SCALE TALES: IS THIS THING ON?
I just said, "Fuck You" to my scale. No wait, let me back up a few days.
I had started weighing myself after a few weeks of birthday indulgence guilt. I took a quick break, and immediately regressed into bad habits of not tracking my meals, lots of cake, and no exercise at all (unless struggling to zip things counts — it does not).
So getting back on the scale was just about getting back on that old horse. I was a little worried. What also contributed to my angst: the damn Polar Vortex.
After over a decade (and at least six vortexes) in Chicago, I now live in Montana, where we've actually been having a "mild" winter so far, at least where I'm situated in the more plains-edge parts just east of the Rockies. But still, when the thermometer started reading in the single digits in the morning, I wasn't really into stripping out of my slippers any time before coffee.
Do you have rituals or rules for weighing in? Pre-breakfast only, post-pooping preferred, never during Shark Week? You can tell me.
Up to now, I'd been weighing in my jammies (usually a t-shirt and some kind of hastily pulled on sweats or lounge pants). But in the midst of winter, I was throwing on a hoodie, wool socks, heavy sweats and some slippers first thing upon getting out of bed.
So, when I finally decided to put bare toe to digital footpads one morning, I was shocked (SHOCKED), and not a little depressed. I'd seemingly gained back all my previously lost poundage in just a few weeks of mindless eating.
I went about my day lamenting my poor life choices.
The next day, I was right back on that horse, stepping on the scale in the morning (pre-coffee and poop) and blammo, it was still high. Shocker, right?
The day after, I actually had to get up and get going out the door first thing, so I stepped on the scale totally nude (pre-shower and coffee). I had suddenly lost four pounds.
WHAT WHAT WHAT?
Oh, it suddenly dawned on me. Clothing weighs something too. I had inadvertently been adding several pounds with my hoodie and sweats in the morning. I went and grabbed my usual morning outfits and, holding them in my hand, stepped back on that scale. Yup, there was my mysterious four pounds that I'd "gained" in just a few weeks.
So what did I learn from this little encounter? Well, oddly enough, weighing myself every day has made me a bit less reliant on that number as validation for my existence. Yes, I still get a little buzz of excitement when the number is down a bit, but I also take a second and think, "what did I do to deserve this? Is it real?"
I remember for years thinking that I didn't really care what my scale number was, as long as my clothes fit. Now, my clothes don't fit and that number is twenty pounds higher than I've ever weighed in my life.
So "ahhhhh," I think, and develop a Buddha smile of serenity. I don't NEED that scale to feel good? Right?
I just stepped on my scale again while nude before taking a shower, and it was back up to that high number again. That's when I swore at my scale. It had taken my serenity and set it on fire. I hated it. I wanted to smash it. Nevermind it was post-lunch and three cups of coffee (what? I freelance and I'm home odd hours of the day). I had expected it to read lower because I'd waited to eat lunch till 2pm and I expected a reward for my hunger.
Totally rational, right?
Instead of smashing the scale, I stepped off and (after cursing) stepped back on again. There, it read down two-tenths of a pound.
I guess I can live with that.
Back goes the scale to the linen closet till tomorrow, when I'll step on again and figure out if a number means that much to me. Or not. It'll probably depend on if it's up or down.