Ditching the scale

I’ve been toying with idea of giving up the scales for a while.  But it’s like an irresistible little thing that I am compelled to do from time to time.  And usually it’s when I am feeling really good about my body.  I think to myself, “I’ll be my lowest weight ever because I am looking good” and then I’ll get on the old weighing machine and I’ll weigh more than I did last time.  And instantly I’ll feel like C.R.A.P.  Which is actually quite ridiculous because I was feeling so good just moments before.

A few things happened today to make this decision once and for all.  Of course, the first thing was, I weighed myself.  On someone else’s scales.  And I weighed more than I have in ages.  And then I weighed myself again straight away and I weighed 700g more again.  How is it possible I put on 700g in 2 seconds?  It’s not possible.  Which shows how arbitrary the whole thing is.  But as irrational it sounds, I still felt like crap.

The second thing that happened was my Personal Training mentor, Will, posted this link on Facebook.  The gist of the thing is that calorie counting doesn’t work in the long term (I’m already down with this and would never advocate calorie deprivation as a weight loss technique – the focus should be on eating wholesome whole foods as much as possible) and that the number on the scales means nothing.  Especially considering we can carry around kilos worth of fecal matter and bacteria in our guts due to inflammation, and that muscle weighs more than fat so the leaner and more toned someone is, the more they potentially weigh.  And I am currently experiencing something I have never experienced before.  The beginnings of visible abs.  This is proof that I am gaining muscle which could explain my weight gain.  I measured my waist and it was a centimetre lower than the last time I checked.  So these are indications I am getting stronger and healthier which are good things.  No reason to feel like crap!  (By the way, your waist measurement is a much better indicator of health and of becoming leaner than the scales are!)

Then I had a personal training session with a different guy called Will.  It was a pretty hard Crossfit style session.  And I left nothing in my tank.  I worked as hard as I could and was dripping with sweat once I’d finished.  And to me, it felt amazing.  More proof that I am becoming stronger and stronger and that I don’t need a number on the scale to define my happiness (even for a few minutes of the day).

The last thing which convinced me was listening to a lecture from Denise Lamonthe who has written extensively about compulsive eating.  She said that the focus should shift from weight loss to living the best, most vibrant, fun & positive life possible.  Because in the end that is all that really matters.  And I happen to agree.