I wake up; walk directly into the bathroom and pee. I then strip off all of my clothing, push the button, wait for 0.0 to pop up and then step ‘LIGHTLY’ up, the entire time thinking delicate thoughts. You know what I’m talking about, right? The Evil Scale routine. There is no messing up this routine, if you do, just pack it in. If I forget and take a shower first, I won’t weigh myself at all, because, it’s totally likely I am carrying bout 8lbs of moisture, so it’s just not going to be accurate. Right? And, if I take a sip of something with medication and then realize I forgot to weigh, I don’t do it then either, because, that sip of liquid will probably throw my weight off and I can’t take that risk. Or, when I go to the doctor’s office, I take off my shoes to step up onto the scale. Why? It’s just another way of psyching myself out.
By the way, thanks to all of the nurses who have never asked, ‘Why do you keep doing that?’… I know they do the same when it’s their turn! Solidarity sisters!
Those are just a few of the many examples in my life. I know I’m not the only one who does this, I know this because I’ve had so many conversations with others who are under the spell of the evil Scale God, and we all have basically the same plan of attack. It’s something that is apparently buried within our DNA, like the urge to stand upright and walk on two feet; we also have the urge to tread delicately near things that can tell us things about ourselves that we don’t want to know. Our weight.
The fact is that numbers don’t mean a thing. I hear all the time, don’t pay attention to pounds, focus on inches. Don’t pay attention to inches, focus on clothing sizes. I say bullshit to both of those and all similar ‘mantras’. I say, don’t pay attention to any of that, focus on feeling healthy. Have you ever quit smoking and then after a few weeks or more went back and tried to smoke and it was just horrible, not what you remembered? What about cutting out soft drinks for diet soft drinks and then eventually going backwards and not caring for that original taste anymore? It’s all the same concept (although, maybe not true for everyone), you change your habits and it is rough at first, the entire time you are thinking of all the things you want to do, that you love to do, and you can’t, and then after a while you go backwards and find that it’s not as awesome as you thought it was.
Years ago some friends and I did this horrific diet my father was given by his heart doctor. It’s not meant to be a long term diet; I think it was meant to purge water weight and such before surgery. It was the grapefruit diet which consisted of grape fruit and bacon for breakfast, and grapefruit and salad both lunch and dinner. The thing that tells me it wasn’t meant to be a long term diet is that after two weeks you were supposed to take a ‘day off’. Yeah, right, that sounds plausible. So, for the first few weeks we strictly followed that diet and in the last few days leading up to our first ‘no guilt free food day’ we plotted all that we would consume. Pre-breakfast snack, breakfast, post breakfast snack, snack, pre-lunch snack… and so on and so forth. We had so much fun plotting all of this food we’d consume, and when our free day came we couldn’t even finish the hamburger we treated ourselves to.
(FYI, more than ten years since I have done this diet, and to this day I can’t stand grapefruit, can’t stand really tart orange juice and can barely stand bacon…) So, that worked out well.
Remember when I said that I was my own worst enemy, well, I find that I naturally psych myself out of things. I can talk myself out of doing something in no time at all, my problem is I think too much, and I’m good at it. So, I have to fight extra hard to psych myself UP instead of out, and give myself the encouragement that no one else can. I have to remind myself that in the end I want to do the things I think of doing, not just sit around dreaming about them because I feel so bad I can’t imagine attempting to actually make it happen.
Surely I (and you) can drum up the strength to remind ourselves why it’s more important to fight past the pain and whatever other road blocks you encounter, whether they are depression, cravings, fast food, and television and so on. I have a friend who was a Marine, and while his wife was having their baby he kept telling her that ‘Pain was just weakness leaving the body’, and, while we did threaten to punch him in the baby maker area of his body if he told her that one more time while she was spawning, it certainly did resonate within me.
We about to start a 24/7 project here at work, where my portion will be 6 days a week,12 hours a day, so I have to start putting some serious thought into how to achieve my goals and plans with this added hindrance. You may have to figure out how to get in some exercise around your own job, or your children, homework, and extra-curricular activities.
I read this great article on Calorie Count.com about how to ‘Tweak Your Lifestyle’. Check it out and see if you can incorporate any of those slight changes into your current lifestyle? Baby steps are still steps!
In the meantime, what is the habit that is providing difficult for you to break?
What is your most often used excuse (the one you make to yourself…)?
What is your ‘scale ritual’?