Two week ago today was the first day in years that I did not weigh myself. When I say years, I am not exaggerating. Consistently for the past five years, I have weighed myself every morning and before that the time spans were not as long, but it was an on going habit. I remember being 15, and at that time I used to weigh myself before going to bed, when I realized that my later than usual run that night was probably the reason for the lower number, and so the seed was planned that activity should be able to outweigh food intake.
I remember being 18 and weighing myself at the gym after an intense workout realizing that the lower number was probably due to all the water I had lost through sweating. That became the reason to keep up such intense workouts.
I remember a couple of months ago after a night of harder drinking and knowing that that lower number was because I was dehydrated. I sure didn’t like how I felt that morning, but that made the situation a little better.
All of these times, I knew the reason for the unexpected lower number and instead of really thinking about the facts, I let the relieved and satisfied feelings in my head take the wheel and start down an unforgiving road. Checking your weight for healthy loss or maintenance is healthy practice, but when you rely too heavily on that number for how you value yourself, this where you will always lose. If the number is always going down and that makes you feel good, what will you feel when it stays the same or goes up?
Maybe others are able to weigh themselves and understand the effects of life that are going into that number. Water, food, clothes, and hormones can all effect the number so it’s actually a bad idea to weight yourself everyday! And I’m not just saying that because I’ve let the scale rule my emotions! I think it’s just as helpful to weigh yourself weekly when trying to lose weight.
Weight and BMI are not always excellent markers of health, but they are easy to measure and calculate, so that is why they are still standards. If losing weight is your goal, I applaud you! But it may also be a good idea to have a blood panel done to check blood lipid level and assess your health that way. Those numbers are a better indicator of health and a better motivator. And with weight loss, slow and steady wins the race so don’t be discouraged!
I’ve read articles and other blog posts about giving up the scale and how elated those other people felt once they had taken the poisonous routine out of their life, but my experience has been a little different. The first few days were like I never used to do it at all. I didn’t miss it, but I didn’t feel this immense relief either. After the initial awe wore off I did grow a little uneasy about how not knowing that number at all. Even though it had only been a couple of days and true weight does not change so rapidly in a couple of days, I was uncomfortable because I felt I had no idea what that number could possibly be.
Then a little more time passed. Still no great relief, but a sort of comfort settled over me. I eat pretty well and I exercise 4-6 days a week, I have nothing to worry about because all in all, weighing myself EVERY SINGLE MORNING was doing much more harm than good and I’m glad its out of my life. It sounds silly, but I’m saving time in the morning without the interruption.
Making good decisions is the best you can do, so I’m going to stop beating myself up for the things I cannot control and focus on what I can! I’ve read that a good way to stop negative self talk is to keep baby pictures of yourself around and think of your self as a small child. You surely wouldn’t talk to that baby the way we sometimes talk to ourselves.
I leave you with the picture that is the background on my phone. No matter where I am in the day, I promise that phone is with me, so I always have this: