Thursday, June 4, 2009
Don't be such a baby. Scales don't bite. Much.
Confession time: it's been 4 weeks since my last weigh-in. I don't feel like I looked any bigger. I am being pretty OP in my food choices. I am still exercising lots. Why look at the scale? How much could my weight have changed?
The beautiful, nurturing fields of successful maintenance have been scorched many times by failing to get weighed. One pound here and two pounds there turns into 25 pounds someplace else. It has happened to me before, and according to much established obesity research, it happens all the time to lots of people.
I was reading an article clipping from USA Today discussing Kirstie Alley's People Magazine confessional on her weight regain. The USA Today article had a nice quote from Dr. Tom Wadden, Director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Wadden was reminding the readers that regular (weekly or daily) weigh-in's "are mandatory" in maintaining weight loss. This statement is very consistent with the research from the well regarded National Weight Control Registry. Regular weigh-in's allow us to recognize when we are falling onto bad habits and quickly make adjustments before things get too far out of our control.
[By the way, in the same article Dr. Wadden also made the very kind and unsolicited suggestion of participating in programs like Weight Watchers to help people tackle the weight regain challenge.]
Before I could let myself get into a snarky place over Kirstie's lapse, I had to make the decision not to hurl large rocks against my many glass walls. I had not partaken of the scale in about a month.
If I'm being honest about why I did not, I have to say I was a little bit concerned that I might not like the answer the scale gave me. What if I was outside my Lifetime weight range? Would there not be some possibility of spontaneous combustion? So, I had to play out the scenario. Assuming that spontaneous combustion cannot be caused by an unfortunate weigh-in, nothing bad would really happen. In fact, I would know that I needed to course correct, which is a lot easier to do at +4 pounds than at +20 pounds. MUCH easier.
So I gathered my courage, and stepped onto a scale in a meeting in Rockville, Maryland (White Flint). The result: +2 pounds vs. my goal weight. Not as good as 0, but within the range. By the way, if it had been +5 pounds, that would have been OK too.
The irony of all of this hand wringing is that the Weight Watchers people who have previously weighed me in are super nice people. Not one of them has ever resorted to beating me or verbally assaulting me. In fact, they have always been very supportive and encouraging. To prove the point, I'm attaching a photo of my regular leader, Liz, showing how nice she is even when wielding a scale.
All I had to do was man-up (no offense to the naturally more courageous women who do this all the time), step on and go forward. So I did, and I'm glad.