Found a Culprit

Sometimes, a new discovery takes extra data and a new interpretation. This week, the two came together on my weight loss program. Since I got serious about losing weight back in April, there have been periods of steady decline in weight, well explained by my more or less rigorous adherence to my eating plan. In the middle of these good periods, however, a few times for no apparent reason my weight shot up. That’s particularly frustrating when you sincerely think you’ve been very good and really did not go for the extra dessert.

At the beginning of June, just before we went on vacation in Germany and France, I had watched closely what I ate and it paid off over the weeks. Then over two days, without a change in my eating, I gained three pounds in two days. If it takes you three weeks to lose three pounds, gaining them back in two days is quite a shock. Something similar happened last weekend. I was making great progress and suddenly my weight went up. So far I had written this off as beyond explanation, until I had a closer look at my log. Every morning, I write down not only my weight, but I also note when I exercise and when I’m feeling not so well. This time I noticed that each time I gained weight, I also felt sick around the same time. I usually eat less when I’m not feeling well. So why the weight gain?

When I’m seriously under the weather, I take Tylenol and when I have a headache I take Advil. Perhaps the weight gain had something to do with the Tylenol? A quick browsing on the Internet did not yield any reports of water retention related to Tylenol. However, Ibuprofen, the main ingredient in Advil, is well known to cause water retention. Well know, just not by me. So I did this little experiment and laid off the Advil (together with the Tylenol while I was at it) and voila, the extra weight melted away. I usually don’t lose four pounds in four days without serious intestinal discomfort! It’s probably also good to slow down my Advil consumption. The stuff works really well for my headaches, but it turns out that usually they don’t get really bad even if I don’t take anything. In any case, not taking it and waiting to see what happens is cheaper and easier on my stomach.

By the way, did I mention the melting inches? Ok, so far it’s the melted inch but don’t hold this against me. I take my encouragement where I can find it. The magical waist-to-hip ratio goal of 0.92 or better has come within reach. Of course, I could use the strategy I saw in action on Monday. I went to a free health screening sponsored by my employer, and measuring your waist was part of the program. When it was my turn, the nurse gave me the measuring tape to hold to my navel and asked me to turn around while she held the other end. When I had made the turn she tightened the tape and noted the reading. Although this was done with moderate privacy behind a screen, I overheard the next guy joking with the nurse: “You aren’t pulling hard enough.”

Rolf’s progress.
August 22, 2008 August 29, 2008
Weight 178.5 lb 178.0 lb
Waist to Hip Ratio 0.93
Quality of Life 90% 100%
Thoughts Pumped! Going to the chapel…
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