One of the issues I have picked up on – that all of the lovely people I have spoken with or emailed since starting this weight loss campaign have in common – relates to scales…the dreaded scales! They become our primary focus and it blinkers us at times. They can destroy our confidence within the space of a few seconds and change our mood in an instant. So I have a plea…
Please excuse my crappy collage…creativity is not a strong point of mine!
This isn’t a call to arms – I am not trying to start a bra-burning movement or getting all Emily Pankhurst on you! I am not interested in ‘doing it for the girls’…I am just keen to help free some of the mental torture that my fellow losers experience – and yes, even the men feel the same way too. I don’t for one minute suggest that you don’t weigh yourselves again, but please just don’t do it more than once a week…at the same time each week if possible.
As an avid people-watcher I have spent time in the gym – yes, I went to a gym…shock, horror! – and saw no end of ladies interspersing their workouts with little weight checking sessions on the scales. Quite what miracle results they were expecting I’ll never know…as they were guzzling down water which their muscles were soaking up like a sponge! It was a ladies-only gym, or else I am convinced that I would have seen the guys doing this too. Would a tiny loss in the right direction spur them on even more, making them do an extra ten minutes on the elliptical machine? And heaven forbid there be a gain…I have seen women literally throwing in the (gym) towel and heading to the changing room with a really miserable face plastered on!
I have also been emailed by people who weigh themselves directly after a binge, and then again the following morning. And again that lunchtime…and then after the tiny dinner they allowed in a desperate attempt to atone for the binge. They weigh themselves just before heading to their weigh in classes…and won’t go if their scales don’t show signs of improvement.
I became a slave to the scales at one point too, and I still am on a weekly basis I guess. When I managed to lose 8st with Slimming World a few years ago, I was so excited to finally find a pair of scales that went as high as my weight was – 25st – that I couldn’t resist buying them. In fact, I am lying…my other half couldn’t resist buying them as he thought they would help me! Little did he know what damage the shiny silver buggers could do. I would weigh myself each morning, when I got home from work, after dinner, before bed…and after my binges – which became more and more frequent as I was comforting myself with food due to pressures at work.
The scales always gave a different result to those that I got when I went to my group, and I never knew if I was coming or going. I ended up getting so demoralised, putting the weight back on, and adding about another 10st in weight…although that particular aspect probably had more to do with work issues and my Hotel Chocolat taster club subscription!
Fat is the name of the game here. We want to lose fat – not water, not muscle, not our will power or confidence. How on earth can you tell what you are losing is fat if you are on and off the scales more times in a day than there are adverts for junk food on TV…and there are a lot of adverts! Your body is approximately 60% water. The likelihood is that your weight fluctuates due to this, along with hormonal issues, not as a result of that digestive biscuit you secretly ate in the kitchen whilst preparing dinner. Of course a whole packet might not do you any good, or an extra biscuit everyday…but you get my point – don’t be a slave to the scales.
The ups and downs we experience on the scales are matched by our mood. I have written before about how great I have felt walking into group…only be have that feeling destroyed as a result of not seeing the numbers I wanted. Yet why should this be an issue? If I feel good, then I feel good surely? Why do we let that number define us?!
It seems crazy that our emotional well-being as losers is connected to that set of scales and the number it dishes out. Is it because we feel that it highlights our effort – or lack of? I think this is one of the reasons I get upset. Good numbers equal good effort and shows to my fellow group members that I have been ‘good’ this week. Which is a bloody stupid notion in itself – our eating does not for one second make us good or bad.
So what is the answer then? Well, first of all throw your scales away and just use the ones in group, or make the effort to head to Boots or a supermarket with a set of scales that you can weigh yourself on once per week. This means that you will be weighing on correctly calibrated scales – not some £14.99 bargain from Argos that was probably battered around in transit and isn’t accurate anyway! This also means that you can get on with your life and stop obsessing between groups. It doesn’t mean that you should go and buy a body fat monitor either…swapping one obsession for another!
A personal trainer that I know tells his female clients to weigh themselves once per month only. His experience is that their weight fluctuates so much thoughtful the month that they do themselves no favours by checking in more than this. Personally, I like my weekly weigh in as it gives me a little control…but I do tend to average out my losses for the previous four weeks which helps to put a smaller loss into context.
As I continue losing weight I notice that my focus is shifting. Last week was actually the first time that I didn’t look at the scales when I was being weighed, and I think I actually reported that my weight was 5lbs heavier than it was in an email to someone. This is because I am trying to ditch the baggage that is tied to my weight…trying to make it less about the number and more about the feeling.
Personally, if I was a size 12/14 and weighed what I do now, I wouldn’t have an issue! It isn’t about the number, it is about how I look and feel. Whilst I know that I will not be getting to that size anytime soon – and that unfortunately ’29st’ and ‘size 12/14′ will not be uttered in the same sentence…unless referring to the shoe size of someone at that weight – I am going to keep working on falling in love with the feeling, and not the looks.
You have to ditch the mental baggage, or else you will carry it with you for a very long time…and it will weigh you down far more than you muffin top ever will. Use a pair of tight jeans as a measure…or take measurements! Focus on how fresh you feel when you wake up in the morning. Enjoy the feeling of your body getting stronger, fitter and healthier. ‘Strong is the new skinny’, someone said to me recently…and I believe this…even though they were both strong and skinny!
Just throw the scales away…today! What you don’t have in your house can’t be eaten, just as what you don’t have in your house can’t be stepped on. And you won’t miss them, I promise!
The usuals then…
Up, treadmill, project work, more treadmill, breakfast, horses, shops, lunch, babysitting – which took me through to 5pm! I then had a great chat with an old colleague of mine who has agreed to help me focus on what I want to achieve over the next few years and beyond. I thought he was pretty ace when I worked with him, and having him as a mentor is a big step forward for me…so I was quite excited about this! I also had a few secret squirrel activities today. My other half works for an American company and his colleagues wanted to sing ‘happy birthday’ and get him a cake. So I got the cake and arranged for him to be available for the video link! The cake was pretty immense…a former lover of cake now on a healthy eating kick shouldn’t be allowed to go near cake….
Twelve slices of deliciousness – but not so delicious syn-wise, coming in at 272kcals per slice, or 13.5 syns. If I am being honest, that cake would never be cut into twelve in my company…six at best perhaps, so 27 syns per slice…162 syns for the whole thing. Again in the spirit of honesty, I looked at it and the old me knew that I would have given the whole thing a go during a binge…along with crisps, sausage rolls, etc…shocking really. Anyway, it is safely tucked away in the fridge and won’t be coming anywhere near me! It was just nice to help his company out and make him feel special, as he deserves to feel special – he is wonderful! After this is was a time to rustle up a rather late dinner – the delay in posting this tonight has been to allow time for dinner to cook so I could take my pic! I am currently watching a programme about the Hebrides and dreaming one day of heading north…if they’ll have a Sassenach!
Breakfast: Two Alpen light bars (1 x HEB) and a banana.
Another nice food day. Brekkie was quick and was grabbed rather late today for some reason…I forgot to eat, which is a scary thought! Lunch was a quick and simple option that was rustled up within a few minutes before I headed off to babysit. Dinner was delicious – pepper, red onion, spinach, cherry tomatoes, courgettes, mushrooms, garlic and herbs all mixed with wholemeal pasta and topped with another cheesy blanket!
Exercise: 4 x 15 minute treadmill sessions and 1 x 15 minute BodyPump / Swiss Ball session.
I moved my fan downstairs and it really helped with the workouts in this heat…not perfect, but a hell of a lot better than it has been! I am going for my Gold Body Magic award this week and just have to organise my exercise over the next few days around family picnics and BBQs with friends – going for gold! My new trainers were given an exercise today too. I felt good in them, but have noticed a bit of foot and shin strain over the past couple of days, so am just going to see how it goes…I still managed today’s exercise without a problem so I am hoping that all will be good.
Thank you for reading…
Weight Loss Bitch xxx