Day Ninety-five (T, 110405) — Breaking Free of the Scale; Cissus, Working Out, and Free Meals

I found an interesting article on SparkPeople this morning about freeing yourself from the scale.  The basic idea is that slavish devotion to one measurement of health, fitness, and results can actually undermine your progress.

How many times have you stepped on the scale, full of hopeful anticipation, only to be disappointed by the number staring back at you? Suddenly, that great feeling of accomplishment you had vanishes and you tell yourself that, again, you failed. No matter how hard you try, you can’t lose weight. Sound familiar?

For so many of us who are trying to lose or manage our weight, the scale is our main tool for measuring our progress;  unfortunately, we often allow it to measure our self-worth, too.

While the scale can be a good way to measure progress, it shouldn’t be your only indicator of health and change. In fact, using it as your only form of measurement can result in obsession, negative thinking and a possible decrease in your motivation level.

Read it all here: Break Free from the Scale!

Personally, I do my weigh ins once a week rather than once a month as this article suggests, but the emphasis on focusing your attention on things besides weighing in is a darn good habit to cultivate.


This makes my third day of taking Cissus with every meal, including my normal, daily slow carb meals.  I’m interested in finding out how this experiment works out this coming Saturday morning.


I did not do my scheduled Workout A this morning.  Too darn tired.  Even though I set my alarm late, I slept through it and was only awakened by my back up alarm.

I will hit the workout tomorrow morning,hopefully running to the gym and back.

If I do, that means tomorrow will be include a Free Meal dinner: planned; prepared for with 4HB Damage Control; and without snacking in and around the day.  I hope this second experiment for this week works well.

We’ll find out one way or the other come Saturday morning.


I am running in the DFW Mud Run this coming Sunday (4/10) at 9 AM. If anyone else out there is participating and wants to meet up, leave me a comment and we can find each other before or after the race.


Breakfast: double whey protein shake in water, kombucha, AGG

Lunch: Five Guys Bacon Burger with: no bun, no cheese, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, jalapeños, green peppers, pickles, mustard, and hot sauce.  Mmmmm.

Five Guys Bacon Burger

Five Guys Bacon Burger

BTW – if you can find them, I still prefer Mooyah to Five Guys, even though the two restaurants are similar (and both are close to their predecessor and role model, In and Out Burger).  Among other things, Mooyah offers a lettuce-wrapped burger (the Ice Burger) whereas if you ask Five Guys for a burger with no bun they just toss everything into the tin foil with nothing to help with holding it together.

Dinner: Sausage and Sauerkraut, refried beans and salsa, 1/2 a kombucha

Other food throughout the day:


5 responses to “Day Ninety-five (T, 110405) — Breaking Free of the Scale; Cissus, Working Out, and Free Meals

  1. Hey, John –

    Question for you – you are making two immense modifications to the SCD this week – one to add CQ to every meal, and another to use cheat meals throughout the week rather than consolidated on Saturday.

    How do you plan to tell which was effective when you weigh in on Saturday? In 4HB, Tim said that a free day every 7-10 days was required, less than 7 and you don’t get enough momentum, and more than 10 and your body gets used to the SCD and fights back. I had a week where I had ONE cheat meal on Wednesday night and it blew my progress for the whole week (normally free day is Saturday for me).

    As for CQ everyday, Tim did that while traveling in Asia and eating a lot of carbohydrates, but it seems to me he recommended against it due to side effects of prolonged use (so he said to use it just on free days).

    It is interesting to me that you identified your tendency to cheat occasionally, and rather than just do the SCD as written to see how that works, you are going off the beaten path in a pretty strong way.

    I am watching your experiment with great interest, and wish you the best. As we all know, it is all about experimenting to see what works for each of us.

    • Yeah, I know that changing more than one variable at a time is problematic. And yes, it will be tough to discriminate between what is effective and what is not. But in the end, I am searching for the right combination of tweaks rather than trying each tweak for a few weeks and then, months from now, seeing how combinations work out. Is this pure “scientific method”? Not by a long shot.

      For me, individual tweaks seem to have made small differences, some good and some bad. What I am looking for is a combined set of changes which will show positive results more consistently.

      I readily admit that all of this is attributable to impatience: I am tired of seeing only small changes and want to kick-start my progress.

      I understand that no magic bullet will suddenly make me lose 5-10 pounds each week but, if I keep trying, maybe I can hit on a combo which allows me to lose 2+ every week rather than fluctuate from +2 to -1 every seven days. If I could hit a steady -2 each weigh-in I’d be ecstatic.

      It’s also motivational: I know that if my progress remains this slow for too much longer, it will really sap my will to continue. I want to keep going. I want to make it happen. Thus I am really trying to tweak things and figure out a combination which works for me.


      Moving on from motives to method . . . why did I choose these three changes (protein for breakfast, Cissus, and Free Meals rather than Free Day)?

      First, I tried the protein powder experiment for one week then went back to eating a SCD breakfast. I saw a decent result during the protein approach week and wanted to see if I could do that again. Plus it’s easier and faster than cooking, allowing me a bit more sleep.

      Second, I know Tim used the Cissus during a high-carb period and that he worries about side effects. I am guessing that the “prolonged use” would only apply to periods of a month or more without a break. While it may be expensive to use CQ constantly, I have not seen anything which treats it as dangerous or counterproductive if used for, say, three weeks on and one week off. If you know of a reference here, please let me know; I don’t want to actively hurt my chances of doing well.

      Third, I have not seen the bit about Free Days and timing (7 day min. and 10 day max.). Is that in the book? I guessed I missed it.

      I chose this change because I’d seen other people discussing it and thought it worth a try. I know that some semi-Paleo types handle their planned Free excursions through meals on workout days rather than by planned days, so that influenced my choice as well.

      Finally, this one is also a motivational and strategic move. By spacing things out and focusing on individual meals, I think that I am more likely to (a) feel less burdened by the restrictions of the program and (b) use all the Damage Control elements precisely and effectively.

      I’ve found that I have a hard time psychologically controlling Free Days. I snack too darn much and fail to use the Damage Control techniques as well as I should. Plus, as far as I can tell, the Damage Control stuff is built around meals; snacking effectively blocks many of the advantages they are meant to create. Switching to meals will help me avoid my snacking bugaboo.


      Maybe this isn’t wise and I should do one small change every week (for the rest of my life), per the scientific method. Knowing myself, that isn’t going to turn out well.

      Also, maybe you are right and I should forget everything but ultra-strict adherence to the basic rules. While this is an option, it’s one which is tough for me considering that it is exactly that strictness which is my trouble at the moment.

      Simple is probably better and I’d likely be wise to follow your advice. I may come back to that in the future. For now, I plan with wild abandon (;-)) to continue the experimentation.

      Thanks for the challenge and chance to respond, Sue. =)

      And please ask more questions if this doesn’t answer your questions or brings up new ones. It is through this sort of interaction that I am forced to really think things through, giving fuller form to the thoughts which have been burbling in my head as I continue trying to change my life.

      New John
      We will either find a way, or make one. – Hannibal

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