Thursday, January 29, 2009

Not that quarters are all that heavy, but still...

Last week I spent the part of a morning doing 3 things they say you should never do: I colored my own hair, cut my own bangs, and cleaned up a month's worth of eyebrow growth all at one time. Practically the only thing I didn't do was give myself a bikini wax. I'm not really sure what I was thinking. I guess it was kind of like the time (this is a true story; you can't make up stuff like this, folks) when he was a little boy that Holly's husband thought to himself, "Now would be a good time to put this quarter in my mouth," which he did and then promptly choked. Luckily his mother was nearby, picked him up by his ankle, and with a firm upside down shake, dislodged the quarter. Best I can figure, my brain decided that last Wednesday would be a good time to spend an hour or so doing tasks left best to professionals.

It turned out fine though, don't ask me how. The color's good (though I haven't worked up the nerve to do the highlights yet, so I'm currently missing being blonde), my bangs turned out better than they should have, and I don't look constantly surprised, so I really can't ask for more.

Something else I like to do that the all-knowing "they" say you shouldn't do is weigh yourself more than once a week. Not me. I weigh myself everyday, usually twice, sometimes more than that. For some reason, it helps me stay aware of reality. Or at least more aware, since saying I'm aware of reality is like saying I'm blonde. Two things I don't do, however, are let what the scale says effect my mood, or trust any weight other than the first-thing-in-the-morning-no-clothes-pre-breakfast-post-bathroom-use weight as the real thing. Every other time I weigh during the day, it's more out of curiosity than anything else. In fact, one of the reasons I weigh right before I go to bed is because I like to see the big drop that happens overnight. And then when there isn't a big drop, that's usually a clue that I ate too much sodium the day before or didn't drink enough water or didn't get enough sleep.

I think because I get on the scale so much is the reason the number of the day doesn't effect my mood. I've done it so many times that it's made it so the my weight has become just a number, a way to gauge how I'm doing. I will admit, though, that the fact that I spent over a year within 5 pounds of the same weight got pretty darn frustrating at times. But since I know that I wasn't being consistent with my diet or my exercise or (all to frequently) both, I knew that my "plateau" was due to my own actions, not the scale, and therefore I was frustrated with myself, not the scale.

Another benefit to my frequent weighing is that I've noticed some patterns in my weight. For instance, I know that after I have a drop into new territory (like last week's final weigh-in where I saw a number I haven't seen in yearsandyears), I tend to go back up 2 or 3 pounds and then work my way back down over the next couple of weeks (if I'm being consistent that is). So this week, I've been trying to be extra careful about what I eat and how hard I workout, because I'd really like to keep up my momentum. I was thrilled last week because I was finally back into the 140s, but I don't consider myself fully into a "decade" until I'm closer to the middle of it. But a big success for me this week has been that I haven't seen the 2-3 pound jump I usually see after the drop. In fact, I'm hovering right around the new weight still.

I read an article several years ago that really changed how I felt about getting on the scale called Why the Scale Lies. This information is probably one of the biggest influences that turned my relationship with the scale into a diagnostic tool and helped remove a lot of the emotional aspect of it.

One more thing to remember: this is just my experience. My issues are not your issues (and you should be grateful!) and something that works for me might not work for you. My hope is merely that maybe the way I do something will help you evaluate the way you do something and see if it is truly working for you. If it is, great! If not, at least you know.

Also, there's really never a good time to put a quarter in your mouth, no matter what Joel says.


Wendi said...

I appreciated reading that article. Thanks for the link, Sara! :)

Katie said...

I also weigh myself EVERY SINGLE DAY and sometimes, 2-3 times a day. It really does make a difference. If I notice that I'm not going back down the next morning, I know I have to push a little harder. If it does go back down, it makes all my efforts totally worth it, and it becomes motivational.

Anonymous said...

I love that a label for this is 'extreme grooming'.

I don't own a scale anymore. During the contest I went to my sisters or parents house to weigh in. I get obsessed with that stupid number! I measure myself every week with a tape measure and that seems to fit my personality type. I am shooting to weigh myself once a month and see how that goes...but the inches feel more measurable to me I guess.

Sara said...

I'm glad you liked it, Wendi!

I'm glad I'm not the only crazy one, Kate ;)

Hannah, I'm glad you're doing what's working for you! I think that's one of the keys to lasting weight loss--figuring out your own system.