The Scale Challenge

I have been so busy these past few weeks, I had to put my blog on the back burner.  I have missed sharing my highs and lows of my weight loss journey.  But life has gotten in the way.  I have been busy at work, which is a very good thing.   I also made a trip to Evanston, Illinois to visit my family.  I always love visiting with my family and this visit was an extra special one for me.

So to let you all know about how I did on my staying off the scale challenge – I failed.  I could not stay away.   I very rarely fail at challenges.  But this challenge hands down got the better of me.  I love my scale at times and sometimes I hate my scale.   But one thing I decided is that  it keeps me in check.  It makes me accountable for what I put in my mouth.  It is a tool and only a tool, just like my measuring cups, food scale and daily points tracker.

Before I went to Evanston, I got on the scale.  The number was the same number it has been for a month.  Oh well.  I had been so good with my eating throughout January.  And my weight would go down a pound and up a pound.  It just had not been going down consistently.  I will admit with the weather being so bad, I did not work out as much as I had been in the past.  So that could be the reason for the no weight loss in January.

Every time I go see my family, it is like a free for all for me.  I love my brothers cooking.  And I eat things that I normally do not eat.  My sister in law had a bowl of chocolate covered cranberries sitting in all its glory on her table.  How dangerous for me to have a bowl of goodies right within my reach.  I tried hard to resist it.  But when that sweet tooth kicked in I found myself reaching for them.  There is so much truth to the saying “out of sight out of mind.”

But I was determined this time not to come back from my family visit to see a higher number on the scale.  And we all ate very healthy.  We ate plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean meats.  I cooked one evening preparing roasted chicken with roasted potatoes and vegetables.  We had a wonderful salad to round out the meal.  And for dessert we enjoyed sorbet.  And the key to eating the sorbet was eating one serving which is a very small half cup.

I did not weigh myself for almost 5 days.  Because one thing I have learned is that there are only two scales that I can count on.  My Withings Scale and my Weight Watcher meeting scale.  These scales are very consistent.  I trust them.  And I weigh myself wearing the same thing and at the same time of day.

When I came back from my visit, I hopped on the scale and I had lost one pound.  I was elated.  I had been very good with my eating.  But when you are visiting people you are really at the mercy of what they are eating.  I just made sure that I kept track of my points.  Unfortunately, I did nothing in the way of exercise.  There was three feet of snow on the ground in Evanston and I used that as a good excuse to not get my walk in.  Excuses-excuses.

So for today, I am looking at my scale not as a demon nor as a friend.  I am looking at the scale as only a tool.

The Glorious Scale

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The scale.  It can be your best friend or your worst enemy.  I have my scale right next to my kitchen, sitting in all its glory. I see it every morning.  And every morning, I look at it, say a little prayer and hop on it.  And then whatever number I see on the scale sets the tone for the rest of the day.  Some days I am happy, some days I am sad and on most days I am just frustrated.

When I hop on my Withings scale, the number climbs until it hits your actual weight.  The first number is pretty cool.  It is several pounds lower than your actual weight but just looking at that number is glorious.  And then the number starts to climb, slowly, slowly, “please, oh please stop” and then it stops.  Sometimes it stops on a number I am pleased with.  And then I know my day will be great.  But when it stops on a number I am not so happy about, my mood is set for the day.  Sad, confused and frustrated.

Our weight fluctuates on a daily basis.  It goes up, goes down, and sometimes stays the same.  Our bodies are mysterious.  Some days our bodies may retain water causing weight gain.  Sometimes our bodies just want to play with our minds and the weight just stays the same.  NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO!  And some days one may have eaten the biggest, fattest, greasiest, sweetest, hugest meal – and several of them – and your body will show a weight loss.  Go figure.

This week at my Weight Watcher meeting, my leader Bonnie, gave us a challenge.  Stay off the scale.  She explained how the scale is a good indicator but when weighing every day it can be a detriment to our weight loss.  Weighing yourself every day can play with your mind.  She said that weighing just once a week was best while trying to lose weight.  We should just weigh in at our Weight Watcher meeting.  She asked who wanted to take the challenge to stay off the scale for one week.

So Bonnie, was looking directly at me.  “Lisa, do you think you can stay off the scale for one week?”  I looked her straight in the eye.  I am always up for a challenge.  For crying out loud, I ran a 6 mile race as a challenge, I attempted the 30 Whole Paleo Challenge, I gave up wine for 3 and a half weeks – not quite making it to four weeks – which was a real challenge.  So I looked Bonnie and said “yes”.  Piece of cake.  “I will stay off the scale for one week.”

And I will be honest, this has been one of my hardest challenges.  Yesterday was the first day of the challenge.  I woke up at my regular time, went to the kitchen to make my coffee and there it was.  I turned the corner and saw my scale.  I thought about the challenge.  I stood frozen looking at that glorious piece of equipment.  I have been so good with my eating.  Basically, perfect.  “Ok, I will hop on the scale just this once and I will start the challenge tomorrow.”  But I am so good at challenges.  Once I make my mind up to do something, I usually succeed – no matter how hard it is.  I will stay off the scale.  I will succeed at this challenge.

But my scale in all its glory was calling me to it.  It was like the bottle of wine that calls my name every evening.  “Drink me, drink me.”  And I say to the bottle of wine.  “I will drink you – just not right now.”  And then I grab a glass of Diet Tonic Water.  The scale is like a drug to me.  I have never used drugs so I am really not quite sure what drug addicts feel but the scale is so powerful.  I am so drawn to it.  It has a power over me.

I suggested to my husband that I put it away.  I wanted to hide it.  But he said “just don’t get on it”.  That is like telling me while he is pouring a glass of wine for himself, just don’t be tempted while I am enjoying this glass of sweet nectar in front of you.  Or when he asks me to get him cookies every evening after dinner never thinking that I would be tempted to eat one.  But actually those things really don’t bother me.  When I am on a mission, I can really walk away from temptation. But for some reason I am really having difficulty walking away from the scale.

So, yesterday was the first day of the challenge.  And the devil was calling my name.  It was saying  “just hop on, just this once.  You will feel so much better.”  I succumbed.  I was weak.  I got on the scale saying “just for today and tomorrow I will put it away.”  So I hopped on the scale, in all my weakness, praying for the ultimate weight loss.  The number started out wonderful and I had that high, the feeling was glorious for that one moment.  And then the  number started climbing, climbing and then it stopped.  The high immediately left.  The number was the same number it has been for a month.  I stepped off the scale and immediately  was depressed.  My quick high left me very low.

Enough!  I am tired of the highs and lows.  I am tired of being addicted to this scale.  I am tired of the devil.  I am putting the scale away.  I am going to put it in a place where it will be difficult to reach and put out again.   I will succeed at this challenge – one day late – but I will succeed.  So glorious scale I bid you adieu – I will see you again – but for today, I am walking away.

My New Scale

It was time to get rid of my scale. The old scale would give me a different reading every time I stepped on it. I would step on it and move it until I got my best weight. We were friends. I liked that scale. It seemed to know when to give me a good number. And I would move it all over the bathroom until I got the that good number.

And then I would go weigh in at Weight Watchers.

And it was like dooms day when I got on that scale. There was always a discrepancy of 3-5 pounds with Weight Watcher’s scale. I really believed that I was losing more weight than I was. I really believed my home scale. I really thought the Weight Watchers scale was wrong. I was so mad at my Weight Watchers meeting at my last weigh in, I thought about quitting.

But instead of quitting (I WILL NOT QUIT) We just bought a new scale. So….

Liar liar pants on fire. I have not lost 39 pounds. I have lost 36.8 pounds. My new scale made me gain weight. I weighed in today at 164.7. My BMI is 29.2. I am on the border of overweight and obese. I think I am going to cry.

But this is a journey. It is not a race. It is a lifestyle. It is my new life.

My new friend is the Withings Scale. We got the Cadillac of scales. You step on the scale and it records my weight, BMI, Fat Mass, Pulse and air quality. I am not sure what air quality has to do with weight loss but it is a feature. And I can get on it 5 times in a row and I will get the same reading. This scale can not be manipulated. It then records on my I-Phone through my Withings App. And it connects to my other app My Fitness Pal. And I have the Weight Watcher App. So now I have 3 apps on my phone to tell me how fat I am. Lucky me.

But this is a journey. It is not a race. It is a lifestyle. It is my new life.