It seems almost comical that this is the post I came up with this week.
I always used to see posts like this and think PSHHH whatever!
Using a scale doesn’t work for you, but it DOES work for me.
It keeps me in check, and keeps me on track to reach my racing weight for when it matters.
But realistically, 99.9% of us (myself included) are not able to have a healthy relationship with the scale.
And if people say they can, they are probably lying.
How do I know this?
In the category that could handle it, that could use it for good rather than bad……I feel like I am trying to justify myself as a superhero who is going to use their power for good not evil haha.
Anyway, my point is, it’s not really possible to have that scale staring there at you in your bathroom and not step on it OFTEN.
If you can, then kudos to you, really.
But I think most of us will end up stepping on it every day.
And then stepping on it a few times a day.
And then stepping on it after runs to see how much weight we have sweat away, feel that BUZZZZZ from seeing a number so low.
YESSS! I can go for it this evening, even if I eat A LOT, I will still be low.
And then we start weighing ourselves after a big dinner out with friends, and leave the bathroom in a fowl mood.
Right, that’s it, tomorrow I am going to eat VERY healthy to make up for today.
And then you wake up the next morning, you step on it again, and the number is MUCH higher than you want it to be.
You end up irritable, snap at your unsuspecting friends and family, or even get close to tears thinking about it.
We spend the rest of the day feeling bad about ourselves, rather than reminiscing over how much fun it was to enjoy that food last night with our loved ones.
Instead, every time you go to the bathroom, you can’t help but look in the mirror, and feel like you can SEE the extra bulge.
You spend the rest of the day eating a lot less than you should, do some extra exercise to try to make up for it, or eat what you usually would, but feel guilty.
And then a few days later, the weight is back down, and you sigh relief.
You instantly become a super bubbly, fun person again.
How do I know all this?
Well, I think you can guess right now, I was one of those people.
Steve and I had a scale in our bathroom, and as much as I pretended it didn’t matter, it did.
I would weigh myself daily, and allow it to dictate my day and especially how I felt about myself.
It never really affected my running. I was able to convince myself to keep eating a lot, even on those days that I did feel like I needed to eat less.
Thankfully, the “greater good” of having fuel to train properly was always able to overrule the nasty, mean voices in my head telling me I was going to look huge for my next race.
Huge of course, being a relative term…….I would struggle to find anyone who called me huge even at my heaviest!!!
But you know what I mean, huge for ME (or your personal version of huge).
But that doesn’t mean that it didn’t dictate my day.
Didn’t make me feel AWFUL about myself, meaning that I had to fight extra hard to keep believing in myself and who I was as a person, let alone what I could do as a runner.
And of course the scale addiction swung the other way too.
There were the long run days, where I would weigh myself after dinner, and if it said a too low number, I would eat some more.
Just cause I could, for the sake of it.
I wasn’t hungry, I didn’t really need it, but I just felt like I could cheat, and that gave me a thrill.
I loved that I essentially had those “free” calories, and as someone who just loves to EAT, that gave me more opportunity to eat extra.
So I made the most of it.
I went home for few weeks, and for the first 10 days, I had no access to a scale whatsoever.
Which felt so good.
I could focus on what I needed to do, racing my best, recovering for London, and celebrating that I had accomplished my number one running goal.
When I got to my parents house, they have a really old, INCREDIBLY inaccurate scale, that there was no point even bothering with as it could swing 5lbs based on where the dial was when you stood on it.
I decided to take this as a time to break free of my need to weigh myself.
So I did.
And booooyyy was it refreshing.
I felt so FREE!!!!
I could eat what my body needed, refuel as I should be, without having any toxic thoughts coming into my mind about whether it was going to make me gain weight or not.
And of course, I ended up running a 4 minute PR of 2:37 London marathon, while looking leaner than I ever had (in my opinion).
Obviously part of that was because of the diet changes I made, but I also think part of it was because I ate what my body NEEDED.
I have NO IDEA what I weighed at that point, and as I stayed home another week after the race, I couldn’t see anything until I got home from the US, and by that point, I had indulged for a week, so it wasnt going to be the same weight it was when I finished the race.
I was a little nervous to see the scale when I got home, as I did not want to fall back into the habit, and to be honest can’t even remember what the weight was when I arrived home, whether it was heavy or light.
But I do remember deciding that the scale needed to go.
And so I asked Steve to hide it, and he did.
I haven’t seen it since, and that feels AMAZING!
I don’t know what I weight, and to be honest, I don’t care. I am more concerned about getting my period back and HERE is how I did it.
I eat what I feel like my body needs, and I eat the foods I WANT to eat, not the foods that are going to make that number be light.
I know the priority is to fuel my body to race well, especially after I struggled in my last few races.
Now, I understand that what I shared above is a form is disordered eating, and I am not gonna lie, there is a little voice that sneaks up every now and again, wondering what I weigh, or I find myself staring at my stomach in the mirror feeling big, but as I mentioned lately, my HEALTH is more important, and fueling my body is more important. I even have some great episodes from Dr. Jennifer Gaudiani, Nancy Clark, and Renee Mcgregor all about the importance of body image and loving the body you have. All in all a healthy body is the only goal we all should want.
Some stupid number means NOTHING, and we all know it can fluctuate by 5lbs in a single day, which is ridiculous that we base our mood off that one moment in time.
So do yourself a favor, join me and throw away that damn scale.
I promise you will feel better (it may take a few days), and you will feel freer than you have in a long time.
Will you join me and throw yours away (or get someone to hide it)?