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Posted on Jan 11, 2012 in Dear Diary, Weigh Ins, Weight Loss | 30 comments

Facing the Scale (Weigh-in)


That is the word that I would use to describe my relationship with the scale. Weighing myself is always a loaded experience for me. It goes beyond whether or not I will be pleased or displeased with the number staring back at me. More often than not, those blinking, back-lit digits will determine my feelings about life, the universe, and everything. How unfortunate it is that a 5-second revelation every Wednesday morning can leave me feeling elated or depressed, attractive or ugly, confident or feeling worthless.


I imagine that many other women feel the same way. I know several who have sworn off the scale for exactly this reason. Instead of letting a number validate their feelings, they prefer to judge their health via less rigid means: the way their pants fit, how they feel, how they look in the mirror. I don’t argue that this is probably the (mentally) healthier approach.

Unfortunately, I think that only works if you’re in a place where you’re already content with your pant size or how you feel or how you look. I’m not. I still want to drop another size or two, I don’t feel great about how I look all the time (though granted, I’m more and more content with it every day!), and I don’t have the self-awareness to know when I’ve gained weight based on my reflection (others may call it “denial”, hahaha.) As I’ve found from the past two months of delicious debauchery, steadfast scale-ignoring, and the subsequent weight that I’ve put back on, I am not in a place where I can forgo this particular frenemy.


The fact of the matter is this: I need to weigh myself to know that I am making progress with my weight loss. When I’ve reached my goal, I can and will reevaluate the ways that I measure my health. Just like I don’t intend on counting calories forever (God forbid! Ugh.), I don’t think I’ll be weighing myself every week for the rest of my life. But, for now, while things are still in progress, this is simply how it’s gotta be.


And so it shall be. As you may recall, my last weigh-in left me staring the stark realization of a 10-pound holiday weight gain. Boo. That said, I’ve been on point with my eating, and I even made it out for a couple of (painful) runs (the plan is in motion!) so let’s see how things measured up!

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 198.4 lbs
This Weigh-in: 194.2 lbs
Difference: -4.2 lbs

HUZZAH!! A great start to Weight Loss: The Sequel. A loss like this makes me think that maybe, just maybe, some of my regained pounds were water weight from the onslaught of salt and sugar I had been consuming? Well, even if at first glance that sounds like me being my usual, delusional self, the proof is in the pudding. And the pudding is a 4 pound loss! I am really pleased with this jump, and it definitely makes me feel optimistic about how things are going to go this year. I guess it just goes to show what a little clean eating and a few attempts at running can do, even after months of delicious awfulness!

And now, to continue all this fuzzy feel-goodery, let’s make someone else’s day! The random winner of the Hello Hydration giveaway is…

Congratulations, Lindsay! Shoot me an email and we’ll work out the details! πŸ™‚

What does your relationship with the scale look like?


  1. YES! Just want you to know that when I read the results of your weigh-in, I reflexively gave you a double fist pump and a, “YESSS!” Your body knows where it wants to be, and it’s just responding to you taking care of it again!

    Keep it up, girl… you rock!

  2. You know I’ve banned the scale and have never been happier with my body, BUT that is because I’m fine with staying at this size. I totally agree, if you want to lose weight, the numbers are important. You need something to measure your progress.

    It’s funny, I actually miss the numbers sometimes. I can be a really analytical person sometimes and I actually miss the numbers, the goals, the challenge. But I am so much emotionally healthier without them that it’s worth it. πŸ™‚

  3. Job well done!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep it up. I am the opposite. I get on the scale every morning. I don’t ever stress, it flucuates daily. I am at goal and have been since July. It is a tool I use to help plan my day.

  4. I agree with Cassie. It’s a lot easier to use pant size as a frame of reference when you’re maintaining your weight compared to when you are trying to lose it.

    Way to go with that weight loss. That’s an awesome way to get back on the weigh-in wagon.

  5. Way to go! That is an amazing loss for the week, water weight or not.

    As for my relationship with the scale, I am one of those people who weighs in daily. That’s the only way for me to keep myself in check. It has also helped me get to know my body very well. As a result, I know when to expect gains and not have (so much of) a tantrum about it when I do see the number creep up a notch or two. So, frequent weighing and defining my journey through numbers has been instrumental for me.

    Weight loss journeys are personal – do what’s right for you. Keep on truckin’!!

  6. Woo! Great job! My relationship with the scale is a once a week love/hate kind of thing. Your explanation of how you feel when you step on the scale pretty much sums up how I feel about it, too. I can’t wait to be like Cassie and go by how my pants fit! πŸ™‚ Way to go Cassie!

  7. Yay, Gretchen!!
    I really, really appreciate you posting your insights with the scale and can totally relate. And you’re right- many women have a toxic relationship with the scale. I have for as long as I can remember- and avoided it for YEARS.
    I have to say- I read a lot of blogs written by women who are at their ideal weight that talk about never getting on the scale. And I always think- well- yeah- that’s easy for you to say because you’re not trying to LOSE weight. So, I’m glad you pointed that out. If I was already at my ideal weight, I wouldn’t have to worry about the scale either!
    That being said, I don’t live by it- and don’t even weigh myself weekly. But, I do like to know that I’m making progress- especially if I haven’t started feeling it in my clothes yet- because it is a tool for measuring that.

    Anyway- Way to kick off weight loss round 2!! πŸ™‚

  8. Gretchen, I love this post! I have the same weekly ritual, except on Fridays. It can make my day or leave me feeling defeated, even when I know I’ve done my best. In regards to the 4.2 loss, you earned it. It also proves what some good old fashioned hard work can do when you take the extra step to prepare ahead of time, eat clean, and bust a sweat! Great job!

  9. I think most of us can relate to this post! I can actually argue both for and against the scale. I think it can be a great measure of how you’re doing but I don’t think it should be the only measure of how you’re doing. Clothes getting looser, how you look, your increased stamina when it comes to exercise, your increased numbers as far as weights, etc can also be great measures.

    Congrats on your 4.2lb weight loss that is awesome!!

  10. Congratulations on your weigh-in!

  11. Congratulations!! I know it’s a pain and a hassle to calorie count and it’s tough to remember to get exercise all the time but the results are paying off!!

  12. My relationship with the scale is very similar to yours. If I am feeling bloated or know what it will tell me on my weigh in day I choose to skip it since it will just make my situation worse seeing the gain is SO discouraging. I choose to admit that I know there is a gain and tighten up, then face the scale the next week. I don’t know if that is right or not, but it works for me so I go with it. πŸ™‚ Congrats on your loss this week! Nice work!!

  13. Awesome, Gretchen! πŸ™‚ I love your weigh-in posts because they are so honest and so reflect what goes on in my head too when I face the scale. Good job this week!

  14. Nice job on the loss! It’s nice to see that scale go down again. Mine also went up over the holidays.
    I have pretty much the same reaction you do to the scale. Over the holidays I just wanted to throw in the towel and say to heck with it. It’s funny how those little numbers can have such a big impact on us.

  15. I go through months where I am sort of afraid of the scale. I got on it this morning after not weighing myself in probably two months and it was the exact same number. Not what I was hoping for since I’m trying to lose 15 lbs (rather unsucessfully) but it was better than it going up, I guess.

    I have a hard time measuring my progress through my clothes. I have a lot of jeans that seem too small when they come out of the dryer and then by the end of the day, they’re falling off me. So who knows? Congrats on the 4 lbs.

  16. Yippeee! Glad your back on track! It’s so easy to gain weight over the holidays. It doesn’t seem fair that weight can be gained so fast but lost so slow. Nice to see 4 lbs. gone.

  17. Congrats on the loss and thanks for your honesty, as always! I’m a scale lover- I take 0.2 lb losses as personal victories, although I know I would have seen it move the opposite direction if I’d just timed my water intake differently… but that’s a personal preference, and I try and take my numbers with a grain of salt. keep up the great work πŸ™‚

  18. I believe that there are better measures of health than weight, but for now my weight seems to be going hand in hand with how healthily I’m eating and whether I’m exercising. I don’t want the number to define my self-worth, but I do want to know what it is. I’ve taken to weighing myself daily, which I know wouldn’t work for a lot of people. I did it because I started wondering if sometimes my Friday weigh-in caught me on an unusually high or low day, and I was curious to see how my weight fluctuated on a day-to-day basis. Now that I know I can ‘gain’ or ‘lose’ up to four pounds overnight (and clearly the extremes are due to water retention or rocks in my stomach, not actual fat gain/loss), it’s made me a little calmer about fluctuations.

    The other thing about weighing regularly (whether that’s daily, weekly, monthly, or whatever does work for you) is that it keeps surprises away. I skim a lot of weight-loss blogs, shamelessly stealing tips and ideas that resonate with me, and one thing I’ve noticed is that it’s easy to regain a lot of weight when you don’t know what you weigh. I do think if that you’re living a pretty healthy life then whatever you happen to weigh is probably a reasonable weight for you. But I when I’m being a slacker in the healthy stuff department, I still make myself at least know my weight. I don’t have to do anything about it, I try not to beat myself up about it, but I do have to know it. So far that’s helped me keep my slackerhood to a reasonable level, so it’s been a useful tool for me.

  19. My relationship with the scale is non-existent. It has been so ever since I was a pre-teen and my doctor told me I was obese according to my height and weight. She didn’t take into account the fact that I danced 30 hours a week and had a lot of muscle mass attached to my bones. Looking back at pictures of that time, I want to go back and call my doctor insane since I couldn’t have been further away from obese. She made me feel bad about my weight when there was no reason to.

    Even to this day, I’m considered overweight on the scale, even if I do pilates, running, and now yoga. The scale and I aren’t frenemies. We’re just enemies.

  20. I’m in the same situation as you, I’m over 200lbs, my health isn’t good, and though I like myself, I’m not such a big fan of the body I’m in; if that makes sense! For me, for now, the numbers do matter!! I gained 8lbs over the holidays, I’ve been busting my ass this week, so I’m hoping for a good weigh in at weight watchers Saturday morning.

  21. Woo Hoo!!!! Congrats on the weigh in!!! OMG, could that dog photo be ANY cuter??? AWWW! Have a good Wed.

  22. Hip, hip, hooray! I’ll weigh myself every now and then to see if I’m maintaining or gaining [or losing?!] but not on a consistent basis. I usually can tell if I’ve gained depending how my clothes fit and when they’re a little snug, it’s time to watch what I put into my mouth πŸ˜›

  23. Hooray! Congrats! I wish my Weigh-In Wednesday had been that successful, but oh well. At least the numbers went down! (Also, I’m happy to see the Daxter comment photos back. Isn’t that the same picture from the “Judging”? So cute.)

    My relationship with the scale is… terrible. It’s a long story (including being forced to weigh myself before meals, having my portions doled out to me based on that number which wasn’t something I could control at the age of, oh, nine.) but it still effects me every week when I stare at the scale, cross my fingers, and hope the numbers go down. Even just .7 of a pound down.

  24. Even though I’ve reached a healthy weight, I still had a very tumultuous relationship with my scale. Then, one day I got the courage to smash it with a hammer; it was AMAZINGLY liberating, albeit a little crazy. now, I only weight myself every couple of weeks, but I can generally tell where I am from my clothes. I understand it can be a good tool, but you won’t have to use it forever.

    Congrats on the numbers, and as always, LOVE the dog pictures. πŸ™‚

  25. Hi Gretchen!

    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now, but I decided that this post would be a perfect one to comment on. I used to obsess about the number of the scale. Like you, it really determined how I felt the rest of the day/week. I lost about 50 before I decided to chunk the scale. I’m at a healthy weight, now, but I probably haven’t weighed myself in a year. I DO go by the size of my pants/how I feel. I can “see” myself weight gain, and I know I do when I overeat and indulge myself. I’ve gotten to where I can “catch” myself, so I never have gotten back to where I started.

    In my opinion, I think you have to make the decision of when to stop (if ever) looking at the scale. I was running so much and I’m fairly muscular (ish), so I knew the scale was LYING. ALL LIES! Heh. Sorta. So, all in all, continue to keep up the great work. You look wonderful and you come across as very authentic. Please, please, please don’t allow that silly number to determine your attitude. Stay positive!

  26. I stopped weighing myself for a couple months, and that was not a good choice. I kind of abandoned most of my good health habits, for the first time in years. I think several things contributed to that. In any case, when I finally weighed myself again, I had gained ten pounds πŸ™ So, back we go to weighing in at least once a week. I feel so yucky, I’m ready to be healthier again!

    Congrats on the loss πŸ™‚


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