My scale-less month was worthwhile, albeit challenging, experiment. I considered extending it another month without weighing in but I decided to go ahead and do the status check so that I’d know where I stood.
Letting go of the illusion of control was more difficult than I imagined it would be. While, in reality, weighing myself gives me no more control over my weight than not weighing myself, it felt like a free fall to go strictly off the scale. It became a process of learning to trust my body and paying attention to how the foods I eat make me feel.
It was not a seamless transition and it looked a little something like this:
Week 1 Off Scale
I spent every single morning this week wanting to weigh myself. I totally agonized over it and hated not knowing where I stood. I spent way too much time focusing on what I didn’t know and totally obsessed over whether or not I was going to gain a bunch of weight just because I wasn’t tracking it. I worried about almost everything I put in my mouth.
The fact that I obsessed this much told me that it was the right thing to do. Obviously I needed the scale detox.
Week 2 Off Scale
Week two made me kind of glad that I didn’t know my weight. I ate some French fries and drank beer at a Halloween party and, rather on focusing on what it may or may not do to my weight; I focused on how awful my body felt. It wasn’t even due to excess consumption. It was just the fact that I ate and drank things that were objectively not good for my body.
I started thinking about that a lot this week and started to really pay attention to how I felt after each of my meals. I realized just how satisfying some foods are and how nourished I felt after eating them and how some… not so much.
My morning snack of a banana and almonds, while healthy, really doesn’t feel like it does much for me except for decrease the rumbling of my hungry stomach so that I can take lunch later. Also, the coconut cream I have in my coffee, while delicious, leaves kind of a weird film in my mouth that I never stopped to think about.
Week 3 Off Scale
My thinking shifted a lot this week. I’ve always thought about food in terms of “what I’m allowed to eat” and “what I’m not allowed to eat.” I do really well with black and white, systematic categorization of things. In the past I’ve told people that I’m allergic to certain things because it simplifies the “what I’m not allowed to eat” without having to explain my philosophy on food and what I think is healthy. That conversation gets really long and obnoxious sometimes.
Having started paying more attention last week to how foods made me feel, I made a mental shift to thinking about what I want to eat and why I want to eat it. I want to eat Brussels sprouts with bacon, garlic, and coconut oil because it’s delicious and I feel super energized after a meal like that. I want to eat eggs because I feel nourished after eating them. I don’t want to eat wheat and starch because my stomach feels swollen and uncomfortable and I lack mental clarity after doing so. Also, I get hungry again really quickly, want to eat more again, feel even more stuffed and swollen, and then feel awful for the next several hours.
I got super smug about my progress this week and felt like I totally didn’t care what the scale would say at the end of the experiment.
Week 4 Off Scale
Crash and burn.
This week (my weeks start on a Wednesday in regard to weigh-ins and this experiment) started with an emotional breakup, or what I thought was a breakup, anyway. Is it technically a breakup if you haven’t technically defined it as a relationship?
Anyway, I was pretty devastated by it and I ate my feelings like it was a sport. I broke every single one of my eating “rules,” totally ignoring how it made my body feel and pretending that I didn’t give a damn about the end result of how I would feel or what I would weigh. I gave myself through the end of the weekend to be a hot mess and decided that I would care again on Monday.
I resumed my “eat what makes my body feel good,” as planned, on Monday and resolved the argument I had thought was a deal breaker on Tuesday. I worried a little bit about the damage I may have done to my waistline during the four days I was eating my feelings but tried not to focus on it.
Week 5 Off Scale
This week technically should have ended on the 25th as I planned but I didn’t make it home to weigh myself or take my measurements. I had decided that I was going to, once again, not make any restrictions on my food choices for Thanksgiving because I love the holiday and most of the Thanksgiving food that I love is bad for me. Choosing not to care, I partook.
I guess the accumulation of too many days of not caring took its toll. I felt really awful. I didn’t start feeling normal again until yesterday. It really drove home the need to think about how food makes me feel rather than whether or not it’s a “good” or “bad” food and whether or not it might make me gain weight.
All the dairy I consumed made me break out in several places, my stomach felt awful, and I didn’t look as good as I do when I eat feel good foods.
I finally weighed myself and took my measurements on Wednesday, the 28th. Better late than never, right?
|Chest||50 ½||44 ½||44 ½|
|Waist (smallest point)||46 ½||35||34 ½|
|Belly||53 ½||42 ½||43|
|Calf||20||18 ½||18 ¾|
|Ankle||9 ⅝||8 ⅝||8 ¾|
|Elbow||12 ¾||10 ¾||10 ½|
The distribution of loss and gain of inches is a little out of the ordinary for me. It makes sense to me, though, that my stomach at my belly button would still be somewhat bloated. I was most surprised that I lost a little bit from my forearms.
What I ultimately take away from this is that despite almost two weeks of what was really binge eating, I still lost weight and inches in some areas. That tells me that paying attention to and eating feel good foods is not only effective for making me feel better, but it’s also apparently effective for weight loss. I had to have been down much lower on the scale before those two weeks to come out where I did.
So, I’m going to do this for another month at least. My next weigh in will probably also be a little late because the 25th is Christmas but this time around I’m not going to use the Christmas holiday as an excuse to eat things that make me feel poorly. I mean, really, what’s the point? None of it tastes that amazing anyway. It’s more of an emotional “I do what I want!” release.
Two things I take from this Month: I need to focus on eating “feel good foods” and relationships are hard.