Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Scale rehab underway

If you read my last post, you know my scale hasn't been sent to detox from it's #1 weigher. Rather, its #1 weigher is on day 3 of abstinence from weighing myself everyday. And so far, it's going okay. I haven't scratched anyone's eyes out, kicked the dog or even screamed at the husband in my acute withdrawal phase. Maybe I'm on what they call in AA a "pink cloud". One thing for sure, I already recognize that this scale avoidance is the right thing for me, and yielding small but important rewards. And before I go on, I just want to note that I have not been getting on the scale more than once every morning, though years ago I did weigh multiple times a day. But even once a day have proven detrimental to my weightloss efforts.

Here's what the pattern has been for the last 6 or 7 weeks - maybe longer. I'd hop on the scale every morning. If my weight was up a few pounds from previous day's indiscretions, then I had no problem staying on the straight and narrow with my eating for a day or two. By no longer than the morning of day 2 of clean eating, the scale would inevitably be back down those couple pounds, and IN MY HEAD I'd be all inspired and plan to blast on down that scale, baby! But that plan, my friends, was/is bullsh*t, because almost immediately after stepping off the scale and sailing into the 12 millionth "first day of the rest of my life", I'd start thinking about binge foods. Just thinking...but over the course of the day, that thoughts crescendoed into full obsession, and then it was a matter of time (minutes? hours?) before I'd take one small handful of something, or a 1 ounce piece of decadent cheddar, and off to the races I'd go. So essentially every other day for 2 weeks, and maybe every 2nd day for the previous 4 or 5 weeks, I've been greatly overeating, and often bingeing, at night. Big shock that my weightloss has stalled in the 197-200 pound wasteland (waistland? haha).

I've just complete 2 full days of clean eating without bingeing. I haven't had 2 consecutive clean days in at least 2 weeks due to the mini-yoyoing every other day. But by not getting on the scale yesterday morning to see if, or that, I'd dropped the few gained pounds, I didn't feel okay about tying on the feedbag after dinner. In fact, I had no desire to eat after dinner last night or the night before.

The thought of going cold turkey on the scale (at least for awhile) was planted by Friend of the Bear just 2 days ago, and when I contemplated it, I felt anxious and scared. Like flying on a trapeze without a net. What if??????????? How can I lose weight and maintain loss without daily weighing? Bearfriend sent me an email with the cleverest notion. Knowing I'm in AA, she noted that I didn't need a daily breathalizer to stop drinking or remind me that I was sober. Similar, a scale isn't necessary to lose weight. Like a breathalizer, it's just an external monitoring of behavior! How brilliant is that??? The behavior is what counts, not the numbers on an external device.

So far, so good. I don't know how long I'll go without weighing, but hopefully I can make it to Friday, when I would normally weigh in to track progress on my goal of 190 by November 2nd. But I'd like to postpone it even then. I can't make any promises, but I know that if I eat properly and continue exercising, the WEIGHT WILL COME OFF. This has to be the only way I'm going to take the leap of faith off that plateau on which I've been camped out for so long. My way sure wasn't working.


  1. Your doing great! Keep up the good work. Way to go. You go girl. I can't think of anything else to say. But Congrats.. I know how hard it is. I really do. But if you can stay sober so long I bet you can do this. Staying sober has to be one of the hardest things in the world. Your in my prayers.

  2. Hi Leslie. Got your email BTW!

    It's amazing that not weighing = no evening bingeing. Your scale and food addictions go hand in hand. It's almost sounded like you're more worried about giving up the scale than the excess food; maybe because a lower number on the scale = being able to eat excess food. The scale has allowed you to stay in your "comfort zone" (not very comfortable I know)whereas without it you will be flying into new territory - and that can be scary.

    I know it's early days yet but I feel sure that this is the way. I am worried that even once a week will tip you off again though. But even bingeing once a week would be a lot better than every other day.

    I think weighing only once a month at the doctor might be better or officially with a gym instructor. That way you won't be so likely to binge afterwards because you'll be accountable to the doc or instructor and they can set you a new goal for the next month.

    I hope it continues to go well for you.

    Best wishes,
    Bearfriend xx

  3. Here I am - thanks for leaving a note for me.

    (what ages are your kids - I think you mentioned grown - ?)

    I will be eager to hear how the scale experiment continues for you.

  4. It sounded like you might have meant you have never taken classes at the gym - or did you just mean Zumba?

    And Did you mean that you can pay slightly more at your gym and then attend any classes for free -
    you pay slightly more and then have to pay yet more for the classes?

  5. I am glad you are breaking your scale addiction. It's hard to believe we can be so obsessive about weighing. And good for you for having 2 binge free days!

  6. Keep up the good work! I'm down from weighing myself every day (which often set the mood for my day, in spite of me *knowing* there are everyday weight fluctuations) to weighing twice a week, and I'm hoping to get that down to weekly, then fortnightly, then, finally monthly!

  7. I just found your website and have been thinking about your post on the scale. It really hit a nerve with me. For most of my adult life with the exception of the past 8 years I have been overweight/obese. In 2001 I was 300 pounds, and one day had enough and began to diet.(But it is a long and complex story!) While this may not work for everyone - it worked for me.... I did not weigh myself for a year and lost well over 100 pounds. The only time I weighed myself was at the Doctor's who told me my weight loss. I did try daily weighing for awhile, but it drove me crazy with anxiety. I have kept the weight off (150 pounds) for 8 years and do not weigh myself except at the Docs and do not want to know the number. But I use a pair of pants that have no lycra, no stretch, no give to keep me on track. Those are my "Honesty Pants." When I was losing weight I used clothes that I grew out of as my goal. The scale is my phobia! This stuff is hard and I give you all the credit in the world. Best of luck keep going forward, it does get easier.

  8. The scale addiction may take some time to break, but you are doing a great job with it!

    There are so many ways to measure progress besides just the scale! Keep up your great work.

  9. Hop over to my blog post from last night and pick up your well-deserved award! :)