Monday, January 31, 2011

The Scale (Dun Dun Duhhhhhhhh)

Caution: What you are about to read are my musings on THE SCALE...and if you've been with me for a while, you probably know that I am not a fan. I also need to preface this by saying that while I do not weigh myself very often, my scale does sit on my bathroom floor and beckons me on a daily basis.

I wonder if I could get through life without ever weighing myself again. I mean, as long as I'm eating right, say, 90% of the time (correct portion sizes and all that jazz), and working out, I'd know that I was doing everything within my power to be as healthy as I could be. So why weigh? It messes with my psyche more often than not. It's just a number. But it KILLS me. It makes or breaks my day. It is not the be-all and end-all barometer of my health at this point. Yes, back when I was 256 pounds, it was saying something. But now? It just frustrates me more than anything else, and all too often, makes me doubt myself.

If my clothes fit, good. If they are getting tight, cut back. If they get loose (hey now!), buy smaller clothes. Here's the thing. At the beginning of my diet, I realized that even if I lost 100 pounds, I would still be overweight. But you know what? I've lost over 100 pounds. And while the scale, BMI and that jerk doctor would say I'm overweight, I know I'm not. I'm pretty fit (could always be more fit), I like the way I look in clothes most of the time, and I'm living at a manageable weight.

I have friends who eat right most of the time and exercise a ton. And yet, for them, the scale barely moves. What else could they do? There is not a whole lot to cut back on, food-wise, or increase, exercise-wise, without negatively impacting the quality of their lives. And while the scale may say that they are overweight, their physical size is shrinking and they are, indeed, fitting into smaller clothes. Yet somehow, that dang number on the scale seems to negate the true progress that they are making.

Is it really important to know the exact number that you weigh? If you keep an accurate food journal, sticking to the number of daily calories that should ensure a weight loss, and exercise on a regular basis, do you HAVE to step on the scale at the end of a week? If you have done your part, do you rely on the scale to do its part? We all know how temperamental that dang thing can be.

So I don't know why the scale is really necessary - for any of us. What about you - could you live without ever stepping on the scale again?

31 comments:

  1. No I don't think I could live without ever stepping on the scale again.

    But it's not very important to me right now. Like you I feel good in my body at this moment even though I'm still a bit overweighted. Like you I eat right most of the times and workout a lot and feel healthy. I'm also like one of your friends: if I do everything according to the book, the scale hardly moves which is frustrating.

    I will step on the scale once a week but it doesn't effect my feelings of that day as long as I know I did the best I could.

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  2. for me HECK YES.
    ONCE A YEAR NEEDED OR NOT.

    that said, the longer I read blogs the more im starting to think that my ability to trash the scale and utilize a pair of jeans as my check-in point really could be the fact Im just not a numbers woman.

    for some people the scale is a fascinating thing and merely a tool in their arsenal.

    for me it would become an albatross.

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  3. Nope I could not live without ever stepping on the scale again. To me its a reality check and it keeps my eating in check.
    My mantra is you are more than just that scale number its not who you are it doesn't define "me" the person just my phyiscal weight for that one particular day at the particular time.

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  4. The scale is a horrible tool for me! I have given it way too much power in the past and allowed it to dictate my day way too often. Last April, I ditched it. And although I recently revisited it to join WW and found I had gained 16 pounds since I last was on it, I didn't care! I needed that time away from the scale to work on myself and my issues with food. It was my "healing weight gain" and I was so glad I did it! Now, I have to visit the scale for weekly weigh-ins, but that is IT! I won't get on at home (fifty million times a day) like I used to. I trust myself more to do the right thing and make healthy choices. I don't need the scale to validate it :)

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  5. I have not been weighing at all. Since I lost 60# and then put it back on, seeing the number is way too depressing. But I am on plan and my clothes tell the story. I really don't know when I'll start weighing again. I just don't need that downer.

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  6. Well I think the scale is the devil but that's because I'm the one who made it that way. I'm the one who made poor food choices. I'm the one who has been lazy. I've been the one not in control of myself. I know I won't need the scale when I hit my appropriate goal weight but now it's just a reminder to make better choices.

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  7. I think for you Shelley, you don't need to weigh yourself. You've done your job, and you are keeping it off and living a healthy lifestyle!

    I was curious when Dr. Oz for his new year diet one of his rules was to weigh in every day. I think once a week if you are losing weight is OK. If you are maintaining then 1x a month is good!

    I don't think I could go forever without stepping on.

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  8. Great post. I too eat in my calorie range and work out 6 days a week, but according to the scale I'm still over weight after a 70lb weigth loss. I think I'll battle the scale forever? It won't move. I think if I wasn't marathon training right now I might have better luck with the scale but I want to run, and so according to the charts I am "overweight" when I know I am living healthier than most of my "ideal" weight friends that don't work out.

    PS. I weigh every morning every night. Why do I continue to fight the scale?

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  9. I think I will always weigh daily until I reach my goal like you. Then I will go by my clothes and maybe measure once in a while.

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  10. If I've learned nothing else from reading all the weight loss blogs, it's that different things work for different people. As a weight loss maintainer of 10+ years, I weigh myself daily, and try to detach myself emotionally from the number on the scale. For me, it's information, to be interpreted in the same manner as I might interpret my heart rate with my HRM during a workout (106 bpm? oh, I better pick up the pace a bit) or a blood pressure reading ( 120/80 or below = good). I like to rely on numbers- they give me accurate feedback, and I do like that. But that's just me :)

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  11. If that thing was sitting on my floor I know I could not go forever without stepping on it. It has a siren's call.

    You've done great. You look great. You're doing amazing things.

    I happen to know one of your friends (very well!) who has been watching the calories and exercising like crazy but the scale doesn't move but the clothes are fitting better. Two sizes down in two months isn't too bad. So the scale doesn't tell the whole picture. I'm about ready to just start weighing once a month. Less frustration you know?

    I'm starting to ramble. Think it may be the Dayquil. LOL

    Oh, another note, my mom has lost 35 pounds but her clothing size has barely changed. I've lost hardly anything and went down 2 sizes. Weird.

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  12. I hate how much the number on the scale means to me, especially when I know I'm doing good things. I'm terrified to now know it because my past says that if I let it go completely, I will gain weight and be miserable. But to not weigh again? Really, deep down, that's exactly what I want.

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  13. Ah, the scale. Hmmm. Right now, its a confirmation to me (physical evidence) of what I know in my heart. My clothes are tighter darn it! Also just trying to make peace with that higher maintenance weight that I have chosen to stick to. Its reassuring to see that number. If that makes sense.

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  14. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
    What a wonderful surprise I've got in the mail today, didn't expect that you would send me one too!

    My little blue car will wear this one with pride!

    You know what R. said before I read to him what you wrote on the back: why don't you set up a blogger meeting where you can all run together :lol: Your country or mine?

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  15. I could not live without it. I have gotten way better about my obsession with it and manage to do it just a few times a week now.

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  16. I'm in the situation where I'm maintaining, and over the past, say, 8 mos, have gained 7 lb. Now... my clothes fit the same! Now I'm scared that I'm gaining my weight back altho I am eating well and exercising. I wish I could ignore it and know I'm doing well, but I think the scale is keeping me from totally gaining the weight back, and also it reinforces my new good habits.

    *sigh* I hate it too.

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  17. I dream of the time where I'm at a healthy weight and I won't need to weigh. No where near there yet.

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  18. Thanks Shelley, I really needed this today. I've increased my running alot since the start of the new year and I'm not seeing the scale go down although my clothes are fitting better and I feel better. It never hurts to remind ourselves that the scale is not the only important indicator of health!

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  19. GREAT POST! The scale is the bane of my existence - like a fortune teller on a daily basis if I hop on. Is it a "good" day or a "bad" day? The scale is the perfect trigger for my eating disordered thinking, and has ruined many a perfectly nice day with it's venon. I just can't NOT have expectations when I know I've done everything right eating and moving wise, and then it doesn't validate me.

    I could go on and on. Your musings are great. Wonderful to hear your confidence in yourself, your body, and your fitness. That's worth it's weight in gold!

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  20. I think for me, as a formerly obese person, I will always check the scale periodically because I know that I can always fool myself into not thinking I might be snacking too much or avoiding a certain pair of pants so I don't have to acknowledge that they are tight.

    I find that sometimes the number bothers me and sometimes it doesn't, and it really is totally dependent upon what my mental attitude is towards myself at that time.

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  21. It's always going to be a love/hate relationship with me and the scale. I have ditched it at home though because I have found it makes me crazy! I am weighing once a week at WW for now. WHEN I get to goal I'm not sure what I will do. I'll figure it out when I get there I guess! Thanks for this. You are doing great Shelley weather the number says so or not ;-)

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  22. It totally effects my mood, either way and it is crazy!!!

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  23. I like to step on the scale once & awhile to remind myself of what hard work & yummy healthy food does. Also helps when my mind is being a bitch & trying to convince me I'm gaining or somethig. :) Does weight matter though? Not really, but everyone cares about it! Me included!

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  24. Sometimes I think there are far too many types/brands of toothpaste to choose from at the supermarket, but after reading all the posts, I recognize how we are all quite varied.

    I could not stay on my healthy path as well if I never stepped on the scale again. I do believe not weighing contributed to my weight gain. I ignored it. Scale, what scale? Fat, what fat, y'know?

    So I now weigh one x per day & track it. The 'new me' is keeping a fairly close watch, but of course I do need to deal with my brain somewhat, occasionally.

    I suspect when I reach goal/healthy weight/normal! I could possibly (?!) weigh myself less often and perhaps rely on clothing fit? Not sure.. I'll see what works when I get there. I'm sloowww.. =)
    Chrissy

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  25. Hi Shelley, wow...tough one. I don't think, while I'm in the midst of this weight loss journey that I could NOT get on the scale. How will I feel when I hit goal weigh? Hmm...I'll probably weigh myself. I know it's only a number, but hopefully it'll make me aware if I gain and can nip it in the bud. Time will tell on that though. Hope your ankle is still doing better. Take care.

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  26. nope couldn't live without it. it shows me my stupid mistakes like drinking and burgers :) lol

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  27. I could live withour it. It does matter more how I feel and look then what a number says. That being said I do usse it as form a form of self honesty when I need a dose of that too....lol.

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  28. Once I make it to my ideal weight and height and fitness level, and then, never eat anything "bad" and always watching my intake, keeping physical fit, having perfect form, I might not need to step on the scale. But I'm not there yet.

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  29. I wish I could live without it...but reality is, I still depend on it too much for confidence and self-reliance. (Neither of which are what it *should* be used for, I know!)

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  30. The scale doesn't scare me anymore. For over a year I've been tracking my weight almost everyday (on my Wii) and can see patterns and fluctuations that used to send me to the cookie jar in the past. Now I just keep doing the right things and the scale eventually catches up.

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  31. Just so you know, my husband (6'1", 220 lbs) is built like a greek statue, but he gets told that he is at the TOP of his weight limit by the army. I mean, the man wears size 34 pants and is made of meat, but if the army didn't tape measure him instead of just using the height/weight scale, he'd be just this side of "fat". The government can't run anything else, don't let them run your health, either. They just want you too skinny so they can beat you into paying mor taxes. That's my conspiracy theory.

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