Ruminations on the Scale

For the recent attempt at weight loss, I had been weighing myself every Friday.  I realized this had to stop.  Here’s why:

I believe one of the reasons for my meltdown this past month while changing my diet, was too much scale checking.  I had read so many wonder stories on the web about people who started lchf and lost a billion pounds in 2 weeks, etc. that I was expecting the pounds to literally melt away when I started the regime.  To see that it was not (although I was losing 2-3 pounds a week which is AMAZING!!), was de-motivating and discouraging.  I started to feel insecure about the dietary path I had chosen and started wondering if I was slowing my metabolism?  was I not eating enough?  was I eating too much fat? etc. etc.  A lot of second-guessing myself when really I had SO much to celebrate such as not feeling hungry while still eating yummy food, being able to stay away from sweets, having energy and ALSO losing weight (just maybe not at the pace to meet my unrealistic expectations).

As you can see, I’m super easy to discourage and the weight loss game seems to be played almost 90% in the head, so I  decided to set myself up for victory by following the advice of Susan Pierce Thompson (Bright Line Eating fame mentioned earlier), and just weigh myself once a month.  She did a vlog about weight loss plateaus and mentions that weight loss is NOT linear.  If watching the scale jump up and down (or not move) is frustrating, she recommends just weighing yourself once a month.  In this way, you should see at least a 2 pound loss every month without experiencing ‘the plateaus’ that get (my) knickers in a knot.

This is great for me in so many ways.  It stops me from having an unhealthy focus on weight since the number on the scale is not actually my goal (it is health, energy, vibrancy…weight was always just a poor indicator of these three).  It stops me from trying to manipulate my weight and see ‘what I can get away with’ (can I eat this tortilla and still be okay (e.g. still lose weight?) and instead focuses me on building and maintaining the healthy habits I would like to build into my life (e.g. carbs are not healthy for me and that is why I will not have that tortilla).  It helps me stay focused internally on what my body is saying to me instead of externally on what the scale says.  It stops me from constantly tweaking my diet and what I am doing just because of what the scale says (which is known to be highly variable day to day, especially for women) instead of deciding on a high level what my plan is and just consistently and persistently applying it.

…and then of course the monthly weigh in is there just to ensure that I am going in the right direction (e.g. at least lost 2 pounds this month).  Thompson says you should at least see a 2 pound loss a month otherwise one should look to tweak the diet if weight loss is the goal.  Now that I have my expectations managed much better with such a small goal, I’m okay with even a 1 pound loss.  For some reason, I was thinking that if I lost so little every month then I was doing something wrong or it would quickly just stop going down altogether (maybe like I said because of all those stories of huge weight losses).

So basically, I will only have an update regarding my weight on May 1st.

 

 

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One response to “Ruminations on the Scale

  1. priyadevaliadotcom

    Sanj,

    I have been weighing myself every day despite my better judgement.

    It has a two-fold effect:

    1. It helps me monitor the types of foods and amounts of foods that affect my weight.

    2. It can definitely, absolutely cause stress, discouragement and intense feelings of failure.

    3. It shockingly highlights just how food-sensitive my body is…which has a point #2 effect.

    Love,
    P.

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