My Relationship With A Scale – How To Lose Weight

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I hate the scale. When I think about stepping on the scale my palms get clammy and my anxiety peaks. It’s a Pavlovian response. I see a scale and immediately conjure up all those visits at the doctors over the years. The nurses say “Okay now get on the scale,” and I say, “But shouldn’t I take my shoes off?” They say, “No.” I say, “K but I’ll just take them off.” The scale is a scary thing for many of us because society has taught us we damn well better be terrified of it. But why? Why can’t we just use it as a helpful tool? Why can’t the scale be like a friendly buddy that’s keeping an eye out for us? Today we’re talking about how the scale can be your friend, but maybe not your bestie. How to lose weight with consistency, not stress.

The last time I weighed myself was maybe a year ago. Longer? I don’t know. I hate the thing [we know, Megan]. Just for a little back story, I have weighed less than I do now and over 50 pounds more than I do now. I know weight fluctuations intimately. These days, following the Prescribe Nutrition Protocol, and knowing an eating pattern that works best for my body, my weight is pretty much at a ‘happy point’ for my body. It’s very easy for me to gain weight and not so easy for me to lose weight, so if/when I’m not watching things closely, I likely fluctuate about 8lbs. Whatever, c’est la vie.

About a month ago I decided to do a check-in. Why? Because I’m 35 and my body is changing [psst to all you twenty-somethings – give your metabolism a big hug and a kiss now because it’s not hanging around forever]. But I digress. I decided to check-in and see where things we’re at. I was on the lower end of that 8 pound fluctuation. Booya! Then I had a wild weekend [wild for a girl who likes to be in bed by midnight], weighed myself 3 days later and was 6.5 pounds heavier.

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You know the emoji where the eyes are wide and bugging out of the head? That was me. But I calmed down, realized I would likely de-bloat once I atoned for my weekend sins and carried on. I had to coach myself on all the things I coach others on: weight is a myriad of factors. Food is one, but so is muscle mass, hormones, food sensitivities, water bloat, dehydration…it’s a puzzle. For example, weigh yourself when you’re hungover and you’ll do a jig because you’re light as a feather…why? You’re dehydrated, calm down it won’t last. So I had a wild thought and decided to a little science project and weigh myself relatively regularly for ~4 weeks and report my findings.

Here’s a snapshot of what the following weeks looked like. No, I’m not telling you my actual weight because a) it doesn’t matter and b) come on give me a break. Disclaimer: discussing menstrual cycles because it matters.

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And there you have it. The wild ride of my weight in a one month period. Interesting that that 8 pound fluctuation is nearly accounted for in just one month.

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  • Are you a weekend warrior? Yeah I get that. Here’s the thing: my lil weekend fiesta caused a dramatic change in weight in just 3 days. Is that a big deal? Of course not. But if you are the type of person who regularly eats angelic M-F and whatever the hell you want S-S, you should know that you may be setting yourself up to fail if you are actively trying to lose weight.
  • Consistency is key. If your weight is stuck, you really do need to make a commitment to sticking with clean eating on a daily basis. If you’re an all or nothing type person who has trouble with small indulgences here or there, then don’t try to do it alone. Consider signing up for Prescribe 20. Why? Because when you truly commit to 20 days without any distractions or slips, you wake up to all the small things that end up making a big difference in day to day life. It quite literally helps you re-define the way you eat [coupon code below!]
  • Weight is more than just food. Do you know how many times I’ve heard people say they gained weight after picking up a kick-butt spinning practice? That ol’ muscle weight more than fat thing is true, so keep that in mind when you are hating on the scale. You legitimately may be fitter/healthier.
  • Digestion matters. Slow system? Well, believe it or not, that stuff will show up on the scale. Gross, I know, I know – but all the more reason to eat in a way that keeps your system regular.
  • As a woman hormones play a massive role. Having a strong understanding of your cycle is important! If you don’t know much about your cycle, take some to learn. All the ladies at PN use an app to track their cycles [there are tons but I like Period Tracker] – you’ll begin to know when you ovulate, when to expect PMS [if you have] and your period – all things that can temporarily increase weight. You can take it a step further by tracking your temperature which helps accurately pinpoint menstrual phases.
  • Weigh yourself at the same time / same timing of month. You will be heavier at night then you are at the morning, and for ladies you will be heavier the first day of your period than you will on the last. If you want an accurate view of where you’re at, keep those things in mind.

Finally, make an attempt to re-frame your relationship with the scale. If you’re scared of it, don’t be. It doesn’t define you, not one cinchy bit. If you’re obsessed with it and it causes stress, take a little breather from getting on it every day. Think of her as a very straightforward friend, but who doesn’t have an awesome sense of humor. Like you’re glad you know her, but she’s not that fun to chill with all the time. You dig?

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Comments (12) | Add Comment

  • by jennifer on

    THANK YOU for this article!!! It solidified that I am not crazy in terms of weight fluctuations! I thought it was just me and it drives me crazy!! The way you reframed the scale and a “friend” but maybe not your “best friend” is genius AND to use it simply as a tool. I give the scale way too much power so reading this helps take some of that power away from the scale. You all are just so awesome at PN. Thank you for your honesty and your humor!!!

    • by Megan Morris on

      Hey you!!! We love seeing your name and THANK YOU for taking the time to read it! So thrilled that this resonated for you – it’s such a complicated relationship with that dang thing on our floor. Made me smile to read thanks for chiming and so glad it was a good read for you.

  • by Jessica on

    Great article! I agree too that it’s good to use the scale as a guide. I avoided in for a couple years and gained like 15 lbs over time. I don’t get on it all the time now (stressful) but every once in a while just to see how I’m doing but def try to keep in mind hormones, water retention, muscle mass 🙂 Thanks for sharing this!

    • by Megan Morris on

      Hey lady!! So awesome to get feedback coming from a knowledgeable gal like yourself. Completely get that story and know it well. Thanks for reading and hope you are you doing wonderful.

  • by Sheila Coito on

    Thinking maybe I should REdo P20 because I am so messed up lately and hormones ARE all over probably due to recent cervix surgery… Also, Megan- Do you do FAM? It surely sounds like it… I have been in the last 9-10 mos and LOVE the natural way to be in charge of my fertility, letting my body do it’s thang in this aspect of my life, too! Yay. I love Kindara app (and the automatic super fast Wink for basal temps…) to chart easily. Anywho… off to see when P20 starts again. I hope you have some freezer meals! Missed you ladies!

    • by Megan Morris on

      This is the best Sheila!! Thanks for the shout outs to all these cool apps and methods. It’s so empowering to be able to know exactly what’s going on in your body – the awareness it creates is so important and cascades over into other areas of health. We’d absolutely LOVE to have you join us for P20 again! For me I notice being 100% vigilant about sugar is a game changer for hormone health and drastic decrease in PMS – just thought I’d share those tidbits!

  • by Michelle on

    I gave up the scale several months ago and LOVED the feeling of letting go… But I also gained 10 pounds. I’m now trying to work everything out mentally and physically. When I eat well I feel great physically but I miss all those comfort foods and then I go back and it’s a slippery slope. My “weight” has been an issue as long as I can remember and I’m so over it. My journey continues! Thank you for PN. It’s the only blog of it’s kind I follow because I trust in the “realness” of it. Thanks for always being authentic.

    • by Megan Morris on

      Oh my goodness this one got me Michelle. I sincerely appreciate you not only reading our blog, but sharing your story here. It’s such a fine balance, isn’t it?! And everyone is so different. As cliche as it sounds, it really is a journey and all about finding that balance that works for you.

  • by Catherine on

    You’re so inspiring. Thanks for posting, Meg!

    • by Megan Morris on

      Don’t make me get all mushy!! Thank you pal. xoxo

  • by Sierra on

    This article helped put things in perspective since I’ve been really angry with my scale lately. I’m on a new medication that causes weight gain (fabulous, right?) and I’m up three pounds since starting it. I need to forever avoid the Target dressing room because that lighting and those mirrors—came home and cried. I’m a small person who has never had hips or breasts unless pregnant, and in the last year I’ve gained eight pounds and I’m having a hard time getting used to this body. I’m 33 and wondering if it’s all downhill from here or if it’s the medication!!

  • by Megan Morris on

    Ugh…medication with weight related side effects, it’s beyond frustrating! But it’s sometimes the reality right?! I think the important thing to do is take a step back and recognize that it could be several things – but also simply – getting older. Our entire team has experienced some sort of metabolic changes in our thirties, and you know what? It’s just an adjustment. For sure work with your doctor and make sure that the medication isn’t playing too big a role, and if it is, what you can do about it. If you haven’t tried Reply

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