Help me break up with my scale


ktothev

Recommended Posts

I actually was originally going to post a message about how to lose weight post whole30. However, I realized my issue is not about losing weight, but about letting the number on the scale dictate so much of my self worth. On my first Whole30 in January, I weighed myself once. On my last whole30 that I finished this past Saturday...way more than that. I realize that neither of these were true Whole30s because of this. And I have also realized, over and over again, that the number on that scale, regardless of what it is, never, ever makes me feel good about myself.

 

Note that I am not really overweight - maybe about 10 pounds at the most. I, like many of you, struggled with calorie counting and weight watchers and all kinds of counting obsession, along with chronic cardio. For YEARS. I got to my goal weight once, through weight watchers. I was hungry ALL THE TIME. I'm sure I lost muscle, not fat. And of course, I could not maintain that loss. But boy, I could fit into off the rack clothes great, lol.

 

I have been paleo for almost a year now (I have not counted calories in any way, shape, or form in that time), and my weight has found a set point (of course, not the set point I want, lol). As long as I eat healthy, I stay right around there. I do have a renewed focus on improving my fitness, but I want that focus to be on health and supporting activities I love vs. losing weight.

 

I cannot bear the thought of going back to obsessing over every calorie I put in my mouth. It's one thing to be conscious of your diet so you focus on the most nutritious things, another thing altogether about making the only goal staying under some arbitrary limit.

 

So, I need to break up with the scale. In many ways, this is harder than breaking up with sugar, or alcohol.

 

I know many of you have done this. I'd like to hear your stories. I know this is something I just have to deal with, but I've found inspiration many times on these boards, and I think hearing success stories of other people who have slayed the "scale dragon" would certainly be helpful.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Administrators

I broke up with my scale a few years back.  The scale was dictating my worth and my value....but there was literally nothing else I could do to make it go in a more "valuable" direction.  Sure, I could starve myself or run a marathon once a week or...you know....starve myself.  But in the absence of being a complete nut, there was nothing else that I could do. If I am eating good, healthy food and getting good, responsible exercise that fits into my life (ie, not crazy manic 4am workouts) then there is nothing else I can do and that means that the scale is irrelevant and I need to accept my body for what/how/who it is.

 

Seems you might've already figured this out based on your "if I eat healthy I stay right around here" comment.   :P 

 

Good luck!  Throw that bastard against a wall and wish it good riddance!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I could have written the exact same post (except I am NOT 1 year into eating paleo, I'm just on Day 16 of my first Whole 30)!  It's the one rule that I have broken since starting my Whole 30....stepping on the scale.  Otherwise, I have been 100% compliant, but man...that beast just calls out to me every morning.  As if all of the hard work and effort doesn't matter if the scale doesn't move?!  I have been a slave to the scale for soooo long.  It sure would be nice to break up! 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Go on a purge. A household purge, not the other kind of purge. Go through the closets and pile up the clothes you want to toss or donate. Go through drawers and get rid of holey socks and shirts, unidentified pieces of random things, and take-out menus you'll never use (do NOT throw away user manuals. Ever. Big mistake, trust me). Go through your garage and get rid of things you swore you'd use and never did. Kitchen gadgets, ugly decor you got for Christmas, things that have simply outlived their usefulness.Toss. Donate. Repurpose. If you can't get someone to take it away within a day or two, throw it away. And when you get down to the trash pile, throw the scale in there and don't look back. Admittedly, the rest of the purging is there to distract you from the end goal of removing the scale from your house entirely, but you'll feel so accomplished you won't even feel bad about getting rid of that mean, nasty, numerically-abusive piece of plastic. And your house will be clean. 76 birds, one stone.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Breaking up with the scale was the rule that kept me from starting Whole30 for a few months even though I was staying mostly Paleo. Since then I've gone through periods where I weigh myself once a month and periods where I don't weigh myself for months on end. The only reason I check it at all anymore is that I do have probably 20 lbs left to lose but I don't obsess over it like I used to.

 

Here is some reading that has helped me make the decision to stop letting the scale be my primary indicator of health and progress:

http://everydaypaleo.com/attention-scale-addicts/

http://everydaypaleo.com/attention-scale-addicts-part-2/

http://whole9life.com/2012/03/5-reasons-to-break-up-with-your-scale/

http://whole9life.com/2012/08/new-health-scale/

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a scale inside your head that is harder to jettison than the one you stand on to abuse yourself with your perceived failures. We all do this weird, abusive crap to ourselves in some form or another, whether it be body shaming ourselves or picking away at our inadequacies as parents, friends, lovers and on and on and on. It is the unhelpful idea that there is some Platonic ideal that we should be holding ourselves up to, a perfect version of you, if you will. This is the greatest bunch of bulls*&t ever sold and it is a bestseller baby. You know those signs in the mall that say "you are here"? Well, here is where we all are and its ok. There is no greener grass on the other side of losing weight or that boob job you've been planning, or finally fitting into a size 2. Because you and I will still be right here with ourselves. So that's where we need to reset the mind, around the crazy, frantic attempt to chisel off the outer layer of ourselves to reveal some perfect structure beneath. The only thing under this carapace is muscle and bone and if you chisel off the stuff on the surface that you hate so much you will fall apart. Oh the humanity. 

 

I feel you, I really do. I don't weigh myself on a scale anymore, but I do weigh myself against other people I think have got things more figured out than me. I weigh myself against the image I think I should project over the truth of who I am. All I can offer you is my mall sign and the moment I take each time I feel that twinge of self-loathing to remind myself that I am here and here is ok.

Best of luck and good times rolling,

Rose

Link to post
Share on other sites

I needed to read this today! The Scale Addicts links were awesome. I finished my first W30 a few weeks ago and immediately after started weighing daily. Everything was fine until the day I "gained" a pound (even though my clothes are loose and I've lost inches, I let it bother me). The scale is now out of the house. I can now focus on how I feel today and not that stupid number!

Link to post
Share on other sites

theheywhohaa...

 

amen sister. Self acceptance is a goal I have been working towards for a long while now. Some times it seems very close and other times very far away.

 

I love this quote from the movie Bull Durham "The world is made for people not cursed with self awareness.". This self awareness thing sucks sometimes, lol.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Thank you so much for positing the Everydaypaleo!  Today is day 30 of my first Whole30..yay!  I have lost a pant size but apparently couldn't convince myself to wait until tomorrow to weigh myself....only 5 lbs.  Immediately I felt unsucessful.  I've been trying all morning to figure out how to not let that get me down. After all, I have less than 24 hours left of my whole30 and have not cheated, I've lost an entire pant size, I feel good about myself.  Why does the scale upset me so much?  After reading this and all of your comments and especially the everydaypaleo I feel so much better.  I'm going to STOP letting the scale dictate how I feel about myself.

 

Thanks again everyone!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderators

Thank you so much for positing the Everydaypaleo!  Today is day 30 of my first Whole30..yay!  I have lost a pant size but apparently couldn't convince myself to wait until tomorrow to weigh myself....only 5 lbs.  Immediately I felt unsucessful.  I've been trying all morning to figure out how to not let that get me down. After all, I have less than 24 hours left of my whole30 and have not cheated, I've lost an entire pant size, I feel good about myself.  Why does the scale upset me so much?  After reading this and all of your comments and especially the everydaypaleo I feel so much better.  I'm going to STOP letting the scale dictate how I feel about myself.

 

Thanks again everyone!

Kind-hearted additional reality check: five pounds in a month is an ideal rate of weight loss. Congrats!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. I logged into the forum today to get support for this exact issue.  Today is day 31 for me.  I feel terrific, have been completely compliant and changed my relationship to food in the most positive ways.  Still, when I stepped on the scale this morning I was blue to see just an 8 lb loss.  I know that the Whole30 is about so much more than weight loss, but there's still that little voice, saying...'what?  you haven't eaten sugar, soy, alcohol and grain for a month and this is the result?'

 

Hugging it out with my hubby and support friend at work has helped, and I will continue on this path regardless.  Thanks to all of your virtual support, too!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for positing the Everydaypaleo!  Today is day 30 of my first Whole30..yay!  I have lost a pant size but apparently couldn't convince myself to wait until tomorrow to weigh myself....only 5 lbs.  Immediately I felt unsucessful.  I've been trying all morning to figure out how to not let that get me down. After all, I have less than 24 hours left of my whole30 and have not cheated, I've lost an entire pant size, I feel good about myself.  Why does the scale upset me so much?  After reading this and all of your comments and especially the everydaypaleo I feel so much better.  I'm going to STOP letting the scale dictate how I feel about myself.

 

Thanks again everyone!

This is me exactly. Same weight loss, dropped a pants size, and I'm day 31. Thank you for this post. Off to read the links and throw that damn infernal contraption out!

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a scale inside your head that is harder to jettison than the one you stand on to abuse yourself with your perceived failures. We all do this weird, abusive crap to ourselves in some form or another, whether it be body shaming ourselves or picking away at our inadequacies as parents, friends, lovers and on and on and on. It is the unhelpful idea that there is some Platonic ideal that we should be holding ourselves up to, a perfect version of you, if you will. This is the greatest bunch of bulls*&t ever sold and it is a bestseller baby. You know those signs in the mall that say "you are here"? Well, here is where we all are and its ok. There is no greener grass on the other side of losing weight or that boob job you've been planning, or finally fitting into a size 2. Because you and I will still be right here with ourselves. So that's where we need to reset the mind, around the crazy, frantic attempt to chisel off the outer layer of ourselves to reveal some perfect structure beneath. The only thing under this carapace is muscle and bone and if you chisel off the stuff on the surface that you hate so much you will fall apart. Oh the humanity. 

 

I feel you, I really do. I don't weigh myself on a scale anymore, but I do weigh myself against other people I think have got things more figured out than me. I weigh myself against the image I think I should project over the truth of who I am. All I can offer you is my mall sign and the moment I take each time I feel that twinge of self-loathing to remind myself that I am here and here is ok.

Best of luck and good times rolling,

Rose

 

Rose, Rose....Rose.   I miss your posts.

Link to post
Share on other sites

5 pounds or 8 pounds in a month is a decent amount of weight loss.  People who lose more are usually folks who have in the neighborhood of a hundred pounds to lose, or they are white males in their thirties. If you're a young, healthy, (usually) white, (usually) USAmerican woman who has been taught to be physically invisible (size 00 in pants, anyone?), you will have normal-for-you results. And you will be the sort of person who just really wants to be smaller. This is social conditioning, not a desire for good health.

 

Besides breaking up with your scale (maybe just break it - somewhere in the house there's a hammer, right? ;) ), you get to break up with the idea that women only have worth when we take up a ridiculously small amount of space on the planet.

 

Be bigger. Eat up. And don't get mad at yourself, get mad at your scale.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So glad I read this just now...

 

I wrapped up 61 days last week and my initial response was "I look and feel great - that's great".  I hadn't really weighed in before starting but I always seem to float around the same number.  I can go months without weighing and then weigh myself twice a day for a week straight.  I know when I've let my eating get out of control I can count on a few more pounds than usual.  But I also know that's when I'm skipping the gym so I'm losing muscle.  I generally do not put much worth into this number.  But on occasion I do let the fantasy get into my head that I will lose those stubborn last 10 pounds and finally see the scale drop under 130 and stay there for good.  On day 61 I did not bother weighing myself.  I knew I looked better and I had lost inches - my pants fit well and some were even baggy.  My plan was to reintroduce non-gluten grains over the weekend so I figured I'd weigh myself for reference.  On day 1 of reintroduction I weighed 127.8 lbs. I figured this was probably an 8 lb weight loss after two months.  I was happy with that.  I know people generally want to lose more even just in one month but I considered myself lucky to be happy with my results.  

 

Now a few days later I'm finding myself weighing in the morning and at night.  I'm back on a reset to wait things out before reintroducing dairy later this week.  I'm now at 130.2 lbs and seem to be sticking there.  Something about seeing the scale jump back over 130 saddened me.  I tried to remind myself of all the great thoughts I was having last week...this number should not matter.  I haven't undone my healthy ways but I certainly don't want to let the scale screw it all up.  

 

I agree with the original poster that I want to be conscious of my portions at meal time but not get crazy with measuring, etc.  Trying to find that healthy balance and stay there is tough for me.  The all-or-nothing approach is easiest and now that I'm letting myself get bummed it's like I'm subconsciously giving myself a free pass to bad behavior.  I am going to check out the everyday paleo links as well as the 'staying on track' forum for some extra support.  I know why I chose to extend to 60 days and how important it is that I manage to maintain this new life.  I want to do it.  I know I can do it.  I cannot let my scale get in the way.  

 

I sorta want a breakup but more importantly I want to straighten out the backwards reasoning in my head.

 

Good luck to you all.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

The difference between 127.8 and 130.2 is statistically insignificant. It does not have any impact or bearing on your value as a human being. Seeing either of those numbers on the scale don't even tell you that you are 2.4lbs "more fat" in one instance than in the other. Chances are good that 2.4lbs is just food digesting in your stomach, or bloat or, or, or. It doesn't matter. This number doesn't matter. Just stop looking at it.

 

ps. depending on your height/bone structure/muscle mass, you might be healthier weighing more anyway. Figure out if you feel good or not, determine if you perform the way you want to in life (athletically or just moving around in the world). Use that information to decide if you are on the right track.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 7 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

How to Break Up With the Scale

 

 

I would tell myself that a calorie is not a calorie

 

Take care of yourself

 

You really are what you eat

 

The most important thing you have is your health -  Grandmaw was right

 

You have to break yourself down to build yourself back UP again with a different thought process, whole foods and exercise

 

Changes in weight are a combination of fat and muscle and have absolutely nothing to do with the number on the scale

 

The scale won't tell you if you're skinny fat

 

Dieting will make you skinny fat.   The scales will keep you there.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.