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Once Upon a Time, the scale said, "...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

So this one is partly about the scale, we all hate to love and love to hate.
It's also kind of about my philosophy.

I know I'm not done yet, so what do I know, but this time on Spark is different for me. Different from everything else I've tried. So I thought I'd share.

Today, for me, is a "Once Upon a Time, the scale moved!" I've been 268 for a couple of weeks. This morning I saw an amazing 266.7!

Oh I also hit a very silly milestone today. I gotta celebrate the little things, because I'm a weirdo. Out of curiosity, after I'd done my morning in undies weigh in, I weighed again, pants, shoes and all. I am now, officially, OUT of the morbidly obese category, INCLUDING SHOES. Dumb I know. hahaha.

Anyway. It's storytime people. This is a little fairy tale for you all. As always the idea is to LEARN A LESSON from the mistakes of your fairy tale characters. Feel me?

Here we go:

Once Upon a Time, there was a girl. She was overweight and very unhappy. She wanted to be smaller "as fast as possible!" she said. So she went to a doctor who peddled a plan (which in the interest of avoiding litigation shall NOT be detailed in full in our storybook).

The girl was to visit the doctor for a sort of "treatment," to be weighed in, and make very expensive payments. In between visits the girl was to eat very small portions of very restricted foods on a very special schedule. Some days the girl was to eat nothing but milk!

So the girl followed this plan. And she visited the doctor, and paid her payments. And ate her strange foods, and she drank her milk, and lots and lots and LOTS of diet soda to compensate for the food she could not eat.

And the girl lost weight! The doctor promised 15 pounds a month, or more, if you followed his spell.

And some months the scale said "Congratulations! 10 pounds gone!".

And some months, it didn't.

The doctor would ask "are you following the spell?" He would accuse the girl of failing. When people followed the spell, he said, the scale would follow. "I will always know when you have not been true," he said.

For the Scale knows all.

The girl began to struggle.

She was eating so little! She was following the spell! How could the scale not obey?

In any case, the girl followed the spell for many months. It was very very hard. But gradually, the girl lost 60 pounds. The girl was pleased. Her family was pleased. The girl said "I shall lose my last 40 pounds, and I shall be happy forever!" "I will use the spell!"

After some time, the girl began to consider what would happen when the spell was done. When the pounds were gone. "If the pounds come back, I can always use the spell again..." she thought uncertainly.

Then the girl got married! It was a happy day. The girl was happy. The girl's husband was happy. The girl's family was happy.

The girl and boy went on a trip! "I cannot follow the spell on this trip," said the girl. "Where will I find my special restricted food? I cannot have my treatments. And my husband will want to eat foods, at restaurants."

The doctor had said "go on your trip. Return to the spell after."

So the girl did.

But the spell worked less and less.

"One half pound," the scale said.

"No pounds."

"Are you following the spell??" the doctor would ask. "We know by what the scale says. We need to scale to say ten pounds down, or we know you are not following the spell."

The girl was ashamed. "I must be doing something wrong," the girl thought sadly. "And it is very hard. I cannot follow the spell forever," she thought. "I am weak."

"I wish I were strong, like the others."

The others, the doctor tells of, who have used the spell to transform.

The girl did meet others who had used the spell. "The spell works," they said, "until you stop." "What happens when you stop?" the girl asked. "Most people change back," they said. "There are a few who remain transformed. But most change back."

Gradually, the girl lost faith. The spell only works if you believe.

If you leave room for nothing else.

Without the expensive payments, there were no doctor visits, no treatments, no weigh ins.

Without the treatments, and without the scale to say "10 pounds gone!" month after month, there was no will to continue. To struggle. To set life to the side.

"I have been fighting for the scale," the girl said, "and I have lost."

And so the girl changed back.

After a while, the girl began to try other ways of transforming.

Spells from books.

Spells from friends.

Spells from TV.

Spells she invented herself.

The girl would work at a new spell, and listen to the scale, so to judge the new spell.

"I worked hard these last few weeks," said the girl.

"Half a pound up," said the scale.

"I am weak!" she cried. "Only the strong transform!" And she cried, and cried.

Until one day, a voice inside her answered back.

"How can you say you are weak??" the voice boomed! "Think of the first spell. Remember the days you ate nothing? You ate nothing while others ate feasts! How can you say you are weak?"

"Remember the parties, holidays, special occasions where you held to the spell? You drank milk and ate no cake, no meal, not even a taste! HOW can you say you are weak?"

"But I failed," the girl thought. "The scale said so."

"That spell leaves no room for life," answered the voice, "only for itself."

"And the scale cannot tell you who you are."

And the girl thought on this.

What do we do when the scale stops moving?

We stop; we lose faith in our spells.

And what does the scale say, when we go back to the ways that made us what we were?

The scale says "UP!"

So the girl thought. And thought. And the girl tried again, but listened to the voice inside, more and more.

"Who am I?" asked the girl.

"and who do I want to be?"

"I can work to be the person I want to be," the girl thought, "I can work to transform. Because I am strong."

"And what if the scale says 'No pounds'?" asks the voice.

So the girl decided, "I am working to transform into so much more. I will let the scale can be one sound in the din. When the scale says, 'no,' I will work for ME instead."

Not Quite The End, Yet.

So the moral of the story is, IN CASE YOU COULD NOT GUESS, I really did this. I did the crazy woo woo new age BS starvation diet thing. I would try things, and every time the scale stalled, I would get discouraged.

Or, life would get in the way.

And that's why I'm HERE: to do something that allows for life. Birthdays, holidays, crazy weeks of working late and very little gym time and nothing but takeout. Because there will never be a time in my life when I can dedicate 18 months to diet and exercise with zero interruptions or distractions.

Whatever your plan is, you must still allow for life.

That's lesson #1.

Lesson #2:

If there is one thing I can absolutely guarantee you, it is this:

NO MATTER WHAT YOUR PLAN IS, no matter how much weight you have to lose, no matter how "good" you are, no matter how much "willpower" you have (hate that concept by the way), there will come a day when the scale says "No pounds."

The scale will say this to you A LOT. Sometimes a bunch of times in a row, other times just here and there.


If you are not prepared for this, you are going to live my story up there, in one version or another, over and over, until you get it through your head. I know this because I LIVED IT.

If you NEED to see that scale say "Down!" every single week, or every two weeks, or whatever, by some predictable amount, in order to keep going, you are going to 1) make yourself insane, and 2) make yourself quit. And probably 3) make yourself hate yourself for being "weak" or doing everything "wrong."

What I am saying is, you had better find a voice.

What are you going to say when the scale says "nope!"? Decide. RIGHT NOW. This minute. Decide.

And decide on something else, too: What do you want out of all this?

Something **besides the number on the scale.**

When the scale is not rewarding you with new numbers, what are you going to be fighting for?

Figure it out. And hold onto it tooth and nail, because you are sure as heck going to need it.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Weirdness is a thing to celebrate!

    Lovely telling of the fairy tale, by the way. I enjoyed it immensely.

    And through a deliberate misreading, I'm playing with the idea of morbidly obese shoes.....
    3084 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13045899
    Soo, I realize I'm a bit behind here...but I just had to tell you-I love reading your blogs. Truly. Your writing is fantastic, your story relatable, and your message powerful. I didn't try the specific diet you referred to, but I feel like I've tried so many that resulted pretty much the same (my dalliance with Redux was the worst!). It's so dang imperative to remember what we're all doing this for-other than watching the number on the scale go down, and even more important to be able to reference that when things aren't going so well. Thanks for making me think. =D
    3086 days ago
  • no profile photo CD10259955
    Wonderful blog; it will hit home with probably everyone on this site! And the fully clothed weigh-in? Totally get it!!!!
    3091 days ago
    emoticon By the way, I completely "Get" Weighing with your Shoes On. Huge Victory there, My Friend!! Congratulations!!!!
    3091 days ago
    emoticon What a WONDERFUL Transformation you have created!! You have a LOT to be Proud of!!
    emoticon Keep up the Great Work!! emoticon
    3091 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12933291
    Great blog post! I think the morals to the story are: 1. There is never really a "Happily Ever After" (in terms of reaching goal. Even maintenance takes work.) 2. There is no "Magic Wand" or "Fairy Godmother" (No one can rescue us, we have to decide to fix our own messes.) 3. Don't be fooled by tricky trolls or wizards (even if they have that "Doctor" title, legit or not; Trust your gut. Always.) Dorothy, never surrender, 'cause you've always had the power. Goldilocks, you don't have to starve yourself to fit into baby bear's bed, but don't need to eat Papa bear's giant portions, either.
    : )
    3091 days ago
    Love it. It has not been easy to get that thought through my head but it is doing it for myself to be healthy as i can be.
    3093 days ago
  • LEB0401
    You have the BEST blogs!

    I wish I'd read this 2 years ago. You delivered a powerful message: "the scale is one sound in the din".

    I've tried some very, VERY unhealthy ways to get the scale to move. The worst was probably when I was at my highest weight ever, none of my clothes fit and I had to wear my pants unbuttoned with a big sweater overtop. I panicked and decided it would be a good idea to eat no more than 800 calories a day. After work I took sleeping pills so I would pass out instead of eating dinner. I bet you can guess how I felt during that time period... And I did drop 10 pounds that month, but of course it crept right back on.

    It was so much more fun to do it the SP way. I learned new recipes, tried new foods, adventured out into new sports... and oh yeah, lost some weight too.
    3094 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13341732
    This was very creative! I really enjoyed reading it, and I also enjoyed seeing how your mindset was transformed. Best of luck to you!
    3094 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13335673
    Absolutely love the way you composed your story- it is a very personally familiar one :) I've been on the "medical weight loss" type diet before and did all the liquids and mixes and such- paid quite a bit too. I dropped nearly 70 lbs, regained all but 35. Congrats on your success so far :)

    Oh- and I got a big kick out of that "trust me I'm a doctor" pic- I've used that line whenever possible (and inappropriate) :p
    3094 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/20/2012 8:34:03 PM
    Your story just serves as a reminder that there is no "diet" that is going to get you miraculous results and have them stick around. You inspired me to keep going ane not give up. Of course, this is after a week where I didn't do the best in the eating/exercise areas.

    My BF just wrote a paper for his college English course basically stating that if there is no "reward" for changing a behavior we will all abandon the new behavior for the old ones. Your story reminded me of that paper.

    There WILL be weeks where there will be backward or no progress. However, there are NSVs that will show progress. We aren't just a number on the scale.
    3094 days ago
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