Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Tales from the Scales

I don’t tend to talk an awful lot about the results of my weigh in. I’m not sure why, it just never seems to occur to me as a topic when I’m coming up with things to write about.

But I want to write about my result last night. Last night was my first weigh in since re-starting the plan two weeks ago post the Christmas and New Year merriment. My first week had been less than 100% stellar, not improved by the fact I had been unable to attend the week before (I’m a terrible sulker when things don’t go to plan), but I’d pulled it back and now I toddled along , having had seven perfectly tracked days in a row (plus three gym visits to boost the bank). I had that smug little glow that one gets when one is about to receive one’s just reward and I jumped onto the scales quite happily.

I had lost a pound.

A single, squiddly little pound. A decent bowel movement can get me a pound’s weight loss some mornings.

I took back my card, signed the weekly sheet and headed straight for home, definitely a bit moist of eye. I started doing diet arithmetic – you know when you think, “Well, if I lose an average of half a pound a week for x number of weeks then it will take me so long to get so far,” and that made the eyes even moister. By the time I got back to the flat I was sufficiently worked up to make D’s shoulder quite soggy.

Later, pootling up and down the swimming pool (and let me tell you, it took quite an effort of will to go to the gym after my disappointment – the two bottles of organic cider in the fridge and the takeaway menu drawer had been singing out my name quite loudly) I tried hard to be sanguine.

I bang on and on about the fact that I don’t regard WW as a diet – just a way of monitoring the way I eat to ensure I create a bit of a calorie deficit. The alternative to WW? Well, I’d still have to eat, I’d still have to plan my meals, I’d still want to consume sufficient nutrients for good health. There’d be a little less admin, but not a massive amount. And the trade off for that fifteen minutes spent tracking every day is improved health and an eventual decrease in girth.

I suppose we all want validation, we all want to know that our efforts are being rewarded. And the main way we seek that validation is the number in the scales. If the number goes up, or stays the same, or even doesn’t give us the drop we hoped for, if the number doesn’t feel like sufficient reward for our endeavours, then we judge ourselves a failure.

But I’m sorry; I did not “fail” at anything last week. In fact, there was plenty to be proud of. I made sensible, healthy decisions, I ate well, I exercised, I did not over indulge nor did I deny myself anything that I really wanted. That’s a successful week. Failure would have been allowing my disappointment to derail me, to allow the negative thought pattern of, “Sod it. This obviously isn’t working for me, I’m going to eat and drink what the hell I like and waistline be damned,” to take over. Success is accepting that if you do all the right things, the results will eventually follow. Success is realising that this is a life plan – not a quick fix, not a temporary measure. Success is keeping on and on and on, and not allowing a number on a dial to derail you.

In the words of The Beautiful South, you just have to “Carry on regardless.”


  1. Excellent post, it's very difficult not to get disappointed by those blasted scales and see that as the be all and end all. I know I have been guilty in the past of letting the numbers derail me.

    However, you're right, this has to be a way of life and a way of keeping ourselves a bit more in check.

    Good on ya for getting to that pool!


  2. Ah, the tyranny of the scales. I probably write TOO much on this. But watching The Biggest Loser last night (I know, lowest common denominator telly) where some of them only lost 1lb or even nothing, it makes me realise that it's not just me: sometimes life (read: scales) is just not fair. All you can do is grit your teeth and carry on regardless. Oh and snivel a bit, wail and gnash your teeth - at least, I do!


  3. I honestly know where you're coming from with this, and if you look back through my January weigh ins you'll see I had something similar - it seemed to take a while for my body to give anything much up, but then I lost nearly 3lbs this last week. Mind you, I've been bang on track this week, and this morning's scales look like I might possibly gain for this week. It's horribly frustrating, I agree, but I'm trying to think in terms of the longer term goal, and not get too hooked up on the day-to-day vagaries of the scale - as long as the downs outweigh the ups it's all ok. xx

  4. ooooooohhhhhhhhh :( don't feel bad...this has got to be the WORST time for losing weight! You will do it if you keep your spirits up!!! I can't stand scales...ugh ugh ugh...hope you have a fantastic rest of the week!! :)