1) I have been working so hard. Therefore, I need and deserve to get on the scale. I just know my weight will be lower.
2) My pants feel a little looser this morning. That has to be good for one pound, maybe two!
3) What kind of mean, sadistic person robs themselves of the pure joy of seeing a lower number on the scale?
4) I need to be motivated.
5) In fact, I cannot trust myself to continue these healthy changes without some motivation right now. You know what is motivating? Losing weight!
6) And if the number on the scale is up? That means I am Doing It Wrong.
7) If I don’t weigh in, I won’t even know if I’m Doing It Wrong, and therefore might keep Doing It Wrong… forever!
8) I am not the kind of person who gets upset about my weight going up anyway. I am above all that. I know it’s just water weight.
9) But even if it’s just water weight, I really need to know. Immediately.
10) Because the number on the scale, whatever it is, is the single most important thing about me. It will tell me if I’m doing a Good Job or a Bad Job, whether I am a Success Story or a Big Fat Failure, how much I matter.
Do I need to say that this list is satirical? Okay, Disclaimer: I don’t actually believe any of that.
I, of all people, should know by now that how hard I work, how loose my pants are, or how “right” or “wrong” my habits are may not have bearing on what the scale says. I also know that my weight can’t tell me one single thing about how happy or unhappy I should be, how motivated I feel, and certainly not how much I matter. One of my favorite quotes says “It’s true, the scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. That’s it. It cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength, or love.” (Steve Marboli said that.)
I believe all those things are true. I like to think of myself as a body positive, self-loving gal.
But after years and years of using a scale as my best and only indicator of health, and watching other important women in my life do the same thing, it’s hard to break away. It’s amazing how much pull it has over me, even when I feel good about myself overall. For a while, I was weighing in several times a week… heck, several times a day. I said I didn’t care what the scale said, but I did care because knowing was so, so important. It took a good friend asking me if weighing in two or three times a day is what I would recommend to a friend to remind me that constant vigilance over my weight doesn’t actually help me be healthier. In order to be a healthy, I have to take many small, healthy actions. Those actions aren’t guaranteed to keep me disease free and mobile for the rest of my days… but I do believe they add quality to the life I’m living. That’s good enough for me!
I committed to only weighing in on a bi-weekly basis. I give the number to my health coach and mostly forget about it. Someday, I might not want to weigh in that much, but I figured this was at least a step in the less-obsessed direction. So far, I’ve only weighed in twice in the last month and I’ve felt pretty good, but I knew a day like today was coming. My brain ran down most of that list in my head today, just dying to sneak in a weigh in and tell no one. It seemed equally important to:
a) know exactly how much I weigh right now.
b) maintain my status as a body positive, care-free spirit who is beyond caring about such trivial matters.
Thank goodness, I’ve become a little better at spotting the warped way my thinking can be sometimes. Tomorrow, I may not be able to resist that impulse to find a meaning in an arbitrary number, but today I did.
Then I came home and ran Week 5, Day 2 of Couch to 5K. Two 8 minute running intervals, 16:18 minutes per mile. I didn’t quit when my legs were tired, and that means something to me.