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My Mistake

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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

I made a mistake, but I'm glad I did because I learned from it!

When I began my journey back in 2012, I got my starting weigh in, and then I literally threw my scale in the trash. I'm not a wasteful person, but I knew that getting rid of the scale was the right thing for me. I know its not for everyone, but tossing the scale out made it a lot easier for me to focus on my health as opposed to obsessing about my weight.

Some people can get on the scale once a week or once a month (or even every day) and then get on with their lives. Not me, unfortunately. When I get on the scale, bad things happen. I can weigh myself and discover I've lost 5 pounds in one week, and then get totally derailed. I think "oh, I've lost so much weight, I am going to reward myself." And then I start to over eat, and I undo all my hard work. Or I'll weigh myself and find out that I've gained a pound or two. That propels me into an all out binge, to console myself. And no matter what, when I own a scale, I tend to weigh myself a lot. A whole lot...like several times a day. Its just not healthy!

So when I got rid of my scale in 2012, I felt free! And not having a scale made it so much easier for me to make my journey all about health and self improvement. I knew that if I ate right, tracked my food, measured my portions, drank my water and worked out....I'd lose weight. And thats what I did. I made it a challenge to myself to make each day as healthy as possible. Even though I didn't have a scale, I could tell I was losing weight because I was going down in clothing sizes. But even more importantly, I could tell I was getting healthier, and that was so amazing! I'd been obese and unhealthy for a long time, and I'd gotten used to always being tired and achy. But after 6 months of eating right and exercising, I felt like a new person. I decided it was time to weigh myself again, but since I didn't have a scale anymore, I had to do it on the Wii Fit. I was so shocked and thrilled to discover that I'd lost 71 lbs....and I was quite happy to put the Wii Fit away again. I didn't plan to weigh myself again anytime soon.

But as time went on, I started to notice that my clothes weren't getting looser anymore. I was still working out and eating right, but my progress had completely stopped. I know plateaus are normal, so I tried to hang in there until it ended. But it got frustrating, and I started to slack off a little bit. I had times when I'd go a few days without working out at all. Or I'd have binges. Then I could tell that I'd gained weight back, and I'd renew my resolve to get on track. It was just a vicious circle, and I was stuck in it for a year! I eventually ended up gaining back 36 of the 71 lbs I had lost.

A few of my Sparkfriends were suggesting that maybe I should quit being so stubborn, and go ahead and get a new scale. I resisted for a while, but in May I finally gave in. I got a scale, and committed to weekly weigh ins. I had high hopes that this would be what it took to get me back on track for good. But....I was wrong!

After just a couple of Monday morning weigh ins, I realized that getting a scale was a mistake for me. I was starting to obsess about it. I was able to stay off the scale except for my scheduled Monday weigh in, but I THOUGHT about the scale all the time. You might think that having the scale constantly on my mind would keep me from overeating, but it didn't. All it did was stress me out. So after just a month, I decided to stop weighing myself. No more scale for me! I didn't throw it out this time, though. I just took the batteries out, and then put it in a closet. Its just a tool, and someday I will use it again.

But not now. For now, I am back to focusing on my health and on NSV's, and it is working. I am finally back on track and feeling great. For the past 14 days, I have not missed a scheduled workout. I have been drinking my water, and weighing and measuring my food. I haven't been perfect, but I am still proud of how well I've been doing. I re-found my motivation! I knew it was there somewhere, I just had to keep looking for it.

Even though buying a scale was a mistake for me, its a mistake that I'm glad I made, because it reminded me that I am more than a number, and that being healthy is what is most important. For me, this journey isn't about being a certain weight or clothing size. Its about being as healthy as I can.

I had a non scale victory a few nights ago. It was late and I was having trouble falling asleep. I ended up in the kitchen, ready to binge. I got started eating....but I was able to stop myself. Usually, my binges are around two thousand (or more) calories. But this time, I was able to stop after just 400 calories. I stopped mid bite and asked myself "Do you want to be healthy or not?" The answer was "Yes, I do want to be healthy!" And then I proved it by dumping out the rest of the food. I wrote in my journal instead of eating anymore.

I'm never going to be perfect, and I know there will be times when I mess up and get off track. But I'm determined to never give up on myself. I am strong and I am going to keep getting stronger, healthier and better. I will always do my best to be my own hero.

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