Three Tip Tuesday – A Life Without The Scale

 

In case you were wondering, Edible Arrangements didn’t run any super spectacular Cyber Monday deals.

bnr13_CyberWeek

I know this because I checked. To send one to myself.

Anyway, I would happily bet you an Edible Arrangement that if we surveyed everyone reading this blog today, a majority of you would say you weighed yourself on a regular basis.

Believe it or not, I don’t own a scale. I can’t recall the last time I stepped on one or what number it last displayed for me.

I will not allow my day to be defined by seeing some number appear on an appliance you step on, dedicating my whole existence to the sum total weight of my organs, skin, muscles, fat and bones.

3tiptuesday

I certainly do not fault you for still using a scale. Everything you read and see in the news portrays a society consumed with weighing as little as possible, measuring our daily self-worth by weighing in and noting every ounce of water we retain and morsel consumed (or not consumed).

Isn’t there a better way to live a happy and healthy life? I  like to think so.

tumblr_lib464q2xw1qzqav6

Before I get into what works for me, I should give you a bit more background on my history with the scale.

TRUTH: I have always weighed more than I look. Seriously. Maybe I have heavy bones or organs but no matter how thin I am, the scale has always showed a number higher than what you would expect based upon my appearance.

Back in college, when I experienced my 18 month bout with amenorrhea, the doctors couldn’t fully figure out the problem.

I looked very thin but the scale said I was the right weight for my height. So everything was fine, right?

Wrong.

Numbers can lie.

I may have been within the “healthy” weight range for my height but I didn’t weigh enough for ME.

Every BODY is different yet we all require the same thing – a certain level of body fat and adequate nutrients and caloric intake to function properly.

Muscle weighs more than fat. If you exercise, chances are good that you built yourself some muscle, thereby automatically weighing more on a scale even though you appear as though you weigh much less.

My weight was a poor indicator of my health. I needed more fat on me to function.

One doctor in particular decided that I simply needed to keep gaining weight until my period returned.

This doctor weighed me every week, looking forward to watching that number increase.

Talk about psychologically confusing. Aren’t we supposed to want to see the numbers going down? Who wants to see the numbers going up?

It was right then and there that I STOPPED looking at the scale.

Instead, I chose to dedicate myself to eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly while making sure I was still enjoying myself.

dedication

As you can see in the pretty diagram above, the arrows indicate that each component relies on the other.

I like to think of my approach as my own form of “checks and balances”. Too much or too little of any of the above components is not OK.

It is all about finding that day-to-day balance, checking in with yourself and NOT THE SCALE.

But wait – what does “healthy eating” even mean? I don’t think there is one set definition. I think healthy eating is different for all of us.

For me, healthy eating is following a vegetarian diet of nutrient dense, whole foods with little to no processed junk.

A wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, plenty of peanut butter and avocado for healthy fat and protein from beans, eggs and dairy.

Healthy eating also means listening to my body.

Healthy eating means giving in to my cravings and satisfying my appetite with what it craves. And if that craving is onion rings, chocolate fudge cake or extra peanut butter on a random Monday afternoon, so be it.

Eating not according to calories or some fad diet plan, but according to my appetite – loading up on nutritious foods that fuel my body for workouts, my organs for bodily processes and my mind so that I can function, feel good and enjoy myself.

Listen, we all have hungry days. We all have parties and holidays full of yummy foods and times when we just don’t feel like food prep for the week.

I have learned that these days are a part of life. A happy and healthy life.

I know what you are thinking. I can sit here and preach about my healthy eating  and lack of care for my weight because I burn a ton of calories running.

This is true. Exercise is not only a mood booster and associated with reduced risk of disease and illness, it builds muscle, speeds metabolism and gives you a bit more wiggle room in terms of your diet.

A little more room to indulge while still looking fit.

However, how you fuel can make or break your workout routine. Just because you go and run 10 miles doesn’t give you the green light to gorge yourself on the entire jar of peanut butter, several mounds of cake or an entire pizza. Maybe just an entire Edible Arrangement.

Food is fuel, remember that. Think about how you would feel after consuming a bunch of junk, day after day. Not so good, right?

But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself.

You heard me. Live a little. As in, enjoy dining out, order dessert, enjoy a glass (or two) of wine,  or your favorite holiday goodies.

I don’t care who says we need to stop associating food with enjoyment - cake will always follow the word birthday and celebrating will always involve a good restaurant. Well, that is if you are celebrating with me.

What good is hitting that magical number on the scale and fitting into your skinny jeans if you can’t go out and enjoy how you look and feel?

Is it really worth being miserable because you won’t allow yourself a bite from the bread basket in fear of what the scale will say when you get home?

I would rather weigh a few pounds more and be healthy and happy than be 5 pounds lighter feeling miserable, hungry and low on energy.

Remember last week when I was all excited that my Gap running leggings didn’t slide down?

It really is possible that I weigh more than last winter.

It is entirely possible that I have more junk in my trunk to help those pants stay up.

thCA09VSNY

So what could the scale have to say? Is it up a pound, two pounds? Three? Four?

I don’t need to know the scale’s opinion.

I like how I look. I like having a shape. I like having some curves and muscle to support my workouts.

I like getting hungry and eating, knowing very well that I will have sufficient energy to run.

And I like to enjoy myself.

I may dread my monthly visitor but at least when she arrives, I know I am doing something right.

I definitely have more to say on this subject including some additional tips and tricks for staying on track without the scale but I will address that in a separate post.

Right now I need to put on my GapFit pants and go for a run. And of course, eat something first.

***************************

I NEED TO KNOW:

Order anything good with a Cyber Monday deal?

How often do you weigh yourself?

What restaurant do you choose when you want to go out and celebrate?

 

**Please remember that what I discuss is based upon my own personal experiences and what has worked for me. I may be studying to receive my certification in Nutrition but I am not a Registered Dietitian, Nutritionist or Doctor. Please speak to your doctor before starting a new diet/fitness program.

 

 

 

Follow on Bloglovin

{ 21 comments… add one }

  • IHeartVegetables December 3, 2013, 7:28 am

    I ordered waaay too much online yesterday ;) But now I’m mostly done with my shopping!!

    I do weigh myself every once in awhile. This time of year, I try to hop on the scale once a week. I don’t freak out if I’m up or down a few pounds, but it keeps me in check during the holiday season! I didn’t use a scale for a LONG time though, because it was just messing with my head! Now I’ve gotten to a better place, and that number doesn’t mean so much anymore :)

  • Davida @The Healthy Maven December 3, 2013, 11:30 am

    This post is AMAZING. It’s everything I want to read on blogs and more. Why can’t all bloggers be as real as you? Scales are lame and are ZERO indication of your level of health. Haven’t weighed myself in years (except at the doctor) and go by how tight my jeans feel. And if they feel tight it’s probably because I went a little overboard on the sweets. But I don’t beat myself up over it. I just reset and start over. All about balance :)

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles December 3, 2013, 11:53 am

      Thank you – that is one of the sweetest comments I have ever received! And the jean thing – totally one of my tips for maintaining and staying in touch with your weight!

  • D @ The Kosher Cave Girl December 3, 2013, 11:57 am

    This is a great post! I own a scale, however I have not stepped on it since May. I eat Paleo, I exercise regularly, and I’m happy with the way my body looks in the mirror. And I don’t want a number to control the way I feel about myself. I know that I’m healthy, and that’s all that matters to me!

  • pickyrunner December 3, 2013, 2:19 pm

    I adore everything about this post. Absolutely everything. I don’t weigh myself EVER and stepping on one actually gives me a lot of anxiety (which is something I’m working on). I know I’m happier and healthier judging my body based on my clothing and it keeps me on track in a different weigh than letting the number become the only thing I focus on. There is more to health than our BMI anyways! I haven’t been weighed since last September and I haven’t fluctuated with my weight all that much, so I know this is where I should be. Great post :)

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles December 3, 2013, 2:37 pm

      I am so glad to see how many of us agree with not using the scale! I use my clothes as my guide as well!

  • jumpeatrun December 3, 2013, 2:47 pm

    I think I have a scale buried somewhere, but like you, I DO NOT weight myself. The only time I get weighed is when I go to the doctor basically and I don’t even like when they tell me then!

  • Amanda @ .running with spoons. December 3, 2013, 8:10 pm

    Lady, this post is amazing — I love it! I used to weigh myself OBSESSIVELY… at least once a day, if not more. That kind of mentality led me to a super dark place, and the only way I was able to get out of it was to go cold turkey with the scale so that the rising number wouldn’t cause me anxiety. After that, I avoided stepping on the scale because I was afraid of the number I would see, until eventually it just stopped mattering. I fell in love with having energy and being happy — freedom — and the number lost all it’s value so I stepped on the scale and… didn’t care. It was a good day :) These days I don’t bother weighing myself. All I want is to be happy and healthy.

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles December 4, 2013, 10:44 am

      Totally agree with you. I have little issue stepping on a scale now because the number just doesn’t matter. But I still don’t own one and never will. I remind my son of this all of the time when he wonders why we don’t have one!

  • nikki@willrunforpizza December 3, 2013, 11:36 pm

    Love this post! I stopped weighing myself too! And for the same reason-I weighed (and still weigh) more than I look. I eat healthy and exercise and am not obese. So I’m happy where I am! (A size 8-10).

  • Julie December 4, 2013, 2:36 am

    I have the same story – I weighed a good amount and perfectly normal on the BMI scale. I looked teeny though compared to anyone of the same weight. I lost my period for 18 months also, and it took me awhile to get it into my head that I need to gain the weight. What does suck is where that weight has gone to (I worked out too much and ate too little). I’m trying to balance like you are now. I make healthy choices 90% of the time and workout a normal amount.

    I continue to weigh myself to keep it in check. I did gain a few pounds this week, but I’m sure those will go away (or not)… that’s one thing I’m not concerned about anymore – gaining weight because it can come off by resuming my normal living. If it doesn’t come off, I figure I’m still physically healthy and capable.

    My favorite restaurant is Seasons 52 by the way.

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles December 4, 2013, 10:39 am

      Can you believe I have yet to try Seasons 52? I keep meaning to just haven’t gotten there….I am so happy to hear that even if the scale has gone up, you realize that you are healthy and that is what matters. Such a constant battle and slippery slope though – for all of us.

  • Nicole @ Quest for Balance December 8, 2013, 9:07 am

    I love this post! So happy Running with Spoons linked to your blog allowing me to stumble on it. I too have always weighed more than I look and it used to be a bit of a psychological battle for me. It took me a long time to separate the fact that I weighed a lot from my overall health and well being. On the plus side, I was always a winner at those crazy carnival games where people guess your weight :) Guaranteed prize.

    I still own a scale but don’t step on it regularly. I just hop on it randomly to see where I’m at but I really don’t take the number to heart anymore. It’s more just curiosity sake. If I’ve had a few too many indulgences and my jeans have become a little too snug and I feel generally bloated I also weigh myself then because I sometimes need that extra motivation to ease off the treats. Otherwise the indulgences sometimes creep up and I get to a point where I don’t feel comfortable with myself anymore without even noticing. The scale helps me stay out of that uncomfortable zone so oddly enough it has become a useful tool for me and not something I have an unhealthy relationship with anymore.

  • evafitness January 18, 2014, 8:32 am

    a little late but I just found your blog! love it! but I wanted to say thanks for sharing this. I have ALWAYS weighed more then I look, more then people think and more then I think I should. I’ve had 5 periods my whole life and I’m 31 and I can remember the doctor looking astounding saying ” I just don’t know what it is – it’s not like you’re underweight!” It’s comforting to know someone else is like that too! I’m a dancer and I get weighed in for my job every 2 weeks but Im in a 3 month off season and this is usually when I panic and try to be as skinny as possible – but i found I haven’t weighed myself in a few weeks and my mood is a lot more stable. Why ruin that? :)

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles January 18, 2014, 4:01 pm

      I am glad you are in a good mood without weighing yourself – And I am sure you weigh more than one would think since you are a dancer and most likely have a ton of muscle (and we know muscle “weighs” more than fat)…I feel bad that you have to be weighed so often, maybe you can go on without looking? I must admit that 5 periods in your whole life makes me jealous since I hate dealing with it every month although I know that for me, my health is directly related to a regular period.

      • Crista January 20, 2014, 8:55 am

        don’t be jealous, I’ve taken more pregnancy tests then I’ve had sex in my life. Every time I go to the doctor they have me pee in a cup – it’s ridic!

        • The Cookie ChRUNicles January 20, 2014, 9:32 am

          Haha – made me laugh. I hope they have been able to regular the whole menstrual cycle issue in order to avoid the constant peeing in the cup!

  • willrunforpizza January 20, 2014, 8:23 pm

    Love this! I was actually just writing a post today that is kinda saying the same thing. I had said a couple weeks ago that I had gained a couple pounds and was using my fitness pal app again, but 1. I never had even weighed myself because I can pretty much tell from the way my pants fit, and 2. I just gave it up (tracking my food with the app…) because I pretty much eat the same thing every day anyway, and I’m sure I just felt bloated and gained a few pounds from being sick for a few weeks and not working out, but I’m feeling better already now that i’m healthy again!

  • Meredith April 10, 2014, 7:38 am

    Hi Meredith! Awesome name by the way ;) I actually just came upon this post, although I have been a fan of your blog, but I loved it so much I had to comment! I guess I am at the same point that you were once at, getting to a somewhat “normal” weight with no period. I have never and will never care about the number on the scale (it’s always been more about how I look) but now have come to the point with the doctor thinking as the weight continues to go up one day the period will come. I hate my weeks and my progress being defined by a number and wondering if this is even the solution. Sorry for the long post but I was just wondering if you had any advice or explanation on how/what works to get it back! And alleviate the stress of constantly having to gain gain gain. Thank you SO much!

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles April 10, 2014, 9:34 am

      Hi Meredith! Great name! I am going to respond to you via email so watch for something from me a bit later today!

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge