Lighten Up about Weighing In

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
12/2/2011 10:00 AM   :  72 comments   :  10,224 Views

When I was younger, I would jump on the scale a good 20-30 times a day.  I was obsessed.  It was like my life’s judge.  If the scale tipped upward at anytime, I must be a bad person and a failure.  If it dipped downward, I was walking on air!   Have you ever played this game, or is it just me?
 
IF I’m lower on the scale, I’ll be good, bit if I gained even an ounce, I’m eating this _____ and lying around in sweats all day.
 
That is sure giving a scale a lot of power, almost like a god, which it is not.  It is not a judge, jury, nor executioner either.  A scale is a tool for seeing only one tiny aspect of a very complex journey.
 
Weight loss is not just about losing weight.  That sounds crazy, right?  It’s true though.  It wasn’t until I realized that it is the complex journey of self, that I was set free from the scale.  I had other measures of success--like walking a 5K with my walker after a ton of training to get there. Measurements, clothes fitting better, getting in and out of restaurant booths easier, wearing a seatbelt--these are all signs of weight loss that the scale may not show.  I also measure my success by happiness and willingness to give to others.  When I’m closing off, I know I’m in need and therefore, more likely to overeat. 
 
Giving the scale too much power is a mistake.  A good goal is to measure your progress in more than one way.  Awhile back, I bought a shirt I loved that was two sizes smaller than me at Goodwill.  Not a pricey investment at all.  Now I almost fit into it.  I measure how much more I can do.  It feels like doors are opening up to new worlds every time I have a new fitness achievement.  I was NEVER the sporty/ exercise type.  I found that having friends to workout with helps me, as do workout clothes I like and a hot playlist.
 
If ANYTHING in your life is better for your weight loss journey and efforts, don’t hand the key to your happiness over to the scale.  Weigh as you see fit.  I had to go to once a month weigh-ins for a while to gain that focus. Once you have mastered the monthly weighing and put the scale in its place, you may be ready to set your own schedule.
 
There is no rule for weighing.  There is only the journey.  
 
How often do you weigh in and why?
 
 
 


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Comments

  • 72
    Yes, I am included in the numbers of the scale obsessed. When I was younger, I never thought about weight or the scale. As an adult, I weigh myself daily and sometimes more. It can be my motivator or the creator of my frustration. I know the scale should not determine my mood or how I feel about myself, but it does have an impact. Maybe too much for some, but I'm ready to cut back on the scale just yet. I can appreciate the comments that are post here. They are very helpful. However, in the end, you really have to do what works best for you. - 4/2/2012   11:24:33 AM
  • 71
    I like to weight in every morning, hopefully this will keep me on track to lose. - 12/26/2011   9:50:25 AM
  • 70
    I am so right there with you on the scale. It is a monster!! Yet I use it almost daily. I have been on my journey for three months now, and even though I have let the scale monster beat me more times than I can count, I still rely on it. The journey of eating the right amount of calories, how much of a cheat day you should have, and how often, the right combo of carbs/fats/calories/protein, all of this is still a mystery to me, so as I play with all of it, trying to stay in healthy limits, I use the scale to see where I am having the most success. When I get to the point that I feel like giving up because of the scale, I have my husband hide it from me. Sounds funny that I have the willpower to exercise everyday, make smart choices in my nutrition, but if that scale is there, I will get on it. I have learned other ways to measure success too though. I just bought my second pair of jeans (from goodwill) that I try on once a week to measure my progress. - 12/12/2011   10:04:08 AM
  • KMJNY1974
    69
    Even though it drives me crazy, I weigh in every morning. If i see a reduction it motivates me even harder to keep going. - 12/9/2011   12:04:59 PM
  • 68
    Such a timely blog for me as I am struggling with it right now. I weigh in every morning first thing. It helps me keep my weight in check but I also think it causes me to worry about the number too much and not how I feel about my actual body image. I don't think I will stop my daily weigh ins but I am going to try harder to put it in perspective as just a part of the picture not the whole equation. - 12/7/2011   11:27:28 AM
  • 67
    *A scale is a tool for seeing only one tiny aspect of a very complex journey*

    Love it - what a wise and perceptive person you are. Have set the above as a screensaver for a while.
    I was indeed getting far too obsessive about the scales. Thanks for the reminder - and for a great blog
    - 12/7/2011   2:30:01 AM
  • MARYHENNIG
    66
    I weigh in first thing every morning. Lets me make quick adjustments where necessary. - 12/6/2011   9:58:08 PM
  • JLBRHW
    65
    I was weighing in once a week, but after two weeks of no change, then two weeks of a gain, I think I'm going to opt for the once a month. I don't wan't the scale to become a demon, so by backing off a bit, I hope I can regain my perspective. My energy level is good, I'm fitting into clothes that I couldn't get past my thighs before, so I know my changes are working. And I want to keep that positive outlook. - 12/6/2011   10:56:01 AM
  • 64
    I only weigh in when I go to the doctor's office and it seems to be going down but I use my clothes and the mirror as a measure. I can see a waistline appearing and my pants are not tight. I have gone from a size 16 to a size 12, so I am ecstatic!!!! I also have lots of energy and am always eager to find things to keep me moving!!!!!! - 12/6/2011   10:48:10 AM
  • 63
    Daily - every morning. It's the easiest way to notice when you're starting to slip - BEFORE the jeans get tight. You can also learn to take your results with a grain of salt - no pun intended. You can see exactly how sodium intake affects your water retention, the fluctuations of your menstrual cycle, etc. - 12/5/2011   12:42:56 PM
  • ADRIENNE433
    62
    I like the ideas about weighing in twice a week to keep on track. I also like the idea about measure how much you loss from clothes. I have pants I would like to get back into. I weight myself once a week if I remember. I did used to weight myself everyday and got discouraged. I have such a short ways to go to reach my goal I will start weighing myself twice a week just to make sure I am on track and to keep on track for my goal. - 12/5/2011   12:41:08 PM
  • 61
    I (try) weigh in daily. Not so much for the exact weight but for the trending & accountability factor. I know my weight will fluctuate greatly during the day, so (for me) I weigh first thing in the am before I've eaten. It seems to be my most consistent number. If, towards the end of the week, I've been trending upwards, I know I really need to re-evaluate what I'm doing & get a handle on things. I also know that my tendency is to NOT weigh in when I haven't been "good", so that's also why I try to get ON the scale.
    I found when I only got on the scale once a week-it (the scale) seemed to rule my emotions. If I was up on weight, I was down on myself. - 12/5/2011   11:47:34 AM
  • 60
    I try to weigh in every day. I do put a lot of emphasis on the scale since many times I don't see a lot of change in other areas. So the scale is my barometer. There are times I'd like to throw the scale at the wall or the bathroom mirror and I do tend to beat myself up if the numbers aren't heading down. - 12/5/2011   10:58:47 AM
  • 59
    I weigh in every morning, before coffee, or anything else. I have been doing this for years, and it is second nature to me now. I find, that by doing it this way, my weight, never gets out of hand. You can catch a couple of pounds and nip it in the bud. - 12/5/2011   9:54:25 AM
  • 58
    I weigh in every morning right after I jump out of bed, and it has been a wonderful tool for me. I used to weigh in weekly, and found that putting so much pressure on one single weekly moment meant that I would stress myself out if a week's worth of work didn't result in a big number. Everything seemed to culminate in the big "weigh-in" and it was too much pressure to be a useful tool.
    It might seem counter-intuitive, but It's been much more helpful for me to do it daily because I get a little bit of movement regularly, instead of one big pressured number. It lets me see the patterns in my weight loss...few pounds big loss, then steady, then up a little, then repreat. And it motivates me to keep my food choices in check when I see the scale nudge up a little.
    I know it really works for some people, but for me I'm so glad that I took the pressure off of myself by stopping weekly weigh-ins. - 12/5/2011   9:36:21 AM
  • 57
    This is a very big struggle for me every week as I weigh in, I find that I am very much controlled by the number on the scale. - 12/5/2011   8:51:34 AM
  • AMBER461
    56
    I weigh in once a week and sometimes I am disappointed because I see the scale saying that I have gain a few kgs. I plan to weigh in once a month. - 12/4/2011   11:44:13 PM
  • 55
    I weigh every day to keep track of how I'd doing. Works for me! - 12/4/2011   10:27:04 PM
  • BARRISTER2011
    54
    I only weigh in once a month because of the exact issues presented in this article.
    - 12/4/2011   9:31:08 PM
  • 53
    I really like this article. At times I have become obsessed with the scale and the feelings I have afterward. The comments posted here have been really helpful also. - 12/4/2011   9:22:34 PM
  • 52
    I weigh in a couple of times a week, to make sure I stay on track. - 12/4/2011   6:35:45 PM
  • 51
    I weigh in almost every day, but I actually weigh in at night! I like knowing I actually weigh less than what I'm seeing. And I also don't mind the fluctuations based on what I had to eat that day. Now that I'm maintaining I keep to a specific range instead of a specific number. - 12/4/2011   5:48:19 PM
  • 50
    I do weigh in DAILY, and yes, sometimes, SEVERAL TIMES on any given day! But for me THIS WORKS! Many "moons ago" I stopped weighing myself, and "poof" I gained nearly 70 lbs. in a year, or less! That was the last straw, I promised myself, to NOT BEAT MYSELF UP, BUT WORK....FOCUS, on the things I needed to do! Now with SP, the same "rules" apply! I keep the "eye on me" and WORK MY PROGRAM! Everyone needs to find, that something that works for them....this is mine! - 12/4/2011   5:43:59 PM
  • VANANDEL
    49
    I don't own a scale. I sometimes weigh in at my health club, but it's usually several months between weighings. I can tell when I've gained too much just from how my clothes fit. - 12/4/2011   4:12:30 PM
  • ERICAELLOCO
    48
    I weight myself every Sunday morning. I have a long way to go to meet my goal and it's a great way to track my progress. I also take measurements of my waist, upper arm, thigh and calf once a month. the scale doesn't always show the numbers I want or expect it to. So I find that weighing in once a week is best for me. - 12/4/2011   4:02:29 PM
  • 47
    I used to never weigh myself. Since I had my surgery this summer, I had to weigh myself everyday to see how much fluid I lost. I was also seeing my Dr. everyday. Now I weigh myself to keep myself motivated. If I gained, I make sure I'm doing everything right, if I'm staying the same I'm happy, if I lose any, I'm very happy. All this motivates me. - 12/4/2011   3:12:45 PM
  • 46
    I do a daily weigh-in (and log it in the sparkpeople app on my ipod) but watch the overall trend, not the daily fluctuation. I have a friend who used a spreadsheet that showed a 3 day running average but that sounds too complicated for me. :^) I found that daily weigh-ins are better at keeping me focused than a weekly one. - 12/4/2011   1:02:43 PM
  • 45
    Since my wife and I started on this venture together, we have used the daily weigh in as a data point to monitor our progress and check that we are on track. In 11 weeks, I have lost 25 pounds and am rapidly reaching my goal. I look at the fact that clothes are fitting better, or better yet, needing to look for new clothes because of the weight loss, as verification of the progress we are making. I will continue to use the scale after I have reached my goal, or modified goal, as a way to track and monitor that I am continuing to maintain my lifestyle. I don't consider myself a slave to it, but feel it is an important tool. - 12/4/2011   12:05:05 PM
  • 44
    I weigh every single morning, because back when I had a hysterectomy, I didn't weigh and I packed on 40# before I knew what happened. Never let that occur again. - 12/4/2011   10:10:08 AM
  • 43
    I weigh myself daily. It is motivation for me. I don't get too excited if I see a gain when I know I have been staying on track. I know weight fluctuates. - 12/4/2011   9:35:13 AM
  • 42
    i weigh in each morning. i feel like when i don't "check-in", i start slipping. it is another accountability tool for me. - 12/4/2011   8:48:59 AM
  • 41
    It's a daily morning routine.! I feel better knowing where I am in maintenance and adjust accordingly. I used to stress out when I started the maintaining road. But now I know I can control it. I'm cool with it. - 12/4/2011   8:23:17 AM
  • 40
    I weigh myself daily. I find it helps me to know if I'm getting off track. But I also identified with a lot of the comments here. Often, a "good" or "bad" day is determined by what the scale says. Maybe I should try other ways of measuring my success. - 12/4/2011   7:45:55 AM
  • 39
    i weigh myself once or twice a week, but it seems i'm going to have to change that because i'm focusing too much on the number and not enough on the other changes going on with my body. i think maybe i'll try to weigh myself every two weeks or once a month. - 12/4/2011   6:48:00 AM
  • 38
    I average about once a month, but sometimes I go a bit longer than that. I agree with the person who said that when weight loss is slow, it's easy to get discouraged if you're checking frequently and don't see results. - 12/4/2011   12:52:25 AM
  • CARLAWILLDOIT
    37
    A few times per week works for me. Once a week is just not enough to keep me motivated! - 12/3/2011   11:33:03 PM
  • 36
    I weigh in every a.m. It keeps me on track and out of denial. - 12/3/2011   10:26:12 PM
  • 35
    I can totally see how one could get obsessed with the scale, but thankfully that isn't an issue for me. I weigh myself a few times a week & use the number as a reminder to get back on track as necessary, or as encouragement when I'm doing what I should.

    It's really great to have MANY ways to monitor our progress! I love your thrift-store shirt--I have a few clothes like that too.

    Way to go! - 12/3/2011   9:06:42 PM
  • 34
    I like the idea of buying a smaller shirt and using that as a way to judge weight loss. Love this blog. - 12/3/2011   7:33:29 PM
  • 33
    i totally agree. Its not good to become obsesses. but for some, like me, scales are a necessity. if i'm not careful and don't weight myself i could easilygain 10 pounds but my image of my body would be myself. . . . .until I don't even recognize myself anymore.

    so for some, it can be a ncessity. NOT the whole picture at all, but one tool to use to maintain or keep tabs on your progresss.

    btw - i do weigh myself everyday and record my weight 2x a week. - 12/3/2011   7:24:01 PM
  • 32
    I don't own a scale. If I bought one I would be afraid that I would become obsessed by it and let it dictate how I feel instead of other victories. - 12/3/2011   6:57:48 PM
  • 31
    Just like some others, I do step on the scale each day. I use it as a tool to help keep me in check. I also realize there are fluctuations in weight from day to day and that there are other ways to measure my progress.

    I too have experienced the feelings you expressed about "IF Iím lower on the scale, Iíll be good, bit if I gained even an ounce, Iím eating this _____ and lying around in sweats all day."
    I am working on changing that all or nothing mentality, realizing that sometimes, it just means I have to try harder, or change my exercise routines, or stay away from processed foods.
    I think, as long as one can realize that the scale should not dictate how you feel about yourself when that number pops up (easier said than done) that the frequency with which one weighs oneself is up to the individual. - 12/3/2011   6:32:20 PM
  • IRONMOM37
    30
    I usually weigh in every morning at the same time. However, I don't consider that my official checkpoint as I know that weight fluctuations happen from day to day depending on many factors. My official weigh in is every Monday morning but I also take measurements using a tape measure since pounds are not the only indicator of progress. - 12/3/2011   5:20:06 PM
  • 29
    Once a month. My weight loss is slow and anything more often would be too discouraging. When I reach my goal, however, I will probably do it more often than that to make sure I am maintaining the loss. - 12/3/2011   4:32:58 PM
  • 28
    Once a week works for me - sometimes I'll do an extra during the week, but Sunday morning before I eat is what gets recorded. I keep track in a spreadsheet so I can graph it and see the trend. I'll admit It it can affect my mood - I may get discouraged or optimistic for a few hours. But I don't cast moral judgement on myself based on the scales. I know there are MANY reasons for fluctuations, and don't call myself names over it. If it's bad news, I usually know where I flubbed up, and I'll own that. (but unexplained plateaus stink) - 12/3/2011   3:29:56 PM
  • GREENMOUSE
    27
    Every day is a good plan for me; otherwise I can fool myself into thinking things are going better than they are. I only record it officially once a week. My temptation is to triumph too much in every dip, forgetting that dips can be just as much a meaningless fluctuation as a small increase can. - 12/3/2011   2:03:50 PM
  • 26
    I weight once a week. This is a great blog and helps me to realize that although my weight loss isn't happening as fast as I would like, I am making progress in other areas. - 12/3/2011   1:37:55 PM
  • 25
    I weigh in a couple of times a week. We are so funny about our habits! I weigh in on the Wii about every 2-3 weeks or more. I hate it when the Wii yells at me for not going on more frequently. My Wii and my scale are within half a pund of one another. I'm not really tied to either. I am happy when the number is down but realistic enough to know it will be up from time to time. I was very happy that my weight has been stable even through having a few extras over Thanksgiving. Be kind to yourself and don't sweat the small stuff!! - 12/3/2011   1:00:33 PM
  • 24
    I could have written that first paragraph by HMMILLER. I weigh each morning before I put anything in my mouth and each night before going to bed. It is a compulsive behavior--one I've done for years. I don't think of it as a god, more as a guide. I know how my body fluctuates, but I also know if I let it go, I can gain weight so fast. I kept using the scale as a stop sign to tell me to turn back before I reached 200. That crept up and then I changed the number to 210. I hate to think what it would have been if I had ignored the scales completely. Now I back in the 170s and going down! I know I will still continue to use the scales daily. - 12/3/2011   11:30:12 AM
  • 23
    I weigh in twice a day. It's a habit, really, but it does affect my mood. I know when the numbers are going to be up (usually Mondays after a weekend of being more lax in my eating habits), but I still beat myself up about it a little. I weigh in at night so I know what to expect in the morning, but then hope it'll be lower than what I'm sure it will be.

    I think it's almost an OCD thing - if I'm in bed at night and haven't weighed in, I can't stop thinking about it. The first thing I think about in the morning is getting on the scale. I try not to let it set my mood, but I know when I don't see things I like, my negative self-talk kicks in big time. I should probably see a therapist, but it's a hang-up I'm not ready to give up yet (much like a smoker who knows it's bad isn't ready to quit). - 12/3/2011   10:53:25 AM

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