First of all, how could I not have thought of "Tales from the Scale" before as a title?!? It seems like a no-brainer.
I don't know about you all, but sometimes I will think of things I need to remember or do the next day right before I go to sleep. For that reason, I keep a pad of paper and pen by my bed. So last night, I was thinking about what I wanted to write in my blog today and kept coming up with ideas that I didn't want to forget. However, I decided not to turn the light on because I thought I could write legibly in the dark for some reason. That decision plus being half asleep resulted in my waking up this morning to see random illegible words written all over my pad of paper. Also, "CABLE BILL!!!" was written in huge letters for some reason I'm still trying to figure out since this bill is not due any time soon. Sometimes I frighten/confuse myself.
So since I do not remember any of my "brilliant" nighttime ideas, I'll just have to figure out some more this morning. Luckily, my scale provided me with inspiration. As I looked at the number on the scale this morning and the 0.4 lb loss that it represented, I decided that I was tired of having that stupid scale dictate how I feel. Prior to weighing, I felt great about how my week had gone. But just seeing that number was enough to take the feeling away from me. Or more accurately, I allowed that number to take my good feelings away. Sometimes I just can't help but feel like it is unfair how little results on the scale I see now as opposed to when I first started, because I work out so much harder now and eat so much better. Rationally, I know that it is normal to lose much more at the beginning because there is so much more to lose, but sometimes my brain is not rational. It's emotional. I wish I could go back to being 328 lbs for just one day so I could remember how it felt. Sometimes I see pictures of myself at that weight or read blog entries I wrote then, and it is difficult to remember being that person. I am so different now in every possible way that it gets hard to remember sometimes where I came from. I think it is important that I never forget where I started because it gives me perspective. Somehow not being able to get from a size 10 to a size 8 like I wanted to by the end of the summer doesn't seem quite so bad when I remember being a size 26. It doesn't seem quite so bad to have a little loose skin when I remember being so large that fitting in movie theater seats and restaurant booths was once a challenge. It's all about perspective.
Last year before my Biggest Loser audition, I remember looking at old pictures of myself at my thinnest from 5 years before, which is also about the weight I am now. I had just started my blog and I wrote the following:
I've been gathering up old pictures of me at my thinnest in preparation
for my Biggest Loser audition tomorrow. Although when I say thinnest, it
is really more like "merely overweight, not obese." Because the
thinnest I have ever been in my adult life was 170 pounds 5 years ago. I
would kill to be that size again, but then all I could think was how
fat I still was.
"All I could think was how fat I still was." That phrase right there is a prime example of why I gained the weight back. I need to always remember to be happy where I am right now and not put myself down about how far I have left to go or how fast or slow I'm getting there. So with that thought in mind, I am taking back my power from the scale (that seems like an Oprah thing to say). It makes me angry that I allow a number to define my success to some extent. My journey has been so much more than a number, but sometimes I get so wrapped up in the number that I forget my own message. Namely, that this is about being healthy, not weighing a certain amount. Now, I am the type of person (Type A!) who likes numbers and who likes to have set ways of accomplishing tasks. For example, the other day my dad was teaching me how to grill steaks (yes, I am a late grill bloomer) and he was all, "You'll know when they're done." I was more like, "Tell me exactly how many minutes to leave them on the grill and at exactly what time to flip them!" x+y=z if you will. Or for me eating 1500 calories a day+exercise 2 or more hours a day=massive weight loss. Except sometimes the scale does cooperate with that equation. So I've decided that I need to take a couple of weeks without having the scale in the equation at all. This is somewhat frightening for me. I have weighed in every week without fail since I first started. This was one of my only inflexible rules, because I never wanted to to go back to what I had been doing, which was completely avoiding the scale for months at a time and being in denial about my weight. But I think right now there is more danger in me becoming too wrapped up in that number than being in denial about it. Lately, I've been weighing at least every other day, and it's just gotten crazy how too many of my activities and nutrition are decided by what the scale says and only what the scale says. That number can be affected by so many different inconsequential things from day to day, or even hour to hour, that it is ridiculous to allow it to have so much power over me. My scale is taking a 2 week vacation over at my parents' house. At first, I just told myself I would keep it under my sink, but then I got real. I would totally have caved in and weighed myself if the scale was as close as under my sink.
I need to trust myself. I need to trust in the fact that I know what I'm doing now. I know what is good for my body and I know what hurts it. I don't need a number on a scale to tell me how I'm doing.