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Weigh in for 04/23/2018 and thoughts on chasing numbers.   Leave a comment

So first of all, the weekly weigh in update.  This past Wednesday was my day off from Keto for the month, where I get to enjoy things that aren’t keto and I know I’ll be knocked out of ketosis.  I explained why in a previous post so I won’t go into detail not that.  I mention this because, as expected, my weight went up, not down.  I weighed in at 309.8 lbs (43.6% body fat) which means I went up 3.2 lbs.  Some of that would be fat, some of it water weight as getting knocked out of ketosis means I retain water easier.  How I fare when I weigh in next Monday will determine if I will continue the practice of taking one day off a month to enjoy things that aren’t keto.

Which brings me to the second part of the title “chasing numbers.”  It’d be very easy for me to get discouraged and stressed about the fact that my weight went up.  And by a decent margin at that.  But I don’t.  This is one weigh on one week of the many weigh ins I’ve done since January 1st when I started this journey.  It would be very easy to get hung up on the 3.2 lbs gained in a week, but not very productive.  It’s better to focus on the fact that overall I’m still down 42.8 lbs from January 1st which means I’ve made an incredible change in my life and I’m healthier then I was when I started.

Let me use this analogy.  In June of 2017 I moved from Bellingham, WA to where I now live in Madison, AL.  I drove the entire distance in my 2011 Toyota Prius with it’s original navigation maps from when I bought it new.  Needless to say in the six years between a few changes had occurred along the way that made my navigation system wrong, leading to added miles I wound up driving to get back on track.  If I handled that trip like a lot of people handle dieting, by chasing numbers, the second I got side tracked I’d have given up on the trip and just taken up residency in Wyoming because clearly the trek was a bust because I added miles.  Sounds silly but when we chase numbers expecting each week to be a better number then the last, or at least some forward progress, we lose sight of the overall goal, and give up prematurely. I wanted to get to Madison, AL so I accepted the unexpected detours as part of the cross country travel experience and kept going.  If you focus on the long term goal, and not the weekly numbers, you can make it to your destination too.

Another way some keto lifestylers chase number is with blood ketone tracking.  I have a Keto-Mojo Blood Glucose/Ketone meter I use to track my ketones with (you can buy it at https://keto-mojo.com and for the record this is NOT an affiliate link, I get no money for this I just really like the product).  You need to be at least at .3 mmol/l to be in ketosis, ideally .5 mmol/l, and the greater the number above that the better.  It’s easy to want that  “the better” so much you start doing things not to live a healthy keto lifestyle but instead to get the number up as high as you can.  And when I test and I get a number like 1.4 mmol/l I’m excited about that, but I remember it’s just a number.  I could chug a blender bottle of exogenous ketones and easily break 2 mmol/l, but it wouldn’t truly reflect my level of ketosis.  It’s better to measure how you feel.  If you’re at or above .3 mmol/l and you’re full of energy, your mind is sharp, and your clothes are getting looser, then you’re doing great.  If you’re at .5 mmol/l but you’re sluggish, in a brain fog, and you’re hoping you don’t have catastrophic structural failure of the seat of your pants, that’s not so great even though the number is larger.

My overall point is don’t chase numbers.  Chase trends.  If overall you’re losing weight, don’t sweat one week of gain.  If you’re blood ketone level is consistently at or above the .3 mmol/l mark and you feel great, the feel great part is what you should focus on.  Now if you start trending down over multiple weeks, yes of course look into why and make changes accordingly.  If you regularly register 1.4 mmol/l of blood ketones and it starts going down over successive readings then yes you should start looking into why.  But chasing numbers after every weigh in or ketone reading is just going to drive you crazy which will cause stress which will hinder progress.  Always think long term.

Final thought for this post, I’m going to start posting book reviews.  These will be of books I’ve downloaded and read on my Kindle.  I’ll include a link to the book in the review.  I will remind you in each post this is an affiliate link which I do profit from.  I’ll give the pros and cons of each book, but if I’m reviewing it I think the book is a good purchase because it’s a good read (even though I’ll admit on some of these books it’s a good read because of the information you learn more so then the actually readability of the book).  So there you are, have a nice week between now and my next weigh in update.

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