at my new weight is really revealing some very new concepts--salt can work against my goal. Wow. Now I have to figure out how to implement this new concept.
  • When I was on the losing portion of my healthy diet, I weighed myself once a week on Friday mornings...and that was it. NO more. I had a serious scale addiction turned eating disorder as a teen as a result of scale hopping and I vowed to NEVER fall into that cycle again. So far, so good. Now that I am in maintaince I have been weighing more often, "just to get the swing of things" but I have recently renewed my vow that I will NOT step on the scale again until Fridays, (just because I'm starting to let the scale dictate my eating for the day.) As far as salt...well, I love it and eat it often, BUT I have learned that if I want a accurate Friday weight in, I don't eat much of it for the 2 days leading up to weigh day. Ham and stir-fry are not good Thursday night supper foods LOL
  • I know what might work! Move to Indian food. Use Garahm Masala powder/ curry. You can make a fabulous rice dish with the same ingrediants as the oriental soy sauce ones and just use the different spices. I love Indian Spices and I can get a good result with very little salt. I've also gotten Chinese 5 spice. You are supposed to cook it with soy sauce but I cook it with a little orange juice (or wine) and hot-sauce. Tastes about the same. No salt.
  • Thanks for all the advice, ladies. I think I will *try* to limit my weigh-ins and see if I'm able to. Hubby is deployed, so I can't have him hide it from me (or else I totally would! )

    Again, thanks for all the responses!
  • I weigh myself pretty much every day, because I find it keeps me from cheating-at least now that I am back on track. But I generally only trust it once I have lost about five pounds, since water weight can go up and down so often, so I do not mentally count any losses until then.