Sunday, June 08, 2014

After 9 Weeks - Plateaus and Plummets

Something seriously weird is going on with this digital scale I splurged on. But first, an historical note: back in the day, when I would be on a diet & exercise cycle, I would sometimes hit plateaus where my weight wouldn't change for several days in a row. But I didn't sweat this, because A) weight by itself is not very meaningful, so even if my weight wasn't changing, that didn't mean my body wasn't and B) I was using an analog scale that wasn't very exact at the best of times.

But now I'm using this digital scale which measures down to the tenth of a pound and which also gives a fat/muscle measurement. I've mentioned before that the fat/muscle measurements aren't very precise. But here's the thing that's really giving me fits.

The scale keeps measuring me at exactly the same weight for several days in a row. In week 5/6, three days in a row. In week 7, 5 days in a row, followed by 2 days in a row at a different weight. In week 8, 2 days in a row, one small dip down, then back up to almost the previous weight for 5 days. A two-day dip, and now three days in a row. No matter how much or how little I eat or drink, what exercise I do or don't do, what time of day I weigh, I spend up to 5 days weighing exactly the same to within a tenth of a pound. It's almost as if the scale gets stuck on that number for a while.

And then there's the real anomaly. On Wednesday, after 5 days locked in at the same weight, I dropped three pounds overnight. I bounced back up almost immediately, but I can't think of any mechanism to explain it other than a bad reading. I ate normally the day before and didn't spend any extra time in the bathroom. I wasn't dehydrated. It's a mystery.

I'm thinking that I may need to do something radical if this plateau doesn't bust soon. I'm thinking at the end of Week 12, if I'm still not showing much progress, I'm going to up my calories and shift more emphasis to strength workouts. Try to pack on some muscle mass to up my metabolism. I have never in my life been especially muscular, partly because at the times I was working out the hardest, like now, I was also restricting calories to try to drop fat. It might be time to try another approach.

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