Taking Control Back

bathroombeforeI’ve never understood how someone can weigh in just once a week.

Scales are meant to weigh yourself with multiple times. Multiple times a day.

Hi, my name is Danielle and I’m a scale addict.

My obsession with the scale has impacted me negatively in the following ways: it dictates my mood for the day. A huge loss (5+lbs) means I’m in a great mood! There are butterflies flying, rainbows everywhere, and little unicorns prancing around. And that’s where it stops. A big loss could have been bigger, so I’m disappointed in myself. A gain, no matter the degree means tears, devastation, and the little unicorns are now shitting on me. A small loss after a great week is a similar response.

dailycycle

No worries, when I weigh in each of those times, I weigh in multiple times, too. I’ll pee, weigh in, make myself pee some more, weigh in again, and continue until I’m either satisfied or exhausted. It’s not uncommon for me to weigh in 10 times a day. Full disclosure: I have even packed my scale for trips and vacations before.

If the scale is not reflecting exactly what I think it should, it leads me to reevaluate everything I’m doing. If I lost 2lbs on 1600 calories, working out 6 days a week, 60 minutes at a time, no drinking and no cheating on my diet – imagine what I would have seen had I only eating 1400 calories and done two-a-days. So…then that happens. Who cares if I’m shaky and dizzy as long as the scale says what I want, right?

“Is there something you can eat there?” “Is that somewhere you can go?” My obsession with the scale interferes with my social life. I often struggle with being social because of the impact I fear it’ll have on the scale. People will expect me to drink, people will order apps and I’ll binge, I won’t order what I planned on ordering, there will be snacks out, etc. etc. You have no idea the anxiety I get over not having complete and total control of my food. So, undoubtedly, I get so panicked and anxious that I eat everything in sight, feel like shit about myself and perpetuate the cycle. All because I’m afraid of what I’ll see on the scale the next time I weigh in. It’s easier to stay home where I can control what I eat, measure everything to gram and weigh in after. If there is potluck at work, I bring, but never join and eat with everyone else.  It’s too anxiety provoking. The first one I took a part of in over three years was last week. It was a huge accomplishment for me. I ate absolutely fine, but the fear was there. The anxiety was there. I probably weighed myself ten times when I got home.

My obsession with the scale impacts my marriage. God forbid my husband wants to go somewhere that I don’t feel like I have total control. A crappy weigh-in means I’m in a bad mood, which means I’m cranky and no fun to be around. A bad weigh-in means I hate my body and there is no way I’m having sex. A bad weigh-in means I have to really lock down on my food choices and focus solely on that. A good weigh in means that while I’m in a great mood,  I need to stay hyper vigilant to keep control and not blow it all.

My obsession with the scale leads to negative self talk, insecurity, overwhelming feelings of disappointment and a lack of confidence. I was extremely obsessed with the scale before I regained 45lbs, too. Let me say, it’s way harder the second time around. Having been so close to my “goal” previously makes this time around even more infuriating. I am goal driven. I like results. I like seeing the numbers drop. When they do not happen the way I expect or to my standards, I am not okay with it.

effthatnoiseI weighed in this week and have lost a total of 6lbs in 3 weeks. Still, that isn’t enough. I was wildly disappointed with a 2.6lb loss for the week. It put me in a terrible mood, ruined my day and made me miserable to be around. I just can’t do it anymore. It’s exhausting to be so emotionally invested in something so trite. It’s impacting my marriage. It’s impacting my friendships. It’s impacting all of my relationships. The last month or so has been hard for me. I’ve done a lot of soul-searching. A lot of work on myself and a lot of self discovery. It hasn’t been easy, but I have realized that I love the lifestyle I am currently living. It’s finally something I could do for the rest of my life. Ultimately, I am eating between 1600-1900 calories a day, 80/20 clean, and working out 5-6 days a week. When I am able to separate myself from my identity on the scale I am extremely happy. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen very often and the scale destroys the hard work I am doing. So, there was only one way to fix that.

 

keytochange

 

I destroyed the scale before it destroyed me. This was by far the hardest thing I have done in my journey of losing 125lbs, gaining 45lbs of it back and now taking it off again. My weight loss identity has been tied to this scale. The tears streamed down my face as I took a hammer to my scale. The first blow was panic, “What have I done? I need the scale.” And then I just let go. I pounded out the years of frustration, sadness, disappointment and even the victories I’ve had. Am I wildly afraid that I’ll lose all self-control and gain 100lbs without my beloved scale? Honestly? Yes, yes I am. But something has to change. Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

 

scaleSMF

It was weird not weighing in this morning; slightly nerve-wracking. It gave me an extra 15 minutes to my morning. I spent that time doing extra squats (250lbs now!) and taking a longer shower. I’ll use my clothing as a guide, and I have a tape measure that I’d like to check in with once a month now, and only if I don’t abuse that. I have a fitness routine I enjoy and a diet (cleaner, intuitive eating) I can do the rest of my life. I have a healthy lifestyle. So, I guess my only goal now is to truly love my own body, because I’m done being ashamed of it.

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16 thoughts on “Taking Control Back

  1. I’m proud of you! For a couple of reasons. First for realizing that you were having issues with the scale that was influencing your life in so many other ways. And also that being healthy is more important than being thin. Yes, we all want to be thin, but the best way I am learning is to be healthy and thin will follow in its own time. A tool like a scale can only be useful when it is used as it was initially intended.

  2. That is truly something to be proud of. The scale can be a friend or an enemy but when it’s the enemy it really kills everything enjoyable in life and can completely ruin the day/week. Congratulations with making the decision to destroy the scale so that it won’t destroy you.

  3. Wow – you are so correct about all of it. I do weigh just once a week, but this is after YEARS of scale abuse. I think for me, right now (for today), the scale and I are fine with each other, but if it started up “diet mentality” it would have to go – perhaps just like yours did. Love the smashing! I’m sure your husband is also relieved to have his wife back. Congrats! Suzie

  4. I remember when I sold my scale at a garage sale. I held on to it a little longer than I meant to after she gave me her money. I was later able to purchase another one–but it was MANY years later. You’ll know when you feel strong enough to have a respectful, non-abusive relationship with the scale, if that’s ever. Until then, it sounds like you have a perfect plan in place. Proud of you. P.S. I shared your post on my blog page, with credit. I hope that’s OK! 🙂

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