I found the first 9 weeks of Slow Carb frankly rather easy… or maybe I should say, the losses week to week were so predictable that motivation was easy. Every week saw an average loss of 2.5lbs (~1kg), so the obvious benefits kept me totally focused on what I could and should eat.
Summer, and more importantly excuses to celebrate over summer (long weekends, camping trips away, birthdays) saw predictable blips and my tragectory slowed as what seemed like infrequent “bad” weeks had to be recovered from.
This is where I started to struggle mentally. I still believed in the Slow Carb approach, but a week with a couple of extra cheat days thrown in can easily end up with you feeling you’ve been stuck at a weight for months. In fact, it took me 10 weeks to shift my last stone, so it’s not even “a feeling”, it’s reality.
I felt really down about that, I was trying really hard and being generally good, but I just didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere, because the metric that I was measuring my success by wasn’t moving quickly.
How did I change that feeling? By measuring more things of course! The more metrics I record, the more chance that one will show something good. I might be disappointed that I only lost 0.5lbs this week, but if I lost an inch off my beer gut, that totally changes how I feel about the week. That makes the week a WIN!
The Epic Weight Loss Spreadsheet that I complete daily gives me other areas that can give me a win too. I added a BMI column, which is colour coded to “Very Severely Obese”, “Severely Obese”, “Moderately Obese”, “Overweight” (OMG I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL I’M OVERWEIGHT!!!), and “Normal”. OK, I only get a couple of these wins over the whole course of losing weight, but I’ve got my eye on that Overweight BMI and I want it so BAD! I was over the moon when I became Moderately Obese, because, that’s just like… “a bit” fat not “holy shit where did all the swimming pool water go” fat. Even dropping a whole BMI digit can feel like a win, “woop woop, 31.97 BMI, 1 closer to Overweight!”.
I also gave myself a few fist bumps when I got the “Current Trend” line back below the “Goal Loss” line a couple of times. Unfortunately that little shit doesn’t look like coming back down any time soon :(.
My starting weight was 21st 0.3lbs, so this mini win doesn’t work so great for me, but you can give yourself a fist bump when you hit a stone lost, AND, “OMG I’M IN A NEW STONE BRACKET! MY WEIGHT NOW STARTS WITH 17 NOT 18 FUCK YEAH!”. That week’s a win for sure!
You can also keep an eye on your % to target. I noticed today that I’m 41% of the way there, the last time I looked was 33% so that leaves me feeling pretty awesome.
…and finally for the weight based wins, if you weigh yourself every day (and you need to be a certain sort of person to be able to cope with doing that), any day that you hit a new low is a win.
I don’t track fat percentage, but I should. Every 1% fat loss is a huge win, fist bump time!
Don’t forget about clothes. My sister bought me a couple of t-shirts for my birthday, they are an XL. HAVE YOU ANY IDEA HOW LONG IT’S BEEN SINCE I WORE AN XL ANYTHING?!?! I even had to get my mum to alter all my shirts because they looked like tents.
Track all these (and it’s easy!) barely a week goes by without some sort of BOOYA moment.
- Tape Measurements
- New ALL TIME LOW (Weight)
- Spreadsheet Trend Lines
- Stone, 10lb or 5kg Brackets
- Fat Percentage
- Clothing Sizes
I’ve not touched on exercise, it’s just not something I’m doing at the moment, so I would just be rehashing other people’s words.
I really want to hear your suggestions (including specific exercise wins), let me know in the comments (or Reddit comments) and I’ll add them to the post and give you credit and a high five.