Internal Dilemma

Posted: February 2, 2011 at 8:22 pm

When the kiddos’ naptime (aka my post-writing time) rolled around I stared at my screen with this dilemma:

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The response came in for me on Twitter and Facebook (shameless plug to follow if you don’t already). Verdict = share what’s on my mind. Who am I to deny the answers social media provides? 

I have been facing an internal dilemma.What exactly? The scale. Dun dun dun!!!!

When maintaining my weight or gaining weight for conception and pregnancy I had absolutely no desire to use a scale. It did not matter to me in the least. Now I suddenly feel myself wishing I could have it available to me. Why? Well, I am trying to lose weight. Its necessary to get back to that place I personally feel my best. I sort of miss having a concrete way to know how those efforts pan out. I feel like I am approaching my goals blindly.

Although harder, its still possible to eat enough healthy food calories to inhibit weight loss. I also don’t want to lose too quickly, which can be detrimental to milk supply. And I have no clue if I’m doing either of those things. I fear that I will reach a point where I feel I’m not making progress and will then make unnecessary changes. It’s interesting…I gave up the scale to not have mental games, yet now it seems to be causing even more of those games.

I tell myself the following: I feel confident in my relationship with my body. I believe I could use a scale without getting caught up in the number. I trust that I would use it as a tool and nothing more – simply as a more regular gauge in addition to my clothes and progress pictures, which both take longer to show noticeable progress. I would still do my thing, with minor tweaks when needed and not because I think its time as I may without a scale. I would not focus on reaching a particular number and would never do anything drastic in the name of achieving a number. I would keep the balanced approach I have strived to achieve.

Then, there’s the other side. I know I don’t need a scale to tell me I’m making good choices for my health…and health matters most. I have stated here my belief in getting back in shape scale-free. I would feel like I was letting FFF, and its readers, down. I also feel like I would lose credibility personally. I have other ways I can track progress and focus on. I know that, while I weighed myself weekly after Makenzie, my body naturally returned to its happy place. Although I used the scale to reach my goals, I didn’t depend on it either.

I still don’t know where I end up with this internal dilemma. I want to be true to myself, my beliefs on health and balance, this blog and what it represents above all else. Can the two coexist?

Question of the Evening – What’s your relationship with the scale? Or any thoughts?

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92 Comments to “Internal Dilemma”
  1. Tina, do what works for YOU. If that means bringing a scale back into your life, so be it! Honoring your body is what’s important – not keeping up appearances with your readers (us!) because you once said you banished the scale from your life. If you think it will be a useful tool for you now, then use it – and develop a weigh-in schedule that works for you. One that will help you stay on track with the post-baby goals you have set for yourself (lose the baby weight, but slow enough that you don’t inhibit your milk supply) without driving yourself crazy or becoming a slave to the scale.

    I will admit, I’m a daily weigher. Yep, every.single.day. I’ve been using daily weigh-ins for over a year now and it has helped me slowly lose nearly 30 lbs. For me, the trick is knowing that I will have fluctuations (sometimes 2-3 lbs or more) from day to day. What matters is the overall trend – I even have a google docs spreadsheet that I track my weight in & have a graph to see where my “line” is going. I know this would drive many other people crazy – but it works for me. Find what works for you – we’ll support you no matter what!

  2. You can’t worry about losing your credibility. If you feel the scale would help you in your progress, then use it. You will know if the scale starts negatively affecting you..and if it does, I trust that you would stop. But, I think having just another form of basic knowledge and info about your body isn’t a bad thing. It’s just in how you use it. And I think you are smart enough and have a healthy relationship with your body that you will use it in the right way.

    • Tina says:

      Thanks, Lisa. I like how you pointed out its not the using it that means something…its the how and the relationship with it that would be the issue if there was one. And you know how I did things post M. The scale never bothered me. It was mainly during comp prep that it got more obsessive, but before then when getting to where I felt best it was nothing but a tracker. Thanks!

  3. I also think you should do what works for you. You don’t lose credibility for reevaluating your needs and making changes as appropriate. We should all do that. It sounds like you are in a season of life when a scale will be a useful tool for you, to check your progress. Like you said, when breastfeeding, it is detrimental to lose weight too quickly, and if you choose to use a scale, you can be more certain of the changes in your weight. I think whatever you choose, you can continue making healthy decisions for you and your baby, and I hope you won’t feel bad about it if you do choose to use a scale.

  4. I do Weight Watchers so I weigh in weekly. For me, because I’ve struggled with obesity for my whole life, I need to use the scale to make sure I don’t slip too much. Throughout my journey though I’ve been trying to learn some other things I can look to for success other than just weight.

  5. I know the feeling about the scale. I used to be obsessed with it, but now, I’m looking at the scale as a tool for weight loss and getting feedback vs. anything else.

  6. Marg says:

    I think using the scale is best for me! It helps me to realize that I’m gaining a few lbs (not water weight) and that added motivation to eat better. The time I went without a scale I gained 10 lbs and have had the hardest time going back to that old happy weight.

  7. Heather says:

    see, i’ve had a dilemma with the scale too…and i’ve come to realize that as much as i’d like to JUST see a number, i can’t help but use it as a platform for measuring my “performance”…and therefore i don’t use it!

  8. Katy says:

    Ohhh, sweetie…I’m so glad you are sharing your honest journey after baby, because it really helps ME when I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to do!

    I have a love/hate relationship with the scale, too. I try and weigh in just once a week, and only as a benchmark. I do it at the same time on the same day. Otherwise, I judge my “weight” and fitness by how my clothes fit, how I feel while working out (sluggish? weak).

    You are so beautiful.

    • Tina says:

      Thanks, Katy. 🙂 It helps me to have a place to put it out there too.

      And yep. Whenever I do the scale thing its once a week, same day, same time, to be able to use it more “regulated” and simply as a tool to mark changes. Daily would drive me nuts!

  9. Jolene says:

    I agree. Do what works for you. I think it’s okay to use a scale if you are trying to shed some weight, as long as it doesn’t affect your confidence or your ability to be somewhat subjective with it, knowing that it will fluctuate from time to time etc. You are already an inspiration and we all love you for your transparency!

  10. Becca says:

    I used to get on the damn scale every.single.day of prep, now it’s once a week, MAYBE twice if I’m feeling ok with it. But honestly i perfer to go with how I feel/look reather than a number.

  11. Kelly says:

    I think as long as you are confident that it won’t run your life then go for it. You can always throw it out if you start to feel like you mood is determined by that number. Thanks for the honesty. It doesn’t diminish your credibility…at all. Thanks fo sharing.

  12. I say step on a scale.

    I think it’s a little silly how so many healthy living bloggers demonize the scale, calorie counting and some other traditional means of measuring health. Yes, it’s unhealthy to get obsessed with numbers, but there is a reason why scales and nutritional information exist- they help you make informed decisions in regards to your health.

    Do it gal!

    • Whitney says:

      I agree with this comment. I don’t understand why so many healthy living bloggers are so anti-scale. It is a great way to keep yourself in check and know when your nutrition needs to be changed. If I’m being honest, it bugs me a little to hear that people go by “how their clothes fit”. I understand that people can get obsessive and that is not right either, but a weight check is not a bad thing in my opinion.

  13. […] back to fitness! Powered by WP Greet Box WordPress PluginThank you all so much for the thoughts on my internal dilemma. I’m still processing it all and will let you know my final thoughts soon. I certainly appreciate […]

  14. Genie says:

    I’ve been thinking about this, too, since scale weight does not really coincide with my goals. I am going to just keep measuring my waist to make sure it either stays the same or goes down. 🙂 Of course, I actually like knowing my weight, so I will weigh occasionally.

  15. Sarah says:

    You do what will best serve you. I won’t criticize (either in writing or in my mind.)
    I say, as long as it’s a healthy tool and not an unhealthy one, you’re good to go.

  16. I know I need to lose x-pounds to be a healthy BMI–that’s really my only goal. I just want to be healthy. So I weigh myself once a week (since I started Weight Watchers) but that’s it. Otherwise I stay far from the scale. In fact, we didn’t own one until my first WW attempt. And no criticism here! I have a co-worker who obsesses over it and weighs herself every day! That’s not healthy. But if it’s a healthy use of the scale–go for it!

  17. Ela says:

    I totally get where you’re coming from about maybe having even more mind-games without the scale. I sometimes think the same. But for me at this point, it’s an absolute rule that I do not get on the scale. It’s only going to take me bad places.

    In your case, I can see why it might be helpful, to keep on track, but it’s such a minefield. Is there anyway that a healthcare professional could weigh you every once in a while to keep things on track, and that way you get to have the accountability but it’s sequestered in an ‘official’ situation?
    love
    Ela

    • Tina says:

      The health care “official” thing really wouldn’t be an option, but I am leaning towards having my husband involved with a weekly weigh in. He will keep me grounded.

  18. Holly says:

    Thank you for this post and your honesty, Tina. 🙂 I think it’s probably SO normal to feel this way. I know it’s a different situation, but when I was losing weight I’d gained I definitely relied on the scale. I think it’s okay to do, as long as your relationship with it doesn’t become unhealthy…and I know you would know when that was. I think it’s okay to use that number as a base, as long as it doesn’t become too obsessive (towards the end of my weight loss, it did, hence why I don’t really weight myself anymore)! I agree that you have to do what’s best for you, in the end.

  19. Melissa says:

    I think if you feel it would be a good tool for you to use in your journey…go for it.
    I find for myself I will lose inches but my weight won’t change much so the scale tends to be frustrating. Everyone is different

  20. I love my scale and I am not obsessed with it. I wouldn’t think less of you for using one too.

  21. Hey tina- Had to chime in here. I have times where I get caught up in the numbers and have to put it away for a while and other times where I can be objective and use it healthfully. I know you are in a good place mentally and will use it as a tool so I say, go for it!

    Lindsey

  22. Geraldine says:

    I don’t think it compromises your credibility. The fact that you have been honest and chose to tell your blog readers straight out how you’re really feeling makes you more credible.
    We all say and do things that we really mean and believe at the time. Luckily we also have the right to be able to change our opinions. (i.e vegetarians who fall off the wagon :-))
    My problem with using scales is how obsessed I can become, hoping that the needle will have moved a bit more to the left.
    Use it as a tool, set a weigh day each week and if the numbers start to rule your thoughts – get rid.

  23. Ash says:

    To be honest, I’d hate to see the scale determine your mood. =(

    I think you should really NOT look at the scale until you feel the weight coming off and you start to feel a bit more comfortable. Give it a GOOD amount of time before you step back on it if you really feel that you want to see the number.

    For now, I think you should just do your best trying to lose some weight without looking at the scale. Just go by your clothes and the mirror.

    You know how to lose weight, how to eat right, exercise, etc. Why do you need the scale to tell you that you are making progress?

    If you see a number that you don’t like, it may just mess with your head and make you feel as if you are “worse off” than you thought you were. (If I am making any sense…)

    So anyway. My opinion is that you don’t check the scale until you make a good amount of progress without using it first.

    Most of all, don’t ever feel like you will lose credibility. Your readers are always here for you! If you are in a good place mentally, go ahead and use that scale as a tool.

    =D

    • Tina says:

      If it caused mental games I wouldn’t use it. I don’t want to go back there, thats for sure! And I totally get what youre saying about getting on too soon and seeing a number different than expected.

  24. Coco says:

    I used to have a horrible relationship with the scale (really, should you have any “relationship” with a scale?!). It dictated my self-worth for the day. It was so bad I tried to give it up for Lent (because it had so much power over me) – and failed.

    Eventually I ditched it and stayed away. Mostly because I knew I was gaining weight (5-10lbs) and didn’t want to do anything about it. When I was ready to lose those pounds again, I got back on the scale, but I kept it in his place!

    I think the scale is a good tool to assess how well your plan is working. Are you eating enough/too much, exercising enough/too much, etc. If you eat nachos, the scale may reflect that, but it doesn’t mean that you are a bad person or even that the nachos were a bad choice. It’s just one data point.

    So, now I can use the scale as it is intended, to monitor my weight, not my worth. 🙂

  25. Heather says:

    My relationship with the scale has been good and bad. There was a time in my life where I was totally obsessed and would weigh myself EVERY morning and on most days would let it set my (bad) mood for the day. It started off innocently enough…I just tend to have an obsessive personality at times. It’s been packed up now for several months but I have been toying around with getting it back out just to see where I am just for my own curiosity’s sake. If I do break it out, I will make sure that I am much more conscious of my feelings regarding the numbers and reflect on them rather jumping on the “guilt train”. If it becomes a problem, back in the box it goes!

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