Sunday, September 11, 2022

Health & Fitness: Lesson 4 - Regularly measure your weight

Once you believe that you can do it, one of the questions that comes up next is what you need to do. 

The answer to that question is change. You need to make changes.Your current body is a result of your past dietary and exercise habits. For you to acquire a new physique, you need evolve your habits.

One of the first habits to acquire is the habit of measurement. This habit helps you to know where you are. The action is fairly simple: you step on a weighing scale, then note and record your weight. 

But if you are like I used to be, and you fail to take this simple action, then the way you might find out your weight is something negative happens to you to wakes you up. In my own case, it  was the shock that my weight had now reached 80 kilograms that gave me the jolt that moved me to embark on the journey to my current weight of 65 kilograms.

How I got to weigh 80 kilograms 

After my second child, I became mentally ill and was put on anti-psychotic medications. I could not work, and the doctors advised that I withdraw from social contact and social networks. I had bought a ton of books during a psychotic episode and one of them was a baking book. So I had the bright idea to start from page one and bake my way to end. I baked all kinds of cakes. And guess who ate them? 

At the same time, I wasn't cooking ; we were receiving care packages from one of my aunts. Lots of fufu, palm-nut and groundnut soups, fried plantains, beans stews, ampesi, banku,  okra stews, garden egg stews. The works. Now food in my family is a big deal and my aunt cooks brilliantly. So the food was plentiful and delicious, and I ate and ate and ate. 

How I discovered my weight 

One day, I went for my checkup at North Ridge Clinic, and they weighed me. And I was honestly astounded. Eighty kilograms?! Alarm bells went off in my head. I imagine everyone has some mental limit that we think is impossible for us to reach. Well I'm not sure that I ever decided what my own limit was but I imagined myself to be 60 kilograms so to be told that I weighed 80 kilograms was truly shocking. 

My first response was blame. So my husband had noticed that I had gained weight and said nothing? The poor guy assured me that the anti-psychotic medication was to blame - weight gain is indeed one of the recorded side effects. But as you know, dear reader, medicines can't hear. How could I blame my medicines?

I was not happy.

Lesson number 1: Build the habit of regularly measuring your weight 

But by discovering my weight at the doctor's, I had also discovered my first lesson. I didn't know it then but now that I have successfully gotten my weight to where I want it to be and kept it there for some time, I know that one of the secrets of people who are able to control their weight is regular measurement. 

People who are pursuing a healthy lifestyle always know where they stand. And weighing yourself is how you know your current position.

You don't need to wait for a hospital to tell you your weight before you find out. It's your body. You are responsible for it. And one of the ways you can care for your body is to not only invest in a weighing scale but to regularly use it so that when your weight starts creeping up, you can catch it early and do something about it. 

Fast forward to my current practice, I now have two metrics that that I track. 

How I measure my weight

I measure my weight on a weighing scale and I use a seamstress' measuring tape to measure my bust, waist, and hip measurements. The bust, waist and hip measurements are  an important addition because sometimes, our body gets smaller even though our weight stays the same, and these measurements allow us to notice that progress. 

I typically take these measurement on Saturday morning before I've ingested anything. And I record them in a simple excel spread sheet as you can see here. 

You will see that I have been lazy about tracking these days. That is because my weight is fairly stable. But I assure you that when I first started, I tracked every single week. I strongly recommend that if you're now starting out, you track weekly.

Please don't laugh at my goals. We're allowed to dream Abi??😁😁😂

If you have any questions related to this post, please share them in the comments and I will try to address them in subsequent posts. All the best on your own weight-loss journey!

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