Funny thing, a brain. You may have all the information you need, informed by research and experience, a well-trained intellect. You may rely on your own rationality in any situation: childbirth, emergencies, crises, even under fire.
And then you step on the scale. And for some reason today it’s three pounds more than yesterday, when you know that you were so good yesterday. And the day before.
That good old rational, informed, reliable brain freezes. Panic sets in. You are fat. And doomed. Forever. It’s never going to happen. You’re going to explode some day, the room will fill and you will die, drowning in your own fallow.
Or maybe it’s just me. I’m having a bad scale day. I hate bad scale days.
Some days I wake up, and can just feel it in my hips and thighs… time to get on the scale! Yep, I knew it, down 3 pounds. I stroke my slender-er-ness and purr. I grab my skinny jeans. It’s going to be a good day. And it is a good day. I am invincible all day long. I adore my difficult commute. I am amused by work’s pettiness and conflict, managing it all with grace and ease. And I eat very well. Can face down sweets, turn up my nose at starches. Exercise like a jungle cat. These things are nothing to a skinnier person. Because success breeds success. There’s nothing like losing weight to keep me strong.
There’s nothing like a bad scale day to make the effort seem like an incredible waste of time.
And it doesn’t matter that we know better. I know I worked out very hard the other day, am sore all over, and that my body is retaining water while my muscles mend up. I know I ate way too much salty stuff, am ramping up toward my period, all taken together can bring me a 5-6 pound water weight gain in just two or three days. I know this. And there’s plenty I don’t know. Maybe I haven’t had enough fiber in my diet. I haven’t had enough water. My allergies are acting up. Maybe the moon, in this phase, makes gravity work harder. Plenty I don’t know.
I do know that I didn’t gain three pounds of fat overnight. No way.
But knowing it rationally doesn’t seem to touch my irrational reaction to the scale. The fear. It’s crazy. It’s big and loud. And though I’m working hard here to write it out of my system (and I am starting to feel better, because writing is magic that way), I know this feeling will haunt me all day and into the weekend. It’s stupid, but it will. It’s irrational. And it’s real.
The thing is, I’ve slipped. I intended to put the scales away, weigh in just once a week, to avoid the mood spelunking that is inevitable for people who weigh themselves every single day. It’s a bad practice. My rational self knows that. It’s my inner reptile who insists on slithering onto the scale every single day.
So no more scale for me for a week. It won’t be easy, especially after this morning, but I’m committed. Anybody want to join me on a scale break? Anybody have any better ideas?
Totally unrelated topic and shameless promotion: The hubby’s new book is out. It’s good. It really is. And yes, that would be my daughter’s painting on the cover. And I do feel lucky to have such a family. No matter what the scale says.