The "Whoosh" Effect and My 25 lb. Weight Loss
February Weight Loss Weigh In
I hit a milestone this month. The kind of milestone that brings up a lot of junk. The kind of milestone that makes you want to laugh, cry, celebrate and maybe do a little booty dance. I’ve officially lost over 25lbs this month. It’s like I’ve aged in reverse - or at least that’s how it’s felt.
I feel better than I have in years. I have more energy, more flexibility, and generally more excited about life. In the same breath I’m also scared, more vulnerable and I’m really afraid I’m going to screw it all up.
Twenty-five pounds for me has always been a magical number - the kind of number that feels significant. I’m actually pretty good at losing 25. I’m also really good at gaining it all back, plus some. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve gained (more than 25), to go on to lose it all over again.
This time has to be different. It has to stick. I’m finally tired enough of giving up, there is no going back.
My Emotional Whirlwind
Twenty-five pounds also brings me back to a weight I was more than 2 years ago. This was before a major traumatic event that put me in a whirlwind of health concerns and so much incredible pain. To be back to “pre-accident” weight means I have to process a lot of emotions about the last two years.
For so long I had mourned that former self - only to be met with this opportunity. Am I back? Or am I better?
I spent a lot of days crying this month. I spent a lot of days confused. I’ve never been more angry, sad, upset or moody in my life. And while I think a lot of that had to do with processing all of this, I think there was also a lot happening with my body.
Fat Cells Suck
Our fat cells are always trying to store stuff. Fats? Of course. Vitamins? Heck yeah. Hormones? You bet. Random pollutants and toxins? Sure. Adipose tissue will soak all that up like an oily little sponge and keep it safe until you need it again. That’s the whole point of body fat—to store energy for you. When you lose weight, your fat cells start shrinking, releasing lipids and other fats into your bloodstream. These get broken down and eventually the smaller molecules exit via your urine or breath.
But adipose cells release all the other molecules they've hoarded, too. That includes key hormones like estrogen, along with fat-soluble vitamins and any organic pollutants that find their way into your bloodstream as you gained weight.
When you start breaking down those molecules, the excess toxins and hormones enter your bloodstream. And you can imagine the way your body reacts. Mine freaked out dude and wreaked havoc on my emotions, my thoughts and even my relationships. (Thanking God my husband still wants to be married to me after this month.)
About half way through this month I started to have major concerns. I felt like I was doing it all and the scale was not reflecting my hard work. I reached out to a friend (who also happens to be a food/weight loss influencer). Brittany, of Instant Loss, has lost 125lbs. When I felt stuck, she was the first person I thought of, because who better to ask then someone who had already walked the walk.
What greeted me on the other side of this conversation was a new term and new found hope.
Apparently weight loss, diet and training experts everywhere swear by the whoosh, and yet I had never heard of it. Essentially those fat molecules we were talking about earlier as they are emptied to be used as energy they shrink. But the molecule itself is thought not to disappear right away. It waits - trying to save it for later, to fill it back up and save if for next time you need that energy.
And while it waits that molecule fills with water. Your fat and body can feel a little squishy and jiggly. Eventually the body stops waiting and all at once it “whooshes” - giving the scale a sudden and significant down tick. Your body tightens and the water along with bloat disappears.
While this sounds like the least possible scientific explanation - it’s a common one among both men and women in their weight loss journey. Throughout the month I saw dramatic gains and losses. And those whooshes - yeah, you can’t really force it, you just have to keep waiting.
The key for me has been consistency. Keep making good choices. Keep focusing on foods grown in the earth (not on a box on a shelf). Keep living life and anticipate challenges. Y’all if I can lose over 7lbs and still have baby shower cookies, brown sugar glazed bacon and a few too many cupcakes at a conference party you can do it too!
It does get easier. It does start to feel more routine. It does give me hope that I can keep going. And look at that hunky husband of mine!!
Here are our numbers at the end of February:
-7.2lbs for February (-25.3lbs Total Since 1/1/19)
-5” for February (-31.75” Total Since 1/1/19)
Completed 53/100 Day Workout Challenge
-6lbs for February (-20.1lbs Total Since 1/1/19)
-4” for February (-19.25” Total Since 1/1/19)