My On Scale Victory

Thursday December 19th 2013, 11:01 am
Filed under: Main

This may sound silly and even a little trivial, but when I look back on 2013, the victory that I feel best about has to do with how I weigh in at the WeightWatchers meeting I attend. Of course there were other big victories (for example, getting back to my goal weight!) in a year filled with challenges. But this little one feels good to me.
So let me explain: when I began with WeightWatchers many years ago, I soon realized that when it was time to get weighed, my weight would be lower if:

- I wore smaller, lighter clothes
- did it first thing in the morning
- my stomach was empty
- I had just gone for a long run
- I skipped drinking coffee or water
- I had eaten lightly the night before
- and on and on and on …

Over the years, it became a ritual that I just couldn’t shake. In fact, on the rare occasions I had to get weighed under any other circumstances (sometimes we used to have to do this at WeightWatchers staff meetings in the afternoon or evening), I would freak out and tell the person not to tell me the number.

It got to the point where even when I lived in Wisconsin in the dead of winter I would get up in the wee hours on a Saturday morning, go for a long run, dress in super light clothes (no undershirt!) and, without having had a drop of liquid in my body, rush off to get weighed right away.

Many jokes have been made about this sort of weighing-in strategy, and I make them myself when I’m working the scales at a meeting (“Have you removed your contact lenses?”). But here’s my little secret… with me it WASN’T a joke.

It became a compulsive obsession.

And this particular obsession was unhealthy for a variety of reasons, not least of which is that dehydration is no laughing matter. Also, the preoccupation with making the number as low as possible, was a negative feedback loop in my pysche. Rather than feeling successful with this crazy weigh-in day routine, I felt like it was controlling me. As if the scale had taken me prisoner.

So after last year’s upwards gain on the scale, I made a conscious decision to start going to a meeting and getting weighed in my work clothes in the evenings after work. This might sound like the easiest thing in the world. But for me it was not. For a very long time I couldn’t even look at the number. I would just tell them to put the sticker in my book.

This year, however, as I started to catch fire with my motivation and my efforts, I began to actually look forward to weigh-in day. Sure, I was still highly concerned about the number on the machine, but I was ready to look at it and process it right away. Obviously that’s easier when the scale is consistently going down, but I even did this when I was having a reversal. Or two. Or four.

Now my routine for getting weighed looks like this:

- get up in the morning and go running if that’s part of my plan
- have my regular healthy, large breakfast and a couple of cups of coffee
- dress in whatever work clothes feel right for the weather and my work schedule
- drink a minimum of a liter of water while at the office
- have the same normal, healthy lunch that I have every day
- walk to the WW center and get weighed.

I’ll point out for the sake of honesty that when I’m at the scale I remove everything from my pockets, as well as my belt and a tie (if I’m wearing one). And I’m not stupid … I take off my shoes!

But other than that, in 2013 I learned that it’s okay to look at the scale number in the evening because my weight is my weight is my weight.

For someone with a life-long overeating issue, this is clearly my proudest accomplishment of the year.

What? You ditched the SWIT? We lived by those!
That is a HUGE victory, by the way. There were quite a few meetings where I walked/jogged the 2.5 miles uphill to the meeting & refused to eat or drink anything until after the weigh in. Isn’t it strange how we become a slave to that scale so easily?

Comment by Carolyn 12.20.13 @ 1:40 am

Awesome thinking for me 2014 is going to be motivating since you and Mel are with me where ever that might be

Comment by Ronni reich 12.20.13 @ 9:59 am

Most excellent post.

I agree 100% with weighing as you actually ARE, the real you.

The empty weighing thing actually gets people into the wrong mindset ( in my opinion), because they never actually weigh that empty weight. An hour later, that is not their weight.

The other version of this, in my opinion, is to get to goal and then lose 5 more pounds. That 5 lbs is then our leeway. That philosophy, in addition to weighing in our real/true state, means we actually stay at or slightly under goal.

Comment by Vickie 12.20.13 @ 11:30 am