South Beach Diet - Scale Ho or Dedicated Health-Maven?




beachgal
08-24-2004, 04:42 PM
I've been doing some ruminating today about health, fitness, and good decisions.

Is stepping on the scale a good thing or bad thing?

The evil nutritionist thought I should never step on a scale again. That I should only be measure through her machine in the office and let her monitor my health.

We all seem to feel a little guilty about stepping on the scale, enough that we, embaressed, call ourselves "Scale Hos".

My therapist says that obsessing about scales would entail jumping on before each meal, jumping on during the meal, jumping on after, and freaking out about what it says each time.

I weigh myself each morning. I weigh at the same time, after I brush my teeth and go to the bathroom, before I get dressed for the day. I weigh three times and average it, then write it down on a slip I keep on the wall above the scale. Every couple weeks I enter it into an Excel document and take a look at how I am doing.

When I make a change in my diet or exercise, I look at the slips or my Excel document (named "Weigh to Goal") to see how it is affecting my weight.

Sure, I measure myself, and I do assess how I look and feel in my clothes. But the scale is my tool...one of the best ones in my aresenal, and I treasure it.

Is this obsessive? I don't think so, but I worry. I figure that since I can leave the scale for days at a time on vacations and not worry about what I'm weighing, I'm okay. But when does this cross the line?

Found this interesting quote at the Lean Plate Club (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6557-2004Aug16_2.html )...you may have to sign in to view the whole article:

Monitor your weight. Stepping on the bathroom scale is important for weight maintenance, since "individuals have no practical way . . . to know if they have a calorie deficit or excess in a day," the committee noted. Think of it like monitoring your bank account or 401(k): It helps to know the bottom line from time to time.

So, what do you think? Is weighing yourself daily a measure of dedication to your health or an unhealthy habit?


Barb0522
08-24-2004, 04:46 PM
I admit I weigh daily and I'm proud of it. I find that it encourages me to keep OP when I have lost weight. When I am plateau'd or have gained, I don't let it discourage me. I just take that as a reminder to watch what I am eating and make sure I am drinking my water. I also take it as a reminder to make sure I have been exercising enough. I would hate to be separated from my scale!

RNMOM
08-24-2004, 05:02 PM
Sorry, but I feel motivated to be on the scale. Ignoring the scales is kinda like living in denial (Denial is NOT a river in Egypt!)

I feel motivated to not cheat (past two weeks exception).

I guess if maybe there was a serious eating disorder then I can understand why you wouldn't want them on the scale or if you fall totally to pieces by a slight weight gain that causes you to lose control or give up.

For me, I need the scale. Sometimes I love him sometimes I hate him. But I gotta have him. ;)


nelie
08-24-2004, 05:10 PM
I'll admit I'm a scale ho. Actually, I have a scale of my own that I don't use. I use the scale at the gym and it is one of the highlights of my gym visit. So I generally weigh myself 5 or 6 times a week.

beachgal
08-24-2004, 05:19 PM
I'm glad I'm not alone, ladies! RNMom, you are practically a maintainer, and if you use the scale, I think that's a great recommendation! YGG! :cheer:

I'd love to hear from others...what do you think?

Lyria
08-24-2004, 05:44 PM
Sorry to jump in on here, but i thought it an interesting thread!

Hmmm...I don't weigh myself daily. The most frequently i'll do it is maybe twice a week, but its usually weekly. I am learning to trust that my eating habits are not going to cause massive damage to the scale reading overnight and i figure that with weighing once a week any changes are likely to be more definite. I like seeing the big picture changes of weighing weekly or less. I remember going for about 5 weeks without stepping foot on a scale and having had the thrill of going down a whole 6kgs.

Actually, i probably weigh more often now I am maintaining then when i was losing lol. I measure with more frequency than i weigh, and I definitly go by clothes fit more than general weight. Most people guess my weight to be around 52kgs when it's actually around 57kgs. I look lighter due to muscle and so really the scales dont do me any favors lol.

Livi

AdiaFaith
08-24-2004, 05:49 PM
To be totally honest, I hate the scale. Partially because I had a military stint for a year where I lived by the scale and it in a sense became my failure. Also because I hate to live my life any other way but mine....(e.g. life by a number, life by a pill, etc)

I measure my sucess by my clothes. And yeah, it's tough around TOM, but I know that if I did step on the scale, weight would show there at that time too.

Another problem I have is denial. Much like RNmom said actually. It's been about 8 months since I've stepped on a scale. I'm a size 14 and I'd be happy as a twelve. My goal is to try my hardest to get there.....but at the same time teach myself to be happy with myself now. I want to improve myself, but I don't want to hate myself for being a size 14. Do you know what I mean?

I am proud of you ladies who can step on the scale everyday. To me, that's quite a feat. As far as I'm concerned, Doctors don't know, not even if they've been there. You know best. Do what's best for you.

sweet tooth
08-24-2004, 06:12 PM
Count me in as a person who weighs daily...well actually multi-daily. Like Laurie, I weigh myself at the same time each morning..weight 3 times and average the weight. This allows me to monitor my weight loss quite closely. If I lose, it's a hurray. If I stay the same, or gain, like Laurie it is a reminder that I need to be more careful with my food intake for a day or two. This has worked to keep me motivated and disciplined.

Unfortunately, I also weigh myself at night. I have done this for such a long time that I know how much more than my morning weight I should be to be losing/plateauing/gaining. For me, this is an indication of my successes during the day and also a motivation not to engage in my favorite pasttime - evening snacking.

I take my morning weight on Fridays as my official weekly weigh-in weight and enter it on a spread sheet. The spread sheet that I have shows your weight loss/gain, graphs your weight, indicates your present BMI, your total loss,your average loss, your total loss and predicts when you will reach your goal weight.

It was given to me by another 3fc member, but if anyone would like a copy, pm me with your email address and I will send it to you.

HistoryChick
08-24-2004, 06:45 PM
Hi,

My name is Jess and I'm a scale ho....ha ha ha...Seriously I am...I used to think the scales were my enemy....but they aren't...they just bring you to reality! I am not afraid to say that I weigh myself every morning....The scales have become my friend!

chick_on_the_beach
08-24-2004, 07:03 PM
I weigh myself every day but I also take my measurements and use my dress size as a guideline. I know that I can easily slip on a few pounds and when I have a set of scales in the bathroom I tend to monitor my weight/size a little more carefully. Then I can detect when I am putting on a few pounds and need to adjust my eating and/or exercise. The times in my life when I have put on quite a bit of weight are when I don't have easy access to bathroom scales. Perhaps thats a coincidence but for me I feel that I can monitor my weight easier by just jumping on the scales each morning. I guess it is no different to checking the fuel guage in your car. Do what works best for you but don't obsess about your weight. Remember there will be fluctuations in your weight at certain times of the month and muscle weighs more than fat so you may appear to not lose much weight but drop inches and look (and feel) really great!

Heidi
08-24-2004, 08:46 PM
I always intend to keep my scale hopping to once a week, but most mornings I give in and step on before my shower. It's just too tempting.

The flip side of it is that I am (in theory) not allowed to have my day dictated by that scale. No giving up because it went up when I didn't deserve it. No extreme fasting or rushing back to Phase I. Just an unofficial peek :mag: which I can deny if I don't like the answer that day. Only Mondays are official.

justjodi
08-25-2004, 08:43 AM
My therapist says that obsessing about scales would entail jumping on before each meal, jumping on during the meal, jumping on after, and freaking out about what it says each time.

well then ok i am borderline obsessed with the scale number. :rolleyes: i weigh myself often i know what i should weigh in the morning and i know what i should be at in the evening. and i HAVE to check. i did not own a scale for 5 years and i ended up balooning up to 271 lbs, i won't let that happen again so i closely monitor my weight. does it bum me out sometimes?? you are darn right it does but it also gives me motivation to DO something about it. laurie i think your nutritionist's suggestion that you go by her/his?? numbers alone is simply wrong. as humans we need reassurance that we are on the right track or way off the beaten path and i think weighing daily, weekly, monthly, whatever, gives us that. i also keep a chart of my weekly weight to track my progress. just my opinion.

sarahyu
08-25-2004, 09:07 AM
Count me in as one too. I weigh myself in the morning after I go to the bathroom and before I get dressed. And again in the evening after I brush my teeth before I go to bed. It's interesting to see the flucuations during the day and night. I'm usually about 2-3 pounds lighter in the morning. I don't obsess about it much.

I'm concerned that if I don't at least keep an eye on it, I'll slowly allow myself the occasional treat too many times and my daily allotment of nuts might sneak up to 2 or 3 times a day. Things like that. As long as I stay within a range and don't go over then I'm ok with my weight, even if I'm at a platue because I'm not gaining! :D

wendyjo
08-25-2004, 09:14 AM
Me too. I usually weigh in every morning. I have never ever measured.

weezle
08-25-2004, 09:30 AM
No big shock to anyone that I'm a Scale Ho. I wake up in the morning, pull up 3FC site, sit and read a few, start to type a reply, suddenly have to use the restroom due to the computer chair (brb.....), weigh myself, record it on my chart above the scale, and come back to finish my post.

How else would I know that I've been 140 for the last 2 weeks?

PS. Still 140.

Flickersfan
08-25-2004, 10:02 AM
Re scales/weight loss/monitoring issues
I am a newbie on the South Beach--my husband and 25yr old daughter all started Aug 16--I did not know exact weight because we have not owned scale in some time until I bought one after we were two-three days into the diet--figured about 204 start weight from my last visit to dr for bad case of the shingles earlier this month.
I have been weighing in the morning before I eat anything and sometimes at night before bed--I know that weight will be heavier than the start weight, but I monitor from night to night the change/if any. My husband and daughter as not as heavy and do not need to lose as much--he weighs in the morning--I don't think she has weighed more than once so far...

I need/want to lose about 50 lbs--took a long time to put on and intellectually I know that it will take a long time to take off--but what I read in the book about early weight losses is making me feel like I have reached a plateau before the end of Phase I is over--have only gone down to 198.2--and except for drinking lots of water (which I HATE) I have been the Diet ****, according to my daughter. I have tried to follow all the rules and have even been walking for 15-20 min daily--which I never used to do at all.
I am taking a med called neurontin for a case of the shingles--and that calls for extra fluid intake also. Does anyone know if that might be partly responsible for the slow loss--

and I guess I am jumping the gun about the plateau-thing but to have really increased the excercise level and cut back on the bad carbs/fats--loved snacking, never drank a diet soft drink, liked wine and beer--(I was very self-indulgent)--feel like I will have difficulty with making the grade and staying on this diet or any--
I can cook healthy, we love almost all veggies, and now that I am retired it won't be a problem to cook better meals like it was when I was teaching--but it is a lot of work w/o much reward from where I am sitting now.
Any insight or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Vicki

sweet tooth
08-25-2004, 10:25 AM
Vicki...you are already on the right track. In your estimation, you have lost about 6 pounds on SBD. WTG, girl. Start to celebrate each success, even if it is only .2 of a pound. It is still a weight loss and in the right direction. Don't obsess with how far you still must go to reach goal...that can be very overwhelming.

For you, you might want to set a series of mini goals for yourself. I can see that one such goal has already been accomplished - you have moved from the 200s to the 100s on the scale. Woohoo!!!! I concentrate on each 5 pounds and don't look at the total amount to lose. My goal is to reach the next 5 pound marker on the downward direction. I celebrate when I reach it, and then set a goal to reach the next one. The weight loss has seemed to slip by quickly and I am just about on the homeward stretch now. I have also set goals to weigh less than DH, move from the obese category to just overweight, to move from overweight to the normal range, etc. This has made the whole process do-able.

You can do this. If I can, so can you. Good luck on more successes.

a broad abroad
08-25-2004, 10:55 AM
For me, my "official" weigh day is each Monday and that's the result I write down for my records, but I do weigh every morning.
Like most others that said they do this too, I rise, use the restroom and then weigh before dressing. Sometimes, though, after I stretch a little and get moving, but before coffee or clothes, I will jump back on there again and the scale will read .5 lbs higher than it did 5 minutes earlier. Does this happen to anyone else? I just put a new battery in it so I don't think its that. I don't stress about it but find it to be a strange thing to happen. Just wondering.....

beachgal
08-25-2004, 11:35 AM
Unfortunately, I also weigh myself at night. I have done this for such a long time that I know how much more than my morning weight I should be to be losing/plateauing/gaining. For me, this is an indication of my successes during the day and also a motivation not to engage in my favorite pasttime - evening snacking.

You know, when I first read this, I thought, WOAH! Not a good idea!!! But when I read the rest, I realized that I was acting in just the way that the evil nutritionist was! :nono: Looking at the action, not at the psyche of the person using it. Peggy, it sounds like you have a very good head on your shoulders and that a bad weigh in at night is only going to drive you to do better by yourself, not drive you to engage in self-harming behviors, like bingeing! Good for you!!! :cp:

I guess what I truly believe, at heart, is that if it is working for us...and by working, I mean that it is encouraging us to partake in healthy behaviors, then it's an okay thing to do...whatever "it" is!

Despite the run-on sentence there, I think you get the idea. ;)

beachgal
08-25-2004, 11:57 AM
Me too. I usually weigh in every morning. I have never ever measured.

Wendy, may I ask why you have never measured? I was terribly afraid of doing it when I started, so I didn't until several months later. I just measured again, and am amazed at all the inches I have lost! It really is worth it to do...and a great supplement to weighing...giving you other information. :D

a broad abroad
08-25-2004, 12:41 PM
Laurie - I replied to your question from another post : http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=45426

wendyjo
08-25-2004, 01:13 PM
beachgal, I'm not sure why I never measured, to be honest. Well, partly cause I didn't have a tape measure when I started and I never remember to buy one :) I weigh myself and also go by what size clothes I'm in and by how long it takes me to get down to the next size. Getting into smaller clothes is the best motivator in the world for me.

I've never ever in my life measured myself. I am very small up top with a big booty (just my natural build no matter my weight is) and I guess I just don't wanna know!

Diamondgrrl7
08-25-2004, 02:05 PM
I am totally a scale ho. I weigh myself multiple times throughout the day. I know the morning one is the only one that really counts, and that I WILL weigh more as the day goes on, so it doesn't really bother me to see the numbers go up. I write down my weigh on a calendar every week or so to keep track of my progress.

beachgal
08-25-2004, 02:28 PM
...feel like I have reached a plateau before the end of Phase I is over--have only gone down to 198.2--and except for drinking lots of water (which I HATE) I have been the Diet ****, according to my daughter. I have tried to follow all the rules and have even been walking for 15-20 min daily--which I never used to do at all.
I am taking a med called neurontin for a case of the shingles--and that calls for extra fluid intake also. Does anyone know if that might be partly responsible for the slow loss--

Vicki, welcome! :wave: Please do start a new thread and tell everyone all about yourself, in case others may not read this thread. I know everyone will want to welcome you too!

CONGRATULATIONS on getting to ONEderland...the land of the 100s!!! :cp: :high: :cheer: :cp: That is fantastic!!! And since the published average (which many say is too high) for Phase 1 loss is 8-15, you are doing FANTASTIC! :D

I know the journey seems long when you look at the weight you have to take off, but it really won't be...and Peggy is right...you need to set some great mini goals to help you get jazzed about losing each part of the weight!

There are some great threads in here on rewards, use the search thread function to ferret them out. Personally, I bought a silver charm bracelet when I started SBD. I add a charm every five pounds and am thrilled to have finally earned a charm that says "50" for my fiftieth pound lost! :D I have a lot more to lose, but the bracelet really helps keep me on track and makes me feel very rewarded. The tinkle of the charms reminds me to stay OP, and the little charms, which represent things I will be able to do when I lose the weight, like ballet and having a baby, keep me feeling inspired.

Here's hoping that you can celebrate both in reaching your goals and in the journey there. We are learning to eat healthy, act healthy, BE healthy. It's a good thing. :goodvibes:

beachgal
08-25-2004, 02:37 PM
For me, my "official" weigh day is each Monday and that's the result I write down for my records, but I do weigh every morning.
Like most others that said they do this too, I rise, use the restroom and then weigh before dressing. Sometimes, though, after I stretch a little and get moving, but before coffee or clothes, I will jump back on there again and the scale will read .5 lbs higher than it did 5 minutes earlier. Does this happen to anyone else? I just put a new battery in it so I don't think its that. I don't stress about it but find it to be a strange thing to happen. Just wondering.....

A Broad Abroad, you would need to talk with a nutritionist to get the real answer, but I would surmise that while you are sleeping, your body isn't really holding on to the water it has. Then you go to the bathroom, and your body panics because it realizes it has lost liquid with none to replace it, and it starts holding on to what water is left. Perhaps that makes you weigh more. Even that doesn't really make sense to me...but the intricacies of weight as measured by a scale seem to be unfathomable to us mere mortals. You know? ;)