Let me tell you all about a little habit I’ve developed as of late. It’s something I like to call hiding from the scale. Allow me to give you a few examples of the many sound excuses I’ve given myself to justify my behavior over the past 2-3 months:
“I went out to dinner tonight, so I can’t weigh in tomorrow morning.”
“I have too many errands to run tomorrow, so I can’t weigh in tomorrow morning.”
“It was so hot out today – and I know I’m retaining water – so I can’t weigh in tomorrow morning.”
“I just go back from vacation, so I can’t weigh in tomorrow morning.”
“I’m going to bed really late, so I can’t weigh in tomorrow morning.”
“All of my lightweight clothing is in the laundry, so I can’t weigh in tomorrow morning.”
“I didn’t have time to go to the gym today, so I can’t weigh in tomorrow morning.”
“My mom/sister/best friend/dog is on vacation, so I can’t weigh in tomorrow morning.”
“I’m PMSing, so I can’t weigh in tomorrow morning.”
“There’s rain in the forecast, so I can’t weigh in tomorrow morning.”
You get the idea.
I apparently couldn’t weigh in for most of June, all of July, and all of August – and then of course I had to wait until “after Labor Day” to return to my Weight Watchers meeting.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I did take a peek on my own scale at home from time to time throughout the summer, and I definitely did at least try to stick to the program and squeeze in some exercise on most days to avoid getting too out of control.
But my weight-loss efforts tend to get a little more lax on the days when temperatures soar and barbecues, ice cream trucks, and weekend getaways abound. And being the veteran Weight Watcher that I am, I’ve managed to convince myself that I should simply try to maintain my current weight over the summer so I can enjoy some much-deserved R&R…just like everyone else.
Plus, since my official weigh-in time has always been 8:30am on Sunday mornings at the meeting location just 5 minutes from my house, you can see how so many things can interfere (not).
Well, let me be a lesson to you all. I finally faced the scale on Sunday morning, and my ample gain (let’s just say it was less than 10 lbs, but more than 5) from my Florida vacation in August and other warm weather hoopla is reason enough to prove that absolutely no good can come from hiding from the scale.
Sporadically weighing yourself in the privacy of your own bathroom in various states of undress (because, you know, jeans add 6 lbs, right?) is a whole lot different than stepping on the scale at the same exact time, every single week, and in front of a Weight Watchers receptionist and leader who can silently judge you for your slip-ups.
I have taught myself a very important lesson this summer: I’m not as “cured” as I think I am, and I still have a long way to go. I’ve once again been slapped with the reality that even when I get to goal, I will never, ever be the kind of person who can weigh themselves once every 6 months and effortlessly maintain the same weight.
I will always have to be mindful of every bite and every workout, and that’s frustrating and unfair but, unfortunately, that’s just the card I’ve been dealt. As much as I hate having to measure my progress based on a piece of plastic, if I don’t stay on top of my weekly weight fluctuations by stepping on that scale, ending up right where I started is a very real danger. And there’s nothing more terrifying to me than allowing that to happen again.
So, my new “September fresh start” promise to myself: weekly weigh-ins are now NON-NEGOTIABLE. Unless I am violently ill or there’s six feet of snow outside (and, even then, I can still rendezvous with my home scale), I WILL get into my car and drive to Weight Watchers on Sunday mornings at 8:30am. End of story.
I implore everyone reading this to please not make the same mistake I made this summer. What it took me a couple of weeks (and a fun-filled Disney vacation) to put on could very well take me several months to take back off again. Do not hide from the scale because you had a stressful week at work. Do not hide from the scale because you ate chinese the night before. Do not hide from the scale because you spent the weekend partying.
I’m living proof that a seemingly minor 7 lb gain can all too quickly become a 25 lb gain, then a 40 lb gain, then a 65 lb gain, and before you know it you’re starting all over again.
It’s just not worth it.