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.