Saturday, November 23, 2013

Scale vs. non-scale victories

For some reason, I woke up really early this morning.  I was still tired, but something made me get up.  I got on the scale to see how I was doing in the weight department.  If you'll recall, just two days ago, I weighed in at 368 when I did the bariatric surgery orientation.  This morning the scale said I was 361.2.  WTF?  In fact, almost five of those pounds were from yesterday alone.  I was thinking about what I did yesterday and what I had to eat.  There's no rational reason why I should have lost five pounds overnight.  I brought home a gift a student gave me, which were chocolates with macadamia nuts in the middle of each one.  And, yes, I did partake in them.  I actually convinced myself that maybe I was dreaming.  I eventually ended up going back to bed, weighed myself again when I woke up and the scale was even lower by a pound.  That's frustrating!  I always try to convince myself that the scale isn't accurate.  It actually is off by one pound, registering on the heavier side.  So I deduct that pound every time I weigh.  It's a relatively new scale and doctor's scales have confirmed that accuracy.

There is a lot of debate about how often people should weigh on the scale.  Some people say to do it once a day, once a week, even once a month.  The number can send some people off in a tailspin.  When I was doing Jenny Craig, they recommended weighing every day.  Their rationalization was, even though there would be daily fluctuations, it does tell you what direction you are headed in.  I have a friend that had the gastric bypass 12 years ago and she weighs every day.  For her, it lets her know if she's within her acceptable range or if she's crossed that magic number that says there's danger ahead.  When I've participated in my many diet attempts over the years, the majority recommended weighing in weekly.  I guess the reality is you do what works for you without making you obsessed about the number.  If I really search my soul for what works for me, I really believe weighing daily is what keeps me the most honest.  When I don't do that, I sometimes don't catch major weight gains until past the double-digit phase.  I am well aware that, as human beings and especially a female human being, there will be ups and downs. If I'm avoiding getting on the scale for fear of what it may say, that's me being dishonest.  I guess you have to do what
works for you.  Regardless, I'm glad it's going in the downward direction.

I also think it's very important to remember the non-scale victories as well.  The number on the scale is one thing, but it's not the only thing that tells me I'm going in the right direction.  I think of that the same I way I do as an holistic review of a college application.  I work in the counseling department of a high school and we often talk to the kids about how a good majority of colleges use a holistic review process to grant admission.  This means they look at the whole person, not just their GPA and test scores.  It's one thing to judge a person using just the numbers.  It's another thing to recognize the other facets that make them who they are.  In the same way, I am not just about the number on the scale.  I always need to remember that it's only a part of my process.  My self-worth does not come from that number.  Any time I start thinking that way, I need to catch myself, remind myself of all the good things about me and remember that I am a work in progress.  I want to be healthier and so that's what stepping on the scale is all about ... a tool in the process on the road to health.


Anonymous said...

I've been most comfortable weighing every single morning as well and recording it on my iphone into myfitnesspal. It is just a habit and I really don't put a whole lot of mental energy into what the number says. If I have a few days of it being on the higher side of my goal, I know I need to watch things more carefully. Weighing once a week works for many, but it isn't enough data for me...there are many reasons why it could be a higher or lower number and I think that it is more difficult to get an accurate picture of what is really going on.... Just my opinion. I guess if I had a lot of stress every day about the number on the scale then it wouldn't be worth it - but a daily reading reduces the "value" or importance of the number to me....and I would put too much "value" in the weekly reading....

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