Why does the scale drive me insane?

I am arguably the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life. I can do any bootcamp, insanity, ballet barre, pilates, yoga, cardio class you want to sign me up for and when I’m strength training, I use what I formally called the ‘man weights’.

So why does that number on the scale drive me to insanity?

My weight loss journey has been a long one. I have never been the skinny girl, but I was never overweight. My main difficulty is that I went straight from looking like a child to looking like an adult with curves. Good curves. Get you into trouble curves.

I might have turned chunky if I hadn’t been involved in Athletics and Cheer all through school. The constant activity kept me in shape. It helped that in the summers my friend Bobbi roped me into her summer workouts. Running to the gym, lifting weights and then running home was the price I had to pay to hang out with her. It always leaned me up for the coming school year.

In college, I was too poor to get chunky. I did gain my freshman 15 because I was on the meal plan. Those cafeteria meals are crazy high in calories. Salt, sugar and butter can make anything taste edible. But after that first year, I had to choose between spending my money on fun things or food. Guess which I picked? Many nights I would just open a can of green beans or eat a bag of popcorn and call it dinner. I would scrounge for food during the week and then swing by my moms house on Sunday night to do laundry and eat everything she put in front of me. My Aunt and Uncle were always good for a meal if I would pop in at the right time.

After college I moved to San Diego. I don’t know about older age groups, but the 20 year old lifestyle in San Diego doesn’t revolve around food and dinner parties. Those years in San Diego were about rollerblading the lake, running the beach paths, dancing, hiking, golfing, swimming, shopping as cardio, biking, driving to the mountains to ski,and working your tail off during the day so you could afford your rent. I’m pretty sure I left San Diego skinnier than when I arrived.

Married life makes you fat. We moved into our home in Dallas and promptly went grocery shopping and we never stopped. I didn’t know how to cook so my goal was to make food edible. I didn’t even think about healthy. Salt, butter and sugar can make anything taste edible. So we were eating my unhealthy food, eating out yummy Texas size portions when I didn’t cook, working 12 hour days and not spending any of our time on an active lifestyle. I gained weight.

Then I got pregnant. Getting pregnant when you’ve spent a lifetime eating anything you want without actually understanding the consequences of those calories is a problem. A big problem.

My precious baby helped me gain so much weight that I couldn’t recognize myself in the mirror even months after I gave birth. I’m pretty sure I was under the impression that weight would melt off. Well, it didn’t. It never came off.

I remember going bed hungry, so hungry and then it would spiral me out of control when the scale would stay the same or maybe even go up the next day. How can I not be losing weight when I’m eating salads and going to bed hungry?

I stayed over 200 pounds until I had my next child. When I left the hospital with Lily, I weighed 253 pounds. I knew from experience this weight was never going to come off unless something radical happened. But what was that going to be? I’d already tried every miracle pill out there.

I remember thinking to myself if someone offered me a choice between a million dollars and being a size 10, I would pick a size 10. I was a size 28.

6 weeks after I had Lily I walked into a Weight Watchers office. It wasn’t a miracle pill, it wasn’t instantaneous and it was hard work. But it worked. I went from starving and not losing weight to being full and losing weight. It truly is the best way to lose weight when you are obese. In one year, I lost 80 pounds. I became a size 10 for $12 a month.

My third child sent me right back up that scale but I now had the knowledge of how to help myself.

The thing about Weight Watchers is that it will absolutely help you get within your doctors range of weight. What it won’t help you do is get to that next step.

You have to begin a different journey to get to that last step.

I’ve been going to the gym every day for the past two years. I take a morning class that always has me dripping in sweat by the end. I run on the weekends when I can, I eat clean and I make deliberate choices with my food 90% of the time. I am a size 6 and I can actually fit into a bikini without anyone staring and pointing in horror. I’m even starting to see definition in my biceps and when I look into the mirror during class, I can see my muscles ripple.

I’m the smallest I have ever been, I am the strongest I have ever been, I am the healthiest I have ever been. Why does the scale still make me cringe in agony?

I don’t know.

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