Poll: The Difference of Five PoundsAugust 3, 2009
Last month’s poll
Last month we discussed the different diets that we have all tried. We had 103 votes: 26% have tried low fat, 25% have tried low carb, 21% have tried vegetarian, 12% have tried vegan, 9% have tried raw food, 2% have tried paleo, and 5% have tried another kind of diet not listed. The range just goes to show that we have a huge amount of options to choose from!
This month’s poll
After remaining at exactly the same weight for about a year now, going up or down only about a pound on occasion, I have gained five pounds in the past two months. It’s not muscle, either: exercising considerably less (someone please kick my butt into strength training!) but still eating the same amount that I did while participating in boot camp naturally leads to weight gain.
Realistically, I know that five pounds is nothing. Five pounds extra is still healthy. Five pounds less would be vanity weight. It’s not changing my athletic abilities or hindering my lifestyle at all. And I’m pretty sure that I’m the only person who can actually see that I’ve gained five pounds.
But a few pounds really does make a difference. One of the biggest differences I’ve noticed is that the extra five pounds is actually keeping me warmer. It might be August, but it still feels as though it’s spring in my city. Even on the cooler days when it’s raining the way it was all last week, I haven’t felt nearly as miserably chilly as I normally would. I’ve actually been able to function in the cooler weather. For the past year whenever it’s been cold I have just curled up and been grumpy and unable to do anything except shiver and complain.
Maybe it isn’t really physical. Maybe five pounds doesn’t make that much of a difference physically, and my new-found tolerance to the cold is actually a state of mind. Personally I doubt that it’s purely mental but I’m sure that a big part of it is. Read any magazine and it will tell you how to drop five or ten pounds, but if you are already a healthy weight, what is five pounds going to do?
Reading Spring Girl’s post last week, this paragraph jumped out at me:
A few months back I’d played with a friend’s bio electrical impedance scale so I had an idea of where I was at then and where I should be now. I was horrified to discover that the fat percentage had remained the same. Instantly I felt huge, like I’d just gained back about 5kg as the number flashed up in front of me. As soon as I got home I had to try on my measuring pants. They still fit, but that doubt that I am fat didn’t.
I think that if the clothes still fit, we’re probably doing alright. If we’re exercising regularly and eating fairly healthy, then what do a few pounds mean? This is why it can be dangerous to use any kind of measuring device besides our clothes. We rely too much on the “science” and not about how we actually look and feel (measuring devices can also be faulty, muscle weighs more than fat, and our weight can fluctuate by five pounds in one day. What I’m talking about here, however, is if we set aside those potentially contributing factors).
On the other hand, losing five pounds can decrease your risk of diseases by 25-50% (presumably this is if you are overweight), which would lead to the conclusion that a few pounds does make a physical difference. What do you think? Does losing or gaining five pounds make a physical difference, a mental difference, or both? Answer the poll and elaborate in the comments!