02 February 2009

Weight Loss Weekly

Weight loss weekly is a collaboration between me and three other bloggers where we ask ourselves questions relating to weight loss, and discuss our successes and failures. Join me every Monday to tune into this ongoing collaboration.  This week we are discussing our relationship with the scale.  This topic actually causes me a lot of anxiety and I am tempted to just say, "My relationship with the scale is tenuous at best.  The End.", but I think discussing WHY it is tenuous, will help me in my further weight loss journey, and that is where I will begin.

Before I begin, let me introduce the other three bloggers.  Check out snippets from their posts below.  They are:
Giyen from Bacon is my enemy

I think my relationship with the scale began about eight years ago when I started going to Weight Watcher meetings.  If you have never been to a meeting, each week you go, get weighed in, and then go to the meetings which are on various aspects of nutrition.  The first few months, I did fabulous.  I lost weight every week and the leader would remark, "Oh!  You had a good week!".  After about 4 months though, I hit a plateau.  It was so hard to go week after week and gain and lose the same 2 lbs.  The leader was always supportive, but in my head I would be thinking, "Ugh!  Bad week!"

I got pregnant soon after and went to monthly weigh in's at my obstetrician's office.  I regarded the scale with apathy since one is supposed to gain weight while pregnant.  After my son was born, I still regarded the scale with apathy since I assumed the weight would come off easily with breast feeding.  (It did not)

When my second son was 2, my relationship with the scale started again.  I knew my "baby weight" had not come off.  To top it off, I had a feeling I was slowly gaining weight as my size 18 pants were starting to get a little snug.  I decided to bite the bullet and buy a scale.

What I saw, I intuitively knew, but seeing that number was so disheartening.  "How could I ever lose that much weight?"  I asked myself.  It was during this time that I found the book French Women Don't Get Fat.  In it, the author Mireille Guiliano, recommends only occasional weigh ins as the way your clothes fit and feel make a much sexier approach to gauging weight loss.  While this was appealing, the American in me wanted concrete numbers and so I weighed myself weekly and lost 34 lbs. in about 6 months.  Then, I again hit a plateau.

All of a sudden, my weekly weigh ins weren't as fun anymore.  Of course, it was slightly different now as I could see that I was maintaining my 34 lb. weight loss and that is extremely commendable in my mind.  The weekly weigh in became less about patting myself on the back and more about maintaining peace of mind that I was not letting the weight creep back on.

With the start of Weight Loss Weekly though, I have been paying more attention to my diet, and have broken through my plateau.  I am again losing weight.  I knew intuitively that I was losing weight because my jeans that had become a tad snug over the holidays were suddenly feeling very loose.  Now, I wanted the pat on the back at the weekly weigh in.

This past Friday, I stepped on the scale and had lost two pounds.  I was disappointed.  Crazy huh?  But my clothes had been feeling so loose, I thought I had lost more.  Why did I focus on that instead of celebrating the two pounds lost?  I don't know.  I think for me, the scale distracts from my day to day, meal to meal resolve to eat healthier by reminding me of benchmarks rather than the journey.  I have a harder time finding an equilibrium when I step on the scale after say, a few pieces of pizza, and see I have gained water weight, rather than just realizing I overdid it with the pizza and compensate by eating lighter the next day.  The equilibrium isn't what I focus on achieving when I weigh myself, it's the failure of having the pizza.

To be frank, I don't know what my relationship with the scale is.  I know it does have it's place, but if it distracts me from my goals of eating healthier, perhaps I should take it out of my bathroom and hide it in the closet only to be used once a month?  Maybe never?  Could I give it up?  I'll let you know. 

Weight Loss Weekly appears every Monday on my site.  It is a collaboration between me and three other bloggers struggling to lose weight like me.  Snippets from their Weight Loss Weekly posts as well as links to their blogs are below.  Check them out!  We all discuss the same question so it's interesting to hear different perspectives.  

My fellow Weight Loss Weekly bloggers are Nurit, Sunny and Giyen.  Check out their posts below!

Nurit from 1 family. friendly. food:

"Truth is I don’t have any special relationships with the scale. I don’t love it or hate it. I just don’t use it very often and I pretty much ignore it. I did take it out of the closet and moved it next to my side of the bed, but I rarely use it. Why is that?" Click 1family. friendly. food. to find out.

Giyen from Bacon is My Enemy:

"If bacon is my enemy, the scale is my nemesis." Read more here.

"I must say...I love the scale! Is that weird?"  more at That Extra 20 Pounds


Nurit "1 family. friendly. food." said...

Why not focus instead of the numbers and the scales on the great feeling when your clothes are feeling lose?

Sunny said...

2 pounds lost is definitely something to be happy about!

Finla said...

2 pounds a week that is really good.
I once went to weight watchers, i think it was some 12 years ago. I did loose lot of kilos, but then i gained most of them and then few years back did my own dieting and again lost and now i have gained 6kg which i want to loose.
So today when i saw my weight in scales i told my hubby i am officially starting to diet, well and tommorow i have a party to go, it is my MIL b'day.

My crazy crazy life said...

I have a love hate relationship with my scale but I still think the once a week thing is the best...it gives you only ONE day to freak out instead of 7!
And congrats on the 2 lbs! That's a lot!!!

Tina said...

Aloha! Thanks for your comment and may I say, I wish I lived in Hawaii like your folks. Sounds wonderful.

I just wanted to say that the relationship with the scale was very necessary when I did Weight Watchers a few years ago. To tell the truth, I focus more on how clothes fir me vs. the actuall numbers. That being said, I do weight in at home now because we change, as Mirielle stated, as we get older. I have adjusted.

A nice French music CD I found to be great for the Ipod, when you walk maybe, is Belinda Carlise's Viola. Check it at Amazon to see a review. It's nice to hear someone singing in French language when I am "working" on the computer.


CurryLeaf said...

2 pounds a week is very good as far as I am concerned.I think thinking positively will surely help,or just treating yourself .Like you mentally decide,you will treat yourself to a new make up or designer clothes or even a burger (I know I am going overboard here)or something like that may help allow you to enjoy the loss and also helps when you hit a plateau.I too am scale -obsessed,so I should keep mum.

Reeni said...

The numbers on the scale can make me obsess! I am trying to weigh myself every week or week and a half instead of every couple of days. As long as it's moving downward your doing awesome in my book. It's better than up!!

Tangled Noodle said...

First of all, let me just say that 2 lbs/week is perfect - great job! I fully relate to your dilemma with the scale. Early on, it was a helpful tool that allowed me to monitor my progress. As I saw the numbers move down, it was a morale booster - proof that I was reaching my goals. But I fell into the trap of fixating on a number: I 'chose' my ideal weight and, as you've experienced, I was euphoric below that number and dismal above it. Pretty soon, I kept aiming for an ever lower number and instead of being overweight, I became underweight.

I no longer use a scale but that doesn't mean it doesn't have its place and use in weight-maintenance strategies. Bu if you feel good, you are doing great and no number can tell you otherwise!

I finally replied to your e-mail from last week regarding "Mindless Eating" (sorry for the delay) and I'm really excited about joining you!

Crazy Pants said...

Ahhh the scale, the scale. Thanks for a great post, you really captured the feelings I have about this. I've recently moved from obsessive weigh-ins to once a month and I have to say, life is a lot nicer away from the scales for me.

Selba said...

I always have problem with my weight. I' got into the yo-yo diet syndrome everytime.

Kate said...

Oh, the scale! I don't own one and don't want to, I weigh myself at the gym, once a week on Wednesdays, and I don't allow myself to get too fussed about the number so long as it isn't particularly going up - and since I'm to the point where my weight loss is in ounces, not pounds, two pounds sounds so wonderful to me! I've instead been focusing on what notch my belt is on, how my jeans feel, the very fact that none of my work trousers fit anymore (too big!!!) It's a great feeling to counterbalance seeing four ounces drop at a time!