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How Often Should I Weigh Myself? aka The Bathroom Scale Made me her Bitch!

While I’m on vacation this week I have the privilege to introduce you to some lovely women-of-a-certain age! Today’s post comes to you from Alisa Schindler which begs the question “How Often Should I Weigh Myself?” Alisa writes:

“I just did it moments ago. I do it every Friday morning. It’s generally before 7 am and I’m naked. I pee first, then close my eyes and mentally prepare. I tell myself, “It’s going to be good. It’s going to be okay.”

Then, cringing with fear, I step on the scale.

No, I’m not going to tell you what it says. I may be confessional, but I have boundaries, people. But honestly, the number doesn’t really matter (except to me of course, where it HUGELY matters), what matters is how my entire mood changes by 7:01am. Depending on that flat glass surface with a digital screen, I’m either fabulous or frumpy. Happy or miserable.

Friday after Friday, I’d cringe, exhale as much breath out of my body and step.

Often, the number is happy, smiling up at me. But lately, it’s been two to three pounds up – and when it’s up, I am most certainly down.

Three pounds may not seem like a big deal, but it is to me, or to anyone in my house who has to deal with my cranky, fat ass.

Don’t judge me too harshly. I grew up surrounded by the body disorder disease – my mother has it, my aunt has it, my cousins have it. It seemed to affect every female member in my family. Only my tall, skinny cousin seemed immune, living on a diet of Oreo cookies and chocolate bars, until well after her third child was born.

Then, she too, succumbed.

I remember once, as a young girl, noting my mother’s strange skin color.

“Carrots.” She explained. “It’s all the carrots.”

I don’t want to know how many carrots you have to eat before you start to turn into one, but my mom was well on her way. I think she tried living on broccoli as well, but she always looked better in orange.

So after weeks of seeing a number that used to be reserved for “I had better be pregnant,” I did what anyone would do – I stopped going on the scale. I know you thought I was going to say I went on a diet. Screw that. I eat basically vegetables and ice cream, and exercise a solid five days a week.

But something had to go, and it was the scale.

I had always been amazed by people who just ate without fear of the scale. Now I was one of them, and for the first few weeks, not having to see the number eased my mind somewhat. I felt a little more carefree, my clothes fit and for the first time in my memory, I wasn’t my scale’s bitch.

It was revelatory. It was enough to make you want to celebrate! With cake!

As you might guess, my celebratory liberation ended as soon I began to feel that subtle tightening around my waist, my favorite jeans no longer my favorite.

I knew, but I didn’t want to believe.

So I gathered my courage, got naked, exhaled and stepped. It was a big step, and even though I was no longer happy, at least I knew where I stood. 2lbs fatter than the fat that made me shun the scale.

Damn.

As I contemplated my next steps – no more peanut butter, two cups of ice cream a day instead of three – a funny thing happened, I got used to the new number.

My old fat became my new average. I hated it, but accepted it in the way I accepted another load of laundry, annoyed but resigned. I didn’t know what to make of this development.

For a long while I became depressed, not at the number any longer, but that I had given up and accepted a newer version of myself – an older, fatter one.

Twenty odd years at the same weight (give or take those same up and down five pounds), and I will forever teeter on the edge of weight anxiety. I am always afraid Friday morning when I step on that scale, but I’ve learned my lesson.

I will not cover my eyes like a two-year old. I will step. Knowing is better than living in denial. My coping skills, if not my body image, have strengthened over the years. I am more okay with who I am than I ever was. Even though my body is a little softer, I’ve got a tougher skin.

Besides, there’s always next Friday.”

What are your weight habits? Do you step on the scale daily, weekly, monthly or not at all? And is that working for you?

Alisa SchindlerpageAlisa Schindler is a SAHM of three boys and wife to Mr. Baseball. In between schlepping to the ball fields and burning cupcakes, she chronicles the sweet and bittersweet of life in the suburbs on her popular blog icescreammama.com.

Her essays have been featured on NYTMotherlode, Mamapedia.com, Scary Mommy, and Erma Bombeck’s Writers Workshop, She is a regular contributor to WhatToExpect.com, as has appeared in the book, “Life Well Blogged” and the upcoming anthology, “Motherhood, May Cause Drowsiness.” She aspires to one day publish one of the manuscripts she’s hidden away under her bed that keep her from sleeping.

Follow her blog at icescreammama.com or on Facebook facebook.com/Icescreammama or Twitter twitter.com/icescreammama

 


8 comments

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  1. Reticula
    Reticula 6 July, 2014, 15:10

    Daily. I weigh myself every day while the shower gets hot, naked and after I’ve peed. Bonus points for an early #2. If the number on the scale really terrifies me, I weigh myself again after my shower to see if I’ve dropped half a pound. Weighing myself every day doesn’t appear to affect the number I see there. It just lets me know I failed yet again to control that number with all the 23 hours and 59 minutes I had in the day before. Yeah, it’s depressing. I wish I had something funny to say about it. Daily.

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  2. Ice Scream Mama
    Ice Scream Mama 6 July, 2014, 17:12

    we all have our own mishegas. so many of my friends are daily weighers. sometimes i cave and go in for twice a week. but you can’t let it effect the rest of the day, that’s the trick. we just do the best we can and hope for the good things on the next step! thanks for reading. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  3. Natalie D
    Natalie D 7 July, 2014, 08:13

    Any time I’m all “Eff this!” and give up weighing myself, I gain ten pounds and then go crawling back. Balance is not my strong suit.

    Reply this comment
  4. Jamie
    Jamie 7 July, 2014, 20:29

    First thing every morning is I teeter then weigh. Heaven for bid I get distracted and have a cup of coffee or glass of water first. Then I record thevnumber on my Fitness Pal. Which is all I find these days on fitness pal. Record my weight. I completely agree. The whole mood of day depends on my weight. Don’t like it but that’s the truth. Take the scale with me on trips. Though not if flying.

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    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 7 July, 2014, 21:35

      Jamie I love your confession. You and I are living parallel lives! My fitness pal also makes me her bitch. But I always tend to stop tracking around 5p.m. which makes the whole thing a bit pointless. Sigh.

      Reply this comment
  5. Shannon
    Shannon Author 8 July, 2014, 09:44

    Reticula — you may not realize it, but your comment is quite heartening. I am right there with you and glad to know I’m not alone!

    Reply this comment
  6. Sara
    Sara 22 April, 2015, 16:09

    I have an eating disorder. While in recovery and getting treatment for it, I had to lose weight, obviously under supervision. What worked beautifully for me was weighing myself every two weeks, but never on a Monday, first of the month, or year, or whatever spells out resolution. That way, I always saw significant weight loss and spared myself the stress of weighting everyday and getting disheartened by the usual weight fluctuations. And when I had list most of the wright, I began to weigh myself once a month. I knew I had learned how to eat properly, so I was confident I had done well and would have good results. At maintenance now, I weigh once a month, and I usually know if I’ve been eating normally.

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