Number Crunching

Today I'm going to crap on about numbers. Woo.

I just got back from the gym where I had a fitness re-assessment. This means you get weighed again and poked and prodded and they re-jig your program.

I was slightly crushed coz Allison, my previous Fitness Chick, had gone overseas. This meant I had to have a new Fitness Chick, Cathy, who didn't know my whole sordid story and how grossly unfit I was last October when I joined the gym. She didn't know my struggles! My tale of woe! Because, dammit, I'm only in this weight loss caper for the fame and the adoration, so people can be amazed by my fantastical transformation from pork queen to svelte sex pot!

Note the gentle caress of sarcasm. Please don't email me and tell me I have the wrong motivations, blah blah blah. But come on, who doesn't get off on the "how did you lose so much weight?" and "oh my god i didn't recognise you!" and the "you are SO damn foxy these days, let us shag RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW" kind of talk? Be honest.

Anyway. The good thing about Allison was she was blown away last re-assessment coz I'd lost 17 kilos (37lb) from Oct 2000 (when I joined the gym) to early May (when the re-assessment was). What she didn't realise was that from that October to mid-January 2001, I had actually gained 15.2kg (33.5lb)! I didn't start losing until mid-January. So I had actually lost quite a bit more than she thought.

(But I didn't tell her that. Why would you tell someone that you gained 33.5 lb in just three and a half months!? I mean, good lord. That is an incredible feat of calorie scoffing. I still don't know how I did it. Oh actually I do know how I did it. I neglected that gym membership and spent the whole summer parked on the couch, moaning about the heat. Then came the Extra Large Quarter Pounder Value Meals 3 or 4 times a week. Family blocks of chocolate. Trifle. Lasagna. It was one long binge. I don't think I've written enough in here about just how badly I ate before. Now that I look back it scares me. I ate so bloody much. But that's another entry.)

Anyway, Fitness Chick Cathy was nice. I hopped on the scale and it said 121kg. Hurrah! Three months ago when I was last reassessed, it was 127.5 kg, so that's 6.5kg more gone.

If you're a mad keen follower of my progress chart you'll note that 121 kg is way below the weight on the progress chart. This is because the gym scales are about 5 kilos lighter. Ya gotta love scales like that. Anyway, since I joined the gym last October I've lost 23 kilos according to the gym scales. Which is about ten kilos less than what I've lost at WW since January 15.

Are you confused? So you should be. I know I am.

The summary is: there's two ways you could tell my weight loss story. You could either say I've lost 23 kilos since October 2000, or you could say I've lost 33 kilos since January 2001 and ignore the whole Summer 2001: Endless Binge episode. Hmm, I think I know which story I prefer.

I know the more I get into this caper, the harder it will be for results to show on the scale. So I got Cathy to take my measurements:

Tricep: huge
Bicep: huge
Bust: Hello Dolly
Waist: comparable to the circumference of Jupiter
Hips: huge
Thighs: elephantine
Calf: baby elephantine

I'm not going to share those numbers with you. Urgh. Anyway, I got a new program. I need to go about 4-5 times a week now.

(I went five times last week! God I felt fantastic! My shoulder wasn't hurting at all. I strutted round the gym feeling damn smug and fit-like, until I tripped over some dumbells or looked in the mirror at my voluminous stomach and got all pouty again.)

I marvel at my ability to swing from loving to hating my body in mere seconds. I can be swishing around on the cross-trainer and thinking, "Hey my legs look smaller" then a minute later, look at my upper body and swear that my stomach has gotten bigger. So I stop swishing and smooth my t-shirt down to see if that makes it look any better, and if it doesn't I start crying on the inside, oh god I'm never going to shift this lard.

You have to prepare yourself for these mood swings. Like last week, when I gained half a kilo at WW, I had to come up with some other way of reassuring myself that I was still losing, otherwise I'd have plunged into a moody little funk. So I get out my grey pants that three months ago were skin tight, and admire how they are now baggy as hell round the waist and I have to yoink them right up over my navel like an old man just so they'll stay up. Or I'll go to the gym and count how many levels of cross-trainer I can now do compared with before, or how much quicker I can do a kilometre on the treadmill than before.

I have a Year Planner chart in the back of my work diary with a little box for each day. I've been writing my weigh-in results in there every week. Then I calculate how much I've lost per month. If a particular month's figure depresses me, I'll draw up little graphs of how long it's taking me to lose a 5 kilo block. Then I calculate averages, and based on those averages I get projections and I can forecast how long it should take me to reach my goal weight.

I'm always devising new ways to obsess about my weight loss capers. If I don't like my weigh-in result tonight, I assure you I can manipulate the data and spit out something that will make me feel better.

Just recently I realised how ridiculous all this number crunching is. My projections were based on an average loss of 3-4 kilos (6.6-8.8lbs) per month. Now that is just plain unrealistic. Fair enough for the first few months when I was blasting off the top o most layer of lard, but from now on it's going to be a lot harder. Plus all the muscle building will slow down the scale a bit.

Then there's the matter of the goal weight I set for myself – 69 kilos (152lb). I haven't weight that little since I was 13 years old. I just chose 69kg coz it's under 70kg therefore in my warped little mind it sounded skinnier. What the hell does the number matter anyway? And why am I even thinking about goal weights when I am soooooooo ridiculously far away from them?

Coz I'm obsessive and I love to quantify my achievements, I guess. Anyway, 75kg (165lb) is much more realistic. We'll see. I think I'll know when I look how I want to look. I'm not going to bust my arse to a tiny number, just to get that crappy little WW Lifetime Member pin.

Anyway. I can't promise that I'll stop obsessing about the numbers, but I will try and be a little more realistic. I promise not to hiss and spit at the WW weigh-in lady if I don't like the scale tonight.

In other news, I've nearly finished replying to all your emails. Thanks again for being patient and just so bloody brilliant! I've gotten some very inspirational stuff.

Bored? You must go to Pound. I only found her the other day and I had to go back and read her entire archive. I laughed my arse off but also very nearly cried at some of her writing. She can be scorchingly funny then underneath you often leave with this achy kind of feeling. So insightful and honest and just plain brilliant reading. Go forth!

Back tomorrow with the WW post mortem.

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