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Whole 30 Philosophy vs My Fraught Relationship with the Scale

Not a salad, but a #whole30 compliant #bakedpotato. Chive ghee and #saurkraut.

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The Whole 30 program does not want you to weigh yourself during your 30 days. This is for several reasons, mainly that they want you to focus on other changes.

Long story short, I have found that it is best for me to have some rules when it comes to weighing myself. Otherwise, I get a little obsessed, and will want to weigh myself all of the time.

I once kept a spreadsheet where I put in my daily weight and it calculated both the difference between the day’s weight and the previous day. It also calculated my total running weight loss. I’ve never been a successful calorie counter, but weighing myself daily and looking at this spreadsheet and the line graph that I had set up encouraged me to pay attention to what I was eating. But at times, it also helped me to eat the minimum amount that I could get away with. A question that I asked myself at the time was whether I had eaten enough that I could stay asleep through the night. If I thought I did, I wouldn’t eat anything else. Let’s just say that my nights weren’t always so restful.

There are a few more stories that could go here, but one has to draw a line somewhere in order to prevent every dang thing hanging out on the web.

On the other hand, when I am not weighing myself at all, I know that I’m just not doing what I should be doing food and exercise-wise. I have two apps that I’ve used on and off over the past 6 years to keep weight-related data. These two apps reveal a very plain pattern. It is when I stop weighing myself that I gain a chunk of weight, quickly. I know that when I tell myself that I’m not going to get on the scale it is because I know I haven’t been doing the right thing.

For the last several weeks, I’ve allowed myself to visit the scale every other week. No more, no less. 

Because of this, I didn’t do a “before” weigh in for the Whole 30, which IS in line with the program. That weigh in would have been outside of the schedule that seems to work for me. Two weeks seems to be a big enough stretch of time that it doesn’t really catch those day-ruining fluctuations that happen, as our weight shifts all of the time. Two weeks works for me, and I know that.

In the beginning I had decided to follow the rules, and just was going to wait until after the thing was over to weigh myself. That would have meant missing two of my scheduled weigh-ins. 

But, then I started thinking about not being able to weigh myself the next day, my regular scale day, and couldn’t stop thinking about it all day. That clearly wasn’t going to work. Knowing what I know about myself, this small thing could have been the thing that put me off of the plan altogether. So I decided to go ahead and weigh myself.

When I got on the scale, it said the same thing it did the last time I got on the scale.  While it’s disappointing to not have lost anything over the last two weeks, it is better than potentially obsessing over not being able to get on the scale for over a month. Also, the last time I had weighed myself, there had been a 3.5 difference since the time before. I understand that the scale isn’t going to move every time. I also know that I had eaten well and been pretty active in the last two weeks, though my sleep wasn’t what it should have been. While my relationship to the scale might not be the healthiest, I’m trying pretty hard not to be a captive.

I’m writing this over a week after the weigh in, and still know that I did the right thing. Just the thought of not “being allowed” to get on the scale for the 30 days still creeps into my head. Sticking to the bi-weekly weigh in seems to be a good way to keep a potential obsession at bay.