On Indulging, Bloating, and Keeping Your Head in the Game

I have got to work on catchier titles.

Been a minute since we talked about fitness, so let’s do that today. Specifically, let’s talk about water weight, otherwise known as bloating. What’s that? You don’t think they’re the same thing? Oh, I assure you, my friend, they most certainly are. There is absolutely no good reason for your body to be carrying around actual POUNDS of water weight.

While we’re saying controversial things, I’m coming in hot with this: Water weight is real weight.

YES. 

Real talk: Last Friday (10/11/19), I hit my lowest weight since before conceiving my first child, more than 10 years ago. I would say I was excited, but I was more like…amused? I’m kind of past the point where I’m worrying about the scale (thank you, Jesus, Allah, Buddha, and the Tom Cruise alien god, amen). I do weigh myself a few days a week, just to see what’s up. It’s interesting to me, these days. 

You know what I did to celebrate? I went to the state fair. 

Yeah, that state fair.

 

Yes, I could have eaten a turkey leg and kept keto, but that’s not the point of the state fair, dammit. So I gave myself permission to eat anything I wanted. Anything at all. Truth be told, though, I didn’t eat all that much. I drank probably half a gallon of margaritas, but I didn’t eat very much at all. I ate like a dozen tater tots and half an ear of (terrible) elote.

Since the state fair was a disappointment (what kind of monster advertises flamin’ hot cheeto pickles and allows themselves to run out of pickles??), I decided to round out the weekend with a couple of other things I miss, namely sushi and candy corn. No, I don’t want to hear about how terrible you think candy corn is, just pass the bag back to me and go feel smug somewhere else, Janet.

Anyway, this is me this past Monday (10/14/19). 

This is not a pregnancy announcement.

Flat stomach on Friday, four months pregnant on Monday. Okie dokie. Scale said I was up six pounds.

SIX POUNDS!? EVERYBODY PANIC!! Time to either starve myself in a fit of self-hate or throw it all away and find a wedding to crash so I can eat their entire cake, right? In the past, yes. Yes, it would be. Instead, let’s look at the facts.

My metabolism is set to burn about 2,300 calories on a typical day in the life. Conventional wisdom tells us that there are 3,500 calories to a pound. So in order to gain a pound of fat, I would have to consume 5,800 calories in a 24 hour period. In order to gain SIX pounds, I would have to have eaten 34,800 calories between Friday and Sunday. 

I am not great at math, but since I’m all about being bold and taking risks these days, I’m going to walk you through a little formula.

I didn’t count calories this weekend, but I can assure you, I did not do that. This is bloating. Water weight. Aside from feeling kind of blah and my shorts being snugger than I’d like, it’s a whole lot of who cares. This is very typical for low-carb eaters. Our bodies are so good at not hanging on to extra water, that a carby day or two looks like the end of the world.

So now what? We keep calm and keto on. I listen to my body and back off the calorie intake a little while my system resets itself. I drink a ton of water, keep up with my electrolytes, and (this is the key here) MOVE ON. This is make or break time–when you either get back on the horse or you flail around on the barn floor, hating yourself and spinning lies about the horse not being rideable until next Monday.

Did my math work? Let’s see.

Thursday, 10/17/19

My stomach is where I expect it to be. The scale shows that my gravitational pull is precisely…6 pounds less than it was on Monday!

Water weight is real weight. Don’t believe me, ask the scale. Ask those jeans that don’t button the day after you go wilding at the taco festival. So when you lose a few pounds on that first week of your new eating plan, don’t minimize your accomplishment! No, it’s not fat burn, but you will see a real difference in the mirror, in the way your clothes fit, and in how you feel. If you’re keto, it’s also the first step towards getting yourself into ketosis, since each gram of glycogen in your body is bound to three grams of water. So yeah, it TOTALLY counts for something!

When (not if, because human) you go off-track, don’t look at the scale and assume all is lost. Take a deep breath and move forward. Chances are high that you’re four days away from feeling like yourself again.

Side by side, for good measure.

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