Thursday, January 12, 2012
My Obsession with the Scale
One of the members of my weight loss support group expressed some disappointment when the scale did not reflect the loss that she felt she deserved after working so hard to lose weight. With the idea of support and concern in my heart, I responded thusly:
"I would encourage you not to get frustrated if you don’t lose any weight. Instead just focus on getting to the gym, watching what you eat, and enjoying the effort that you are able to put in. The scale is useful for accountability, but it does not define success! Success is living a healthy lifestyle, being a good example to your kids, and pushing the limits of your physical abilities. If you can manage to do those things, you can count yourself as a winner, no matter what the scale may read!"
Pretty good, right? I thought so, too. The only problem with this is that I am completely unable to follow this advice myself. I am completely obsessed with the scale. I weigh in twice a day. Once, before I go to bed, to see how I have done for the day, and once, in the morning, to see how much I have lost overnight and to see where I am at for the week. When I am eating my third slice of pizza, I am thinking about how good it tastes, but I am also thinking about what the scale is going to say when I get home! When I eat well, I don't think about how healthy I am being or how good of an example I am. I am completely thinking about how good it is going to feel to have a lower number when I stand on the scale!
In that lies the issue. The scale can be a source of gratification; it is a relatively tangible "thing" to hang my hat of success. The scale is also the overseer passing judgement on every poor decision that I have made. The scale can also be the crazy ass thing that has no idea how hard I have worked only to display a minimal loss, if there is a loss at all! Many days I really like the scale for its affirmation of my dedication. But many other days I hate the scale for judging me or failing to get in line with my efforts.
I wish I could take my own advice and just be happy with the effort that I am putting in, but it really hard. If admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, then let this be my first step.
- "Hi, my name is Brian."
- "Hi Brian!"
- "And I am obsessed with the scale."
Now, does anyone know what the other eleven steps are?