That thing about Weigh-In Day

23 August, 2011 Off By Renée

To be honest, I saw this pattern a long, long time ago and yet I still let it mentally bother me each time it happened.

Whenever I would weigh-in, I would somehow, somewhere throughout the day go overboard with food. It’s like whatever the message was on the scale, subconsciously my brain decided I was going to overeat.

Lost weight! Whoo! Brain thinks it has “room” to eat a bit extra.
Gained weight? Bummer. Screw it, have a treat.
Maintained! Well, nothing new there. I may as well have a (insert whatever food item you like here).

It’s amazing that after all these years I am still psychologically affected by this stupid mechanical machine that rarely ever gives me the answers I want. There have been periods where I just don’t get on the scale, days, weeks – simply because I don’t want my mind played with in this way. And I lived! Imagine that!

There are those who will argue that the only way you can get real control over that number on the scale is to be consistent with calories in vs. calories out AND weigh yourself at the same time every week (in the same way). Some people weigh themselves every day (I remember when I used to do that – after I lost weight with WW and was on maintenance) – I think this particular method would send me into a frenzy.

At least I know myself by now. Weighing myself every day is not going to help me mentally at all. Monthly weighing gives me too many excuses not to try my best every day. So what about weekly?

I was thinking that on my weigh-in day (which I’ve now officially chosen as Wednesday) I should just leave it as an open day. I guess some people call it a cheat day but I don’t like the term “cheat” as it implies I am “bad” or “wrong”. 90% of the time I am really conscious of what I am eating, even when I am over-eating! I’m conscious that I’m making that decision to have whatever it is at that moment. I think if you looked at my food journaling you would also see that what I’m overeating is not exactly “bad” stuff, most of the time it comes from my evening meal – like too much rice, or pasta. Everything else you see is fruit, vegetables, low/no-fat dairy, lean meats, good oils, whole-wheat bread. So if I just tell myself, Wednesday is an open day, I wonder if that would help, or if the brain would say it’s a free-for-all?

Well. I’m just going to try it. I think also one of the reasons it happens is because for several days I’m working very hard on being at or under my calorie goal for the day and I get pretty hungry. So by Wednesday, nothing is really making that emptiness go away – I have to actually eat more to stop that feeling. And I’m not saying stuff myself, I’m just saying eat something reasonable.

I have tried very hard to convince myself that there is nothing wrong with being hungry. And there isn’t. I’m not starving by any means. But there are times when I really physically don’t feel well – headache, dizziness, and even sometimes confusion. I don’t actually understand at all how people can eat so little (or the Eat Stop Eat “method”) and not feel awful. (or maybe they do feel awful but they don’t admit it?)

I know everyone is different. I just find it so amazing that some people have what looks like an easy time with the physical part of weight loss. Perhaps it’s a good thing that this is taking me so long so that mentally I can develop and learn as well.