The Scale……ever since I could remember I’ve had a terrible relationship with the scale. It started in my childhood; I always dreaded going to doctor check ups because that was the first thing they checked. I would feel my mom’s eyes dig into my back as the nurse repeated the number out loud, crap there goes my chance of asking for McDonald’s on the way back to school.
The relationship only intensified as I got older and went through high school. By this point I would go to my mom’s room when no one was home and weigh myself. I wasn’t aware of what a good weight was, I only went off the comparisons of the weights mentioned by other friends. I managed to find my groove towards the end of my junior year of highschool and found myself in a good spot mentally and physically. I didn’t depend on a number to make me feel good.
I went to college and my weight got out of control. I could easily look back to my first year of college and reflect on how depressed I was. I struggled to find my niche, but the dining hall and snacks were always there. Steadily, I gained the freshman 15 times two. I tried so hard to change things my second and third year of college, but I was stagnant. My junior year of college is where I found myself in an obsessive cycle with the scale. I shared a bathroom with a housemate, who had a beautiful digital scale right when you walk into the bathroom. It became an E V E R Y D A Y cycle. Wake up, use the bathroom, weigh myself, feel bad about myself; this is how I started my everyday. Things only got worse when a frat douche bag decided to make it his mission to taunt me about my weight. Being bullied + feeling bad about myself for a number of mass, didn’t result in the best thoughts. In my head, I struggled and internally thought of ways to provoke an eating disorder to lose the weight. Too bad I’m too much of a pussy to make myself throw up, and I couldn’t imagine not eating and not having energy to make it through school and work.
Even though its been 5 years that I’ve been consistent with my weight loss journey, and I’ve managed to lose and keep off 40 lbs I found myself in a similar cycle… I have a beautiful digital scale in my bathroom and I began putting too much significance on the number reflected. I know the advice, but as a human fall victim as well. I know to “ditch the scale, take progress pictures, take measurements, and focus on how you feel”. I tell people this same advice, yet will find myself in a time where I can’t seem to follow it. I’ll go through periods where I’m great and don’t put too much significance on the scale and won’t use it. But just recently in the last month (maybe the pressure of a new year?), I found myself falling into the same vicious cycle. It became the most detrimental on Monday mornings, weighing yourself after a weekend of travel or drinking with friends. Getting off the scale and being unhappy with the number and yourself is not the best way to start your week.
Things only get more frustrating when you’ve had a great week working out and eating well and you are soooo ready to hop on the scale and see a big change. To only see a pound or two difference, really gets you in a negative mindset. You begin to contrive ways in your head to shorten your caloric intake throughout the day. This always happens to me when I have weeks where I’m lifting more than doing cardio. You could wake up looking lean AF, booty looking round from hitting legs 3 times that week, and once you hop on the scale and not meet the expectation in your head, you find yourself upset. It honestly is not a good way to start your day….I began to recognize the patterns and the way I was starting my day. So that’s when I decided to say goodbye for now.
I do believe the scale is helpful, and to some people it may be motivating. Unfortunately, to some of us it can be very detrimental and we do not realize it. Many of us have had weight struggles from our childhood, and there are a lot of internalized feelings whether we are aware of them or not. One of my biggest pieces of advice for someone on a weight loss journey, is to not be unhappy while you are doing it. Unhappiness will not lead you to success, find something in the journey that makes you happy and focus on that. If it means taking booty pictures of your progress, go for it! If it means scheduling your spin class 3x a week, go for it!
So if you are finding yourself in a rut, and feeling bad about yourself because of the number displayed on a scale, say fuck the scale for a bit, hide it somewhere and bring it back whenever you are ready. At the end of the day you are SO much more than the number reflected and if you need to remove something from your life to believe it, do it.
So well written & so important!! Our childhood trauma informs so much of our thinking patterns and it’s so important to recognize that! Love this! I & others are going to find so much strength from this!