Thursday, June 20, 2013

Why I Weigh Myself Every Day

In a lot of blogs and articles about body image, self love, and eating disorders, you'll read about how in order to be happy and fully accept your body, you need to ditch your relationship with your scale. The reasons why usually have to do with a few things:

- Your weight naturally fluctuates, even if you aren't changing your diet or activity level
- It shouldn't matter how much you weigh, but how you feel
- Your weight is not directly related to your fitness level
And all of this culminates to...
Don't let the scale dictate how you feel about your body.

GREAT, I say. I agree with all of those points. But if the scale just shows a number, if your weight doesn't really matter, then why would it be a big deal to weigh yourself frequently? If your weight is "just a number", then why not it be a number that you're aware of? While it really doesn't matter what your child weighs, it is still general practice to weigh in at doctor's visits and various points throughout the year. For a child, it's just a number and a way of tracking health.

So why isn't it the same for us adults? Why does the number on the scale seem to be so much more? Because we're conditioned to feel anxiety about it. In order to decrease the heightened awareness and anxiety of weighing in, I made a decision several years ago to weigh myself every day. It's a habit, an every morning, right-when-I-wake-up kind of thing, and it's just a number that I keep a mental note of. I casually observe trends, like gaining 5 or 6 lbs in the last 6 weeks of marathon training or a lower than normal weight when I didn't drink enough the day before. If I see a trend over several days of a higher than normal number, I reevalute to see what I've been doing differently. If I see a lower than normal number, sure, I feel good about myself, but it's similarily just another number to note in my normal weight range.

Back in my college days, I had an assigned weekly weigh in day, Friday. Can't do it Monday, no, because I always eat badly over the weekend. Friday would be good, right? Then that'll encourage me to be good all week because I have Friday hanging over me. Oh, no, this Friday won't work because I have a party go to Thursday night and that will show the next morning.... oh, and the next Friday I have a test in the morning, so I'm going to the gym in the afternoon and I only weigh myself after working out because that's always a pound or two less. Ahhh! Then, I would end up going weeks and weeks without weighing myself and feel like I was avoiding some terrible sentence. Does that sound like a healthy relationship with my body or the scale? Absolutely not! Now, it's a daily habit, just another thing after going to the bathroom first thing and putting my messy bed hair into a ponytail. The number I see is rarely a suprise, doesn't effect my mood that day, and is just that.... a number.

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