We never had a scale at home growing up and in my early 20's I would only occasionally peek at a friend's scale or check in at the gym if I felt inclined. Should I have been paying more attention? Maybe. But it wasn't until 2006 that I really started to think about my weight when a director asked me to lose 20 lbs for a role and then again when I returned from 3 weeks in Europe unable to recognize the girl that was staring back at me in the photos.
Doing Weight Watchers, becoming healthier and losing the weight that I did was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I stand by the fact that it absolutely changed my life and set me up for success in so many ways.
It did however create a bit of an obsession with the scale.
It's interesting that as a leader I was able to support so many members through their weight loss journeys and encourage them to look beyond the scale, especially when things weren't going as they hoped. I would often remind them that it wasn't just about the scale and that there were so many other factors that they could examine - health, eating habits, clothing sizes, fitness level, measurements - and celebrate as a measure of their success. While I definitely believed this myself, I, like so many others, had trouble always putting it into action.
Looking back at my weight loss journey, I can tell you that I was never really happy or satisfied. I was unhappy at my heaviest. I was unhappy at my thinnest (which came as a result of a lot of stress in my life). And at my fittest, I still wrote in my journal about wanting to lose 5 more lbs. I was notorious for stepping on the scale all the time, and far too often, the number that appeared would consume my thoughts and influence my mood. There was a point in 2011 where I nearly took a leave of absence from Weight Watchers because I was obsessing about my weight and didn't know how to turn things around. I worked through it, changed my perspective, but my weight still held great power over me.
This year I started to feel more comfortable with my body, though as part of my job with Weight Watchers, I needed to weigh in at least once a month and send my weight to head office. After I stepped down as a leader in March, I still intended to weigh in each month as a Lifetime Member, and did so just after I left. For whatever reason I wasn't able to weigh in in April or May and recently it dawned on me that it had been a long time since I had weighed myself.
I also realized that I felt really great.
Yes, I've been doing lots of great things physically and with my eating, but I believed that there was a direct correlation between how I was feeling and the fact that I had no idea what the scale had to say.
I bought a new bikini last week and posted the above picture on Instagram with a comment about the fact that I was feeling great in my own skin and that I hadn't weighed myself in a few months. The comments I received from people were amazing and unexpected; I only posted the photo as a testament to my own feelings of empowerment and happiness in this new state of being, but the idea really resonated with people, as did the quote on my mirror (get rid of the thoughts that don't serve you) and I'm pretty sure a bunch of boys just pressed like because I posted a photo of myself nearly naked. I'll take it. I feel awesome and appreciate that other people can get behind it too.
I plan to continue on this path without a scale for as long as it feels good. I've started to take some classes at Primal Movement, I'm getting back into the swing of things at the gym and I'm eating mindfully to nourish my body. These are all good things that make me happy, which is something the scale hasn't consistently done ever really. We'll see how this goes. I would like to get back to WW as a member at some point, but I think this break is doing me so much better than a monthly weigh in could. I'm done with giving so much power to a silly inanimate object.
Without the scale I feel lighter.
Does the scale help or hinder you? How do you stay on track without weighing yourself? What are your measures of success unrelated to the scale?