Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Scales are Our Friends (sort of)

Yesterday I had a doctor appointment at 3:30 in the afternoon. In the past that would have meant a day of starvation because the ONLY important thing about seeing any doctor about any ailment was the moment I needed to step on the scale. If I knew the scale was in a non-private area I would dress in the lightest possible clothing. Heck, I would even leave my jewelry home. 

Yesterday I had a normal breakfast and a normal lunch and 4 glasses of water before 3PM. I arrived at the doctor's wearing cords, a long sleeve shirt, padded bra, thick socks and my jewelry. When asked to get on the scale I removed only my shoes (hey, I'm not crazy). I did not obsess over the number on the scale. I did not feel the need to tell the new nurse 'yeah but I have lost 219 lbs. . . . ' I did not  ask if the scale has been calibrated recently. 

My weight is a number and that number does not decide my day any longer. I do not rise and fall by the result of one day's weigh in. It has taken a long time to achieve this freedom from the obsession with  numbers. Instead of seeing the scale as my adversary I now I have a healthy respect for the scale. It simply reports, sometimes perfectly sometimes imperfectly, a current number. The number is important but only as a tool to help me assess where I am in my journey. Today the scale leads me to believe I am on track and to keep doing  the next right thing. 

Food scales are also our friends. I do not like the scale when it tells me I have reached my healthy allotment of a food and I want more. Guess what: the scale does not care. It does not give me more food if I caress it in a loving manner. It does not give me less food if I threaten it with a smack on the counter. It is a scale. It weighs the food and the rest is up to me. 

My journey in keeping the pounds off has included both food and people scales and today they still work in helping me be honest on this journey. Why would I want to change from what has worked for the past few years when it is still working? 

What kind of relationship do you have with the scales in your life?


Anonymous said...

I can relate to your relationship with the scale I have been to the doctor's office, even since losing 50+ pounds and still told the nurse that I thought the digital was off...I have gotten on my bathroom scale talking to it as I step on, asking it to be kind to me. On days I am happy with the scale. I have thanked the scale. Then the day before yesterday I even kissed the scale as if the scale had done something. I am still in a place where the number on the scale controls my day even after being 62 pounds done with 10-15 to go. The scale keeps me on track so it is my friend. Maybe letting go of some of its power would be a good thing some day. But for now it will remain my buddy.

Jane Cartelli said...

When I was a teen I would get all the scale every morning by positioning it perfectly in the middle of the kitchen entrance, use my arms and hands to rise off he floor with all my weight on the divided wall and ever so gently lower my body weight on to the scale, willing the dial to stop from rotating any higher. My father would watch me with great amusement from his seat at the table, chuckling at my routine and getting a kick out of my daily reactions. He helped me see how foolish my system was - but that did not stop me from doing it everyday,