Vent Sesh: My Love Hate With the Scale

February 5, 2013

Welcome to the first official post for Feel Fit February, a month focused on helping women feel strong and healthy — and committing to ditching the scale! — in partnership with Vahni and Erika. Today, each of us is sharing our weight/scale issues and where we are now in our lives.

Feel Fit February

Awhile back I shared with you my life-long struggle with weight (read here, including a few old photos). To briefly recap, since I was 5 or 6 I was always slightly heavier. Post college, my 5’3 frame tipped over at 152 (so painful when the nurse moves the scale from the 100 to 150 mark), and I knew I had to make a change. Number aside, it was a signal that I needed to take better care of me. I joined Weight Watchers, started exercising more regularly (doing a 15 min Pilates video most nights, and gym or running on the weekends), becoming more aware of my eating habits, and voila, I lost about 35 pounds.

Because WW is so focused on the number, it’s been hard for me to move myself away from it for more than a few days. I even get on at night before bed (because it’s in my bathroom; no longer), and why? It’s punishment because no good things are going to come from weighing yourself at 10:30 pm after dinner. The funny thing is, regardless of the number, I don’t change my behavior. For this reason, why weigh myself and make myself feel bad for no good reason? Hence: ditch the scale month! Even if I don’t exercise or change my eating (which I will be doing), I need a healthier mindset when it comes to my body image.

Like you, I know when I’m up or down a few lbs based on how my clothes fit. I don’t need a scale to validate that. While nearly 10 years ago the scale helped me get to my goal (I’m very practical, and seeing the number change — since you’re not always buying new clothes and for years I saw a bigger person in the mirror; takes your mind a while to catch up) — but now, it absolutely should not and can not dictate my day.

I have a three-year old baby and jeans I just rediscovered in my closet from pre-babe, so I want to work on exercising and feeling good. Finding a way to fit into those jeans again will be my recognition that I’m doing right by my body; not if it says 122 instead of 128. Hell, I don’t care what the number is: muscle weighs more than fat so I’m be happy to put on a few pounds if it means I was getting stronger!

I have been eliminating processed crap, 100 calorie snacks and packaged foods that have mysterious ingredients and leave me hungry. I need to continue to do that. I also need to find a way to exercise more. It makes me feel so, so good. I used to love to run but hard for me now due to some health issues, so getting to the gym or finding something else I’m passionate about (that’s close to my house!) is key. Any suggestions on workouts you love (besides cross fit)? I’d love if you’d share.

For Feel Fit February, I really hope you’ll join us in ditching the scale for one month and seeing how you feel at the end. Are you willing to join in? 

Be sure to visit Grit & Glamour (love the photo of the woman beating the scale! hah) and Style Activist to read their personal stories. 

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  • PennyPincherFashion

    Such a great post, Alyson! When I was going through recovery for my eating disorder, they made us throw out our scale - it was key to getting our minds focused on something other than a number, which was all too easy to obsess about.
    As for workouts, I swear by the Tracy Anderson Method - though honestly, I haven’t done the DVD in months, it was the fastest way I got in shape and gained lean muscle after my son was born. Plus it was a workout I didn’t get tired of, even though I did it every day for almost 6 months! :)

  • Bridget

    I know some friends have had luck with the Tracy Anderson DVDs as well. I like to ride my bicycle, though admittedly, in the winter when it is cold and/or icy, I don’t do that as much …

  • Kristin & Megan

    I just joined Weight Watchers online to help with the baby weight, but I’m definitely trying to avoid weight the constant scale watching. I’ve seen it take over my friends and fam before! Great initiative!

  • Ash

    I’m a runner but I also love Zumba :) A word of caution though, if you find that the class isn’t hard enough or you don’t like the instructor it doesn’t mean you don’t like Zumba, you might just need to try a different class. So teacher dependent!!

    • Mel

      YES! I’ve found the same with yoga and personal trainers too. Always depends on the instructor.

  • Erika Sheffer

    Such a good post to read! I’m so glad we are doing this :)

  • Grit & Glamour™

    This is such a super topic. I’ve enjoyed reading your post and Erika’s…it’s so interesting to see how frenzied (CRAZY) we can be with the scale behind-the-scenes. And I love that YOUR idea got a share by Whole9 on Facebook. Yay! I hope you’re proud of you, lady!


    Great blog today! I find that I get bored easily. I was super into Zumba and did it twice a week… then got bored. Did power yoga 2-3x per week and then lost my good instructor and got bored. I could go on, but I just keep trying new things and I have two great workout partners. I can count on at least one of them to exercise with me 9 times out of 10. Try those tricks and hooray for no scale month!

  • Ms. Duran

    Nice post, so happy to have found you via @twitter-76219938:disqus (one of my faves!) I go kickboxing three times a week, it’s hard to describe because (luckily) my cousin is the instructor, so she does a very tailored aerobic/strength hybrid. On days I can’t attend, she recommends any of the modules on Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred DVD - I’ve never actually done it 30 days straight, but I do always feel good at the end, and it’s all home-friendly activity! You just need some weights of whatever size you’re comfortable with and a yoga mat! Happy Fitness, can’t wait to see what the rest of the month will bring :)

  • Jennifer

    Great post - I feel like I’ve been dieting and weighing since middle school! I found this great food blog - it’s helped me make small changes to my diet…

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