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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hello. My name is Sarah... And I am a scale-a-holic.

I am a very open person. I have talked about my weight issues, my food and exercise in great detail, my marriage issues and even my bad track record in cleaning and organizing. All of them have left me vulnerable and at the same time allowed all my friends here on SP to be able to pour into my life with their little bits of wisdom. But I have been avoiding this topic of the scale. It's gotten pretty bad lately. It seems that I cannot do things in moderation - it always turns to excess. That is the case with my scale.

I bought this new scale because my old one was digital and got when when my bathroom floor got flooded (tub overflow issue). We had one of those little $5 cheapies and it was totally inaccurate - told me I was 289 when I was at 303. Threw that puppy away then and there. And then there was this new scale... Tempered glass top and oil-rubbed bronze underneath (which could be seen through the top). Very pretty and I got it to match my new upstairs bathroom. It's digital and very accurate.

For a long time I wouldn't step on a scale at all. I feared what it would spit back at me - a weight I didn't want to admit. But now Mr. Scale and I are great buddies. I step on him every day... 3, 4, 7, 8 times a day... and I do justify it in my mind.

I step on the scale every morning to check my weight. No clothes. Go to the bathroom first. But sometimes if it doesn't give me the amount I was expecting I wait 5 minutes and step back on. Or maybe another 10 and step back on. Or maybe 3 times in the span of 3 minutes, just hoping that third number will be more "accurate" than the others. Then I go and workout. I eat something before I workout and I drink about 1/2 liter of water while working out. Then I go home and wait a few hours or so until I have to go to the bathroom and then I run back upstairs and strip down again and weigh myself. It's usually lower by at least a pound or so - which I believe is probably cuz I workout fairly hard. Then as I eat through the day I keep weighing myself to make sure I am not gaining too much with each meal, each time stripping down to nothing (yes, I get undressed and redressed many times a day). And lastly, before I get in bed at night I take it all off once again and step on the scale to see how much I have gained through the day. If I didn't eat much I might break even from the morning - or even lose a few ounces. I go to bed with a smile then. And in the morning I look forward to seeing the difference between my night weight and my new morning weight. My friend Christina thinks I focus way to much on the scale - and she only knows about the every morning and occasional night weigh ins... if she knew the details she might call a shrink on me or schedule an intervention and take my beloved scale away!

I know that I need to somehow wean myself off of the scale use. It's like an addiction to me and I don't want it to be anymore. I relate it to running. When I focus on how tired I am my feet start to slap on the treadmill and I feel like I can barely lift my legs, which feel like weights. When I focus on staying positive and telling myself little things like, "C'mon Sarah, only one mile to go" or "Just get to the next 1/4 mile", I find that I can run with a bounce in my step and many times I get an extra burst of energy and can even run at faster speeds than usual. It's the same way with the scale. I believe that the excitement of seeing a lower number - at any time of day - was helping to propel me forward and stay with it. But now I think it may be dragging me down and causing stress. I believe that if I didn't use the scale SO often I might actually lose MORE weight. Does that make any sense? Are there any studies done on that idea? Any stats someone would like to share? I still think that weighing every morning would be fine... but would it really stop there? I don't know if I would stop at once a day. I really think I need to do something more drastic.

I think I need to weigh in on my normal day (friday morning) and then not weigh again until Wednesday morning next week (only because my BL challenge group has a wednesday weigh in - otherwise I'd go until next friday). It's going to be really hard to do this. It's such a strange attachment and I feel like such a freak. So I had to get it out. I have been like this in the past... but then I stopped weighing and gained a bunch of weight EVERY TIME so you can see my apprehension. My hope is that a week or two with only weighing once on Wednesday and once on Friday will free me from the stress of NEEDING the scale to be lower SO MANY TIMES a day.

I am a little afraid of what you all will say and I am very afraid of me without a scale. But I think I can do it??!?!?!??? Ugh...

On a little bit brighter note - yesterday I did change around my dinner and end up at a good calorie amount - and today I am headed for middle of my calorie range. I made a peanut butter banana protein shake when I got home from the gym that was high in calories (cuz of PB and protein powder) but it was delicious and high in protein. I hope this will help me out with my loss this week.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Lol, you're blogs are a great read. I'm going to add you I think so I don't miss any!

    I don't think there's anything wrong with what you're doing. It's not harming you or anyone else for that matter. It would be different if you were weighing yourself and then not eating right to combat it. But you're well aware that your weight will fluctuate over the day so it's fine.

    It's adding to the excitement of losing weight which is a great thing for keeping you focused on your diet.

    And think of all the exercise you're getting running up and down those stairs! lol

    Good luck scale-a-holic!

    4237 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4515830
    One of my daughters does this same thing! I will watch her eat dinner and then get on the scale and I always ask why she would torture herself! But I weigh every morning. I think some of us need to keep focused every day and that's just one way to do it.
    I think if you just weighed in the morning and then at night you'd get still feel on top of things.
    I totally understand how you feel! Good luck with your new scale. Hopefully it has a nicer disposition.
    4240 days ago
    Hello again Sarah,
    It's me again, HAD to stop by and see your blog.
    That was one awesome read, not sure it's healthy to check the scale THAT MUCH, but whatever works for you.

    I can probably help you break that cycle of weighing yourself that much, care to know how?

    You said that you "strip" for each scale session, well, remember that I'll be:
    ####__( � � )__######
    Peeking in to say "HELLO"!!

    Bet you only weigh fully dressed, and only once a month, LOL
    Yes, I'm ROTFLMAO right now!
    4240 days ago
    Well, I guess I am glad to see I am not the only one! lol

    4240 days ago
    I feel the need to get on the scale several times, too. I say- relax! Your losing weight of course you like to see the number go down. Stop being paranoid! If you get down to your ideal weight & are still compulsive like that, then worry.
    Other then that, who really cares?!? Probably only skinny people or fat people in denial!
    Congratulations on your progress! Be proud of it! The scale is helping you stay on track! Use it!

    4241 days ago
  • MERMAID1983
    You're NOT a freak! I've had my moments as well, where I can't get off that darn scale! Sometimes I even drive my hubby crazy telling him about all the different weighing & how they keep going up & down throughout the day. That being said, what you're doing isn't healthy & is very likely stressing you out to the point that the scale's not going the direction you want it to. The others here have given great advice, so I'll just say make sure you only can see/find the scale on Wednesdays & Fridays. You can do this! Try to distract yourself with something else for the first few weeks, then in no time your obsession will be gone:)
    4241 days ago
    I have done this some, not quite as much, but similar... I usually weigh in the mornings and then at night. I find it strange that my body can release like 5-6 pounds of water overnight sometimes. Sometimes, I will weigh in the middle of the day. I can do it without taking so much stock in what it says though... but it sounds like that is not what is happening for you.

    If you don't want to ask your hubby, ask one of your kiddos to hide the scale from you and only let you have it on Wednesday morning and Friday mornings. Sometimes, we get so focused on the scale that we aren't focusing on the other things in life that matter and while I have no scientific facts, I DO believe that it is possible to get so obsessed with something that it is actually impeding your progress.

    You are not a nutsy weirdo, Sarah, you are just like the rest of us!
    4241 days ago
    The amount of ritual and detail that you put into your weighing several times a day makes me concerned because it reminds me of those suuuuper crazy eating disorder people who eat but then measure their waste and puke and measure their puke to make sure that everything that's going in is coming back out. You are definitely not in that crazy place!!! BUT! The similar TYPE of behavior is definitely concerning and I'm glad that you are recognizing and acknowledging it and have a plan in place to NIP IT IN THE BUD. :) Be strong. Put it somewhere hard to get to. Maybe even enlist the help of hubby to keep it out of possibility except for your scheduled weighins IF that's what you need to do. Good luck!!! When losing I was a daily weigher, but I would only weigh once a day in the morning. SOMETIMES post workout, but usually just the once.
    4241 days ago
    I think we have all done the weight check everytime we walk into the bathroom....I thought about putting a Mr. Yuck sticker on it. When I was a kid mom had Mr. Yuck stickers on everything bad... so I honestly thought about putting one on the scales.
    4241 days ago
    You mean weighing yourself a dozen times a day isn't normal???

    I go in cycles where I obsess and avoid the scale. I decided to put the scale away for a month, keep to calories and do the 30 day shred to see what kind of result I would have. I only weighed in once that month, and again at the end. I can't tell you how anti-climactic it was to see the same number at the end that I started out with! But to only look once that month I had to put the scale away. Not really hidden because I knew where it was, but without it being a daily reminder sitting there waiting for me I didn't think about it as much. (And some days I was just too sore to bend over and pull it out of hiding!)

    I stupidly joined a challenge that's lasting 2 mos and I have to weigh in weekly. Well, I'm back at a dozen times a day. I'm debating leaving the challenge because as of yesterday I'm pretty much where I started 6 weeks ago. (I did go down for a week or so, but now I'm right back up.) I think I'm ready to hide the silly thing again.
    4242 days ago
    I had this problem too, and you know what I did? I hid my scale. That's right. It's in the guest room. Totally away from the bathroom. At first I thought I'd just walk in there, take it in the bathroom, strip and step on it, but really if you don't see it, you honestly aren't thinking about it. Maybe this will work for you, girl.
    4242 days ago
    You really answered your own dilemma ... most weight loss programs are going to encourage you to weigh in no more than once a week. I think by the time your "issues" hit your blogs - you have usually decided to do what you know you need to do.

    My friend, just do it!! emoticon
    4242 days ago
    It's SO easy to become obsessed with using the scale and it usually doesn't lead down a good path. We are often creatures of self deprivation and seeing numbers all over the place up 5lbs from breakfast to lunch doesn't help with a positive body image.

    You're going to want to weigh yourself constantly but just like you have to put down the proverbial chocolate, you have to stop stepping on the scale. You can use it in moderation, maybe 2-3 times a week but don't do it every day. Some people, like myself, have a scheduled day every week to weigh in on that one day and that's it. The scale is meant to be a tool, not a ball and chain, to see how your weight loss is progressing.
    4242 days ago
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