Saturday, January 21, 2012

One Month Without a Scale

My, but have I learned somethings about myself this past month.

Week 1 - Detox
I knew I didn't have a healthy relationship with my scale, but I didn't realize just how bad I was until I suddenly didn't have it anymore.

I used to weigh myself every day except Sundays. (I would take a sabbath rest from self loathing.) By the time I tossed that tool, though, I was weighing myself upwards of three times a day. Not healthy. Also, not helpful. When I threw out my scale my son was two months old and I had lost NO baby weight. I was literally down just 7 pounds from the day I had him. He weighed 7 pounds at birth.

I felt the emptiness in the bathroom each time I went in for the first week. Each time I entered I looked toward the spot where it had been.  Feeling the great void confirmed how much I had been abusing the scale.

Week 2 - Wrestling and Relief

I have said for years that I don't care what the scale says as long as I look good and feel good. I am blessed to have super strong bones and muscles. So I carry a lot more weight than I appear to.  Suddenly not having a specific number to judge myself by, though, threw that declaration into question.  My thoughts seemed to mock me, "You say you don't care what the scale says: Prove it."

The problem, though, is that I neither look good nor feel good. I am overweight, and it shows. I had one very sad day of realizing that I so very much want to be thin. But right now I'm just not. Why it took me getting rid of my scale to realize this, I don't know. But no longer having the distraction of dancing numbers forced me to acknowledge that I didn't meet my own definition of beauty.

I had a few days when my feet, knees and back were really hurting me. Convinced it was because of my weight I was frustrated that I didn't have the scale available to confirm my suspicions. Not that it would have helped my joints feel better, but I wanted something to join in on the assault of self. 

That's the wrestling. Here's the relief that came in week 2: I started drinking water when I was thirsty and only went to the bathroom to use the plumbing-related facilities. When I would weigh myself everyday I wanted to see as low a number as possible. If I knew I was heading to the bathroom, I would wait to get a drink until afterwards. Now, this only delayed my re-hydrating by about three minutes, but still: that's ridiculous. 

Week 3 - Decisions

Since my main tool to measure my health was gone I had to start looking toward other metrics. The other ones I used were a bit subjective, though.  Looking at my reflection, or down at my flesh was a bit brutal. Squeezing my various parts was even more unpleasant. Testing my body by the fit of my clothing was also awful as pretty much everything pinched. Ugh.  So what to do?

I decided to go with my reflection and my clothing. Though jeans do fit differently straight from the dryer than they do after the second wearing, they are pretty consistent overall. I have a couple of landmarks on my body that I was watching, too. The main one was the rolls of back fat that appeared with this most recent pregnancy. Gross. It looks like I carried him in my back, not my abdomen.

I made one other decision: reduce my sugar. It's my gateway drug. I can eat nutritious, balanced meals for days on end. Give me one cookie, though, and I'm soon swallowing a half dozen cookies, then washing them down with hot cocoa. This is the first I've mentioned it. I find it so much easier for me to make healthy changes all by myself. I don't know why. Most every weight-loss expert says to have a support team. My success comes from quiet focus, though. Anyhow, I am now eating fruit for my sweet-fixes. Except for Sundays.  I allow myself one sweet treat on Sundays at our church's weekly potluck. And my husband bringing me something sweet is an allowed "cheat". He pretty much never thinks about adding sugar at the end of meals, (crazy head) so if he hands me a foil-wrapped chocolate morsel I take it as a kiss from God.  It's funny, but I almost didn't write this paragraph because I'm afraid my man will read it and withhold chocolate from me now. Another indication of my esteeming chocolate way too much.

Week 4 - Progress

I think I may have lost a few pounds. But I don't know for sure! Arg! I'm doing pretty good about the reduced-sugar-thing. It's hard because there have been a lot of special occasions lately. When I fall off the wagon, though, I just hop back on next meal. I don't wait until Monday or next month to eat well again.  I've done crunches a few times. My abdominal muscles are still split from my pregnancy, so it takes shockingly little time to feel the burn. Today I was actually pleasantly surprised when I put on my jeans. Though they're still a little snug at the waist, I'm not sporting the muffin top I had a month ago. And my ew-gross rolls on my back look like they might actually be getting a little smaller.  I will for-sure do a happy dance when they are gone. But progress is progress. Woo hoo!

I tossed my scale last month, but I did keep the paper that used to rest on it.

It never made me cry, but it also never made me thin.

copyright (c) Elizabeth, Bug's Beef. All rights reserved.

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