I never weigh myself. Like never never. Except once a year at the doctor’s office. And without exception, I always weigh exactly the same. My body might shift, be tighter if I’m working out more, softer if I’m not, but the reading at the annual weigh in never changes.
Or it never did. Until March.
I went in for a follow up. I was surprised I was being weighed again. “Didn’t we just do this in November?” I thought to myself. But I get it. SOP. So I stepped up on the clunky metal scale (does anyone but doctors use those old fashioned scales anymore?) and feigned indifference while the nurse kept moving the little bracket farther and farther to the right. But then she needed to change the base setting. I gulped. And she kept moving that little bracket of death. A touch more. A touch more. A touch more.
I came in 18 pounds heavier than I was in November. “The scale is wrong, right?” I asked the nurse. She blushed and made a note in my chart, probably one that said “another delusional patient who thinks she’s smaller than she is”.
I sat in the examination room in a flimsy paper robe and cried.
The doctor came in and asked what was wrong. I told her. She glanced at the chart and looked at me. “Well, I think you look great. Our scales could be a few pounds off. What does your scale at home say?”
“Yeah, I don’t own one. I only weigh myself here.”
“Well, get a scale if you are concerned, and only weigh yourself on that scale. In the meantime, I’m happy to test your thyroid if you’re worried.”
But the truth was, I knew it wasn’t my thyroid. It’s that I work from home. In front of a computer. A few days a week, I dress in semi-professional clothes, but the long winter meant fewer dresses and more stretchy pants. Big sweaters. Layers. I lived in flattering yoga pants. Clothes I could hide in. I realized it wasn’t the dry cleaner’s fault certain items wouldn’t zipper. Blame the wine. The love of cheese. And my previously held belief that as long as I worked out, I could eat whatever I wanted. I could only blame myself.
So I ordered a scale. It measured me at 4 pounds less than the doctor’s office, so I grasped onto the new number for dear life. I set some goals, but moderate. I just can’t be a crazy person. I like spin, barre and yoga, but I suck at denial and restrictions. (Hence the overflowing shoe closet.) A diet would make me crave what I couldn’t have. But I could give up wine during the week. Eat smaller portions. I now get why my mom ate just salad for dinner every night when I was growing up. You can’t control an aging metabolism. I’ve officially reached the age where I look at food and gain weight.
It’s been 8 weeks and I’ve lost 8 pounds. I feel both good and not about that. Good that I’m now zipping pants without sucking it in but bad that I still have far to go for some of my summer dresses. There is one side benefit though, serendipitously realized the other day. At least some of my added cushioning has made its way to my chest. For the first time in my life, I’m wearing a D cup.
It’s all about the silver linings.
4 thoughts on “tipping the scales”
I so get this. A scale is somewhere in my linen press/closet. But I refuse to use it. I go by clothing fit. I panic if I know. In fact, I am considering asking my nurses and doctors to forgo the weighing. I am a healthy weight; my clothes still fit; and I have enough of a body dysmorphic disorder. I am too crazy to know.
I try not to be crazy. I only weigh in once a week. And I know muscle weighs more than fat! It’s how you feel. But I wasn’t feeling great…
I can relate to aging metabolism. My problem really started when after losing 50 lbs. and then quitting cigarettes!
That once/week weigh in – it’s just a marker for yourself. A reminder of the control you’re working on. We feel like we live and die by it sometimes, but sounds like it was a really important marker for you, somehow. I’ll join you over a salad (and wine)?