Monday, December 20, 2010

Tricking the Scale

I used to be a notorious "scale tricker". When I stopped losing weight, and then restarted, and stopped, and restarted ..... I mean before I got SERIOUS about this weight loss thing again, I would play games with the scale to get the numbers lower. I would flub up during the week knowing it would impact the scale but hoping I could make up for that by changing what I wore or drank or whatever right before I stepped on the scale.

I mean, after all it was only a little bit of pasta, a little bit of ice cream, and a little bit of a doughnut that had distracted me that week. Obviously though, the reason why the scale wasn't going down had more to do with my outfit choice or my water intake than my ability to stay on plan with my food. I mean, OBVIOUSLY it couldn't be MY fault I wasn't losing.

Yep, I've tried all the tricks from wearing heavy clothes and then switching to lighter ones, drinking tons and tons and tons of water the day before a weigh in, weighing in in the morning vs the evening, starving myself the morning of a weigh in, etc.

I'll tell you though ... none of those things worked. Sure I might have been down an extra pound or whatever but it was a short lived victory. Not only did I have to work harder the next week to be down again (even more water, even lighter clothes, etc.), but I would walk away from the scale negating my weight loss and not feeling victorious. I'd say things like "well, of course I was down because I wore my workout pants. I'll have to wear shorts (eek!) next week." or "If only I wouldn't have eaten that doughnut, I might be down 2lbs." It was a self-defeating situation which always led to more panic as time went on.

When I played a game with my health, I came out a loser (and not in a good way) each time.

I'm doing it differently now. I'm not putting too much stock in what I wear or how much water I've had before I weigh in. I'm continuing my routine and just working the program like it's supposed to be worked because I have faith that if I do that, my weight will continue to drop over time.

Over time ... that's the key. My panic and trickery over the scale was a result of the race I was in with myself to lose the weight. I wanted the weight gone instantly. I was frustrated with anything less than stellar performances each week and when the scale started to only give me .5 and .3 drops, I got discouraged and started the games. When the games didn't work, I completely lost my focus and put back on 10, then 20, then 30, and then 40 pounds.

To make lasting change, I'm learning that this is not a race. It's a long, twisting, winding journey. It's a progression. I've had 30 some odd years of making unhealthy food choices. How can I expect to undo all of that in six months? It's impossible.

So, I'm taking my sweet time to figure this out knowing that slow and steady wins the race. I'm the turtle, not the hare and instead of racing around aimlessly, I'm taking my time to enjoy the scenery and learn from this experience.

There will be no more scale trickery because I know that if I eat right during the week, I'll see that reflected on the scale ... eventually.

Speaking of which, tomorrow is weigh in day and I'm ready!

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