Weight and Resistance Training - A Former Scale Addict Speaks




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fitmom
12-21-2012, 04:38 PM
"Hi, my name is Fitmom, and I was addicted to the scale."

My love affair began with the scale on November 12, 1971 at 5:48 pm when I came kicking and screaming into the world. It ended several months ago upon discovering that it was a dirty, rotten, lying scoundrel.

As a child, the scale fascinated me, shiny white with a big needle that moved if you stood on it. My mom used to keep ours on the bathroom floor in the corner. I didn't understand what the numbers were until I got a little older. It was almost like a toy to me, something to play with to pass the time.

When I was 13, puberty hit and my fascination with the scale grew. I remember getting weighed at the doctor's office and him telling me that I was now 100 lbs. I thought it was cool at first to have hit the triple digits but afterwards, I panicked thinking that the number seemed too high.

Junior year of high school we were told by our gym teacher to line up in the locker room because it was time to get weighed. There was mass hysteria among the girls in my gym class. Everyone looked like a deer in headlights as they waited to step on the dreaded scale.

I got on and was 5 lbs more than I'd been a few days earlier, crushing me beyond belief. My best friend told me her weight and she was below 120 which I considered to be the holy grail. To counteract this, I skipped lunch at school for 2 whole weeks, only eating a chocolate bar. At the end of this experiment, I'd dropped the 5 lbs and the scale and I were friends again.

Preparing for my wedding, I fastidiously dieted down to 110 lbs (I'm 5'6) and felt victorious. Yet to look at my honeymoon photos, I was anything but bikini-ready. Depending on the almighty scale led me to be skinny-fat: soft and flabby. I cringe now when I view the photos as back then I thought I looked good because I went by what the scale said.

This obsession with the scale followed me into the hospital when I had my first child. The head nurse caught me in the supply closet stepping on the scale, the day after delivery! She shook her head in amazement and silently walked me back to my room. The next day, I discovered the supply closet had been locked.

Upon returning home, I made it my mission to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I succeeded in 9 days (I had only gained 25 lbs) and basked in the glory of my achievement. Yet looking back, I was very soft and dough-like. A fit body still eluded me.

I started weighing myself throughout my 30s several times a day. Depending on what the number said would determine my mood for the day. A low number made me happy whereas a high number would send into a tailspin for hours afterwards. This addiction was starting to wear me down, physically and mentally.

A lightbulb went off earlier this year when I started focusing on body fat as I was now lifting weights, and loving the physical changes to my body. For once, I wasn't depending on my scale. I went by how my clothes fit, and used my mirror as the ultimate guide. I learned to take what the scale said with a grain of salt as it was a fair-weather friend, at best. I now weigh almost 130 lbs and am the leanest and fittest I've ever been, proving that the number on the scale is meaningless.

I can't believe I ever allowed the scale or its number that much power over me. It's finally released the lifelong chokehold it had on me. The scale doesn't define who I am. Honestly, I could care less what it says because sometimes a number is just simply a...number.


Megan33
12-21-2012, 07:32 PM
Awesome. Thank you!

evilwomaniamshe
12-21-2012, 07:57 PM
Fitmom - AMEN SISTAH & lemme tell ya, you look FANTASTIC! :)

The scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity, that's it. It cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength or love.

I said F the scale a long time ago & I'm still maintaining! :)


krampus
12-27-2012, 07:57 PM
I'd love it if you shared your thought process as the number on the scale started increasing.

fitmom
12-30-2012, 12:06 PM
Krampus:Gaining almost 20 lbs was necessary for me as I felt sick and tired most of the time. It wasn't easy to see the number climb higher and higher but I kept lifting heavy and eating well. I had my body fat periodically checked and that's what I focused on. I can't deny that I look and more importantly, feel so much better now that I'm at a healthier body fat even if it means I weigh more. I never had anything but flab when I was thinner. I'd never go back to that!

fitmom
12-30-2012, 12:09 PM
Fitmom - AMEN SISTAH & lemme tell ya, you look FANTASTIC! :)

The scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity, that's it. It cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength or love.

I said F the scale a long time ago & I'm still maintaining! :)

So true what you said about the scale cannot measure beauty or talent or even love. My only regret is that I didn't figure this out years ago, it would have relieved so much stress, lol. Thanks for the compliment...I feel amazing and that's been the best part!

fitmom
12-30-2012, 12:11 PM
Awesome. Thank you!

Thank you! I'm glad my words resonated with you. :)

ICUwishing
01-01-2013, 06:29 PM
I'm glad I found your post today, fitmom. I am starting to make the necessary mental transitions to getting "strong" instead of getting "light". I would like to know which methods of body fat measurement that you find most reliable, if you get a moment. Thanks!

ladyrider72472
01-01-2013, 09:57 PM
Fit mom..thank you soooo much for your post.

fitmom
01-02-2013, 03:22 PM
I'm glad I found your post today, fitmom. I am starting to make the necessary mental transitions to getting "strong" instead of getting "light". I would like to know which methods of body fat measurement that you find most reliable, if you get a moment. Thanks!

I find the caliper the most reliable method of measuring body fat. I had mine done at a local health club by the same person every time to reduce the margin of error. The results were always double or even triple-checked. I do have a body fat scale at home but it was telling me I was mid-20s which visually does not add up considering how much muscle definition I have, vascularity, ab definition, etc. Even the trainer at the health club told me scales have a greater margin of error. He even measured me with a measuring tape and plugged the numbers into a formula they use and the body fat percentage came very close to what the caliper said not my scale so I believed him, obviously.

I will say that any method is not 100% accurate so keep that in mind. You should use the same method/tool every time and as long as the number is trending downwards that should be the focus. Everyone is different too, meaning that you should arrive at a body fat percentage that's right for YOU. Perhaps 16% body fat is too lean for someone yet it's just right for me. Conversely, I've seen women who are 23-24% body fat and look fantastic but for me I just looked bloated and frumpy.

I used to want to be as light as possible so I understand that thinking all too well. When I started training for strength, that's when my progress really skyrocketed which did translate into aesthetically looking better as well. Thanks for your comment. :)

fitmom
01-02-2013, 03:23 PM
Fit mom..thank you soooo much for your post.


Your welcome. I felt with the new year being upon us and everyone focuses on getting to a better body weight that it was a timely post too.

sontaikle
01-02-2013, 04:18 PM
Fitmom, what a great post :) so glad to see that lifting has transformed your life!!

I found the scale helpful when I was losing weight, but as I maintain (and continue lifting) it isn't quite as helpful. I've resolved to keep off the scale for the time being and I've been using the mirror and my clothes as a guide. I do jump on here or there out of curiosity's sake, but it no longer matters what the number is...all that matters is how I feel....and how my clothes fit!! :lol:

fitmom
01-02-2013, 05:12 PM
Fitmom, what a great post :) so glad to see that lifting has transformed your life!!

I found the scale helpful when I was losing weight, but as I maintain (and continue lifting) it isn't quite as helpful. I've resolved to keep off the scale for the time being and I've been using the mirror and my clothes as a guide. I do jump on here or there out of curiosity's sake, but it no longer matters what the number is...all that matters is how I feel....and how my clothes fit!! :lol:

Totally agree with you!! I haven't weighed myself in probably close to 6 weeks and am using my mirror and how my clothes fit as my guide. And yes, you are right...it only matters how you feel. Thanks for the kind comment. :)

penmage
01-02-2013, 08:14 PM
Wonderful post! Definitely something to think about. Thank you for sharing it. :)

saef
01-03-2013, 12:27 PM
Personally, I don't lose my obsessiveness, I just change up the object of my obsession.

So while I might not stand on the scale as frequently, or care as much about the number that pops up between my toes, I'd start caring about the body-fat percentage instead, and I'd be getting calipered as often as I used to weigh myself.

I'd like to get away from numbers entirely.

It's like that Bob Seger song: "I feel like a number ... I'm not a number ... d*mn it, I'm a (wo)man."

fitmom
01-03-2013, 02:14 PM
Wonderful post! Definitely something to think about. Thank you for sharing it. :)

Your welcome, I'm glad you liked it. :)

Personally, I don't lose my obsessiveness, I just change up the object of my obsession.

So while I might not stand on the scale as frequently, or care as much about the number that pops up between my toes, I'd start caring about the body-fat percentage instead, and I'd be getting calipered as often as I used to weigh myself.

I'd like to get away from numbers entirely.

It's like that Bob Seger song: "I feel like a number ... I'm not a number ... d*mn it, I'm a (wo)man."

So true! I was just thinking about how before the holidays, I was getting a bit obsessive about body fat which I think is a function of me reaching a certain level of leanness. I feel a self-induced pressure to stay this lean. I kind of threw caution to the winds over the last few weeks and eased up on my diet (within reason) and was reminded about how it's all about balance. I mean, what's the point of doing all this, if I can't enjoy myself every once in awhile? I want to be healthy and lean but not at the expense of neglecting my husband, sons or turning my lifestyle upside down.