Thursday, March 24, 2011

The scale obsession

It's sad how women are obsessed with the scale. We step on it daily, and our mood is based on the number that appears. Nevermind the extra salt we ate the night before or the extra water we're holding on to. If the number is bigger than the day before, we take it as a sign of failure. Or an excuse to kick the scale and dive into a box of chocolates. "The scale said I'm fat, so I might as well enjoy it."

The Daily Weigh-In has its benefits: It can help keep us on track. But, for me, the obsession with the scale translates into something else: stress. And stress is no good for people trying to lose weight. Ever hear of the stress hormone cortisol? It latches on to your stomach and will make the weight-loss effort twice as hard.

So I decided to try something: I decided to only weigh myself once a month. Yeah, you heard that right. Last time I weighed in was the beginning of March and I don't plan to step on the scale again until next Friday, April 1.

Of course, being me, now I'm afraid it will cause me even more stress. Because now I have a number I want to see, and what if it's unrealistic? I don't know if it's unrealistic because I don't know what the past few weeks have translated into weight-wise. I've been very good in my eating, not even using the half marathon as an excuse to eat poorly. And I gave up all sweets for Lent. And with the exception of my weeklong taper before the race, I'm working out hard. But I've done all that before and haven't seen results. And my clothes feel no different.

I came very close to stepping on the scale yesterday morning. Just to give myself perspective for next week. But my immediate fear was that I'd see a bad number and blow my last weekend before the weigh-in. That's what the past two months have been like: Do good most of January, drop big pounds, eat bad the last weekend, gain most of it back. Eat good most of February, drop big pounds, eat bad the last weekend, gain most of it back. I don't want to do that in March.

So I'm going to wait.

And hope I don't end up kicking the scale into oblivion.

1 comment:

  1. I can't tell you how much happier I've been since our scale died. I suffered from the same obsession, no matter what weight I was. If I was small, I wasn't small enough. I tortured myself with it. But I broke free of the chains. I hope you can, too.