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why I weigh everyday

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bottom line: It keeps me on track.

My son turned 2 last week, which means I have gotten on that scale nearly every single day for 2 years. I understand that a number doesn't define us and the scale is only one way to measure progress and Spark doesn't recommend it and yadda yadda yadda.

But we all have our own stories to tell. And different things work for different people. Here's my weight loss journey in a nutshell:

Basically I've been around 150 as long as I can remember. And even writing that is a lie. I've been around 155 as long as I can remember; 150 just sounds better. 5 or 6 years ago I knew I gained and needed help. I joined LA weight loss at 170, basically a weight watchers type place. I weighed in weekly. I feared that weigh-in. I would restrict calories for the few days before it. I would wear as little clothing as possible. I would skip the meal before I weighed in. And then I'd see a number I liked and lie to myself and say I lost weight. Then I'd go back to normal habits for a few days. Then the fear of the weekly weigh-in would creep back in and I'd start restricting again. Sound familiar? Sound healthy?

Somewhere around this time I found sparkpeople. And like so many of you, something clicked. I bought my own scale, I quit paying that awful place and I made some steps to become healthier. I read all the articles and followed the advice. Once a week weigh-ins on Fridays. But that probably wasn't the best choice for me because this was at a time in my life when I was going out a lot and weekends were full of food and drinks. I'd eat and drink, then every Monday get myself back on track. Sound familiar??!

Through all of this I got from 170 to 155.

Then I got pregnant and after my daughter was born I abandoned sparkpeople. (bad idea!) I braved the scale once and surprisingly liked the number I saw. I knew it wasn't accurate because my clothes didn't fit right and I didn't feel good. But I let the number lie to me and went on my merry way right into another pregnancy.

By 7 or 8 months pregnant I felt awful. I looked awful. I was embarrassed and ashamed. I never thought I'd become "that mom." I knew I had to make changes. I knew it'd be hard and I knew it was time to be honest with myself. I also knew I could do it.

I'm a number girl. I like data and I like tracking progress. So I stepped on the scale. After having my son I stepped on the scale again. And then I wrote it down. And then I did that again and again and again. Obviously the numbers were going down because I had just had a baby. But I was also being accountable and honest.

At 6 weeks postpartum, I went directly back to the gym. I've always liked working out. Now I had to figure out how to make it a priority with having 2 young children at home.

When the numbers weren't changing as much as I wanted them to, I learned more about nutrition. Then things really started to change. I stopped counting calories and stressing about a range. I gave up processed food and listened to my body. (But that's for another blog...)

When my son was 6 months old, I reached my 155 goal weight. I reassessed and kept going. I hit 150 and decided I wanted 145.

And I've been bouncing around those 5 pounds since July 2011. That's around the time that I started running longer distances (6+ miles). My goals changed from weight loss to endurance training. I dove head first into HMs, a full 26.2 and some triathlons.

Throughout my training I continued to weigh-in everyday. I knew my history. I knew how easy it was to put on a few. I learned how hard it is to maintain weight while running long distances. It's counter intuitive, but if you want to lose weight, running half-marathons may not be the best way to do it.

I have a calendar where I chart my workouts. I give myself different, cute stickers for different types of workouts. It makes me happy! I also write down my weight every single day. It's my way of being honest with myself. It's also a way to see patterns. After a long run, I am up. Wed-Fri I am usually lower. I compare week to week. I don't kid myself by thinking I lost a whole pound overnight. And I don't get upset when I am up 2 in one day. I do remind myself of what type of day I need to have to make sure I'm not "up" another 2 the next day.

The scale does not dictate my mood. Sure, it has gotten to me at times. But I remind myself that it is one tool. And one that I like. If I'm unhappy with a number, it's almost always because of choices that I made. And I have the power to make different choices.

Lately I have not been as "on" my nutrition game as usual. And I've skipped a few weigh-ins. On purpose. I didn't want to see the number. Uh oh. That alone should be a red flag to me. I know that I need to own it. The scale is a concrete alarm when I see 150.0. Time to get serious! And after 3 days back on track, making my go-to meals, I am back to 147.

Now, what I really want is to see that 147 again next Thursday. That is what tells me it's real. I don't trust one day lows. Doesn't count as a real loss for me.

Maintenance is hard work. This lifestyle is a serious commitment. It's so easy to backslide. But it so so worth it. It's rewarding and satisfying to get back on track. Instead of embarrassed, I feel strong. Instead of ashamed, I feel proud.

Isn't it funny how a blog can take on a life of its own? I didn't set out to give this whole story. And I certainly am not saying that this is what everyone should do. It works for me. I needed that reminder.

The scale reminds me to stop a backslide in its tracks.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Its great when you find a system that works for you! I also have a calendar with cute stickers for my workouts. The idea of a big gap is enough motivation to get me to the gym most days! I only weigh in once a week, but it is a motivator to make more healthy choices throughout the week.
    1948 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/20/2012 3:33:05 PM
    Thanks for sharing your story

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

    I haven't weighed myself in months but I measure myself with clothes.
    1948 days ago
    emoticon This is a step I need to take!
    1949 days ago
    I know other people who use daily weigh-ins to stay on track and aware. I recently started this approach and believe it helps. Thanks for sharing your positive experience! emoticon
    1949 days ago
    Love the blog!! i have to weigh in everyday also to keep my self accountable and to know that im staying on also lets me know when i need to make changes. emoticon
    1949 days ago
    Great Blog!
    1949 days ago
    I weigh everyday. It helps identify backsliding immediately and is one tool I use to measure forward progress.

    1950 days ago
    Thoughtful post and nice to see that someone else weighs every day!

    1950 days ago
    Me too. I also keep a chart in the bathroom.
    1950 days ago
    We all need reminders, that is why our cars come with speedometers. Thanks. I weigh every day as well and then update my chart in Excel.
    1950 days ago
    Go girl, GO!
    1950 days ago
    Interesting blog. I do not weigh in every day, but, yet, I take my blood pressure every day. I'm thinking I should try to weigh in each day and see if I can make progress that way. Not as easy to hide from it. Thanks for sharing.
    1951 days ago
    Good job!
    1951 days ago
    I'm glad it works for others, but if I have a scale in the house I weigh 5-10 times/day.

    I'll stick to weighing weekly at the dr's office. Their scale is likely more accurate than mine any way.
    1951 days ago
    Weighing everyday is an important tool for me.
    1951 days ago
    I really enjoyed your blog and agree on so many things. I recently began weighing every day after years of doing it once a week. Just as you mentioned, I was in that awful cycle of eating heavier after a weekly weigh-in and then cutting back drastically a couple days before my next weigh-in. Not a good pattern. Daily weigh-ins so far have been a blessing. I'm making much better, healthier choices on a daily basis. For me, it's really been extremely helpful and I don't obsess over the numbers - it just keeps me more accountable.
    1952 days ago
    I weigh daily too. Lost 60-65 pounds (from 180 to 115 or 120) over about a year. And, have been maintaining for over a year. Is almost as much work, though, to maintain as it was to lose, and, I have found that I HAVE to continue to weigh daily to stay on track.

    Have recently begun peri-menopause, and that adds some additional challenges.

    ~ Faith
    1952 days ago
    Good for you for finding a way to maintain. I personally can't weigh daily as I will start to obsess about the number. My oldest has an eating disorder and I don't want her seeing me obsess on about the number on the scale.

    I do weigh in once a week and sometimes twice. This keeps me in check, but keeps me "healthy."

    That's the good thing about Sparkpeople. Everyone is here to support others, yet we all can do it in "our own way."

    Keep up the great work! emoticon
    1952 days ago
    1953 days ago
    I weigh every day, too. Before I joined WW long long ago I, like too many others, weighed myself 20 times a day to see if I'd "gotten away" with something, or if "giving up" something showed me that immediate reward the "sacrifice" should have granted. Alas. Weighing once a week was necessary to break that habit along with so many others. Since then I have weighed daily and written it down at the top of my day in my little calendar (how analog!) The big advantage there is that I can quickly compare today to last month, last year, or 10 years ago. It is what it is on any given day. I don't avoid the thermometer because it might be too hot or too cold outside. I want to know how to dress. Same with the scale. Great Blog!!
    1953 days ago
    Congratulations on your weight loss. I weigh every day also. I didn't so much when I was losing weight because that can be frustrating. However, in maintenance, it keeps me focused. I weigh first thing every morning, and it keeps my eating in line. Lets me know if I can eat a little more or should cut back a little.
    1954 days ago
    Congratulations on your success.
    I weigh in everyday too. I don't want more than 2 lbs to get the best of me. I have a 5 lbs range, but why get that far over.?
    I need to track my weight, track my food. i've maintained for over 18 months and intend to do whatever I have to do to stay on track and at goal.
    Be strong, stay positive.
    Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1954 days ago
    1954 days ago
  • LISAW/3
    I completely agree with you! Even down to skipping a morning since I don't want to know the number! :)
    Weighing in every day not only keeps me on track, but I've learned how much my weight can fluctuate!
    Great blog on how to use the scale every day in a positive way!
    1954 days ago
  • ANITA50
    i also do that, weigh in every day. i find it helps keep me on track and motivated to do well.
    1954 days ago
    I just recently started weighing everyday. I like it, because it's a daily reminder of what I'm trying to achieve. =)
    1954 days ago
    I weigh in every day too, for many years now. However, I only track for not so long. Helps me keep track of my hydration level. Shows immediatly, when I don't drink enough! :-)
    1954 days ago
    Kudo's to you! I used to weigh myself every day, but cannot any longer b/c of the stress of it all. I'm just 2 weeks into maintenance and still find I can't take the stress of weighing every day. However, I CAN weigh my FOOD everyday!!!!

    Cheers to you,
    1955 days ago
    Thanks for sharing your experience with the scale, weight loss and your workouts. Congrats on all of your successes!! emoticon emoticon
    1955 days ago
  • THOMS1
    Great blog and it is all so true. Friday morning weigh in, eat all weekend, Monday morning get back on track. That was me. It took me a long time of doing this to realize that it was just a vicious cycle. I still weigh on Mondays and Fridays but I also stick to my plan on the weekends and if unexpected things come up I just make better choices.
    1955 days ago
    Great blog! Tracking, weighing, exercising: this maintenance is hard work AND worth every bit of it! Congrats to you on your success and on you commitment to sustaining it.
    1955 days ago
    I also weigh myself every day - not to freak myself out, but to take action before things go awry. Just a 5-10 second thing in the morning to let myself know that things are on track. Good blog!
    1955 days ago
    I weigh every day too - its the only way I can keep my weight under control. When I quit weighing I start gaining - it may not work that way for everyone, but it does for me!
    1955 days ago
    I weigh in daily, recognizing there will be "unexplained" fluctuations. Helps me put on the breaks right away when there are a couple of weigh-ins in a row in the wrong the direction instead of trying to fix it seven days later.
    1955 days ago
  • POPSY190
    Thank you for this. I haven't weighed since my last challenge finished and I know I'm above my top acceptable weight. So I'm back to the basics of SP because that is what always works for me.
    1955 days ago
    Thanks. I am ALMOST to maintaining and I'm looking for ideas. I will try this and see if it works for me!
    1955 days ago
    Thank you Thank you Thank you! I so totally agree with you. I also need to weigh and jot down my wt every day. It keeps me on track. I have been struggling since The end of Oct myself. I was so happy to get back to my go to meals. I will get back to my goal wt within the next 6 months. However, I still consider myself at goal after losing as much as I have. You keep up the good work. Especially with two young ones!

    1955 days ago
    Thanks and congratulations!

    1955 days ago
    I also write down my weight every single day. It's my way of being honest with myself. It shows me my weight patterns. It works for me too! Like you said, daily weigh ins are a tool to keep me on track. I did it while losing the weight and, if I want to keep the weight off, I plan to continue doing it for the rest of my life.
    1955 days ago
  • WINGLESS98465

    I feel like I am constantly trying to justify my reasons for daily weigh-ins to people. I weigh daily and chart inches weekly. I don't do it for the immediate satisfaction, and I don't let ups and downs destroy my moods. But I keep a record of it, I chart the changes, and I can see what my body is doing. I do it for (mostly) the same reasons as you. But I still feel like I'm having to justify myself. It is reassuring to see others who view daily weigh-ins as a tool they use, and not an obsession. So, for that, thank you.
    1955 days ago
    I totally agree with you regarding weighing every day. I find that it keeps me in check and focused on making healthy decisions for the day. Since I also use other measurements to determine progress (tape measure, caliper measurements, how my clothes fit), it's just another tool that I have in my toolbox that have helped me be successful in my weight loss.

    Congrats on maintaining, and keep on running! :)
    1955 days ago
    wonderful story and lots of hard work put in. Congrats to you for figuring things out. I too weigh everyday as a reminder and to keep on the right path.
    Thanks for sharing your story
    Best of everything to you!
    1955 days ago
    woo hoo, great blog. Weighing in daily works best for me also. Congratulations on taking good care of yourself.
    1955 days ago
  • LAURIE5658
    Maintaining weight loss with a healthy happy lifestyle is the hardest thing we will ever do but so worth it! You are rocking it! CONGRATULATIONS!
    1955 days ago
    Fantastic blog! Congrats on your weight loss and maintenance. I can relate to so much of what you write. I have had mixed feelings about weighing daily or weekly or less. But looking back on it, I've done my best maintaining when weighing daily. Like you say, it is a tool. My mom's maintenance was weigh every day and if up go back on calorie restricted diet. She never knew before the weigh in what she'd be eating that day. Then she did not pay much attention to nutrition if her weight was okay. I think it is much better to plan to eat healthy, like the Spark food plans, to maintain a healthy weight.

    Anyway, thanks again for this blog. I think weighing daily helps me and you give me support that it isn't obsessive or crazy, it is a tool I use to manage my weight!!
    1955 days ago
  • KANOE10
    Nell Jones gave me a great quote.."The scale tells you what you need to do." That focuses you on action not reaction. Weighing daily keeps you accountable. I was also in that club for years..start again on Monday. I joined lots of weight lost groups and went through that anxiety of being as thin as possible for the weigh ins. I love Spark People also and am happy you are doing so well. Your maintenance for a year plus is wonderful. I like the chart idea with the stickers to motivate you. great job on running!

    1955 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/13/2012 7:27:11 AM
    Maintenance is both hard work and a puzzle. The daily weights give me information that helps with part of the puzzle. But daily weighing wasn't a big decision for me. I'd been weighing daily for over a decade, and had over 8 years of records by the time I found SparkPeople. After years of weighing daily, the daily weights had lost all immediate impact, and the trends became the important thing.

    It's a lot harder to make the trend go sideways than it was to make it go down.
    1955 days ago
    You have said it! "Maintenance is hard work. This lifestyle is a serious commitment. It's so easy to backslide. But it so so worth it. It's rewarding and satisfying to get back on track. Instead of embarrassed, I feel strong. Instead of ashamed, I feel proud. "

    1955 days ago
  • _LINDA
    I am one of the looks like rare ones not to weigh in every day. In February, I will have maintained for two years. I like numbers too -and religious tracking of every little scrap I eat every day after every meal and tracking all my fitness is what keeps me in line -that can show trends as much or easier then the scale which is notorious for swings up and down depending on numerous factors -like what you last ate, your last BM, how well hydrated you are, TOM, etc., etc.
    But everyone is different for what works for them so more power to you for finding what works for you! Continued success with your healthy lifestyle -you go girl!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1955 days ago
    Yep, sounds familiar! I had to laugh when I recognized myself in your words. For 22 years, I feared the dreaded Air Force weigh-ins and would dehydrate myself to the point of sickness (laxatives and sauna) for two days before to make sure I didn't bust the weigh-in and get put on the "fat girl" program. I shudder to think how many years I stripped from my life by abusing my body that way. Now, I weigh daily and use the number to remain accountable to myself and to spot trends.
    1956 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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