I may be losing weight, but I don't want to know.

Build-wise, I’m often described as ursine. I’m 6’3", with a large frame, barrel-chest, and far more padding than a man of my age (35) should have. The last time I weighed myself, I was around 350 lbs. What I find interesting is that, apparently, in other peoples’ eyes, I carry my weight well. Most folks, when I ask them to guess (and I insist that I won’t be insulted), put me at 50-75 lbs lighter than that, and are quite surprised when I tell them the actual number.

Over the years, there have been times when I seemed to be losing weight, usually due to improvements in my diet. My face thinned out, my clothes started hanging on my frame, and I had to cut a new notch in my belt to tighten it sufficiently. Going back to the scale, however, I’d find the actual number of pounds to be pretty much unchanged. After undergoing many of these depressing episodes, I finally came to a point when I simply refused to weigh myself at all.

I moved to Austin just over a year ago, and, despite many pledges that I would try harder to improve my physical condition, I have done little to make this a reality. Single fatherhood, a tight budget, and a certain brilliance with making excuses have conspired to rob me of any willpower in this regard. The one thing I DID do was to rent a third floor apartment, thereby ensuring that just going to the car and back amounted to something of a workout. And over the course of the year, I seem to have made some progress. In March I graduated from a 52 to a 50 waist, and now even the trousers I bought that month are looking awfully baggy. I cut my third new hole into my belt this past weekend.

But I’m still way too scared to come anywhere near a scale.

Good for you, Kizarvexius. Don’t be afraid of a scale, though. It’s just a number and it really doesn’t matter much. Go by how you feel.

I didn’t know you were a single dad. I was a single mom for a long time. I know it’s hard, but try to get out and do things with your sprog. Walking to the park, riding bikes, that sort of thing will help to instill good health practises in your little one.

One of my quibbles with BMI is that muscle is denser than fat. Thus, if you gain as much weight in muscle as you lose in fat, you will actually lose mass without it showing on a scale.

From another site I find that
“Muscle density is 1.06 g/ml and fat density is (about) 0.9
g/ml. Thus, one liter of muscle would weight 1.06 kg and one liter of
fat would weight 0.9 kg.”

I will leave it as an exercise to the mathematically less lazy as to how much mass you would lose if you “replaced”* five pounds of fat with five pounds of muscle.

  • i.e. lost about the same amount in fat weight that you gained in muscle weight.

I have a similar fear of scales. Like you, anyone asked to guess my weight will put me consistently 40-50 pounds less than my actual weight. Everyone I see on a not-so-regular basis is constantly asking me if I’m losing weight. And yet, my clothes rarely seem any bigger. I’ve learned not to care too much.

Good luck with future belt loops. But I’m with you on scale fear. If you feel good, why assign a number to it?

Lord knows that’s advice I need to follow. The slightest little excuse is enough to keep me indoors and idle. Kizarvexilla is just old enough to be able to run over to the next building to visit her friends, but when there’s nobody to play with she’s as inert as me. Not a healthy lifestyle for either of us. If a) I can stop injuring my back and my knee; and b) I candrag myself out of the depression slump I’m in right now, I just might be able to make myself serve as a better example.

Amen to that. Most ideal weight charts that I’ve seen also fail to take into account that some people have larger frames than others, and will always weigh more. The same with caloric intake charts.

Some years ago, I got myself into a regular workout regimen. I was working out four or five times a week and had a personal trainer who designed my program and monitored my progress. What I did not realize was that instead of helping me take the weight off, he had me on a program to beef me up. In about four months I had gone up two shirt sizes and gained 15 pounds. Shortly after that, my circumstances changed and I was no longer able to keep up the routine. Naturally, everything turned to flab. I’m still furious at that trainer, though.

Thanks for the good wishes. I have no clue to what extent a leather belt will stretch or expand due to daily wear, but I expect that it’s not nearly enough to account for the new holes I’ve drilled in the thing during the course of one year. I’d estimate that the distance between the original “tightest” setting and the hole I made Sunday is about 4 inches. Have I lost four inches off my waist? I doubt it, but some of my clothes that were feeling too tight last year fit much better.

There is a reason, though, that there is no scale in my apartment. And I have no plans to acquire one any time soon.

I don’t weigh myself, either, and I understand how you feel. The last time I was weighed was the day that I gave birth to my youngest son, and the nurse was nice enough to ask me if I wanted to know the number. “Not really,” I told her, so she didn’t tell me.

If I know how many pounds I weigh, I’m just going to obsess about it, so I don’t want to know. As long as I fit into my clothes, I’m ok with it. When my clothes feel and look a little tight, I cut back one cheesesteak a week until they don’t anymore.