Julia Ross told me to do it. Linda Bacon told me to do it. Kat James and Jon Gabriel told me to do it. But I had my doubts about not weighing myself. I didn't think I had the willpower. You see, I was just sure I needed the scale. Its feedback is invaluable... right?
I used to think so. Daily weigh-ins were my gauge. I just had to know how much I weighed. Otherwise, how would I know what to eat? Could I indulge or did I need to restrict? Did I need to put more oomph into my workout or could I go with something more low-key? The scale held the answer to all these burning questions. All it took was a little hop on board.
But as it turns out, giving up the scale was one of the best decisions I've made to date.
The Distraction of Weight
I've placed my priorities on health over weight for two years now. I traded my skinny bod for one with a little more cushion and a whole lot more health. And yet I've continued to weight myself nearly every single day. I felt like this was no big deal. Being healthy was still more important to me than losing weight. Or so I thought.
Weighing myself every day was a distraction. Although I'd like to think I'm above making lifestyle choices based on what the scale says on a given morning, I'm really not. Sometimes it was subtle, other times more blatant. But sure enough, when I was thinking of what I wanted for lunch, I'd be thinking more in terms of how it would affect my weight rather than my health. And I'd try to exercise based on what I felt would be most effective for weight loss, not what would make me feel great and what would be enjoyable for me. I wasn't listening to my internal cues. I was relying on external feedback to make my decisions.
The result? Life was just a little more miserable. I was always aware of my weight. It was part of how I measured who I was. It not only affected many of my daily decisions, it also affected my perception of myself. It continually brought to my attention that my weight didn't line up with what society would deem good enough (never mind that our society's standard for thinness is lower than ever before). I wound up thinking things like, "Everything will be so much better when I'm ten pounds thinner..." I knew better, of course. But with that darn number staring up at me every morning, it was hard to think otherwise.
Life Without the Scale
I haven't weighed myself in... well, gosh, I guess it's been about a month now. I was planning on weighing myself at the end of RRARF just to see the results. But right now I have no plans to hop back on a scale. This experience has been so liberating for me, and I've become aware of all the negative feelings the scale was bringing into my life every day. It's just not worth it to know that arbitrary number.
Not weighing myself has had a tremendous impact on the way I feel in my body. Of course, I think this has a lot to do with the reasons I ditched the scale in the first place. If you stop using the scale but continue to measure your self worth in numbers I imagine that would put a damper on the benefits. But for me this was a giant leap in the right direction, and because of it I've been able to see myself and my life in a whole new light.
Now, I've heard for years that giving up the scale can be beneficial. I fought the advice because I was afraid of letting that number go. All of the testimonials in the world could not convince me otherwise. But as I go along this journey to a nourished life, I find it helps to examine previous choices and see if they are adding or detracting from my life. The scale was definitely detracting. But of course I didn't realize that until I finally let it go.
Other RRARF Posts:
Day 1 on RRARF: What is RRARF?
Day 2 on RRARF: Why I'm Doing It
Day 3 on RRARF: Rest and Relaxation
Day 7 on RRARF: Benefits Already!
Day 8 on RRARF: Eat the Food!
Day 9 on RRARF: Adieu, Le Sucre!
Day 21 on RRARF: Deprivation is Dieting
Day 23 on RRARF: Life Without the Scale
RRARF vs. The Milk Diet
This post is part of Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade.