My missteps with the scale

focus scale weight Feb 17, 2023
feet on scale with measuring tape binding at the ankles

I notoriously talk about how we shouldn't focus on the weight. Well I'm also going to share about just how easy it is to focus on the weight and what happens.

I made it a decision back in January 2022 that I would no longer weigh myself. We have a scale in the bathroom and it's something that my husband uses and finds helpful for him. And I questioned if it was something that was not helping me when I would periodically step on it. I noticed all the chatter that would come into my head whenever I weighed myself. So I want to see what it would be like to not step on it. For the past 13 months I have not weighed myself. When we had to check on the weight of bags and we would be taking on an airline, I asked my husband to be the one to weigh himself and then weigh the bag and then do the math to figure out what the bag weighed. It wasn't going to be me.

I just didn't wanna focus on my own weight. I didn't want to know. And the truth is I have felt amazing over the past year. Amazing in the sense that I have eaten when I'm hungry, I've also eaten when I just wanted to. It had nothing to do with focusing on the weight had nothing to do with the number on the scale telling me that I need to watch it or not. I have moved my body because I am a crabby patty if I don't.

And then I went to  a new GYN doctor yesterday for the first time. Now that's a whole 'nother discussion about having to go to the GYN doctor, but I realize that having a weight would be helpful for them to be able to get a baseline idea of my physical body and I honestly just didn't even feel like saying I don't want to get weighed didn't even feel like having that conversation so I did. I stepped on. 


I notice how I came to terms with this ahead of time that I was actually thinking, "I feel so amazing I bet you I've lost weight. My clothing fits a little bit differently I wonder how much weight I've lost."

I stepped on the scale and I weighed a full 10 pounds more than I anticipated. I started going to all the questions:

How is that possible?

Are my shoes really that heavy?

Should I not have worn jeans today?

Is this why I didn't want to weigh myself over the past year?

I wonder what it will be next year...

All of a sudden all the questions were about weight: I was focusing on it once again. You know what I wasn't focusing on? How freaking amazing I feel right now (well, at least until I stepped on the scale!). It was just a number that happened to be a good 10 pounds more than I thought it would be. 

So what's the problem here? Is it my expectation? Is it my ability to assess my own body? Is it the scale? The shoes and the jeans? Or is it the explosion of thoughts and questions after I saw the number? It was not an issue until I knew about it. I've been living my life on my terms: moving, eating, and sleeping in a way that just feels amazing and now the weight that number is going to change that?

We are all going through this. 

How is it that this comes up in our own homes when we know about our kids weight? How do you lose sight of what's going on in the background the day after day and instead focus on the scale? It's a programming that we've taken on years and years of practice if I could just fit into a certain pair of pants I would feel so much better if I just got pants that the relative value of being a size 4 versus the size 14 or 24 whatever we want to look at and compare.

The other funny thing that I did notice my weight was never discussed with the doctor. Even when I weighed 10 pounds heavier than I expected, it didn't trigger any type of a discussion about food, weight, or my health history. And I realize that I have a privilege in that. Others in larger bodies do not have that same privilege. The weight always seems to be a discussion in the medical office. What if instead of focusing on the weight we truly looked at those lifestyle habits, focusing on what it is that we always say we do want?

One thing the doc did ask: I was asked about what it is that I like to do for fun. I love that question. Mostly because I think fun is really at the heart of how I want to live my life so I think he noticed who I was right away when he asked that question.  I felt seen for who I am and not for what I weigh and ultimately I think that's what we all want.

What would it look like to focus on what your body is calling for right now? What it is that you want to do and not based in a fear of whether this is healthy or unhealthy, getting you closer or further away from your week goals? These are the questions that we can answer when we aren't focused on our weight.



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