BG2: Dealing with setbacks


Oh bugger.  At my Mum’s for a few days, eating carefully, but still eating her food, and her scales don’t have anything good to say.  Of course, I don’t know if they are calibrated the same as my own, but seeing the numbers get bigger did introduce me to the concept of going backwards.

The first rule is to only use one set of scales to weigh yourself with.  It will be rare for different scales to give exactly the same reading.  But what if the weight is coming back on?

According to Mum’s heartless scales, I put on 2kg in the first day I was here, wiping out most of the gains made in the two weeks before.

Coping with disappointment and having your expectations shattered are very much part of Blubbergeddon, and to some degree, it is the most critical “survival skill” that you need to adopt.

It is bad enough to “plateau”, but going backwards?  Bah!

Of course, it helps to remember a few things.  As a woman (not me, but you may be one), you may find that you stop losing weight around your monthly cycle – something to be mentally prepared for.  (Yes, yet another fun benefit of being a woman).

Other factors include water retention and not having done number 2’s for a few days.  When you are monitoring the scales and you are suddenly 0.4kg “heavier” with no apparent cause, you may simply be carrying a little more waste and water, and it will come off again.

Some people are on medicines, and these can also play havoc with water retention.

Even the difference between having eaten a steak or a large salad the night before will cause zero point something differences as it moves through you.

This is why most weight loss programmes suggest you only weigh once a week.  This means that the natural variances that take place are smoothed out a bit, and you won’t find yourself on a roller coaster ride.

Personally, I like to monitor things closely.  Data is useful.  In my case, a lot of the 2 kg I gained can be explained by the fact that the day before I ate an extra meal and I ate a little more (Mum’s food is hard to resist).  I was simply carrying a larger digestive ‘payload’.

Not all of it will go to fat, and the blip will come down again.  But it was an interesting exercise in how things like that affect you mentally.

Your body is not a machine, and your life isn’t a constant and controllable environment.  BG2’ers need to be ready for setbacks.  The only way to deal with them is to not give up.  Over a period of time, you’ll have a few backward steps, but there will be many more forward ones.

If you are especially disheartened, pop in and share the pain.


– Pete


THANK YOU for being a subscriber. Because of you Whaleoil is going from strength to strength. It is a little known fact that Whaleoil subscribers are better in bed, good looking and highly intelligent. Sometimes all at once! Please Click Here Now to subscribe to an ad-free Whaleoil.

  • EveryWhichWayButLeft

    Yep, I know exactly what you mean…

    Against my better judgement I started weighing myself more frequently. Usually it’s once at week, same day, same time, same place – to minimise the effect Pete is talking about.

    But silly me – after a hard day pouring concrete and drinking copious amounts of water in the hot sun I put on 1/2 a kg! How can that be? Fortunately, I’ve already learned the lesson above too. We fluctuate, plateau, gain, lose, etc depending on other environmental factors. Believe it or not, you’re actually lighter if you live closer to the equator (something to do with gravity).

    Even though I can deal with gaining a little weight this week, I’m going to go back to my regular once a week weighing anyway – easier to avoid the disappointment than have to mentally explain it to myself again.

    • ElleAsks

      I weigh once a day – first thing in the morning before I have eaten or drunk anything. But I have learnt over the past 4 years that it is just data, and I now don’t get mentally affected by what I see on the scale. You are right – if it affects you, stick with once a week, at the same time preferably first thing in the morning.

    • Mags

      I find that when I weigh myself daily I give myself some leeway if the scales are not to bad which actually undermines what I’m trying to achieve. By weighing myself less often I just stick to what I know is healthy . Silly brain games eh.

  • ElleAsks

    So true – I lost 50kg’s over a 1 year period, and the first thing you learn is that your loss is not a linear process – it is very up and down.
    Mentally you have to stay strong, especially for someone like myself that is a very emotional eater. Just stay with the plan, and the weight will come down. Enjoy mom’s food – and know when you are back home and you have more control it will be easier again.

    • ElleAsks

      This is what a month of weight loss looked like for me – and this was being very consistent in my eating and exercise, no big splurges, or holidays – just the body doing what it does best.

      • Mags

        Have you been able to keep the weight off? If so what is the secret?

        • David Moore

          The secret is to never to return to the eating/exercise habits that got you out of shape in the first place.

        • ElleAsks

          Yes – I have managed to maintain for the past 3 years. Right now after the Xmas holidays I am 5 kg’s up, and my clothes are tight.

          And there lies the trick for me – the moment my clothes get tight I refuse to buy new clothes, I just have to immediately work on getting rid of the extra kg’s.

          And like David Moore says – not to return to the lack of exercise and excessive diet habits that got me there in the first place. For me it was not a diet – it was a total change of lifestyle that I will keep for the rest of my life. I keep on saying to people “I got my behind off the couch, and started eating like skinny people eat”

          • Mags

            That’s awesome!

    • Mags

      Just keep thinking of the reasons why you are attempting tp loose weight. Think the long term. Playing with the kids or grand kids, being healthy, having more energy being able to go for a walk with your friends, feeling good in your skin or whatever it is. And don’t beat yourself up when it goes pear shaped cause sometimes it will. Just start again tomorrow because you have those important things you want to achieve.

  • Fat Sally

    There are many reasons for weight gain. I find when exercising I lose a large amount in the first two weeks and then the third week it flatlines a bit due to my body “catching up” for lack of a better medical term.

    Also if you are exercising there is muscle growth in some areas and muscle weighs a lot more than fat.

    If you’re a female you can gain weight simply because it is period week.

    I call all these events “tests” as they play tricks on your mind. A good way to keep an accurate record is to take your measurements, some times you might lose a couple of cm around the waist but lose no weight.

    The main thing is to stick with it and don’t get down hearted, becaue for every bad week there will be 4 or 5 good weeks around the corner.

  • David Moore

    Weight loss is rarely a straight line down, even a small change in salt consumption and make quite significant changes in weight day-to-day. Using the fasting approach it’s even more lumpy.

    If your going to collect data daily, just make sure you allow longer term trends become apparent before you change the approach. You didn’t put on weight overnight, it won’t disappear overnight either.

  • Wallace Westland

    Nearly fell into temptation today.
    I got to take my kids out today (I’m divorced and don’t see them as much as I’d like) and for lunch got them fish and chips. (I love fish and chips)
    I tease my kids regularly about their fat Dad but they won’t buy in to it (and I love them so much for that) so today at the park it was do I join in or sit it out?

    I stuck to my guns, however my 10yr old in short time realised I hadn’t ordered anything and wasn’t eating and asked why.
    I never lie to my kids but I don’t feel the need to burden them with my adult type drama. After a slight hesitation I told them I was trying to lose weight and was on a diet. I was mortified to be having to say this to my kids. I felt ashamed of myself and embarrassed.
    Of course like typical bloody kids they looked at me and went….oh….ok!
    Still in the game!

    • la la land

      Well done – fish and chips are pretty hard to pass up!

  • Rick H

    I really want to join the BG2.
    I’m approx 55 years old, and currently around 117Kg
    I am able to get on my MTB and ride 40ks, without any trouble.
    I managed to drop down to 100Kg briefly a few years ago, and I would dearly like to get below 100kg, and stay there.
    I may actually add myself to this . . .but my only problem is; I love drinking wine.
    I don’t know if I could bear it going a few weeks without it.
    I purposely seek the higher alcohol content, like 13.5%, or even sometimes 14% – knowing that these will have fully fermented all the sugar, leaving very little in residual with the wine.

    That said, though, I’m prepared to do that
    I really want to get back to around 95Kg.

    • David Moore

      A few glasses of wine each week doesn’t prevent you getting down to 95kg.

    • Wallace Westland

      This is a support group not a judge you group. I’m having a beer.
      If you want the wine then I guess you have to lose something else or up the ante on the exercise.
      I’m no expert and I have no advice for anyone. All I know is that if energy in is more than energy out then fat wins.
      I’m just happy to have peeps that are watching, that’s my motivation.
      I hate anyone knowing I failed.
      Even if they wouldn’t recognise me on the street, they do here.
      Join in. 95kg is my goal too.

    • la la land

      I also LOVE wine! so I have given myself a few rules – mon, tues and wed are wine free days. for the remainder – without the social setting i will just pour half my usual amount – in a social setting I stop at 2. i am finding that I am now going wine free unless its a social setting just cos I know my eating self control goes out the window if I drink… actually I am not missing it as much as I thought I would – probably because i know that over the period of a week I will still have an opportunity to drink some wine – and I plan to buy some really good wine for when I do!! (this is only my second week)
      Join in – we can share the pain!

  • Slijmbal

    As there’s a lot of ‘noise’ in daily weight measurements I’ve put my daily weight in to a spreadsheet in the past, created a graph from the data and used a 7 day moving average trend (click on the graph and add a trend and then modify the type)

    The trend graph line is a much better representation of progress (the last few days are still noisy but the overall progress is very well highlighted)