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Diet Accountability – How to Gauge Progress – Without the Scales

Diet accountability is a hard thing for me. I tend to rely on the scales to tell me how I am doing, but those darn things can be part of a love-hate relationship with me.

So, I have come up with an idea to showcase how the week has gone with a Wednesday accountability post, but without the scales being the total focus.

I have been going back and forth in my mind about how I wanted to share my progress on my new healthy living program with my readers. I’ve thought of just posting weight loss, or a chart.

I’ve thought of making a graph to show what my exercise routine has been like for the past week.  None of these felt right to me.  When trying to lose weight or get fit, it's easy to focus on the numbers on a scale. But those are just numbers. See how I hold myself accountable without the scales

It’s Time for my Weekly Accountability – Without the Scales.

Since I have lost and gained weight dozens of times in my life, I know that numbers on a scale are just that – numbers.  They don’t show the whole picture.

There have been weeks in my life when I have been so, so good on a diet and not lost a single ounce, or (heaven forbid) even gained that week.

So a chart of my progress won’t cut it.  Besides this, I am a very private person and putting my weight out there for all the internet trolls who love to bash people to increase their own self esteem is not something I want to put myself through.

I could chart my daily exercise, but what if it rains?  What if I feel sick that day? Is my fitness program done because I missed just one day?  Nix the exercise chart too.

Then I realized that the reason that I decided to share my plans with my readers in the first place was to make myself accountable.  So how do I do that without charts and graphs and telling you how much I weigh?

So, I asked myself a question. “Why are you doing this, Carol?  You have talked how you developed a winning weight loss attitude

Why not bring some of those reasons into play for the accountability part of this whole thing?”

The main reason that I want to lose weight is to feel better.  I want to live the rest of my life as a healthy vibrant woman who does not resist getting some movement going in her life and who does not ache from top to bottom all. day. long.

So, for today, my accountability is going to be sharing how I feel after 9 days in this new found way of life for me, but without the scales being my total focus. 

The Changes:

But first, I want to let you know what changes I made this week.  There are a lot of them.  I can’t guarantee that I will continue doing all of them forever, but for the last 9 days, these are the changes I made:

  • I cut out alcohol completely
  • I ditched all sodas, including any diet soda.
  • I started drinking lots of ice water.  At least 6 big glasses a day. (I keep a 60 ounce pitcher in my fridge and try to finish it by the time evening rolls around.)
  • I cut out all forms of wheat based carbs (except for fruits and vegetables). I did not have a speck of bread, cracker, pasta, potato, rice etc for the last 9 days.

    You won't believe the difference the way I feel after cutting out or limiting these items. See my Wednesday Accountability post.

  • I severely limited my sugar intake.  I allowed myself something sweet after dinner in the evening. Other than that, the only sugar I got was fresh fruit.
  • I cut my portion size of protein almost in half.  This happened naturally since I started weighing all of my foods and discovered, to my horror, that what I was thinking was about 5 ounces of protein was actually more like 10. Yikes!
  • I upped my intake of all forms of vegetables by about 3 times.
  • In spite of all the cutting down, I was still eating about 1500 calories every day.  A few dropped lower than this to about 1300 but it was by no means a starvation diet.

I know.  A LOT OF CHANGES.  One would think it has been a hard week for me to make so many changes all at once. 

In the end, it really was very simple. Once you have a basic mind shift, many impossible things become easy.

The Feelings:

How to I feel after a week of these monumental changes in my daily life?  In a word….fabulous. But only now, 9 days later

Did I feel fabulous on days 2, 3 or 4?  No.  I didn’t.  I had a splitting headache for most of the days, as all those addictive toxins left my body.    This is what I discovered as the week progressed.

The first three days.  Horrible headache.  Just an awful one that would not go away. 

I expected it, since I have had this happen before when I cut out addictive things like sugar, and chemicals.  But these headaches were doozies. 

The first two days.  Slight easing of the arthritis in my knees and hips doing general things around the house.  Still a lot of pain on my daily walks that required lots of sitting, but overall, I was starting to feel better.

Then, the magic happened about day 4 and it just kept getting better and better.    I found these things happening, more and more each day.

I slept better.  Prior to this, I was a night owl.  Never in bed until 1:30 am, and never out of bed before 8 or 9 am.  But something happened mid week.

I don’t know if it was the extra exercise or what, but I found that I was actually sleepy at night.  About 10:30 or 11 pm. 

So I did the obvious and went to bed. And slept.  Through the night.  (unheard of for me who used to get up 3 or 4 times a night)sleep better with you ditch the junk food

I woke up earlier.  I’m still stunned to realize that yesterday, I was awake at 6:45 am and today at 6 am. Waking up is easier now

My knees do not hurt in the morning.  Before last week, it was all that I could do to get up out of bed and put weight on my joints.

No so any more.  There is a slight twinge there, but it’s nothing to speak of and I can move around just fine, almost as soon as I wake up.

No more laying in bed with my data phone waiting till the pain goes away.My knees do not hurt in the morning after losing some weight and exercising more

I am hungry in the morning. I know this sounds like an odd thing to say as a benefit, but for me it is.  Before last week, I never felt like eating prior to 11 am.

Now, I have an early morning smoothie and then later, after my walk, I have a handful of almonds and some fresh fruit.chocolate peanut butter smoothie

I am itching to get out there for a walk.  It was hard the first few days to walk. I admit it. 

I had to sit more than I actually walked. But it got easier.  It still hurts in my hips when I walk each day, but I keep going, knowing how much better I will feel when the walk is done.

(See my tips for walking if you suffer from arthritis here.)Walking tips

I have so much more energy during the day.  It is hard to describe the difference in words.

Basically I have a spring in my step, don’t get winded for little tasks and feel like doing things that involve moving around.

I pooped better.  Too much information, I know, but it’s true.exercise helps conspitation

I feel light.  This is also a hard one to describe, since I have 100 pounds or so to lose and it’s ludicrous to say that I feel light carrying that extra weight, but it’s true. I do. 

I think it is the clean, clean food that went into my body this week. There is no sluggishness at all in my body right now.

I look forward to getting on the scales.  Lordy, lordy.  Imagine that!  But I actually do enjoy it now. 

I can’t wait to see what the scales say. And better yet, I don’t really care what they say.  bathroom scales

Drumroll…..the results

Oh.  Just in case you thought the scales have no importance to me now in this journey to fitness, that is not the case. 

They just aren’t a big focus for me any more.   But for those who want to know, here are the results for the last 9 days.

I lost 11.2 pounds. Count ’em.  This is a lady who is LUCKY to lose 1/2 pound a week prior to this. 

Don’t ask me why.  I have no idea.  Might be cutting out the carbs. I haven’t done that before.  Might be any of my changes or all of them combined.

I am not delusional. I know that I won’t keep losing at this rate.  But for now, I am relishing the feeling that I had this morning when I got on those scales. 

In a word.  Fabuloussssssssssss!!

I walked.  Every day.  This may not seem like much to you, but before last week, I had not walked further than out the house and into my car, plus a jaunt around the grocery store leaning on my cart for the last 4 years.

So for me to walk 1 mile on days 1-3, and 2 miles for the rest of the week, every day, without fail, is a huge accomplishment to me.Wednesday accountability, without the scales

And which do you think matters more to me?  The 11.2 pounds or the fact that I can now walk 2 miles instead of just out to my car? 

I’ll leave that to you to ponder….but a hint.  The answer does not involve my scales.

That’s it for my Wednesday accountability, folks.  Did it inspire you?  How was your week this week on a journey to a healthier lifestyle? What changes did you make?

And if you have not started yet, now is the time. Can you make just one big change this week?  Can you shift your focus so that the scales are not the be all and end all of fitness?

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