Jen —  June 10, 2013 — 10 Comments

mood swingThe scale sucks. It is capable of inducing emotions from elation to self-loathing all in the blink of an eye with one stupid number. It is responsible for my first bona-fide gym meltdown. Really, it was the perfect storm and the scale was just icing on the cake. I was frustrated with my lift numbers (particularly when compared to the impressive numbers from my fellow Miss Fits), I really wanted to drop a weight class for the upcoming meet, and then I stepped on the scale for my weekly weigh in. I had been following my nutrition plan religiously, even eliminating dairy which meant I was severely missing heavy cream in my coffee and feeling deprived. I couldn’t get past focusing on that number and when I showed up to the gym that morning I was a hot mess. Exercise always makes me feel better and I thought that would be the case that day too. Nope. I had to leave because I couldn’t stop crying. Really, a complete go-to-pieces fall apart, and I usually keep my shit together. Long story short, after a pep talk from our amazing trainer Jim, I stopped weighing weekly. Since I’m working with a nutrition coach, we decided to use measurements and pictures to gauge progress rather than a number. It’s much better for my head. Here are further reasons why the scale can suck it:

1. It doesn’t represent fat loss. This is the ultimate goal, right? I’d rather be muscular and fit at 180lbs than squishy and jiggly at 160lbs.

2. It doesn’t represent fitness. I’m choosing to focus on my numbers in the gym, and raising those, rather than lowering my numbers on the scale.

3. It doesn’t represent happiness. When I was well into the mid 200lbs I thought life would be great if I was some arbitrary other number. Life stressors don’t magically disappear when you lose weight.

4. It can sabotage your nutrition plan. This can go either way. If you’ve gained, it could start a spiral effect of poor food choices because what does it matter anyway? If you happen to have stuck to a clean diet and still gained weight, what’s the point? Eat the donuts! Or if you’ve lost, surely you deserve a treat…eat the donuts!

5. It can sabotage your workout plan. Same logic as #4. Skip a workout because it really doesn’t make a difference or skip a workout as a reward.

So, here’s what happened when I stopped focusing on the number on the scale. I made the lighter weight class at the meet, actually weighing less than I ever have in my adult life. I hit PR’s on all my lifts, and now hold state records in two weight classes. I’m pretty happy with that. There’s no more weekly stress and emotional rollercoaster from stepping on that stupid little box. I’m much more relaxed about my fitness goals since I know I’ll reach them and I’m in for the long haul. If you have similar weighing anxiety, I would encourage you to find other ways to measure progress. You can get a good idea based on how your clothes fit, accomplishments in the gym, or using monthly photos. On a side note, since switching to bulletproof coffee I no longer miss heavy cream in my coffee 🙂

One of the Miss Fits sent me this after I told her about my fall apart. It's great to be surrounded by these supportive ladies.

One of the Miss Fits sent me this after I told her about my fall apart. It’s great to be surrounded by these supportive ladies.

The Miss Fits at the recent meet. Strong, supportive, amazing.

The Miss Fits at the recent meet. Strong, supportive, amazing.

10 responses to Meltdown

  1. Guuuuuurl… I can relate to your post word-by-word, pound-per-pound. Thank you for your honest, awesome, helpful post. And congrats on all your accomplishments – mental, physical, and emotional. Woot!

  2. Jen

    Thank you Qy, I’m glad you liked it! Woot woot 🙂

  3. I couldn’t have said what you just wrote any better, and the timing of this post is perfect…I just put my scale away this past weekend!

    Your comment “It doesn’t represent fitness. I’m choosing to focus on my numbers in the gym, and raising those, rather than lowering my numbers on the scale” is what I tell myself over and over since I started lifting.

    I see positive changes in the mirror and the way my clothes fit and I am much stronger and more confident all around, but stepping on the scale became too frustrating, so it had to go!

    Thank you for sharing, it reinforces how I’ve been feeling.

  4. This is awesome and way to go on reaching reaching new PR’s and goals! I’ve definitely had days where I let the scale dictate my mood and have since come to terms with my body and let my obsession with the scale go! I still weigh myself but don’t allow that number to control my mood. I know that my body retains water at certain times of the month or after I’ve eaten certain foods therefore the number increases. Duh right?!? I focus more on how I feel and how my clothes fit rather than a silly number 🙂

    • Jen

      Thanks Giselle! I think it’s awesome that you have a rational, healthy relationship with the scale. It’s amazing how much our weight can fluctuate over the course of a month! You’re totally right, how we feel and how our clothes fit is such a better gauge than a silly number 🙂

  5. What an AWESOME post!! I started following your great group right after your first meet and my first thought was “wish I had a group of girls like that to lift with and how fabulous all of you look in those singlets!!” I recently had a very similar experience as you – weighed a few pounds heavier & had MAJOR meltdown. Cried for 4 days & told my trainer (also a competitive powerlifter) that ” I quit”. Have since realized I like lifting, have my health, a wonderful supportive husband, friends, have lost 35 lbs so far – so just need to be thankful for the truly important things in life. THANK YOU for sharing your honest feelings. You probably will never know how much you’ve helped those of us that only have a buddy system through th posts of The Miss Fits. All you girls – keep up the great work!!!!

    • Jen

      Ha! That’s funny about the singlet, but very kind of you to say. We all loathe wearing it! I have to say, having these ladies for support is pretty amazing and I’m grateful to be a part of it. Maybe you could recruit some friends into lifting? Thank you for following us!

  6. Robyn Henderson June 14, 2013 at 3:18 am

    A great post / blog. I am always telling my PT clients this, so I have shared this on my face book page. I love what your scales say now, keep up the great work, Thanks Robyn

    • Jen

      Thanks Robyn! It’s so hard to change the mindset of chasing a stupid number on the scale. Thank you for sharing our blog too, we really appreciate it!

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