I have a little problem with scale-addiction. It’s something I’m working on right now, but I haven’t quite mastered it. Shoot, I haven’t really tried.
I had 191 calories-worth of vodka last night with a buddy of mine. (Yeah, yeah, the wrong sort of calories to have at the end of the day, but I never claimed perfection, did I?) We talked about The Skinny Daily Post, and she asked me how often I weigh myself.
Right away, with barely a hesitation, I lied. I told her I weigh myself “Oh.. every other day or so.” Actually I weigh myself each morning, first thing, after potty, before drinking or eating, buck naked, without my glasses (at least a few extra ounces there.), after cutting my fingernails. Every day.
This friend of mine weighs herself ***once a year***, during her annual checkup at the Dr.’s office. Of course, she’s not fat. Has never been fat. I’m fascinated by how not-fat people behave. I can’t imagine living in a house without a working scale.
Now, in early stages of weight loss/obesity management, I think a scale and regular weigh-ins are extremely important tools for collecting data and understanding how your body, especially if you’re a woman, can react to different foods, too much salt, ovulation, your period, etc. But after a month or two of this, especially if you have a lot of weight to lose, you just aren’t really getting much information from daily weigh-ins.
After a while what the scale reads first thing in the morning can determine your mood for the day. A little number, off the wrong way by a couple of pounds, can make your dogs cower, your husband disappear into his office, your kids make a face at you. Your weight WILL fluctuate up and down the scale by several pounds no matter what you do or how good you are. Our bodies are made to fluctuate, to retain and release fat and fluid, to build and use muscle in more ways than we fully understand. Period.
So, my buddy has inspired me toward a new goal. Today I picked up my scale and put it in my closet. I’m going to wean myself to weighing in once a week for now. Then once a month. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to once a year. That doesn’t seem likely for someone who struggles with obesity, but let’s call that a long-term goal.
I know that a far better measure for maintenance or weight loss is my good old blue jeans. When I was losing weight, I bought the pair I wanted to get into, then I went to Goodwill and bought cheap used pairs in the several sizes between where I was and where I wanted to be. I kept trying them on while I was losing weight, and returning the too-big pairs to Goodwill as I moved down the rack.
Once you’ve lost the weight you want to lose, buy jeans that fit the way you want them to fit, and then those become your “scale.” If they’re too tight, it’s time to cut back calories and exercise more. Simple.
Incidentally, my jeans are the same ones I wore in college, but the scale reads that I’m 15 lbs. heavier than the last time I wore them. And that’s because I’m in far better physical condition now. Muscle adds a lot to what the scale reads. And there’s another reason not to be too addicted to numbers.
My diet counselors pleaded with us to dump our too-big clothes, opt for non-elastic waistbands, kill the tunics. Wear clothes that fit, and rid your closet of “fat pants.” They also asked us not to weigh ourselves too often. I think that was terribly good advice, and it’s high time I followed it. Want to join me?
Enough about that. the weekend is upon us. Take a look at your schedule, and think about how you will eat over the weekend. Perhaps gather groceries tonight that are fresh and healthy and will give you an option over the types of foods that tend to do you in during weekend play. And do try to get in some weekend play!