THAT is the question.
This has been on my mind a lot lately. As someone on a losing—maintaining—losing–repeat journey, this question pops up a lot. In Weight Watchers meetings one will hear the recommendation that we only weigh one time a week, at our meetings. I have read recommendations that one should not get on the scale, but rather use how clothing fits as a guide instead. There are a lot of different thoughts on the topic of how often to weigh, all aimed at making us less tied to the scale, giving the scale less power over us and how we view ourselves.
And I GET that! I know people who get stressed when they step on the scale and seeing it go up, even just a little can send them reeling…. Giving the scale the power to tell us our worth.
But that scale cannot tell us our worth.
With this being said, I weigh myself every day. Yes, you read that right! I weigh Every. Single. Day.
Oh, and I weigh not just every day, but twice a day. WHAT??
Extreme? Obsessive? Maybe for some, but NOT for me.
I weigh in the morning before I eat. And I weigh at night before I go to bed.
It keeps me on track and gives me feedback, information I need.
Now our bodies fluctuate every day, up and down. So many things can go into what that scale says our weight is. I know that. And it does not bother me to see those fluctuations. It gives me information instead of stress. I know that my body will be heavier at night than it was that morning. It will be lighter in the morning than it was the previous night. Salt, lack of water, weather, exercise, medications, how I am feeling, hormones…. Well they all play a roll in the normal fluctuations in my weight from day to day and moment to moment.
So why then do I weigh every day, twice a day? Because it gives me feedback. It gives me information. Knowledge about my body. And knowledge IS power!
I began weighing twice a day during my fifth journey with weight watchers, on my way to my goal. By stepping on the scale every day, I was able to see those normal fluctuations. I learned that every 28 days my body weight went up, not a little but 5lbs or more. Now if I had not been weighing every day THAT may have freaked me out, causing me to slip and eventually give up. But because of the feedback I had been gathering, I knew it was normal for me and that the next week it would go right back down without me doing anything different. It was a hormonal fluctuation. I learned what salt did to my body and what happened if I didn’t drink enough water. And it had to be water, because other fluids didn’t work like water did.
I knew that my weekly weigh in would be down because during the week, the ups and downs and ups again showed that the ups were lower than the previous ups…. I WAS losing…. And learning how my body worked.
One meeting during my journey to my goal, my leader talked about the scale and how we allow it to define us (she walked in with a “scale” tied to her leg, dragging it behind her…something I later did in my own meetings). And that is when I shared that I weighed every day. The gasps! Oh my! The others were quite shocked that I weighed other than at my weekly meeting. My friend who attended with me only weighed at the meetings. So, we all discussed what works and how to know if the scale was a stressor or an aide. At that meeting my friend and I committed to doing the opposite of what we had been doing…. She would weigh every day for the week, and I would NOT step on the scale until the next meeting….. Oh man was that going to be hard!
And it WAS hard. Turned out to be the most stressful week for both my friend and I. Stepping on the scale for her was STRESS. She didn’t like seeing the scale go up, even if it was normal part of the journey, a healthy weight fluctuation. It made her want to eat. And me, well NOT stepping on the scale was extremely stressful! I had no idea how I was doing. I had no idea if I needed to make adjustments. I had no idea what was happening with my body weight and it really scared me, making me want to eat. That stress showed up for both of us on the scale at our next meeting.
And we both immediately went back to what worked for us. I love that about Weight Watchers and meetings. It is NOT a one-size-fits-all program. In those meetings there are others on a similar journey, and we share ideas, successes, challenges, and what works for us. We get ideas to try when things are not working for us. And every single person gets to decide what works for them and what doesn’t.
Knowing what works for us is a big part of making this journey a lifestyle and making it last. What works for one person may not work for another. And there in no ONE right way to do this.
For me, weighing every morning and every night works. It just does. I get the feedback I need. And when I stop stepping on the scale every day, it also gives me feedback. When I stop stepping on the scale that is when I am struggling…. Things aren’t going well….. And then when I wrap my head back around this journey and what I need to do, I step back on the scale, taking the feedback it gives me and using it to make adjustments or to continue doing what I am doing because it is working.
Ask yourself how the scale is affecting your journey. Are you getting on it every day? Or only once a week? Or not at all? If getting on the scale everyday stresses you out…. If stepping on that metal box makes you cringe….. if seeing the number go up after doing everything right makes you want to quit…. Then DO NOT step on the scale until that weekly meeting…. Or use non-scale ways to measure your success on your journey.
But if, like me, stepping on the scale is just another means of feedback and aids you on your journey…. if staying off the scale is your stressor… then step on the scale when you need too.
Find what works for you! We each need to ask the question “to weigh or not to weigh” and then find the answer that works for us. We need to find what takes the power from the scale and gives it back to us! As long as you do not let that scale define who you are or what your worth is, you have got this! You will be successful!
I have found what works for me and I continue to do it most of the time. I am NOT perfect at this…. But I am NEVER giving up!