Fat to Fit to Fierce

Putting Away the Scale

Yesterday, I went to the doctor to have my blood pressure checked.  All day long I considered canceling my appointment because I didn’t want to get on the scale and face the truth. How crazy is that??

When I got there and stepped up, it showed my highest weight EVER. I could no longer say “at least I didn’t gain it all back.” I wanted to cry, I wanted to run and hide. I was ashamed and embarrassed. How could I let it get to this point? I felt like a failure. The only thing that kept me from having a complete breakdown was the nurse who wouldn’t understand what happened if I ran down the hall screaming with tears. Once I was in the exam room, I figured the doctor might try to put me on some kind of depression meds if I was sobbing uncontrollably when she came in the room.  So, I pulled myself together, my day was fine up until this point. Then it started to hit me. Why would I allow a number to do this to me? I knew I was at my heaviest weight before I got there. That’s why I didn’t want to come, because then, someone else would know my secret.  Why do I allow this number to have so much power?

When I was sitting in the waiting room reading “Made to Crave: Satisfying your deepest desire with God, not Food,” there was a paragraph about the dreaded scale. The author said not to buy into what the scale says, and trust the effort you’re putting into getting healthy. She only lost 1 pound her first month.  Not only are changes going on in my body, but there are changes going on in my spirit with my discipline, courage, and will power.
I have to remember that the scale only tells how much I weigh. It does not determine my self-worth as a person. I have an unhealthy relationship with my home scale and I’m somewhat obsessed with it. I weigh myself nearly every morning. But, I realized that I’m not doing it to see how many pounds I weigh. I’m stepping on the scale to see how I should feel about myself. I allow it to tell me if I should feel good, or if I should feel bad. But, realistically, I’ve lost and gained weight so much over the years, that I can almost predict it my weight within a pound or two. Rarely is it a surprise that I’ve lost or gained. I’m determined to make this a spiritual journey, and figure out the stuff on the inside first. The scale will not reflect my progress in this area. My home scale does not show that I’ve gone to church consistently for nearly 3 months, it doesn’t show that I’ve drastically changed my morning routine to include a healthy breakfast and prayer and inspirational words and music, it doesn’t show that I’ve started back tithing and ALL of my tenants paid rent, it doesn’t show that I’m reading and studying and understanding my weight struggles like never before, it doesn’t show that my family and friends love me, nor does it remind me that my breakthrough is right around the corner. Whew! That stupid scale doesn’t tell me any of that. But, when I get on the scale each morning, all of that logic goes out the window, right along with my self-esteem.

 So, I’m putting my home scale away. (Like at the top of my closet far from easy access, where I’ll be too lazy to get a chair and pull it back out.) All of the things I’m working on will have a much greater impact on my life than seeing the half pound difference in the morning. You might be saying, but wait Carli, you can’t banish the scale! What if you keep gaining?  Don’t worry, I’m not ignoring the fact that my weight is an important number that provides information. My clothes will certainly tell me if I’m gaining or losing weight.  But I’ll get the scale information once a week at the Weight Watchers meeting. I will no longer torture myself each morning, hoping that losing a pound or two will make me a better person that day… “They” say you should focus on Non-scale victories, which has always been a challenge for me.   Non-scale victories always seemed less important than actually weighing less on the scale.  Should I really celebrate that I got the side salad instead of the fries? But, when you really think about it, those non-scale victories are the choices that ultimately make the number on the scale go down.  Without the scale constantly telling me, that I should feel fat/ugly/happy/sad/sexy/dumb/worthless/etc today, hopefully I will focus more on the positive changes I’m making.  I’m trying to be patient with myself as I learn to love myself from the inside out…

17 Comments
  1. good for you! I enjoyed this posting a lot and could identify with a lot of it.

    I am also addicted to the scale and feel the same self-esteem issues when I would get on it EVERY morning. Except now – I’m pregnant, trying to not gain too much weight and guess what happened? My batteries died in the scale. I never changed them. Sure, I get on the scale in the dr’s office but I’m no longer a slave to my scale in the AM. I hope I can continue it after the baby but as I’ll be trying to lose weight, you know what they say – old habits die hard.

  2. Kate, isn’t it freeing when we realize that we don’t have to do the same things we always did? Congrats on being pregnant! I’m glad that you are no longer a slave to the scale. Remember not to buy new batteries! Lol

  3. I hope after this baby to have a “brand new attitude” about my body. We’ll see. It’s been a lifelong struggle for me, and trust me, getting pregnant an having a huge belly that you can’t hide hasn’t been easy. I’m an “apple” and my belly is my biggest part… I’ve always hidden it , never let people touch it – now it’s like people are poking, prodding, touching it all the time and I’ve had to learn to chill out about it. There’s nothing I can do. Also, I’ve been slowly re-thinking my horrific relationship with food/anxiety/stress/emotional eating/etc. Hopefully something sticks!! Best of luck to you!

  4. Good for you! This is my first month of not weighing myself several times a day. Truthfully, it’s driving me more crazy than hopping on the scale each day. I’m hoping it gets better. It’s hard not to be attached to “that number.” For me, it was to the point that I allowed that scale to determine my mood for the day. You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. I relate so much to this – I am such a slave to my scale! I will attempt to take a page from your book and hide it away 🙂 good luck!

  6. Sheila, I can believe that, I might have to take the scale to my mama’s house or something! I know I’m going to want to pull it out again. I’m sure I’ll be in a complete panic this time next week. lol..When you’ve been so attached to it for so long, it’s hard to imagine not doing it. Thanks for your support and honesty!

  7. Good decision. Let go and let God.

  8. Pattie, I always think I’m nuts for writting posts like being addicted to the scale even though I know it’s not healthy, and you ladies, always remind me that I’m probably more normal than I think.

  9. Thanks Mama! If you get a fancy scale you know why LOL!

  10. Such a powerful post today! Thank you for sharing what is truly in your heart. I struggle so hard to not judge myself by the number on the scale. It’s so easy fall into the trap of thinking that’s our only accomplishment in the world, and we’re “good” or “bad” based upon a number. I’m SO guilty of doing that.

    p.s. Thanks for bringing up “Made to Crave”. I need to reread that.

  11. I was just thinking about this today! It’s like I am on auto-pilot to weigh in the AM, in the PM, and why? I can’t let it control my day and who I am! I am bringing the scale to the basement where I hate going and just going to let it go!

    Made to crave sounds interesting – going to have to read it!

  12. Amy, I never weigh in the evening too, yikes!! Well, actually I do weigh myself in the evenings before a WW meeting. But, that would scare me to death to weigh after eating all day. That’s brave! lol. The book is GREAT, I’ll be doing a book review soon. I’ve read a million weight loss books and this is the 1st book where i felt like someone truly understood how deep this runs with me.

  13. Jenni, One of my blog readers recommended the book months ago, and I finally got it. I have the audio, but then I got the paper back book, b/c she has questions at the end of each chapter that have really helped open my eyes. I love your comment, that number on the scale is not our only accoplishment! Definitely re-read it.

  14. So happy you are getting rid of that scale!!! We have a really nice scale at our house and I’ve never been on it. I don’t want to know except at weigh-in, which I consider to be my official weight. Even at the doctor’s I tell the nurse to not tell me what it is because it messes with my mind too much.

    It took me a long time (and I’m still trying accept it) that a number doesn’t determine how you feel. I try to concentrate on my size or what I look like in the mirror.

  15. Just wanted to say thank you to Carli for everything you’ve done with your website. I’ve been using your Couch to 5k podcast for the past 7 weeks, and it’s been so great having you keep me company and encouraging me all along the way. Especially in those moments when it seems to get harder and harder to finish a run, it helps so much hearing an encouraging voice from someone that has been there before and knows the challenge I’m facing. I love reading your blog posts about overcoming your challenges and fears, and how your spiritual journey has helped shape the other areas of your life. Thanks to your help and encouragement, I’ve lost 31 pounds so far, and finally have the confidence that I’ll reach my goal, no matter how long it takes. Thanks for everything Carli, we really appreciate you!

  16. Thank all of you ladies for your truths.. I have just started trying to align my body and my spirit. And I have noticed that my spirit will be so high, but when I step on the scales if I haven’t at least lost one pound my spirit falls. I too will not let the scale dictate to me….I will concentrate on more non scale victories…….It gives me so much more confidence to know that I’m not alone and that its ok not to depend on what you weight but how you feel. Thanks again.

  17. Thank you so much for this post. I relate to it so well. In February, my life changed completely because of “Made to Crave.” I have found my want to. I “want to” eat healthier. I “want to” exercise. I “want to” give my addiction to food to God. I could go on and on.

    It’s like you said, you/we are so much more than a number on a scale. You are important for so many reasons! I pray that you make peace with that nasty ol’ scale and relish in the non-scale victories!

    Also, thank you so much for your C25K podcasts. I’m sad that I didn’t find them until I reached week 8, but what a difference I’ve had in those 2 weeks. The music you chose is excellent.

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