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My Scale, My Friend January 15, 2010

I’ve been thinking a lot about my scale lately because it seems that several people I know have been breaking up with theirs. I was very very moved by both Mish and Shannon‘s recent decisions to destroy their scales (click on their names to read their stories).  They felt like they were in unhealthy relationships with these pesky machines that were torturing them. Believe me, if I felt the same way about mine, I’d be tossing mine out the window too. I totally applaud their decisions and their liberation from what felt like very unhappy relationships.

I don’t feel that way about my scale. I’m going to let mine stick around for a while. I know that the whole TOPIC of scales is a very hot one. Some people are very anti-scale, and I can understand their reasoning. But over here, I feel like the scale is my friend. A firm, nonjudgmental and honest friend who will tell me what’s what, because you know, a lot of time I really don’t know.

Mish talked about discovering that she gained a small amount (less than a pound?) and that it totally ruined the rest of her day, after she woke up feeling strong and healthy and happy. I cried watching her video. It sounded so painful.

Sometimes the scale surprises me but I have really never had this experience. For one thing, going up or down a pound virtually means nothing to me, because my weight can fluctuate up to 3 pounds in 8 hours, depending on so many things. If I’ve eaten or if I’ve had anything to drink. If I’ve gone to the bathroom (sorry if TMI). If I’ve exercised or what time of the month it is, or if I’ve taken my medication. So basically, a pound either way doesn’t really mean anything to me and I’d never be upset about a small gain like that.

I’m much more likely to live in denial. Take last weekend. I went out to eat a few times. I ran on the beach. I took some long walks. I made some nice healthy meals. But I also made some warm shortbread cookies. On balance, I had no idea what I had done, bodywise. When I got home, I was wearing some rather loose jeans that were kinda stretched out. I’d say I was feeling kinda “skinny.” But when I got home my scale told me I’d gained a few. And instead of crying and wailing and heaving my scale across the room, I almost kissed it. I thanked it for telling me the real deal (ie, that the cookies and restaurant meals had overbalanced the running and the nice veggies I’d cooked). I said, “Thanks. Thanks for telling me the truth, friend.” And then I set to righting my little ship this week, and every day I’ve seen it edge back down toward where I want it to be.

I’ve rarely felt shocked and dismayed by the scale. Normally I feel like, if it goes up, I know EXACTLY why. Sometimes I wonder, “What took you so long?” Over the holiday period, my weight remained steady and even dipped down pretty low about a week before Christmas. I felt like, wow, I was golden. I think I let loose a bit, and then New Year’s week, BANG, reality hit. See, I couldn’t get away with some stuff I was hoping I could.

All this to say that I am really grateful to my scale for letting me know when I start gaining a couple. Because it gives me the chance to U-turn before the couple turns into 5 and then 5 turns into 10 and then I can’t zip my pants. I don’t want to let it get that far.

But it’s easy for me to slip into denial, or to have some magical thinking like, I work for Weight Watchers! I’m immune now! (NOT.) Or whatever little loophole I’ve dreamed up.

My scale sits in my bathroom and it whispers to me. It tells me what I need to do, not in a mean way, but in a gentle, supportive way. I know that different scales have different Voices for their owners. Mine is my friend and I’m not about to give it up.

 

Weighing In Mess September 11, 2009

I got an email from the WW people saying that my monthly official weigh-in was overdue (it’s taking me a while to understand the rules here) so I thought I’d check out a meeting out here in the Midwest. Found one just a mile from my hotel.

Now this is the deal with Lifetime. You are eligible for free meetings if you are no more than 2 lbs over your Goal Weight. (the weight you were at when achieving LT).  At my last weigh-in, I was almost two pounds UNDER. So today, I was 1.8 lbs over THAT weight, which meant I was .4 lb over my GOAL. (also, the clothes I am wearing are easily .4 heavier than my normal weigh-in outfit) And the weigher tsk-tsked at me and said, “Hmm, 1.8 up. Well, you’re on vacation, right?”

It affected me. WOW. Why did I let it affect me? I sat and steamed through the whole meeting (and btw the leader was TERRIFIC, not the same person as the weigher). It made me think, once again, about how sensitive this whole weigh-in thing is. People who do this can seriously throw people off.  When I do this at my job, I really try to be as positive as possible, as encouraging as I can.

I really liked the meeting, which was about restaurant eating. Speaking of restaurants, my daughter took me to this GREAT place last night. It was so uber-healthy and delicious! You basically go to this huge vegetable bar, load up your bowl, add some protein (if you want) and they stir fry it up and bring it to your table. You have total control of portions, ingredients, etc. It was incredibly yummy.

Anyway, back to the meeting. The leader had everyone fold up their nametags (good way to have people not walking around with tags on all day) and she did a drawing for a prize. The woman next to me said she does this every week. I’ll have to remember this. It was fun – she gave away a journal. I wonder if she gets these things in bulk or whatever, but I thought it was a great idea.

I came back to my hotel for breakfast. They have this free buffet thing with a decent assortment. I headed straight for the hot egg mcmuffin (actually a mcBagel thing). Definitely  not the best choice but I was still all messed up from the stupid weigh in. WHY? And why did it make me make a “bad” choice? I didn’t just have one, but two. (OK, two HALVES so I guess one whole bagel!) NOT a big deal in and of itself, but the fact that I was eating out of pure emotion. Hmmm.

Then after breakfast I was too full to go work out. But I’m not in the mood for hotel gym right now. I’m going to go to that Nia class again. I am hoping it will help calm me down.

Interesting what a crazy cycle it all is. If I had weighed-in at home, I would have felt perfectly HAPPY with my weight, which is just FINE. But that offhand little comment/facial expression whatever, just threw me. It THREW ME ACROSS THE ROOM. It made me eat all emotionally. How stupid is that? Or how…? I don’t know. I’m just feeling all discombobulated right now and I could really use some spacey music (or maybe some geriatric lavender aromatherapy, hm Mizfit?) to calm me down.

 

(Undesperately) Seeking Balance June 30, 2009

At one of my WW staff training sessions, the leader warned us all that it was going to be potentially tricky, to balance WW work with our own health and fitness. At the time I didn’t really get what she was talking about. But it hit me last night.

After my traveling weekend, I had plans to go to an exercise class last night. I was realllly looking forward to it. But about an hour before, I got a call from a WW leader that a receptionist/weigh-in person was needed, like right away.

Of course, I could have said no. On the other hand, when one is in a new position it is a good thing to be seen as helpful and responsive. AND, I really feel that I could use as much mentoring/training as I can get. There are so many minute details involved in this job, and I think the more practice, the better. So I said sure.

This was my third training session and my second time doing weigh-ins. My mentor was great in helping me with doing a practice run-through before they opened the doors. I felt a lot more relaxed than I did the last time. I also felt very strongly how incredibly intimate this is, to see someone’s weight like that. It’s so personal. I had a bit of a flash that the little weigh-in booth is not unlike a confessional, but instead of prescribing ten Hail Marys or whatever, we hand them a fresh tracker and the chance to start a new week.

I was less nervous about the myriad little details this time, so I felt like I was able to really focus more on the people. I felt so much tenderness for these people as they performed the ritual removing of shoes, watches, belts, ANYthing before they stepped up. I think it is a really big deal, and important, that WW staff are also WW members. I SO know what they are going through. (in fact, I need to do my WI for this week, and have been procrastinating!) I kept thinking of the Buddhist loving-kindness (“metta”) prayer in my head: (may you be happy. may you be safe. may you be peaceful) But I expanded it a little bit, adding silently: may you be healthy. may you be free of shame.  I kept repeating this in my head in between members.

One woman achieved a big goal she had been striving toward for a long time. She was so happy, and I was so thrilled for her. High fives all around! It was like being a store owner whose customer wins the lottery. It was really exciting! I had four people up for various “recognitions” and I was really so glad for all of them. And for the people who gained, I tried to offer as much support and encouragement as I could. I think I did a good job, and my mentor had some really kind and complimentary words for me afterward.

When I got home, it was pretty late and I had not yet had dinner. I ate and then did not feel like exercising. It was already dark.

AH, I thought. So THIS is the balance thing they were talking about.

I watched the new show, Dance Your Ass Off, which is sort of a combination of Biggest Loser and Dance With the Stars. I am already a sucker for such shows, and this one really really impressed me. It involves a number of very overweight people who are trying to shed pounds AND compete in dance competitions.  For one, these people all had great personalities and were great dancers. Their confidence was so out there, and that put them miles ahead of the general population, as far as I’m concerned.

It’s hard to dance and show your body when you’re not feeling it’s in its optimal shape. But they were all out there – jumping and strutting and shimmying and just going wild with beautiful exuberance. I felt quite emotional while watching them. I am a terrible, self-conscious dancer who has never felt good about how I might look. I feel like I have no coordination and that I just look foolish. Recently a friend of mine had a dance party for her birthday and while I had fun, I also felt like I was the biggest klutz out there.  I only really felt comfortable dancing with my husband. At one point we had to switch partners and I think one of my partners was absolutely incredulous at how bad I was. SO… I am completely awed by the folks on this show who are so good, and they’re definitely choosing a super fun way to get into better shape. My hat is so off to them!!

Today, I am going to exercise no. matter. what.

 

The Other Side of the Scale June 23, 2009

Filed under: diet,emotions,weight — Susan @ 12:23 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I had my first mentoring session at the New Job this weekend. It was so interesting. Pretty much all I did was Observe, but tonight I will begin weighing people in for the first time! (I have to admit I am slightly nervous about this) It’s a big deal, folks!

I went to a center where I don’t normally go, and was mentored by a leader and receptionist who are new to me. They were both really impressive, especially in their handling of people on the scale.

You know it makes such a huge difference when you step up there, and the number is UP, and the weighing person makes a funny noise or groans a little, or just has a regretful look on their face. It’s like a zinger of shame. It feels bad. Sometimes it makes you want to take a running leap off the scale, out the door, and into the nearest ice-cream shop.

Neither of these women did anything like that. They were warm, concerned, kind, matter-of-fact. They didn’t respond with great hoopla over losses, just kind of a restrained “good work!” kind of thing, and they absolutely did not break stride at all if there was a gain. I really did feel as if the members felt cared for. They were both excellent role models.

It was also a meeting with not a huge number of people, and they were able to give everyone their undivided time and attention. The meeting where I normally go can often be a mob scene, and the staff people there often appear rushed and overwhelmed.

Overall, it was another positive experience, and I am looking forward to more.

After I left that meeting, I went to my “home” meeting and.. ta-da!!!!!! MADE MY GOAL WEIGHT. I was happy. I got the little star bling for my keychain, and the booklet about maintenance, and a nice round of applause. I have to say that I am feeling a mixture of excitement, nervousness, apprehension and curiosity about this whole Maintaining thing. We’ll see how it goes, shall we?

 

 
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