I’ve had a few conversations over the years, and more recently about the value of the bathroom scale. Most people tell me it should go in the trash, or I should pay someone to take it away. I’m not going to do that. I admire anyone who can subscribe to the Zen Health concept and if it works for you, Kudos.
I tried it. I did not get on a scale for two years at least. Somehow I avoided needing to weigh in for the Dr, and I thought spending money on one at home was stupid, so for all that time, I had nothing to go on other than what I saw in the mirror and how my clothes fit. And it seemed like all of a sudden, one day, I was 286 lbs. It just snuck up on me. Blammo! Blimp! Of course I knew I was overweight- have been since before I was pregnant with my son- I hated having my picture taken, I had to shop at the Fat Store and the Plus section everywhere else, and I was actually running out of sizes.
As for what I saw in the mirror, well, let me tell you, to be honest, When I was 160 lbs at 17 I thought I was horrendously fat. (and trust me, I was not). So if I can’t trust my own eyes, and my clothing size isn’t really all that accurate, how do I know? I use a scale.
Aha! But weight is not the only measure of health! What about the skinny people with high blood pressure and diabetes and high cholesterol?! What about those super ripped chicks with bad skin and brittle hair and very deep voices at the gym? A bathroom scale isn’t going to tell them they’re screwed.
It’s just one tool. And one that I have to remember not to obsess over. Just like the BMI is useful when looking at the big picture, and that at size 14 one is probably less likely to drop dead of a heart attack than at size 22, the bathroom scale is one part of the measurement. And I know I’m working hard, and I am less and less “Eeeewed” about what I see in the mirror, and my clothes are starting to feel a little more comfortable, and I feel good.
Two summers ago, when I started working with Leah, was the first time I had seen the scale move the other way in a long long time. The feeling of ultimate awesome success as it crept down 2lb at a time. And I earned it. I busted my ass. And watching the scale was fun for a change. Still, it wasn’t the only measure of my progress- not by a long shot. I still have a pair of my size 22 jeans so I can hold them up and laugh.
The best I can do is try not to fixate on my exact weight. And at the very least, keep it from going UP again. And remember to use all the ways to measure my success and overall health.