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Home » Cycling » Watching Your Weight: Don’t Weigh Yourself Once Every Day… Do it Twice a Day

Watching Your Weight: Don’t Weigh Yourself Once Every Day… Do it Twice a Day

October 2016
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There are enough theories on how one should weigh themselves when they’re in the process of trying to shed unwanted poundage that a multi-Billion Dollar industry could be formed in the USA alone.  Oh, wait, that has happened!

I’ve never really watched my weight too much.  I know when I get down to my last belt hole that I’ve got some work to do – or say mid-winter when my suits are fitting a little bit snug.  Either way, when you’re putting in between 5,000 and 8,000 miles a year on a bicycle (or four), weight doesn’t really have much of a chance to get away from you.  However, I have an ideal cycling weight and I used to think that was about 165 pounds… then my wife bought me a new scale and I was instantly almost ten pounds heavier.  Imagine my horror.  I went from 172 to 181 overnight.

I wrote nothing about this on the blog, I just went to work.  I know the culprits to cut out.  I know where to trim calories and I know what else works:

Over the next two months I set about dropping the weight on the new scale back to 172, and let me tell you, I had to be hungry to do it – this was right in the heart of the summer… Cycling season where I’m averaging about 950 miles a month.  I would weigh myself before I got in the shower, and during cycling season I’m taking two showers, maybe even three, a day (they’re exceptionally short, just enough to knock the stink off of me, three to five minutes).  That meant I was weighing myself a couple of times, even three times, a day.  I noticed a pattern develop over the summer.
I was heaviest in the morning, and I’m going to simply assume you can figure out why.  By the time the afternoon rolled around I was three pounds lighter (let’s say one’s body starts working well with a lot of exercise).  After a ride, another two lighter (that was sweat).  I knew the right weight – the one in the middle.

There was one day in particular that I threw watching what I ate to the curb and pigged out – just one in those months, and the next afternoon I weighed the same 172 pounds, my target weight.  The next day I went up to 173 and the following I was up to 175.  It wasn’t a fluke either.  The day after that I was up to 176…  It took three days for that pig-out to hit the scale and two weeks to get it back down.

If I hadn’t been hitting the scale on a twice-daily schedule, say once a week, I could have missed the pig-out hitting my once well-toned posterior.  This is a flaw in the “weigh yourself once a week” theory.  Say I have an eating problem (I don’t have a problem, I love food) and my weigh-in day is on Saturday.  I pig out on Friday, call it a “weekly cheat day” and hit the scale on Saturday.  My weight’s going to show up normal.  Now, what’s the average overweight person going to think?  “Awesome!  No harm, no foul!”

The next Friday rolls around and it’s “cheat day” again.  Nom, nom, nom…  I hit the scale and I’ve only gained three pounds – but I haven’t.  I’m six back because I’ve got some reserve fuel in the tank, three pounds worth.  The next Saturday I’m six pounds (nine actual) and the dejection begins.  From there I could definitely imagine a morbid sense of failure and a relapse into old behavior…  because that’s exactly how it worked when I got drunk, yet again.

I’d swear off alcohol for good, yet again (before meetings and a program were a “thing” in my life).  A week later something would pop up and I’d think, “Oh, I’ve been good all week, certainly I can have a few beers at my cousin’s wedding.  All will be fine“.  A couple of weeks later and I’m doing shots in the morning again to keep the shakes at bay and I don’t know how I got there or how I’ll dig myself out of the hole again.

Recovery and weight loss aren’t much different in that respect – and the only thing that I’ve found that works on my weight are a bicycle and the light of day, or honesty.  Pure, unpolluted, unadulterated honesty.  Choosing to only look at the scale once a week is a way for me to hide from reality the other six.  That is honest.

It may not be your honest, but it’s a good idea to shed the light of day on it before you decide how to proceed.  Just sayin’.

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14 Comments

  1. Tony says:

    A couple of things. First, up front, I am a once a week weigher. Had a weight problem for over 30 years. Last five since running the blog, no problem. Second, I think you stress yourself a lot with daily and multi-daily weighings. Don’t forget, sometimes you will gain pounds due to your body storing water. Every body is different. But water weight is for real and can get you freaked about pounds for no good reason. Having said all that, I also believe strongly in ‘whatever works for you.’ If lots of scale times does it for you, then do it. Just wanted another county to be heard from. Keep up the good work.

    • bgddyjim says:

      I definitely see and concede your point, Tony. For me, I have to keep my eyes on the prize, it’s always been that way. One little lapse and I’m a freaking mess, instantly. I appreciate and value your experience. Thank you for commenting.

  2. braedonh16 says:

    Hey this is great!! By the way I am writing a daily blog about my fitness progress and experiences along the way. Yesterday was my week one update! Check it out: braedonsjourney.wordpress.com

  3. Gail says:

    As someone who does this fitness “thang” for a living, and has absolutely no body image problem, has no eating disorder, unless you think loving kale is a disorder…..and works out intensely on a regular basis because I love it. let me weigh in. (See what I did there?) I weigh myself every single day. Yep. All for the same reasons you list. It keeps me accountable. I can’t bullshit my way out of an overindulgence. It’s right there in front of me. Tony is right about the water weight, but as I’m consistent with my water, I don’t worry about that issue. It does not stress me out to do this. I like to know what’s what. Many, many of my NEW clients do NOT weigh themselves every day. They can’t handle it. Every single client that has stayed with me for any length of time and had success? What do they do? Why, they weigh themselves every day. Funny that……Cycle on and weigh on…

  4. thewhatiknow says:

    Wow you are clocking some serious mileage, that’s really impressive. I’m curious what your diet consists of and how do you change that to target your weight loss? I’d imagine you have to be careful not to eat to little when your body is working at the level of endurance yours is. Really great read by the way thank you.

    • bgddyjim says:

      Thanks, man. Let’s see, and considering your selfie, this is going to be embarrassing. I eat two or three pieces of fruit for breakfast (wake up at 4:30, start eating at 9). One banana, two apples.

      Lunch is leftovers from dinner or a 12″ Subway Italian BMT on white, with spinach, cucumbers, peppers, onions, etc..

      Dinner is tricky. During the summer months, we eat well. Lots of grilled meats, salads, mac and cheese, and noodle salad. Every Wednesday is pizza night. Thursday is tricky… I ride after work, usually a banana before the ride, then I wait on dinner till after an 7:30 meeting and have a few small enchiladas at about 9. Monday, I sneak in an hour ride while the kids are at swim practice, then it’s fast food for dinner. Tuesday is the club ride, fast food.

      • thewhatiknow says:

        That’s sounds perfect for what your doing though different diets for different lifestyles. If I was to try and put myself through the sort of endurance training your doing on my diet I’d not get very far I don’t think.

      • bgddyjim says:

        I never looked at it that way… I simply always assume I should feel guilty because I can (and do) eat burgers, pizza and bacon. Thanks, man.

  5. […] tell you something though. Much like, but not exactly like, my blogging buddy Jim over at Fit Recovery I weigh myself every day. YES! Every. Bloody. Day. The second my weight is up even two or three […]

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