This post was written on 30 October. I’m bringing you all up to speed because I didn’t want to post unless I really thought that I would do this thing.
Ok, so today I am desperate to weigh myself. And when I say desperate I don’t really mean desperate because I am never actually desperate to get on the scales. I actually mean curious. So why is that?
Possibly because I have been dieting (let’s examine that word another time) for about a week and I’m keen to know whether I have dropped any weight. I don’t actually know what I weigh at this point. This thing I’m trying to follow (more on that in a separate post) says that there is no point in weighing yourself because it isn’t the best measure and whilst I think that is right, I am, of course, drawn towards my old behaviours.
Weigh, weigh and weigh again, because maybe if I step on it for the third time it will be different and show me what I want to see. As if.
I bought some new scales in mid October and they told me I weighed 12 stone 6 pounds. I was really quite upset by that. At my lightest on living memory, in December 2011, I weighed under 10 stone and I was a size 10.
I won’t lie to you. I loved being under 10 stone. Some people said I looked gaunt, but I didn’t think so and I don’t now. I loved the fact that I could wear whatever I wanted and not feel big. I didn’t really care about health particularly, I just liked the way I looked. Yes, vanity is a big driver.
Shocked by the new, brutal scales, I went to my old ones. They told me I weighed 11:12 but I know that they are inaccurate, in my favour. That’s a huge discrepancy, between those two weights and each makes me feel quite different. But it’s ridiculous, as I’m still the same person, with the same amount of fat. So on one scale I breach the awful 12st barrier and feel anxious and unhappy and on the other I am just under the dreadful dozen, even though I suspect that I’m not, really.
So what am I gaining by weighing myself every day? If I go up a few pounds I feel annoyed with myself and then set off a whole chain of behaviours which are not balanced. I start to skip meals, I think about the number on the scale far too much and in the end I don’t eat in a balanced way. I also think fuck it, quite a lot. If I lose a few pounds I feel great for a moment and then worry about putting it back on if I go out for a meal or eat anything I perceive to be ‘bad’.
Good and bad. That’s a whole other blogpost. But really, what I have realised is that I am weighing myself and my feelings about myself at the same time. Lose weight: I am a success. Gain it, I am a failure. Why am I measuring my worth as a person by how much I weigh? Is that me? I wish the answer to that was no.
For the time being I will not weigh myself. I do not think that it is healthy or helpful to confront a number, the sight of which sets off deeply negative or fleetingly positive responses. I know I’m carrying too much weight. I know I need to get rid of it. I know that looking at the scales every day will not help me to do that. If shaming myself and “facing it” was going to work as a strategy, it would have done so before now. So I’ve got rid of the scales and I’m going for a medical body fat assessment with something called the BodPod as I want to know exactly how much fat I need to get rid of to be healthy.
I am 54 years old and I have no idea how much that is. I’m going to find out.