To generally monitor my weight loss, I’m weighing myself every Monday morning on a set of basic digital scales. I like doing this, as it allows me to see over time whether or not the overall change in my weight is slow, fast, or even up or down.
But scales cannot always be trusted, more so if you are a woman. By the way fellas, if you’re a bit squeamish about ‘girl stuff’, then perhaps go read something else for a bit.
To make my point, it’s important to note that on Monday 24th July I weighed in at 221.4 lbs (a loss of 2.2 lbs from the week before! Go team me!)
This week was my period. I’m irregular as your average bus service in winter, so I usually have to look out for the telltale signs of it coming; suicidal depression spikes, massive bloating and crippling back pain.
Thankfully (and I say my diet contributed here), there was no depression spike this month. Nothing whatsoever, which was great. I did wake up on Wednesday feeling like the giant Stay Puft man from Ghostbusters, however.
Out of curiosity, I hopped on the scales. I weighed 224.6 lbs. Literally a new ‘highest weight ever’. Oh god, I thought. My dumb conditioned brain instantly feared what people kept telling me: fat makes you fat. All day I had back ache and my belly seemed to be getting more and more bloated as the day went on.
The next morning I woke up and et voila, mother nature had paid me a visit. Having my answer for the rapid weight gain, I hopped on the scales to continue this impromptu experiment.
I had rocketed to 225.6 lbs. In three days, according to my scales alone, I had “gained” 4.2 lbs. To explain that using the (horribly inaccurate) calories in/out theory, I had supposedly consumed 14,700 calories worth of food since Monday in order to gain such a large amount of weight.
To contextualise that for you, that’s fifty-seven McDonald’s Big Macs.
Of course, anyone remotely sensible will know that this is what we rather grossly call ‘period bloat’. It’s water, a little gas, a little ‘waste’ (women become veritable pooping machines thanks to all those cramps), but is it fat? Most certainly not.
This morning (Saturday) I woke up and continued this little weird experiment. I’m back down to 221.8 lbs.
The morals of this story:
- Calories in/out is a bare-faced lie based on loose science
- Scales are not an accurate portrayal of weight loss
- It’s perfectly normal to ‘get fat’ on your period
I am actually very curious to see what will happen in the months to come during my period. Will my horrible back pain go away? Will my cramps lessen? Will I get to sleep past 5am?
Let’s find out.