I was checking through some instagram posts on what people are up to with their own approaches to losing weight and a person posted a question…
“do you weigh yourself every day?”
The owner of that account went on to say how they do weigh in every day; another one said ‘yes it keeps me on track.’ And my head was screaming – “no way! Keeps you on track for what? Total obsession about how much you weigh and how much you haven’t lost today?”
If a healthy weight loss is to lose 500g (1lb) per week (that is if this is permanent weight loss that you won’t put on again in a flash) then for 6 days out of the 7 what are you looking at? ‘No haven’t lost it yet. No haven’t lost it yet….’
What do you think that does to your head – self-esteem, enthusiasm, confidence, and determination to keep going? And what happens, God forbid, if you are bloated one day, retaining water, had a big meal or muscle replaced fat from the exercise you were doing and holy crap the scale increased?
How are you feeling then?
For me the feeling was “what’s the point, it doesn’t work anyway, I might as well eat another four huge biscuits and a pint of ice cream and just buy bigger clothes.”
Now to be fair, I am an advocate of what ever works for you then do it, there is no one right way – if you love the challenge, have an ‘I’m going to beat this sucker’ attitude, the alarm is set for 4am, I’m going to run for an hour today and go to the gym for 2 hours to get that damn scale where it should be – type of person, then good on you; you do that.
Where as me over here – that totally didn’t work for me. It made me obsessive compulsive to the point of exasperating over anything I was contemplating eating. It was a constant concern about ‘will this make me fat? Will this help get it off? I should be exercising more, I should go to the gym, I should want to do all that and because I don’t I must be lazy, useless and hopeless.’
And it was only when I said, “that’s it – no more weighing, measuring, focusing, obsessing or being concerned about where I am at right now. Go live your life, have fun,” that things started to change for me. I just slowly put a few overall concepts in place – one at a time, so I didn’t freak myself out.
Like one was – No Sugar. And I just slowly worked out when a sugar decision came up like putting it in your tea; I found a better alternative and now use Stevia. If it was a cake or biscuit, I would either not have it and have another cup of tea and also learned to make my own with healthier sweeteners, so I didn’t feel like I was missing out or need to eat the whole batch. And lo and behold, hey presto! after about 3 months, 5kgs (10lbs) came off and I didn’t look at the scale once in all that time.
So my approach is weigh yourself every 6 months, just out of curiosity, if you feel compelled. Because the number on the scale doesn’t tell you anything about how you feel and that is what matters most. You will also be able to tell how your clothes fit, whether they are getting looser or tighter and when you look in the mirror.
It was funny actually, I hadn’t weighed myself in about a year and I read somewhere that coconut oil is supposed to help you lose weight and I believe this is true if you are substituting your other oils for this product – I use it in my raw chocolate treats.
However this article advocated adding like a tablespoon of coconut oil in your tea every time you have a cup of tea and even just eating a tablespoon full – straight down your gob. Icky! Even just the thought of that made me gag.
So I thought right, I will test this out and for 3 weeks I will put a tiny teaspoon in my tea twice or three times a day and see what happens. Took a bit of getting used to the oiliness – eeerk – but it grows on you. (Hard to wash the cup though! Ha ha.)
So to start the test I weighed myself and I was at the 61kg mark – in my 6 monthly curiosity checks I can hover between 58kgs and 62kgs and all is well.
So I left it for about a week and weighed in again and it was about the same and then something weird happened, I started to weigh myself more often, like every second day and then it became daily, like the obsession snuck up on me and the feelings gushing out were surprising.
It was like back when I was overweight – ‘the concern, a little bit of excitement but then soon dashed, the dread of the scales going the wrong way, the disappointment, the expectation that this experiment was supposed to make me lose weight so why isn’t it losing, what is happening, I’m going to be fat forever, this isn’t good, what do I do now, OMG, OMG!!!!’
And you wonder why I don’t weigh myself every day?
So the result of the experiment after 3 weeks was that I put on 1kg (2lb), not the desired result and so I stopped it, back to my normal routine and it came off again. (I didn’t do anything different during the experiment time, just my normal type and quantity of food and small amount of exercise.)
But what a head spinner about the weighing thing, right? And all those feelings and irrational thoughts bursting out; it’s a minefield up there.
So now I am back to not weighing again, because realistically focusing on what you don’t want doesn’t bring you what you do want. When I finally reached my goal weight after all those years, I only found out because I was doing a New Year’s Day assessment of where my life was situated and I weighed myself and bingo! Nice surprise.
To weigh or not to weigh, that is the question. What works for you?