I have no excuses for this continual slip back into what I know is not a healthy mind set for me. I do know that twenty years ago, when I was in the throws of bulimia, the scale was my continual companion. At that time, I probably weighed myself at least five times a day--in the morning, at night, after I binged, after I purged, and I found my entire success in seeing the scale move downward. When I was finally able to get away from my eating disorder, I was so afraid of the scale's power over me that I actually threw away my scale. At the time, I really felt that this was a healthy decision to make, but the problem was that without that accountability I ballooned up to over 230 pounds.
In the last few years, the scale has once again become my companion only this time it has helped to guide me where I am today. I weigh myself weekly, sometimes a little more, but it is a good reminder to stay on the path to the healthier me. If I am being careless with my eating, I can see that on the scale. If I have been spot on with food choices and exercise, I can usually see that on the scale as well. My problem is that in the last year the scale has not budged at all, only I know that my clothes fit differently, I have lost inches, and I look so much better than I did one year ago.
Here is the quandary--to scale or not to scale, that is the question. Over the years I have read many articles and research on weight loss. One that really stuck in my mind was a longitudinal study of hundreds of people who had lost weight. One of the things that they found was that for those that had kept their weight off for over two years, nearly all of them weighed themselves on a regular basis. This strategy allowed them to monitor even the smallest gains and adjust their eating and food choices accordingly.
So, is it time for me to get rid of my scale again? I think not. I just have to change my mind set and realize that I am not looking for the scale to move down, I am looks for the numbers NOT to move up. As long as my clothes fit better, as long as when I run I feel lighter on my feet, and as long as I am happy with where I am, I cannot let the scale determine how I feel about my success. And if you hear me say that I still need to lose a certain number of pounds, please forgive me for not practicing what I preach--it has been a long journey, but I am still a work in progress.