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Zen and the Art Of Weekly Weigh-Ins

Monday, July 16, 2012

I record my weight here at Spark once a week (on Sundays), but I weigh myself every day.

I weigh in the mornings, first thing, after my morning constitution but before I brush my teeth.

I weigh naked.

I usually step on the scale a few times, sometimes holding something heavier just to jumpstart the scale into a correct reading (this is not random scale voodoo, my scale actually does gets "lazy" from time to time and delivers the same weight day after day in spite of obvious gains or losses. Stepping on it with a clearly higher weight jolts it back into relative accuracy).

But, even with all these strict weighing-in rules, I never know what the hell is going to happen when I step on the scale.

The last few weeks, for example: in spite of sticking to my plan and working out like an champ for all three weeks, for two out of the last three weeks, I've weighed higher than I did the week before.

The first week, I gained 0.4 pounds.
The third week, I gained 0.4 pounds.
The second week, however, I lost 4.2 pounds.

So, in spite of the gains, it's still a negative in the column, so I've really got nothing to complain about.

But I wanted to post this so I would remember, six days, six months or six years from now, what a random and variable bee-yotch the scale can be. It's fickle, flighty, as changeable as the wind.

Eat within your range, but maybe eat a smidge too much salt? GAIN!
Getting ready for your TOM? Oh yeah, baby -- GAIN!
Constipated? Totally GAIN!

Frustrating thing is, it works the other way, too, but I don't like to think about that. I don't like to think that the 4.2 pounds lost in the second week of this month was likely due to the arrival of TOM, paired with the fact that I'd woken up later than usual that morning so weighed 2-3 hours after my usual time.

I don't like to think about it because while I do "own" every last pound I lose, I prefer to justify the pounds I don't. With me, every loss is a victory that's all mine, and every gain is something that can be explained away.

I have to stop this.

I have to embrace my weight as a general figure, one that's ever-changing. It's like trying to define the term "the present" -- you can't, because it's always on the move. If you get too locked to the precise numbers (and we all know how much I like running the figures and doing the math, such a diet nerd), you're in for disappointment and constant doubt.

Yesterday, the scale said I gained 0.4 pounds.

For all I know, if I had stepped on the scale 10 minutes later, I'd have weighed a little less or a little more.

And by now? Depending on my body's chemistry, what I ate last night, the effects of this morning run and the Kashi waffle I had for breakfast, I could be up or down 2+ pounds from that figure, for all I know.

In the end, so long as my pants are still smaller than they were three months ago, does today's number really matter?

I did record my measurements last week, just to get that started in case the scale really started getting me down -- but I think the most important thing that I'm going to take away from this (and that hopefully I'll remember) is that our bodies and our weight are fluid, they are constantly in motion, and the best we can do is grab a random snapshot of where we are for that one split-second when we step on the scale.

I'll still probably obsess about the numbers, but from here on out, I'll try to do it with an understanding that my comprehension of how much I weigh can never be as precise as I'd like, because I am a living, breathing, changing and evolving human being.

And that's pretty damn cool, really.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • MIRAGE727
    I am so totally on the same wavelength with you on this. Forgive me but I was a bit amused more because I can relate than anything else. I obsessed as well then became one with the lifestyle, more educated on my body, and accpted the course of events! You just keep doing what you're supposed to and it will all be cool! Stay strong!
    2460 days ago
    I weigh every day. I do it to stay accountable. But I really have begun to understand the "it's just a number" concept. I have weighed within a 2-3 pound range for a bit now, I have continued with my walking regimen. I tried some older, smaller clothes on around the end of May when I was nearing my goal weight, and clothes that still didn't fit went into the yard sale bin. I weigh pretty much (3-4 lbs) the same as then, I went through that bin this morning and tried on clothes again, all but about 3 things did that happen?? This was a full LARGE bin of clothes! The difference between 128 and 126/24, it is NOT enough to justify those differences that I saw this morning! Which means I am doing something else, totally NOT connected to the scale. This is amazing. I will continue to weigh every day, my OCD won't allow otherwise. I WILL maintain my weight within the 124-127 range that I want. But I truly do believe that it isn't just that number any more. And for me, a lifetime, yo-yo, up and down, way down here, way up there type of person, this is a first!
    WOW... emoticon
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    2463 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/21/2012 5:32:34 AM
    zomg! I totally hear you. I'm really trying not to be scale obsessed but it is hard! Keep up the great work, and I'm totally gonna try to jolt my bipolar scale!
    2465 days ago
    Oh my! We have the same routine... Although sometimes I get on the scale before and after the morning constitutional... You know, just to see... Weird, huh?
    2467 days ago
    How did you get into my head and write my blog? LOL

    Love the reference to "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance."

    Really, I could have written this word for word, so I LOVE it!!

    Keep Sparking!!

    2467 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/17/2012 7:52:33 AM
    Oh, your scale sounds exactly like mine! In fact, I joke (threaten) all the time how I want to throw it out the window cause it's results are all over the place at any given time. I agree with what you said about your pants being smaller, and that being a way to measure your loss...the scale at my house has said the same thing for nearly 2 months, yet my pants keep getting looser and looser! Thank goodness for the measuring tape!
    2467 days ago
    I weigh once a week and even that is fraught with drama--have I pooped? Did I drink too much water when I got up? How much salt did I eat the day before?

    It's so frustrating, but nothing can compare to the job when the numbers go down!
    2467 days ago
    Maybe I should try holding something heavier. My scale hasn't moved for three stinkin' days!! Guess it needs a jolt too!!

    2467 days ago
    In the grand scheme of an entire body and all it can do, a pound really isn't that impressive. Unless... you're losing it! Then it's like HOT DAMN! Hahhaha - great blog! :)
    2467 days ago
    Good attitude!

    I wonder what we would all do if there was no such thing as a scale.

    How would things be gauged? By measurements? Clothing sizes? # of reps? Amount of weight lifted? Walking step #s? Walk distances, or times, or speeds? # of compliments?

    2467 days ago
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