Fighting With the Bathroom Scale

I have a routine for the morning that I follow pretty closely every day. I wake up and go to the washroom. After I sit on the toilet checking my e-mails and doing whatever else I might do, I get up and then weigh myself. While my ‘official’ weigh-in is normally every other Wednesday at the doctor’s office, I still record my weight daily. Why? There are several reasons, not the least of which is that I might be encouraged by the sacrifices I made or need to be scolded to make adjustments to my behaviour. “Oh look, I am down X.Y lbs.… sticking to the program and drinking 1.5 gallons of water really paid off!” Or else, “Yeah… I did not think it would be a big deal if I went out for breakfast yesterday… but even though I was good the rest of the day, I still gained X.Y lbs.” That’s a major reason I do it… but also because I get to see my weight-loss progress in real time.

There are weight-loss advocates who say that weighing in every day can be a bad idea. I think that is likely true for people who are more sensitive… those who get offended, dejected, demoralized, or let down by every little thing. “I worked so hard yesterday, and I have not lost anything. I might as well eat a doughnut or three.” I am not like that… but I do have my days.

I want to be clear… I do not need anyone’s or anything’s help to make me want to cheat. Yes, there will be reasons that I do cheat… I love food, I love eating. I got to be 395 lbs. because I am addicted to food. If an alcoholic does not need an excuse to reach for a drink, if a drug addict does not need an excuse to take drugs, why should I require an excuse to eat? There is, in fact, only one reason I eat. It is because I am weak.

Back to the point.

Monday’s was a particularly bad weigh-in. Why? I was weak the previous day. That morning I was up about 1.6lbs. I redoubled my efforts, and the next couple of days I was strong. I was not expecting the Monday gain to be erased entirely in two or three days, but I was hoping it would be. I was hoping for more.

1.2 lbs.

Just over a one-pound loss, after three days of sticking to the program, would not normally be a disappointment… but after Monday’s disastrous number, I am… less than elated. What the scale has been telling me is that, at this rate, one day’s gain would take at least four days and possibly longer to recover from.

I sighed… I then did what I do on a lot of mornings when I am not entirely thrilled with my progress… I let it reset, and then I stepped back on the scale. Sure enough, the number was worse! I let it reset again, and then the number was right back to the original one. Okay, if that is the best I am going to get, then I will take it.

This is something I do quite often… and most of the time when I do it, there is little or no difference. There are days when a .2 lb. drop would be meaningless… there are days when it would be the difference between just another day and hitting a milestone. Then there are the days when it is just the psychological boost I need to not be down about things. ‘Yes, I only lost .2 lb. yesterday… but that is a lot better than staying the same, or gaining .2 lb.’

With the .2 lb. gain, I did not reach any milestones this morning; had I dropped .2 lb. there was no decade to be reached, and I would not be at a new lowest point ever. All of those are reasons to celebrate, and I have had a lot of them over the last few weeks and months, and certainly over the entire 394 days of this crazy journey. However, after that terrible ‘up’ day, it would be nice to continue to see the numbers dropping… had it dropped.2lbs instead of rising was the difference between my getting back to my best-weight-yet (tied with it anyways) and having to wait another day (or longer) to try to achieve that.

Some days, small psychological victories can really be the difference between having a good day and not. I will still try to keep my chin up today, but it is several hours later, and I am still not feeling very motivated. Maybe tomorrow I can get back down to that best-weight-yet territory. Maybe tomorrow I can be more motivated throughout the day. What I know for sure is that if I get depressed today and fall off my program, then I have a much better chance of that not happening… and so I stay on track. One day at a time, folks… resisting one temptation at a time.

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