Tag Archives: water retention

Sodium Sleuthing

Today, I am feeling ponderous.

Here’s what’s up:

Yes, I ate more than usual this weekend. But I did stay within my flex points/activity points even with the extra noshing. At the same time, I do think I gained a little — nothing I couldn’t lose again through some long runs this week, but a gain nonetheless. Meanwhile, for the first time in forever, Chelsea and I made cabbage soup and planned on eating it this week for dinner. Our cabbage soup recipe is divine, yes, but it is also profoundly salty. My weight has shot up in the past two days, despite me going for a nearly 7-mile run, having a functioning digestive system and eating within my points. I think sodium and water retention are the culprits — but how can I be sure?

For starters, I need to make sure I’m drinking enough water to both 1) keep my tummy working and 2) flush sodium out of my system. But then, I still need a plan.

I think my plan for tonight will be to make tuna salad or tofu or something for dinner tonight and eat it instead of the cabbage soup, and see if it changes my water retention or if my weight goes down. Maybe a less-salty option will improve this retention situation. It’s not like I care if the gain is just water and if it lingers awhile, but I don’t want to be marching forward into a bad pattern or bad habit and leaving said pattern/habit unexamined. If sodium is going to take this significant of a toll (nearly 3.5 lbs!) on me, it’s probably a sign I should back off the sodium. Of course, this won’t be hard to do. I can simply eat what I’ve been eating all spring long, and when I make the cabbage soup, use less salt and less bullion. Maybe add some oregano or chives to season in an alternate way.

If switching to a lower-sodium dinner doesn’t do the trick, I’ll assume the weight was gained this weekend — as confusing as that would be. As I say to Chelsea every now and again: I really can’t lose sleep over things like this. If running between 18-25 miles a week and eating within my points won’t cause weight loss, what will?

I’m confident the problem will resolve itself; I just think it would be helpful to pinpoint the problem so that it doesn’t become a problem again.


Weekly Weigh-In #3

I’m sure most women who are on a weight-loss plan of any sort will relate: the time each month spent bloated and in discomfort due to PMS and its trappings are infuriating.

I weighed myself today: 181.2 (up from 178.6).

Mind you, I have made ZERO mistakes on Weight Watchers this past week, so delighted was I with that weird 4.7 lb loss.

There can truly only be one culprit: I know my period is just around the corner.

What does this mean? It means I must be bloating, retaining water — my weight fluctuates as much as 5 lbs when this time of the month hits, and I am someone who bloats early, and deflates late. This means that nearly two weeks of my month are sabotaged, weight-wise, and that when I try to do a weekly weigh-in I am met with horror and confusion.

I wonder, sometimes, if this particular struggle and its influence on the scale is what causes so many women to just give up on the process — for weeks, it feels like no matter HOW GOOD YOU WERE and how hard you worked, nothing changed. ┬áIn fact, things occasionally look like they’ve gotten worse (as is my current situation).

All I can do, in this situation, is remind myself that I have eaten a very low sodium diet lately, have lived completely and utterly within my points, have counted everything — even fruit and most of my veggies — and am working out. There’s nothing more I need to do.

When this wretched part of my month is over, what usually happens is I hop back on the scale and am DELIGHTED because the temporary weight does, indeed, go away. And so I’m looking forward to that.

But I probably have at least 1.5 weeks to wait, since I’m in the early stages of PMS.


I promise, guys, I haven’t let you — or myself — down with my eating choices this week.

We’ll just have to see what happens when this water weight is gone.

Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.