Fool me once, shame on you…

You know the saying: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me?” Yeah. That’s the relationship I have with my scale. And it’s me who should be ashamed.

Let me ‘splain.

I have written over and over and over about how I’m ditching the scale. Yet somehow, in a moment of weakness I get on it at an unscheduled time, get a great surprise, and magically forget that the scale really screws with my head. All I see are numbers falling and my path to hitting 100 pounds lost getting closer. I start to love it again. So I get on it unscheduled again. BAM.

The damn scale screws with my head way too much. It controls my emotions and makes me so crazy.

Here’s the thing: I’m a person on a long journey to losing WELL over 200 pounds. Have I made strides so far? Heck yes. No one can take that away from me. I also see the path ahead is still long and winding. So what does someone want to do who wants to reach the finish line faster? They try to run. Run hard. Move fast. BAM.

At first, running fast makes you feel like you’re making progress. You’re reaching milestones quicker. But what about when you run out of steam? Or you trip over your feet? Or you get muscle spasms?

Getting on the scale when it’s not my time is my version of running fast, trying to get ahead. Even with the foresight that I’ll trip over my feet (see something on the scale I don’t want to see), I still do it. And that, my friends, is where my problem is.

I KNOW that my food intake is correct. I KNOW that my workouts are correct. I KNOW that this week I’m not getting much sleep and that last weekend my body was retaining a lot of water. These are items I can control. These are the things I need to continuously monitor. Notice the scale is nowhere to be seen in this equation.

So I get on the scale Monday when I clearly weighed last week (I was trying to go 2 weeks between weigh ins) and saw a 1.8 pound gain from last week. This is what my head was thinking:

Sunday night: Wow, I really feel awesome. Are my pajamas getting looser even? I can’t believe I got back into my routine so quickly. I bet I lost even MORE weight this week.

Monday morning: I feel like hot shit (in a good way), I’m going to get on that scale and show it who is boss! <this despite the fact I can visibly SEE the water retention in my legs from my pitting edema>

5 minutes later: @%^*@%@. I’m never going to lose this weight. I am so tired I can’t exercise more. I am already eating all the right foods. I am a failure. I’m so frustrated. SO FRUSTRATED.

All day Monday: Felt like the big blob mayor of loserville

Tuesday morning: Surely yesterday couldn’t have been right. I’m trying again. Getting on that stupid scale.

5 minutes later: Woohoo! I’m hot shit. I lost that 1.8 from yesterday PLUS more. Woohoo, I’m rocking this!

When I saw the 1.8 pound gain on Monday, I tweeted Trainer Rob and told him how frustrated I was.

When I saw the big loss on Tuesday, I tweeted Trainer Rob and told him how relieved I was.

Trainer Rob: Might be time to put that scale away for a month at a time. I don’t like how it plays with your emotions.

So of course I start thinking about it. But what if I go an entire month not weighing and I don’t lose anything! Or I gain! I wouldn’t have known throughout the whole month, and then it would be wasted.

Trainer Rob: Your progress should not be measured by the scale. If you are doing everything right, the scale will move downward.

I still came back at him with some “but’s” and “what ifs” and that it didn’t really affect me that much, when this came through:

Trainer Rob: Before you weighed yesterday…were you “frustrated?”

Damn. Checkmate. No, I was hot shit.

So, I can’t believe I’m going to do this, but I’m committing to no scale again until October 11th.

Anyone is free to join me, although this isn’t a group challenge or anything. I just want to give my mind a break and not worry about the numbers, and instead focus on just making the right choices every day.

Wish me luck.

  • Lisa Eirene

    Hence the reason I ONLY weigh myself once a month. The scale has the ability to UTTERLY destroy any self-confidence and happiness I might have. Seen a 1, 2, 5, 10 pound gain? Oh my god I am destroyed for the rest of the day. It’s not a healthy relationship. So we only see each other once a month to check in. :)

  • Cathy Cox

    for something I’m not yet ready to do at all…tried with the challenge @sweating_it_off issued and managed to stay off it twice in 30 days. that’s OFF of it twice in 30 days, not only giving in twice ;)
    You rock, Ms Hot Shit :)

  • Irishbookworm21

    Evil, evil scales. This is the reason I don’t have one in my house. I weigh in with my doctor to ensure the temptation is not there.

    But, it does amaze me how something so seemingly innocuous can have such a large impact on the way we see ourselves and judge our worth and progress.

    I am not so sure I can wait until October 11, but I think I will take 1/2 your challenge and wait an extra week before my next weigh in.

    Good luck to you and thank you as always for the inspiration!

  • Blubeari

    I know how you feel.. I am so bad about this. I haven’t yet overcome my scale obsession. :-(

  • KCLAnderson (Karen)

    I haven’t weighed in over a year…I’m with you!!!

  • Emily

    I never owned a scale, up until 3 months ago. Of course this is how my weight only kept getting worse.

    However, when I brought the scale home, I was on it EVERY DAMN DAY. It pissed me off. I would get on, no matter what time of day it was, and weigh myself.

    Finally, I hide it in the closet of my bathroom so I didn’t see if every day. Kind of like out of sight, out of mind. Now I still pull it out on days other than my weigh in days, but I am trying to make sure I at least do it in the morning!

  • maria patrick

    I can’t weigh more than once a week. I’d like to, usually, but I don’t do it because it really unhenges me and throws my whole day off if I don’t like what I see. The good thing is that a gain isn’t usually a true gain. The body goes through so many changes every hour and day that it’s better to take a macro, not micro, view of the scale.

    I think this is a good thing!

  • Maia

    I’m having a difficult enough time to just keep my weigh ins to once a week!! What’s interesting is that I was TOTALLY going to FB you today to ask your advice to staying off the scale until your scheduled weigh in. Great minds think alike Em… Great minds! :)

  • Jacki

    Emmie, I threw my scale away and managed to live without it for about 8 years. It’s the only way I could break the addiction. I bought a new one because my dog was overweight (ha!) and I needed a way to track HIS diet progress. However, as he now swims for fitness at the doggie pool in the same strip mall as our vet office, he gets weighed in there. My own scale needs to go back in the trash. Just throw it away, girl! Maybe Trainer Rob can provide a scale for you for a once-a-month weigh in. I totally understand how that thing plays with your head.

  • Danielle

    I’ve been on a very limited weighing routine since I started for 2 reasons:
    1) I get VERY frustrated if I don’t see a number I like. Even if I know I’m bloated/just drank a gallon of water/wearing 5 lbs shoes, etc. It kills any motivation I have.
    2) I don’t own a scale. I did have Wii Fit, which I used for a while, but I sold it to pay for a gym membership. Soooo, no scale at home and I’m scared of weighing in at the gym. haha.

    I think it’s a great plan to go scale-less for a while. That way, the only measure of your progress you have is how you look and feel. If you’re looking and feeling great, you know you’re on the right path. Scales lie – your body won’t. ;)

  • kathleen wright

    Oh, sistah, can I relate.

  • D…

    Good grief this is exactly what i do, to a tee. sounds like you have a very wise trainer. the scale seems to have this powerful hold over me too and really all it does is give me a giant mind f*%&!!! when I’m feeling good, damn i’m feeling good and that is always when I am tempted to do an extra weigh in. That’s why I try to stick to the once a month, but it’s so hard when the scales sit there on the bathroom floor, tempting and taunting me each time our eyes meet :-) Good luck resisting the urge to jump on before the 11th!

  • Dangerouslilly

    I’ve been doing the scale way too much, too, for similar reasons and more. I need to know it’s working because unlike you I’m NOT yet sure that I have the right formula for my body. And I’m weighing every day and yeah…getting frustrated. I asked my husband to hide it and then demanded it back two days later. And the scale def affects my emotions and mental state.

  • Alice

    Way to go! I’m so addicted to my scale. I feel like if I don’t weigh every day then I’m going to gain all this weight back and not be aware of it — which is really stupid when I think about it. If I were gaining weight, my clothes wouldn’t fit right, which is often a better indicator. My weight can fluctuate a pound or two or even three within a few days time, and it can be for a lot of reasons. I’m like you. If I step on the scale & see a number I don’t like, I feel terrible all day.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Tisi

    It does seem to really affect your mood, so I think you should try and stick to the Oct. 11th weight in. You should probably write about it if you’re tempted to peek, that way your bloggy buddies can talk you out of it!

    I, actually NEED to weigh in once a week though. See, I start feeling good and using that as an excuse NOT to do the work I should be doing. After all, I’m feeling good so I must be losing, right? WRONG! I need that scale to keep me honest!

  • Stephnms

    Dang it! I wish I could join you, but I’m in a contest over at Sparkpeople, and I HAVE to weigh myself every week. I’d love to participate after the contest though because I for one know that the scale is horrible on my mood swings.

  • Rhonda

    Good luck to you, Emmie! ~Ditch that scale and keep on keepin’ on! You’re doing so well, you don’t need that scale or the frustration it brings. :)

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  • Birgittadegruijter

    Dear Skinny,

    I was so touched by your post about your cruise. Touched, inspired, humbled, SOOO happy for you. Remember, you have had maybe 3 completely bliss days in your life… and the latest one was because you were fit enough to get onto a jetski, fit into the lifevest, thouroghly enjoy it and NOT be sore afterwards. Please remember the bigger picture. And print that blog and wrap your scale in it!

  • iBirgitta

    Ps, I don’t know what went wrong, but that was supposed to be iBirgitta

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  • Anonymous

    Good for you! Base your progress on how you feel and how your clothes fit :)


  • Linda

    Hi Emily ,
    I can soooo relate to you! The scale defines me big time. Last week, my weight stayed the same, eventhough I did everything I could to make healthy choices. It might as well have been a gain. The first thing that went thru my head I am never going to lose this weight at this rate! A whole week wasted! OMG, how much more do I need to cut back?!?!?! I am only eating 1500 calories a day now!! On and on and on my brain went. I felt like someone punched me in the gut. I even took an off day that weekend to eat off program to make myself feel better, yeah right!!! I love your blog and linked you to my blog as one that I follow. I don’t know if you remember be Emily, but we used to speak on Lowcarbfriends :)