The Scale Debate

I am thinking of getting a scale. Just the fact that I am actually considering it is a huge step. I don’t remember the last time I was on a scale at my house. I must have been a child, literally, because I don’t recall one as a teen, and I know I never had one in my house as an adult (and that’s been a few decades!).  I haven’t decided if I’m going to get one; I’m just thinking about it. But, since I went to the doctor a few days ago, I am a little more encouraged.

I went to the doctor for another issue and of course I had to get weighed. For the first time in ages, I actually looked at the numbers on the scale and I lost 30 lbs.  My doctor was very happy and encouraging. Since last March, I have lost 51 lbs.  That makes 74 lbs down from my highest weight of 438 .  My family thinks I may have weighed more; my mom at least thinks I gained more weight after that doctor visit. My doctor asked about my diet, since she didn’t know how I was losing the weight. Once I told her I was following the Paleo diet, she was very pleased and very encouraging.

I have to say that even though I was glad to see that I had lost a significant amount of weight (about 10 lbs a month), there is a part of me that was disappointed my weight loss wasn’t greater. That’s the problem with losing weight: it takes a long time. There is no “quick fix” to lose weight. There are things like liposuction, but for people like me, who need to lose significant amounts of weight, lipo isn’t an option. People like me got to do it the long slow hard way (hence the title of my blog). This is one of the major pitfalls for people who have to lose so much weight: we get discouraged by our slow tedious progress.

This is where scales come in. Obviously, people weigh themselves regularly to track their weight loss, but anxious to see how much they’re losing, people weigh too often. They see they are not losing “enough” weight and get discouraged. They start working out and weigh themselves and are shocked to see they’ve gained weight. Obviously, to professional dieters like me, we know that muscle weighs more than fat, but still, even though we’re healthier, it’s still a weight gain. Then there is the slow tedious “mini-losses”: a quarter pound; a half pound; a third of a pound.  Weighing every week and seeing no significant loss can be very disheartening, even if it is a slow steady loss. When you have 274 lbs to Lise, like I do, losing a half a pound a week makes it seem like you are never going to get there. You start doing the calculations: 52 weeks a year, that’s 26 pounds a year, divide 274 by 26 and it’s 10.5 years before I reach my target weight.  Can it get any more depressing than that?  This is why people give up. This is what makes the scale a double edged sword.  I’d like to confirm that my program is working and that I’m still losing weight; I don’t want to face the fact that I’m losing at a minuscule rate, or worse not losing at all. Gaining weight would be disastrous!

And I’m still not really comfortable with scales. They still scare me. What if it shows I’m not losing weight?  What if I start gaining weight?  I don’t want to keep looking at those numbers showing how far I still have to. I don’t want to look at the numbers showing that I still weigh 364 lbs.  Granted, it’s 74 lbs down from what I used to weigh, but hell! it’s still 364 lbs! My dream, my goal, is to weigh a “normal” weight, something average for my height and frame. But I don’t know if i have the stamina to look at the numbers every week, or every two weeks, only to see incremental losses. I know how I am; I know this is going to be a tough battle even under the best of circumstances. I am a master at self-sabotage, and scales have never been my ally.  It would be like inviting the enemy into the fort!

As much as I dread the thought, I think at some point, I am going to have to get a scale. I can’t keep going to the doctor to get weighed. I suppose I can find a scale at my gym, or somewhere else, but then I’m going to be weighing myself in public! Yay? (I don’t think so!). At least at home, I can be humiliated and depressed at home. But then, I’m looking at the downside again: I’m assuming it won’t be good news!

I’m following my program. I’m tracking my calories. I should be losing weight. I’m getting exercise (not as much as I’d like, thank you so much, arthritis!) but, I’m working on it. Bottom line, I’m not giving up. I have made enough changes in my lifestyle that they’re part of my normal routine. I still have to tell myself, remind myself, that I don’t weigh 438 lbs anymore and I will never weigh that much again. I will eventually have to  get a scale, but I’m going to make sure that the scale works for me.

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