We have all been there. When we hop on the scale, we aren’t sure what to expect (or sometimes we know exactly what to expect!). Then, it happens.
We see a number that we don’t like. The scale is going in the WRONG direction.
For me, personally, it gets even MORE FUN. My digital wi-fi scale asks me who is on it.
You see, my husband and I are sometimes around the same weight. This generally happens when I am on the high end of my 10-15 pound fluctuation. Then, my jerk of a scale will ask if it’s Chris or Stacy on it.
I think, “You have GOT to be kidding me, you monster!” As I am sure you can imagine, I have more choice words that I use for my scale. I think you get the picture, though!
Then, I have to balance on one foot on the “Stacy side” of the scale so this medieval torture device knows it’s me.
To add insult to injury, I have to do this balancing act first thing in the morning. You know, when I am naked and barely functioning. Usually I need to lean a bit on the wall for support!
And then, I start to have thoughts.
Like, “Oh no, here we go again” sort of thoughts.
And, “How is it that I still sometimes way as much as my husband?”
After all this time? With all the work I have done?
Or, my worst thought. “You effed up again, Stacy. You are just going to gain back all the weight you lost and be right back where you started.”
These feelings still come up, and I have been working on my thoughts about the scale for years.
I am human, and I continue to have crappy thoughts that I have to interrupt, deal with, and move on from.
If you are wondering how I actually do this (ya know…so you can do it too!) read on for my simple, 5-step process.
I am going to share how you can deal with the number on the scale and move forward WITHOUT beating yourself up!
Step #1: Identify/Interrupt Any Negative Thoughts
The very first thing is to actually notice any thoughts you are having about that number, and ask yourself if the thought is useful.
Often these thoughts have become so automatic that we don’t really even notice them!
Instead of thinking these thoughts are just happening TO you, and there’s nothing you can do about it, try something else. Take a step back and ask, “is this thought useful? Is it going to motivate/help me or just make me feel defeated?”
The idea is to become aware of the thoughts you are having, and intentionally choose the thoughts you WANT to have moving forward.
For example, instead of thinking, “I have gained weight, I am such a disaster, I need to do something,” what if you try on a thought like this?
“The number on the scale went up, and that’s OK.”
You aren’t lying to yourself, but you aren’t talking like a jerk either.
You are instead taking a crappy thought and making it neutral, and acknowledging the results you have at the same time.
The reason it is so important to do this is that if we beat ourselves up we are actually LESS likely to make progress.
We are more likely to say “eff it” and give up and eat all the things.
When we are NICE, but still hold ourselves accountable, we are motivated to continue to move forward and make changes.
Step #2: Remember, it’s Truly Just a Number
It’s a number. It is literally just data. The number goes up, the number comes down, but the number means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING until YOU attach meaning and thoughts to it.
This was such a hard but important lesson for me to learn. I have had that “number that I was in high school” in my head as a “number I want to get back to” and guess what?
When I was in high school I absolutely hated that number and thought it was too high.
Literally all of these thoughts were just that. Thoughts. The number when I was in high school, the number I am today…these numbers mean nothing until I make them mean something. Today I would love that exact same number that I hated in high school.
Does this sound familiar? Do you attach thoughts that are not productive to the number on the scale? If so, I encourage you to consider a change.
Look at the number, take note of it, and then move on to Step #3.
Step #3: Get Curious
Now, chances are if you are reading this article, you don’t actually want the scale to be going up.
However, if you don’t care about it going up that is fine too! That option is ALWAYS available to you.
If you are coming in here wondering if I am going to say it’s OK for your weight to go up, then 100% yes, I think it’s totally fine! There is no magic number.
If you are happy with your body and your results, and are cool with that number on the scale, that’s freaking great.
What I think doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what your family or friends think. It doesn’t matter what that random person staring at your body at the pool thinks.
What matters is what YOU think.
If the scale going up is not a result you want, then get curious. Ask yourself why you think it’s going up.
Maybe it’s hormones/where you are at in your cycle. Or, you had a hard workout yesterday and your muscles are holding on to more water. Maybe you have been eating more or drinking more.
Our weight naturally fluctuates SO much. We think that because of all of our hard work it should be this constant trend downward, but that’s just not how it works!
When I lost my weight the number was ALL OVER THE PLACE day to day. The overall trend was downward, but the day to day fluctuations were very up and down, and that was OK!
Today I still have about a 10-15 pound weight fluctuation depending on what my body is doing and I am totally OK with this.
The idea here is to be curious, wonder why the number is going up, and then make a choice about what comes next.
Step #4: Decide if You Need or Want to Take Action
After you get curious, the next step is to decide if you want or even need to do anything about it.
The idea here is to remember that YOU are in control. You have some data, you have brainstormed some reasons for the results you have. Now, decide if there is anything you actually need to change.
For example, if you realized that you overindulged a bit over the weekend or during a night out, you might decide that next time you will eat the foods you want but not overeat them just because they were there and you didn’t want to waste money/it tasted so good.
On the other hand, you might have lined up the weight gain with your menstrual cycle and realized that the fluctuation is likely due to this, and you don’t need or want to do anything differently at all.
The idea is that YOU are the one that is in control, and you get to decide what you are going to do moving forward.
It is so important that you feel empowered to make your own choices, and that you don’t just think that the food has the power and is making the choices for you. I mean, it might sometimes seem like those oreos are just jumping in your mouth, but I promise you that they are having a little help!
Step #5: Do It All Again
Repetition with the scale and with this whole process is key. I use a digital, wi-fi scale that is really awesome…at least when it isn’t asking me if I am Chris or Stacy ;).
It actually collects all my data into an app so I can see long term trends. Here is the latest version of my scale if you’re interested in checking it out!
Now, I know this is a little controversial, but I like to weigh myself Every. Single. Day.
Hear me out.
Sure, you can weigh yourself once a week, or once a month, or never use a scale at all! This is definitely up to you. The exact frequency isn’t important as long as you are consistent.
The reason why I weigh myself every day is because the more I do it the more desensitized I become.
The less drama I have.
As the drama comes up from time to time when I hop on the scale, I deal with it. The good, the bad, the ugly.
And by doing this every single day there I encounter less drama overall. I get the number, I get my data, I ask if I need to make any changes, and I go on with my day.
That’s it. The whole process literally takes about 2 minutes, and one of those minutes is me stripping off my clothes to get the most accurate reading on the scale possible!
The scale only became a big deal in my life, something to be avoided at all costs, because I didn’t deal with the drama. I didn’t have this five step process.
I simply didn’t know how. Now I know. And, more importantly, so do you.
Also, did I mention I am human? If there happens to be a day that I know the result isn’t going to be what I want? If I really don’t want to? I will let myself skip a day but commit to getting on the next.
I know that I am not going to be perfect 100% of the time and be 100% consistent, and that’s OK. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being committed to the result and coming back.
It’s all about not giving up. This is what works for me in terms of the scale. Decide, today, what will work best for you.
A Final Note
When we want to lose weight, sometimes the scale is all we think about. Do we get on it, do we not? What is it going to say?
The more that we let the drama build and build, the more we let that number have a hold on our thoughts and feelings.
This is a choice. You can choose today to let it just be data. Just be giving you information. Just be that snapshot in time of where your body is right now.
Ask yourself what you want your relationship with the scale and your weight to be, and take actions from that place.
It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes practice. It’s hard to work to constantly remember to actually be nice to yourself and your body.
It’s hard but you CAN do this. YOU can do hard things. You can lose weight AND love yourself through the whole process. I believe in you. You’ve got this.
Keep Reading! These other Sascy Cycling Articles Might Interest You!
How To Stay On Track With Your Weight Loss Goals
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Making Weight Loss Easy: Five Quick Tips for Women Who Ride
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