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Trust Yourself. Except When You Can’t Be Trusted.

Posted Jul 15 2011 12:09pm

6:04 PM
Hi Lori,

 Could I bother you for some support again? Am *really* struggling with wanting to weigh myself. If you had a moment could you please remind me why this is not a good idea.

Wouldn't it be great if there were a similar warning posted above
your scale? TURN BACK NOW! Or face the consequences!

Here’s what I’ve got:

  • It's  too high god knows what I’ll do – and that is not good for my safety
  • If it’s where I want it to be or lower then ED is the one telling me how to feel
  • I really do want to be rid of all this, and weighing myself will only prolong my recovery
  • It will be 13 weeks tomorrow without weighing myself – and I’m proud of that
  • I really feel that my recovery only started for real when I stopped weighing

Any other thoughts would be really gratefully appreciated
Thank you

And here was my response last night:
"I think you nailed it, PJ. Weighing yourself messes with your head. Not weighing yourself allows you to take charge a bit. Body mass doesn't change in 24 (or 72 hours) in any measurable way. But changes in weight may reflect bowel function, hydration, menstrual status, fluid retention, to name a few. It takes 3,500 calories per week (above whatever is required to maintain your weight) to gain a single pound, more than that if your metabolic rate is on its way up.
You are worth more than your weight in pounds (or kilos). Also, not weighing yourself may increase your anxiety. Be sure to acknowledge that and add some stress reduction (non-exercise focused) activities to help you cope."
This isn’t to say that nobody should weight herself. It really depends on what your issue is and what kind of place you are in.
A 2005 study from a Brown University psychologist showed that regular weighing was associated with better maintenance of weight loss in an obese population of women. Perfect! I think I’ll start daily weighing, I bet you’re thinking. Not so fast, not so fast.
Lot's of steps before you reach your goals.
Is it worth it?
Weight management isn’t the only outcome we should be addressing. What about the impact, not on pounds, but on perceptions? Are you grounded enough that if the scale changes, yet you know in your heart you have been sticking to your goals and feeling in control of your eating behaviors, listening to and respecting your body, that you will be able to dismiss it as a senseless measure?
Or will this trigger more negative thoughts about your self, more obsessive thinking, and a sense of failure? If you are in a good place—grounded enough to roll with the scale fluctuations, which are sure to occur—you may be fine weighing your self. But please don’t make this decision on your own. Consult your supports.
First ask yourself “How will I feel if the results aren’t what I am expecting?” Am I truly more anxious not knowing my weight, or knowing it? Will it be destructive for me? If the answer is honestly no, then try the following. Before getting on the scale, do a bit of a self-assessment. Ask yourself:
  • Have I been honoring my hunger and eating when I need to?
  • Have I been stopping when I’ve had enough, or when I’ve had what I think I should have based on unhealthy food rules I’m holding on to?        
  • Am I respecting my activity goals, and listening to my body?
  • Am I being honest with myself about my actions?
  • How am I feeling? What positive changes have I made that I need to acknowledge?

And finally, have a plan before weighing. What do I know and plan to do differently, as a result of my self-assessment?
What can you take from my correspondence with PJ?
Here's the view from the top. Worth the trek? 
Like PJ, you probably have more sense than you realize. But if you are struggling with trust and feeling more vulnerable to your unhealthy behaviors, take a few pointers from her.
  • Acknowledge you are struggling. 
  • Whether you are working on weight restoration or are overweight and trying to lose weight and improve your relationship with food, be realistic. Change isn’t linear. In other words, there will be ups and down, progress and slips, moments of strength and times of hopelessness. That’s what recovery really looks like.
  •  Reach out and ask for what you need. Not everyone around you is supportive, however (I’m sure you can provide plenty of examples for us!) So call, email, text, post an S.O.S. to those you feel you can count on.

Focus on what is in place. And make a plan for changing what needs to be changed.
Thanks, PJ, for allowing me to share this! 
Please add your thoughts and experiences to the comments. Looking forward to hearing from readers.
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