Thursday, September 16, 2010

Once My Best Friend, Now My Worst Enemy

Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
In one of my earlier blogs, I talked about the concept of one’s weight loss goals never being enough.  Once upon a time I was making these huge leaps and bounds toward a goal.  Since I reached that goal, I have essentially spent the last two years gaining and losing the same 15 pounds.  My weight is at its highest during the summer, when I indulge in my unnaturally strong cravings for sugar (is this normal?!), and I’m at my lowest during the late winter when I am knee-deep in marathon training.  But pretty much, I stay within the same 15-pound range.
My scale, once the bearer of such beautiful news of weight loss accomplishment, has become the most horrible thing I have ever owned.  I am a slave to it.  I did some research on the topic and according to some sources, including The Biggest Loser (we'll talk more about TBL in future posts), you should only weigh yourself once a week.  This will help you from getting an innacurate reading due to the water and sodium fluctuations that your body experiences from day to day.  Other sources say that you actually should weigh yourself every day, since  all the water weight fluctuations get evened out over time and you can get a better picture of what is really your base weight. 
No where in any literature could I find any sage advice on the wisdom of sadistically weighing yourself at least 80 times a day.  Despite the obviously flawed logic, this is what I do.
The number on the scale from day to day and hour to hour can be horrifying.  Sometimes I can be having the best “thin” day, where I’m feeling confident about my body and my clothes feel loose and all my jiggly parts seem, well, a little less jiggly, then I step on the scale and my mood immediately changes.   Why is that number so powerful?  Or rather, why do I let it be so powerful? 
On the flip side, I also find it fascinating.  It’s amazing that my body weight can fluctuate up to 10 pounds from my weigh-in in the morning after a long run to a late-night weigh in after eating and drinking all day.  Am I a freaking camel?!  Most of the time, the fluctuations have reasons.  A few months ago I found out that the prescription anti-inflammatories I was taking during marathon training were, for some unknown reason, causing my weight to spike by about 5 pounds.  I remember thinking to myself, “How can I be eating right, running 40+ miles per week and not be losing weight?”  I stopped taking the pills and almost immediately noticed a change.  Despite how many times I weigh myself in a given day, one way I’ve found to not drive myself nuts is to always consider  the lowest weight of the day as the “true” or “base” weight.  It’s probably not accurate to do this (it should probably be the median weight), but it makes me feel better about myself, so I say screw the experts.
I’d like to know from the readers… how much is too much?  How often do you weigh yourself as not to drive yourself crazy?  What other ways do you gauge your physical fitness (measuring tape, BMI, etc)?

1 comment:

tissygoalie1 said...

I no longer weigh myself at all. It became such an obsession for me that it spun out of control and took over me. Now, even at the doctor I face the opposite direction and tell them not to tell me the "powerful number" I instead go by how my clothes are fitting and how I feel about myself.