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.

Tick tock…………..

So back to the topic of time.
The more I think about it, the more complex I find the whole concept of time in relation to weight loss.

My last post revolved around how when I am busy and short on time, I feel out of control where food is concerned. And I know that when I have made time to plan ahead for the week and I spend time preparing food and I make sure I don’t miss meals, I generally have a ‘good week’ and a weight loss.

And BINGO!-there it is in print-‘when I have MADE the time’. When things are high on our list of priorities, when things are important to us -like picking the children up from school-(thanks Sue) like watching our favourite programme on TV, like meeting a good friend for a drink, like putting the bins out on the right day, we MAKE the time to do what we need to do. And you know what? Losing weight really IS important to me-in fact I spend a ridiculous amount of time thinking about how great it would be to lose 20 lbs. I spend a silly amount of time thinking about how unhappy I am with the size that I am-I won’t go into detail on this……..it’s too boring; yet endlessly , day after day the glum soundtrack of my dissatisfaction plays inside my head.

Here are some of the reasons losing weight is important to me. I want to feel better about myself. I want to feel more comfortable in my own skin, as well as in the latest New Look or M and S fashions. I want to preserve my health. I don’t want my ankle to ache when I have spent all day on my feet. I want to spring out of bed in the morning, and with a sense of freedom throw on a pair of jeans and feel great. I want to buy clothes because I like them and they suit my character-not because they cover up my dodgy bits. And this is difficult for me to share-but I will anyway- being at my happy weight would give me more credibility and more confidence in my job. So actually yes it’s very important to me to ‘just get on and do’ this weight loss thing. So where’s it going wrong?

It goes wrong at certain TIMES of the week, and at certain TIMES of the day (there goes that word again!): namely at weekends and in the evenings! So at the beginning of my weight loss week –which is the day that I weigh in- I am really clear in my own head about how important my weight loss is to me and I feel focussed. But by the time the weekend arrives that sense of importance has become a lot fuzzier. Similarly in the mornings when I have had the ritual daily discomfort of deciding what to wear (does my bum look big in this?, oh no look at those thighs! etc.) my motivation to have a ‘good’ day is high, because at that moment in time I want to delete those negative wardrobe feelings for ever . As the hours tick by during the course of the day and my wardrobe-trauma memories become more distant and I become more tired, again my weight loss desires become fuzzier. And those are the times that my resolve weakens and I ruin all the good work I have done during the day by mindlessly munching.

And another thing about time! It goes so fast doesn’t it? I have been replaying the above routines for 4 years now-WASTING time! So I am now CHOOSING to repeat this cycle no more-there will not be any more wasting of precious hours because what I am also wasting, is my precious life.

This week I tried a new technique to help my memory: I have set reminders on my phone to coincide with my ‘forgetful’ times- these reminders come with messages such as ‘Don’t ruin today’s hard work by chomping on junk’ and ‘Make sure you stay focussed over the weekend-you deserve to look after yourself!’. And do you know what?…….. so far it’s working! 

Scales avoidance-what’s it all about?

I’ve been brave this morning and faced the scales. It wasn’t my finest moment numerically-and it wasn’t a surprise that the number had gone up since my last weigh in. But I DID IT (smiles to herself) and now I have something to work on. It’s been two whole weeks since I last had the courage to clamber aboard and the result has been a loss of control over my eating (and drinking….hm,hm,… clears throat!).

What a strange relationship many of us have with the scales. (Who agrees?)

My theory is that when we feel in control and are feeling thin, we (maybe a little nervously) WANT to see the result on the scales. Conversely when we feel out of control and know that we have overindulged, many of us believe that by NOT standing on the scales somehow we can pretend that our actions haven’t impacted our weight. Many of us know that if the number goes up, it will ruin our day and we’ll feel a great sense of failure. And when we feel like we have failed it knocks our confidence. And when our confidence is knocked it reinforces the deep seated belief that we ‘just CAN’T do this weight loss thing’, that we are ‘meant to be this way’. Sometimes it even makes us feel like it’s not just weight loss that we are rubbish at, but we are failures in every area of our lives. And sometimes some of us decide the effort of trying to beat the scales is just not worth it and we give up. Yes indeed! Those pesky scales can definitely ruin your day.

They can also MAKE your day! I bet many of us have had weeks when we could have eaten more healthily and could have been a bit more active, but somehow magically when we’ve had our weekly encounter with the scales the number’s swung the RIGHT way. And of course there are those days when we stand on the scales knowing that we have had a ‘good’ week and we get a result we deserve. Those are FANTASTIC days! Those are the days when anything is possible, when the universe is on our side; those are days for celebration and jubilation!!

How strange that an inanimate object can create so many different emotions………and now I’m wondering is this just a female thing? Do men have this odd dynamic going on with the scales. My experience as a ‘weigher’ of humans (it’s a big part of my job you know) tells me no! The menfolk seem to take a scientific approach-they tend to use the scales as feed back to help them identify what’s working and what’s not. (I’m feeling a bit uncomfortable right now as I realise that I am making generalisations…….please comment and put me right if I am getting it wrong.)

Anyhow, the moral of today’s ramblings is as follows-

It’s time to take the emotion out of weighing in.
Standing on the scales once a week gives great feedback on what has gone on the week before. We can use this feedback to help us on our own unique weight loss journeys.
(N.B. The scales DO NOT offer any judgements-they just give feed back)

Standing on the scales can help you feel cleansed (a bit like a Catholic confessional???)

DELETE that last sentence (guess who was brought up as a Catholic?)- let’s change it to this-
Standing on the scales each week gives you the opportunity to leave the previous week (and any potential guilt-Oh god there goes that Catholic thing again-oops and now blasphemy-sorry!) behind and move forward.

I am going to start practising this outlook as of now-how about you?

Anna

PS. Please don’t give up on your weight loss and your health. Think about all the benefits you will gain when you are at a weight that you are comfortable with. We can do this-I know we can.