In my post ‘A Necessary Detox’ I announced that I was not going to weigh myself for a month. I hoped a detox would help me to crowbar my emotional state away from the numbers on the scale.
Today was weigh-in day.
When I woke up, the scale was the first thing on my mind. My heart was pounding before my feet hit the floor. I mean pounding.
Successful detox? Not so much.
This morning, I discovered that I lost four pounds. That’s fine. It means I lost the two that I put on (precipitating the detox) and shed two more. I’m still in the 5 pound range (140-145) that I aim to maintain.
Staying off of the scale didn’t cause the dreaded yo-yo.
But, I have to admit that the experiment was a complete failure.
I thought that staying away from the scale would make me care about it less. Instead, I developed a full-blown fear-driven obsession. I was so afraid that I would return to the scale and find a true yo-yo (gaining 10+ pounds) that I became punishingly strict with myself all month long as I attempted to silence the fear.
When I’m especially strict, I’m not gentle with myself. My thought processes went something like this: “How many blueberries did I just eat? I bet it was more than 1/4 cup! That’s more than I budgeted myself for the afternoon! Stupid!! I’m going to pay for that on weigh-in day for sure! I better get back to the gym even though I’m not feeling well.”
Wait… wasn’t I supposed to be ‘detoxing’ in an effort to stop beating up on myself?
This morning, when I saw that there had been no significant change, I felt certifiably ridiculous. I have been driving myself to distraction for no reason.
Attention to metrics feels like having a good grip on the status of my health. Avoiding the metrics led to fear rather than the sought-after empowerment.
So, I’m going to go the other way and see if it’s any better for my mental health. I’m going to weigh myself if I have the impulse to do so. If I need a little reassurance that I’m not going off track, I’ll weigh in. But, there will be no set weigh-in time. No more Mandatory Mondays.
Maybe over time I’ll shed the fear.
For now, I need to acknowledge that I live with a daily fear of losing what I have worked so hard for. I think maybe I need to be ok with that, and give myself time. I’ve kept 100 pounds off for about 7 months. Hopefully, when I’ve kept it off for 7 years, it will be so second nature, I won’t need to think about it.
Until then, I’ll settle for the wisdom of trials and errors.