A primer to how I think about scales –
I have always disliked going to the doctors. It has never been a very positive experience and they make me step on a scale. I hate stepping on to a scale. It is easier to bury my head in the sand, right? It’s like playing peekaboo with my toddler, if she can’t see me, I’m not there. If I can’t see the number on the scale, must not be a thing! Perfect, good, great, don’t have to worry about my weight because I didn’t actually see a number. I am sure many of you also struggle with the thought of stepping on a scale, so let me go through the thought process and perspective that I am trying to use as I do weekly weigh ins.
1. It is your weight for one week and one week only.
We can get stuck in the trap of thinking “I weigh this much, this is me, and this is my life.” Let’s be real, that is your weight on the day you step on that scale. It is not what you have always been and it may not be what you are going to be. I am trying to remind myself that it is my weight today, but it better damn well not be next week or in a month. The scale is a snapshot of a moment in time, but we live through time.
2. The number on the scale does not define you, but you can define it.
I do not meet new people and introduce myself by saying “Hi, my name is Ben, I like warm hugs, and I weigh _____.” The number on that scale represents what we talked about in the point above. Our meaning, worth, and being go so far beyond that. And truthfully, I can stay the same weight and make sure that other attributes define me. If I am meant to be big for the rest of my life then I choose to be the healthiest I can be, the nicest I can be, and the best person I can be. You set the trajectory for who you are and you define it, not some number.
3. It can and will be frustrating, understand that to set realistic expectations.
It is helpful to set our expectations and ground them in reality. Weight loss is frustrating. People lose some, gain some, lose some more, and can hate it throughout the whole process. It is important to understand that this is an endurance race, not a sprint. It will not be easy and we may hate it, but we will fight through because of where we want to go.
4. Knowledge is power. Let’s use it to create change in a positive direction.
Let the number on your scale empower you. Knowledge is power. Knowledge allows us to make informed decisions and helps us to avoid guessing. If you didn’t know your weight, how much harder would it be to set targets. Let the understanding inform your drive to change and be a better you.
5. It is better than being surprised.
It is less shock to the system to incrementally know what’s going on. The shock of stepping on the scale for the first time in a month, 6 months, year can set us into an emotional tizzy. Keep on top of your consistency to ease that shock and take it one week at a time.
This list may seem completely logical to most or all of you. Or maybe not. If you had not thought about it like this, give it a try! Let me know if it has assisted your perspective on tracking weight. If this seems obvious, hear me out before you dismiss it as nothing new. Our thoughts about weight, our opinions of weight, and our fears of stepping on the scale do not always live in the realm of reason and logic. Fear is an emotion. Humans are an emotional species. Emotions do not often align with logic. I’ll let you fill in examples of that bad relationship that we could not be convinced differently about…
When I approach the scale my logic often flies out the window and it is replaced with irrational emotions. My goal is to conquer that emotion with cold hard logic, with the understanding that this fear and anxiety does not benefit me, but it holds me back, and with the realization that my logic is going to help me attain change.
I step on the scale on Monday mornings (though one week I weighed in on a Sunday ). I have set that as the time. I do it before I get dressed, before I drink coffee, before I have breakfast and water. I do this so I feel as lite as possible and to appease my many emotions (see above on emotions and rational thinking). Despite my emotions dictating when I step on the scale, I am okay with this because I am consistent. I do not want to weigh myself Monday morning and then the following Monday night because it is not an accurate comparison when accounting for daily eating and activity. Just the proper amount of water intake can drastically change your weight. I have read that some professionals will suggest daily weigh ins where others suggest weekly or other time periods. How often do you weigh in? Do you feel that daily versus weekly would have a big difference for you and your goals? I am curious what works for others.
My change from last week –
Change in weight (1/20/20 – 1/26/20): +0.4 lbs
This week was not the easiest. My body was tired and I was not as disciplined with eating. We had a Chinese New Year (see future post with more details) get together on Saturday and my wife and I had a much needed date night on Sunday. We also got home super late another night and were so busy that we ordered pizza. So there were a number of days where I definitely exceeded my normal calorie target. I tried to make up for it with exercise and walking, but let’s understand I am a bit frustrated looking back at my performance. Despite the frustration, I am working hard at being okay with weeks like this. They happen. When we hold ourselves to unrealistic standards, we always fail. So despite the fact that I ate more than I would have liked, I am proud of myself. I am proud that I tracked. I am proud that I tried to overcome the intake with burning calories. I am proud that I will continue fighting to get healthier next week.
I was super frustrated when I saw that I gained weight. It may not be much, but the emotions play deeply into this process. These are the days and weeks where it is all the more important to remember the logical points I laid out above. I have my marching orders, that number is only a metric for this past week, I will define the change and how I want to change it, and it wasn’t the biggest surprise. I knew that this week would be close, I explained it above. My goal for the upcoming week is to hit my 10,000 steps every day along with my other intake and workout goals.
I am curious about others and how they mentally motivate themselves. Do these 5 tips make sense? Are they helpful? How do you respond to weekly successes or a disappointments?
As this blog grows and I get the hang of it, I will be including a check-in weight tracker to show my progress over time. Hopefully I will feel brave enough to share my actual weight in the near future. For now, please see the below table showing my weight changes since December 1.
|Date||Change in Weight|
8 thoughts on “weekly reflection and 5 tips for changing how you view regular weigh-ins”
You are amazing Ben!!! Have you ever tried weight watchers? It’s an amazing support group that focuses not on avoiding foods you love, but instead eating them in the right portion. My entire family is on this plan and it really teaches you how to eat!
Just a thought. I love your writing and am so happy for you. You sound so sweet and happy with your little family, it warms my heart!
Thank you so much! I have tried it in the past but did not find it very helpful for me. That is not to say that I will not try it again. When I was using it, I may have been in the “tracking but not actually tracking everything” phase of this journey. I’m glad it works for you all and I know many people who have found great success with it!
Ben-I’m encouraged by your blog! Good for you! I’ve done weigh-ins weekly, daily, and not at all. It’s so true that the scale is just a snapshot of that day/week. There were weeks where I had done really well and gained, and then weeks where I felt I had “fallen off the wagon” and didn’t gain. For me, I need the routine of daily weigh ins. They motivate me to stick with it! Keep up the good work!
Jaime, thanks for this! I’m glad to hear you have found a routine that works for you.
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