Yesterday I broke my no scale rule, stepped on a scale and weighed myself!
Calm down it isn’t that serious! I didn’t actually break any rules, I had a visit to the doctor and it was just routine. There is no point in trying to avoid the scale at a doctor’s office and I made sure not to look at the number on the scale when they were weighing me.
However, I was told by my doctor that I had dropped 11 pounds since I had last seen her. Even though I’m not focusing on my weight or the scale that is still very encouraging. I explained to her that I had gone down a couple dress sizes even and she said that’s a better measure of health anyways. Loved hearing my doctor say that and further confirming what I already suspected. The scale is an arbitrary measurement of health anyways. Win one for me!
As I mentioned on Monday I recently found out that I need a new swimsuit because my old one has become far too large. YAY…..
It’s good news. It means I’m becoming healthier and my body is changing for the better. Still I wasn’t too excited. I HATE swimsuit shopping, largely because long ago the boob fairy just wouldn’t let me be (don’t get it? watch the video for a good laugh!). I ventured over to the mall to try and find a swimsuit and it was interesting to say the least.
I haven’t been to the mall in so long, I should come more often.
Oh yeah, I’m poor, I’m not allowed to come more often.
Okay! Elizabeth, we’re on a mission let’s find a swimsuit!
Look at how cute this one is! I wonder if they have it in my size?
Nope every size but mine, moving on!
There is no way that this swimsuit will cover me I might as well use a postage stamp.
Maybe if I go up a size the cup size will too.
False, if anything this is smaller. How does that make any sense?
This doesn’t look like something you can swim in…
What’s the point in a SWIMsuit if you can’t SWIM in it?
This is cute and in my size I’ll give it a shot.
Wonder how much it costs?
HOLY! Nevermind! Back on the rack
Full Support! This is what I’m talking about!
Why are all of these options ugly?
Well this one is cute
I like this one too.
Okay I have some solid options time for the fitting room!
Option 1. Let’s go!
And HELLO Quadroboob….Didn’t know they could be squashed that way.
Well this one appears to fit. Let’s try the jump test
Jump! Jump! Jump!
Well if I wanted to give everyone on the beach a free show this is the perfect option!
Where do these straps go?
Does it wrap around here?
Wait is this for my leg
Maybe my leg goes here?
No…How long until I strangle myself with this swimsuit or hit my head on the bench from falling over?
How long would it take them to find me if I died in here?
I have a college degree and can’t figure out how to put on this swimsuit without injuring myself.
So I look like I have the body of an 80 year old in this suit…
I GIVE UP!
As you can see my shopping expedition came up empty handed. I ended up purchasing a suit online from of all places Walmart!!!! Shocking I know! I found this cute number in red, it’s actually the same one I had before, and I loved the vintage quality and how flattering it is, plus $30 for a swimsuit?! Can’t beat that. Hopefully, it’ll still be just as flattering. I can’t tell you how many compliments I’d gotten while wearing my old one. I did really want to get a new style but I guess it just wasn’t in the cards this time, tried and true won out this time.
Last week felt like everything kept going downhill without stopping. I was an emotional wreck and by the end was just trying to take everything one day at a time. Thankfully, everything is resolved and I can move forward with a smile on my face confident everything will be okay.
Having said that, it probably means the title of the post is confusing. How could last week have been one of my best if it involved me being an emotional wreck? I certainly don’t wish to relive last week, but I learned some really important things about myself that make me feel even more encouraged regarding my health goals.
In the past I have always allowed bad days, weeks, or months to take over and consume me. I’m an emotional eater with a sweet tooth so my typical mode of operation is to go home and bake lots of desserts, or buy junk food, and sit on the couch watching lots of TV. It was an unhealthy practice that, a majority of the time, was the reason I didn’t succeed at my goals. Score one for me though because I didn’t do that last week.
That isn’t to say that I didn’t want to. I came to work last Wednesday morning with my running gear and every intention of going for a run after work and by 4 pm the last thing I wanted to do was put on my running shoes and go for a run. I kept reasoning with myself that I could put it off, one day off wouldn’t kill me.
I was right, one day off wouldn’t kill me, but I knew it wasn’t a smart decision. Ultimately, ten minutes before the end of my work day I dragged my butt to the bathroom and changed, reasoning if I decided in the car I didn’t want to run I didn’t have to. Then I drove to the park and I had one of my best runs. A slow and steady two miler, it allowed me to clear my head and really take in the beautiful springtime scenery around me. I felt so much better and refreshed, and was able to put some things into perspective.
That run was definitely a win, but the wins didn’t stop there. I was starving after running and remembered I was out of food at home. So I needed to go to the grocery store, while hungry and in a depressed mood, definitely not a safe move. I knew that junk food would be calling my name, and I was right.
I went to the grocery store determined. I was going to shop the perimeter of the store. I would only enter the aisles for a bottle of olive oil. Well wouldn’t you know it, I succeeded! I purchased a cart full of fresh fruit and vegetables, some meat and eggs and I didn’t even try to purchase anything unhealthy!
This was a HUGE win for me, and I was able to prove to myself that I don’t need food to help me feel better emotionally. It sparked a series of healthy decisions that continued throughout the week. I went for a five mile run that Friday, when again, it was the last thing I wanted to do, and I cooked lots of healthy and tasty meals to enjoy instead of junk food.
I know this isn’t the last time something difficult will come my way, so it’s encouraging to know that I can successfully handle my emotions without having to turn to unhealthy habits. Wallowing with sugar and lethargy may feel great in the moment, but it’s always left me feeling gross in the days that follow. Now when I think back to last week I’ll be able to remember how I didn’t let my negative emotions screw up a positive routine. Excuse me while I celebrate this major victory
Scales are the devil’s form of torture. I firmly believe this. There is nothing worse than feeling great about yourself after a successful day, week, month or hour (who hasn’t been guilty of the “AM I SKINNY YET!” an hour into healthy eating.) of eating right and exercise only to have the scale tell you that either your weight hasn’t budged a pound or, even worse, you’ve gained weight.
I know, I know, there are several reasons why your weight can fluctuate (or not fluctuate at all dammit!). A quick Google search can explain away whatever weight gain or stagnation you’re experiencing. Water weight, muscle mass, that time of the month, I just ate five pounds of candy in one sitting. I’ve read it all, and it makes you feel better, until the next time you step on the scale and nothing’s changed.
Sure the scale isn’t all bad, there are times when it seems the stars align and the universe works in your favor and the numbers will magically melt away, and each time you step on feeling optimistic and step off elated and excited ready to conquer the world. For some people this is the relationship they have with scales, they know how their body responds to certain things, they’re honest about their habits and they’re realistic about what to expect. For those individuals the scale is a tool, and a useful one at that. It helps them measure progress and decide what works for their body and what doesn’t. But for others the elation that comes with seeing a lower number (or higher number depending on your goals) can turn into a high that leads to unhealthy habits and behaviors when things don’t go in your favor.
I am one of those people. My relationship with the scale started off well enough. I adopted what I thought were healthy practices hoping to lose just one pound a week. I would step on the scale once a week, every Tuesday morning, bladder empty and definitely naked. I carefully logged every calorie that passed my lips. At first this worked, and I watched as the pounds slipped off week by week, until they stopped and I hit a plateau.
I can hear it right now “Elizabeth! Everyone hits a plateau you shouldn’t let it get you down!” That’s easy to say, I’ve said it myself, but that attitude only goes so far. When your self-esteem is tied to a fluctuating number then it’s only a matter of time until you’re eating an entire bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups (YUM!) while sitting on the couch watching episode after episode of Gilmore Girls. Oh wait, that’s just me? Never mind then….
This cycle came to a head a month ago. I had just completed my first Whole 30 (Check it out, it’s awesome!) and I felt great! I hadn’t had a headache in a month, and everyone was complimenting me on looking thinner than they could remember. Part of Whole 30’s rules is that you can’t weigh yourself, so I was suffering from withdrawal and I was understandably eager to find out what the results of my hard work were. I mean I had to have lost at least five pounds!
I hadn’t lost five pounds. I hadn’t lost four, three, two or one pounds. My weight didn’t even stay stagnant. My weight had gone up two pounds, and I was devastated. All the positive changes I had made in my life before this (I ran my first 10k a week before this, GO ME!) dissolved to nothing because I placed too much importance on the combination of three digits underneath my feet.
That was a month ago and I am deciding today that it’s all changing. I’ve thrown away my scale, and I’m going to stop tracking every calorie I consume (or feel guilty for being too lazy to track, oops!). My measure of success is going to be how I feel both physically and emotionally. I’ll dedicate my energy to eating whole foods, exercising regularly and developing a positive body image, because everyone should feel beautiful regardless of their size. I’m putting my scales down and laces up