Are You a Slave to the Scale?

" Do you control the scale or does the scale control you?"

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2011  |  Updated 7:15 PM EDT
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Are You a Slave to the Scale?

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Several weeks ago my weight loss coach asked me " Do you control the scale or does the scale control you?" Since I like being in control the last thing I wanted to do is admit that something is controlling me. Without much thought, I confidently answered " No way, " that doesn't apply to me.

  In the weeks to follow I would share with my coach my experiences and feelings about my weight loss journey.
 
There was a day when I got on the scale after eating more than I'm proud of and according to what I saw, the four days of exercise and five days of eating clean, all seemed to go to waste. It was a Monday and I was depressed for the rest of the day. My coach tried to get me to relinquish some of the guilt I was feeling. She shared that it's important to remember that I did more things right than I did wrong. Although I agreed, I shared that "all that mattered was seeing the pounds drop."
 
For the week that followed I refocused my weight loss efforts. So of course the first thing on my mind was weighing myself. I did just that and to my pleasant discovery my weight was down four pounds. Wow... I was on cloud nine. If I knew how to do a back flip I probably would have done one. A few days later I shared the good news with my coach. She was very excited for me... it felt like having a weight loss cheerleader. However, she wanted me to be aware of the extreme emotional highs and lows that I experienced in relation to the scale. Having this brought to my attention was sobering. Yet, I still wouldn't admit that I allowed a piece of metal and plastic to control me. However, her comments certainly got me thinking.
 
 I think it's also important to mention I have been somewhat of a "scale maniac." I have two scales set up to weigh myself (just in case one has an attitude on a particular day, I can depend on the other to give me what I want). I know it sounds ridiculous but I'm sharing because I know I'm not the only one with a less than healthy scale ritual. I also weigh myself quite often... about three times a week.
 
Plus after weighing myself and getting extremely excited or depressed, my behavior seemed to take a turn for the worse. I would either rationalize that I was doing so badly that I should just give up for a while or I would decide that I was doing so well that I could "treat" myself. The biggest problem with this is my goal is to make healthy living a lifestyle and not something I do to get the scale to be nice to me.
 
After being more honest about my dysfunctional love/hate relationship with the scale. I finally admitted, "I allow the scale to control me." I immediately asked my husband to hide my scales from me and notified my coach that "Mrs. In Control" was finally walking toward the light.
 
As I struggled to grasp what my coach was trying to get me to see, she made a comment that didn't add up for me at the time. I told her I care so much about what the scale says because it is the ultimate indicator of whether I am losing weight. Her response was "no you are the ultimate indicator of whether you are losing weight." At the time I thought the statement was silly and nonsensical but needless to say I am now a believer. I guess I was so deep in the "scale trance" I couldn't see how much sense my coaches statement made.
 
Although the scale can give me an indication of how many pounds I have lost, I have the power to control what direction the scale goes in and how much it goes in each direction.
 
So I am writing this article to pass along the message. As my weight loss coach said "YOU ARE THE ULTIMATE INDICATOR" of how much weight you lose... not the scale.
 
And yes, I will weigh myself again in the not - so - distant future but the next time I will be in control.

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