Monday, July 11, 2011

Weighing in on the scale

Ever since I decided to take a break from the scale, I've felt like I've lost my anchor to this blog.  After all, what is weight loss without measuring how much has (not) been lost? 

Of course, I'm not just blogging about weight loss but about getting healthy and being away from the scale has helped me be healthier in other ways, namely I'm not obsessing about the number: what it might be, what is it, what I need to do to get it lower.  I'm not grappling with feelings of guilt after eating a cookie or putting sugar in my coffee.  I'm not disappointed in myself when the number isn't lower than I want it - but I'm also not proud enough of myself when the number goes down, because it's not as low as I want it.

So being away from the scale has been healthy for me in some ways, but I worry it will be detrimental in others.  Will my weight have jumped up when I weigh myself at the beginning of August?  Will I end up back where I started, oh so long ago?  Should I go back to weekly weigh-ins? 

I've read different things about weighing oneself, from once a week to daily to never.  Some literature says to go by the way you feel and how your clothes fit; others say a weekly weigh-in keeps you on track; and others still say a daily weigh-in gives you a clear idea of how your weight can fluctuate and helps you better understand your body.

Then, of course, there's the BMI, which requires a weight to be accurately calculated.  But I don't like using the BMI as a gauge for my proper weight because I lift weights and BMI doesn't consider if your weight is due to muscle or fat.  So then I don't need the scale?

I don't think I'll ever be able to give up the scale (even though, for years, I didn't weigh myself except for at my yearly physical).  For me, knowing my weight is part of me being healthy, even if it does wreak havoc with my emotions.  But I need something to celebrate and seeing my weight go down works.  I also need goals for myself but I need something I can quantify; saying, "I want to lose 2lb by next week" is easier for me than saying, "I want to fit into [insert piece of clothing here]."

What I do have to work on is better accepting the number on the scale and to not instantly tie my self-worth to it.  THAT is going to be a hard habit to break because it's something I've done most of my life. 

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