Results of Experiment ‘No longer weighing in weekly’

Ok so it’s taken me a while to build up the courage to admit to this- when I finally did weigh in 6 weeks after starting the experiment…….. I had put on 2 lbs.  Please don’t stop reading though, because I still think not weighing in weekly is the general way for me to go, all I need are a few added extras, and I’ll share what these are later!  Firstly let me run through the benefits of not weighing myself-

THE PROS

  • Less stress! It felt amazing not to go through the weekly emotional trauma which occurs each time I stand on the scales; the internal dialogue along the lines of ‘I could have done better’, ‘I could have tried harder’, ‘I should have lost more’, ‘What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I even do this simple thing’ etc.  As a result I felt much calmer and much happier.
  • More focus on behaviour. I really did focus much more consistently on the behaviours that will enable me to lose weight. Somehow, by not filling up my head space with worrying about the number on the scales, I had more time to really understand where my issues lie. I know now without any doubt that the ONE thing that STOPS me being consistently successful, is my evening grazing habit.  If I can fix that one, I’m pretty sure I’ll be mostly sorted.
  • No more emotional roller coaster. When I weigh in, whether it’s a gain, a stay the same or a loss, I feel (often far too intensely) some emotion-if not joy, then despair, sadness, disappointment and the emotion inevitably affects my motivation to continue to stick with my helpful behaviour changes.  Even a joyful weigh in experience can affect how I then behave- I might relax a bit and have the odd treat.  By limiting weighing in, I allow myself to get off the weekly emotional roller coaster that impacts on my behaviours.

SO WHY DID I GAIN?

I think the problem was that I had no clear plan of when I would be weighing in- in my head I had vaguely considered weighing in monthly; but after 4 whole weeks of not weighing, it became REALLY SCARY to face the scales.  Anyway the long and the short of it was, week 5 and 6 included a few social engagements, and also I lost my focus a bit (in the evenings again!).  The result was that I undid all the good I had done in the first 4 weeks.

MY LIGHT BULB MOMENT

My clients are seeing great success with their weight loss and yet they have also come to the conclusion that weighing in weekly impacts their motivation negatively.  How come they are doing well and I’m not?  The difference is…..wait for it…..they have a coach- ME!   (And I don’t!)

They get the focus of their weekly or fortnightly sessions with me.  Also they have a plan!  During the sessions they are able to talk in detail about what will work for them and when the best times for them to weigh in will be.

So guess what?  I finally decided that I could no longer afford NOT to invest (both money and time) in getting myself my very own coach to focus specifically on my weight loss!  In our first session I set about constructing my plan for measuring my progress fortnightly- I committed to weighing in once a month and I also committed to measuring my waist once a month. It feels wonderful to finally get the 1-2-1 attention and the accountability I have been secretly craving, and to have the opportunity to think in more detail about what stops me from being successful now, when I have been so successful in the past. I’ll keep you updated as to how it all works out.

It’s all about learning as we go along, right?  What have you learnt about yourself on your weight loss journeys so far?  Please tell me in the comments below

P.S.  For those of you who live in Berkshire, UK, and need some added focus in their lives, pop over to my facebook page Anna Jones-Time to sort it, for info on my new Coffee and Coaching group sessions which are happening in a couple of weeks’ time.

To weigh or not to weigh?

Come on, don’t most of us deep down, know what we need to do to lose weight?

We may not have university degrees in nutrition, and it can be confusing to know what we should and shouldn’t be eating with all the conflicting information out there, but deep down I believe that most of us know when we should be eating a little less and moving a little more; really we do, don’t we?

So why is it so easy for some of us (even when we have seen success and lost a couple of stones) to get stuck?  I believe it all comes down to ‘motivation’.  Motivation is the key.  Staying motivated forever and ever is hard work at the best of times, but when a set of scales is involved it can become complicated!

So let me clarify this before I get thousands of comments about how wrong I am. (In my dreams!….thousands of comments…yes please! It can be lonely here you know….with just Mr Blog for company!)  I have weighed thousands of people in my time, and witnessed first-hand how motivating it is to see a positive result at the scales.  When you are doing great and on a roll and the number on the scales is going down each week-that can be incredibly motivating and is also great feedback on behaviour changes you have implemented in the previous week. (I have explored the best way to use the results at the scales before-click here if you want to go there.)

HOWEVER there is a very high chance that standing on the scales could demotivate you.  There are only 3 possible results- a loss, a gain or a stay the same. One of those results will almost certainly result in disappointment, which in turn could result in a sense of ‘what’s the point’ which equals ‘not motivated’.  Here are some other possible scenarios:

An unexpected gain could mean devastation which = de-motivation.

A stay the same after a ‘good’ week could = de-motivation

Even a loss that is not big enough could = de motivation

If you are in a fat rut (or a weight-loss plateau-you choose which you want to call it), I urge you to ask yourself this question- ‘Is standing on the scales every week beneficial in keeping me consistently motivated?’

I have asked myself the question and the answer is ‘NO! That’s not to say I will never weigh myself ever again because weighing is one of the simplest ways of getting feedback on your weight loss efforts. But I have decided that I will only weigh myself monthly, and only on a ‘slim’ day (I know you know what I mean) and on a day where I feel I can handle any result- a day when I am feeling strong and positive. This feels like a scary experiment to me and I will feed back the results honestly to you, I promise.  I guess in the end I am doing it because what I was doing before –weighing each week- was not working for me anymore.  So far not being preoccupied by the scales is working-I feel so much better about myself and I’m focussing more fully on my food habits and behaviours.  Ultimately that’s what needs to change (and stay changed). The number on the scales can end up being nothing more than a niggly distraction.

Please comment below and share your thoughts on how the scales effect your motivation-good and bad. I’m really interested to know……