I recently deleted a post from this blog that was called “Don’t Fool Yourself When Stepping on the Scale.” The main point of that post was very good. I talked about how important it is to make sure you’re always weighing yourself right as you wake up, after you’ve undressed & went to the bathroom & before you’ve eaten or drank anything. I felt that was an important thing to talk about because not a lot of people realize that doing that is the only way to see your true weight. The problem was that I later went on to talk about how important it is to weigh yourself daily. Today, I’m writing to tell you I was, mostly, wrong about that.
When I first began losing weight a few years ago (& lost my first 40 pounds), the scale was an important learning tool for me. As someone who was never properly taught how to lose weight (or maintain a proper one), I taught myself what was good & bad for me by doing lots of research & by keeping track of every bit of information I could. I kept meticulous track of my calorie intake, nutrition, & weight. That was all very helpful because I was able to play “connect-the-dots” & see how doing or not doing certain things was reflected in my weight.
Several years later, I think I have a pretty good understanding of what it takes to lose weight. I’d dare say I’m pretty good at it once I get in the swing of things. Yet, I’ve still given up & gained weight back several times in the last few years. It’s become a vicious cycle. I eat healthy & exercise for a while, lose a bunch of weight, eventually get frustrated with the number on the scale, give up, gain some back, & start again.
Several weeks ago I was chatting with some Facebook friends in a weight loss group & asking them how often they weight themselves. Their answers, across the board, were nothing like mine. That’s when I realized I might have a problem. The girls all talked about how they had to limit themselves to only weighing weekly or monthly or else they’d get frustrated & quit. Getting frustrated & quitting is a concept I’ve become, intimately, familiar with. Maybe that’s because I’d also become intimately familiar with weighing myself two or three times a day.
When you’re obsessed with weighing yourself, your happiness becomes directly-related to how much you weigh. When my weight went down, I was on top of the world & wanted to keep eating healthy & exercising because I felt good & was seeing results. If my weight stayed the same or went up at all, I felt like my world was shattered & nothing I did made a difference. When you feel like nothing you do makes a difference, you stop trying to do the right thing. You stop choosing water over soda & salad over pizza because it doesn’t make a difference. This is the mental state that breeds failure.
Weighing myself daily had me trapped in the “nothing I do makes a difference” mental state more days than not. I can see that now that I’ve broke away from my scale addiction. This is the third week of me only weighing myself once a week. Each time I’ve weighed in, I’ve seen positive results because I’m doing the right thing all the days in-between. I’m feeling a lot better, emotionally, now that I’m not beating myself up every day. I don’t feel nearly as frustrated as I usually do.
It’s still really hard not to run to my bathroom & pull out my scale since I’d been doing it so frequently for the past several years. In fact, I’m even tempted to go weigh myself right now. But I’ve committed to ending the cycle. Reflecting upon the mental state & the yo-yo weight loss & weight gain it’s caused, I think it’s appropriate to say that weighing myself daily has been destroying me & it’s time to stop.
I think I finally figured out one of the things holding me back. What about you? Take some time to think about what might be holding you back from your goals. It could be something as innocent-looking as a bathroom scale.