It's not uncommon for us to fall into a pattern of frequent scale check-ins when trying to lose or even just maintaining our weight. Calories and pounds creep up easily, and we assume frequent weight check-ins will help keep us on track, but will it?
I've been pretty weight-conscious for most of my adult life. As a kid, I was naturally slim but like many, put on weight once I reached college. With a little dedication though, I have successfully lost the freshman 15, and then all of the baby weight after three babies with three separate pregnancies. It was so much easier to just lose weight quickly when I was younger, but now that my metabolism has slowed somewhat I find myself struggling just to maintain my weight.
This is where I started weighing in religiously every morning. I would weigh in on an empty stomach before taking a shower so I wouldn't add any unnecessary ounces to my weight. I have to admit, it was helpful in maintaining my weight, but a lot of other stuff just seemed to come along with my morning commitment as well.
My morning weigh-in would affect my mood for the morning and possibly the rest of the day too. If I got a number I liked, I would feel accomplished, upbeat, and confident. But if it was off by just one pound - defeat.
So, I quit. I stopped weighing myself in entirely. I was done with worrying about my weigh-in and allowing it to dictate my mood. I decided to instead focus on eating well and not overdoing it but allowing myself to eat until I felt full.
I was so tired of all the work I felt like I had to put into being skinny. It required a lot of my thoughts, time, and effort and at the end of it all I looked great but I was tired, moody, and hungry. I had finally had enough.
After a month of not weighing in at all, I was a little worried about stepping on the scale, and when I did I realized I had gained 5 pounds in one month.
Normally, I would have felt devastated as if all my hard work was for nothing and I probably would have been in a bad mood. But none of this happened. I felt great and I still felt like I looked good, realized I over-did it a bit with my newfound freedom, and resolved to make the following month better.
Allowing myself to be free from the scale and giving myself permission to gain a few pounds had actually brought on a greater level of confidence and a better attitude about healthy living than I've had before. I no longer want to be a size 2 if it means I have to be starving and exhausted all the time. I'd much rather exist at healthy body weight and allow myself to enjoy food, just without overdoing it like I did this past month.
After this experience, I have decided ultimately to go back to weighing in, but with a different attitude. Because of my break from the scale, I feel like I have a healthier perspective on the number I get. I enjoy eating more than 1,300 calories a day, feeling full and energetic and less moody and that, for me is worth more than any number I was trying to seek on the scale.