Saturday, September 1, 2012

No-Scale September Shred Challenge

Standard Weight Watchers protocol is to weigh yourself just once a week, same time same place. It keeps you from obsessing, it teaches you to disassociate your good habits from a number on a scale, it shows your overall progress without room for flukes and fluctuations. So once a week, you step on your scale and log that number, and you're done.

Well, I don't do that.

I'm a daily weigher. More than that, I'm a multiple-times-daily weigher. Pretty much whenever I go into my bathroom, I step on my scale. (Taylor brand. It seemed apropos.) I like seeing how different things like exercise or food affect the number, I like when my lighter morning weight becomes my evening weight, I like seeing the overall downward trends and how sushi makes me temporarily fat. (It's the sodium, yo.) I like keeping myself on track by reminding myself of where I'm at. Also, I just like confirmation of the number. The more times I see it, the more real it is.

I used to have a very bad scale problem. My emotional well-being was tied directly to the number on the screen, and my dieting would be completely thrown off by a random gain or unexpected loss. "Oh, I've gained weight, obviously I will always be fat so let's EAT!" or "Oh, I've lost weight, that means I can EAT!" Basically, everything was a reason to EAT.

Since starting WW again in January, I've really had a pretty good handle on my scale obsession. Fluctuations didn't bother me, I just liked keeping an eye on my daily progress. But my recent downward spiral has caused my bad habits to resurface again. I have been frustrated. The number on the scale has been taunting me.

The last few weeks, I've tried putting my scale away in my closet, intending to only pull it out on Wednesdays. That hasn't totally worked out. The scale calls to me, whispers little threats from inside the box of hats on my top shelf. "Take me know you want to...WHAT IF YOU'RE FAT AGAIN!?"

So, I had a thought. Maybe I should put my scale away for a WHOLE MONTH. And see what happens.

Then, that thought grew.

I have avoid weight training or changing up my exercise in any real way because I dread the plateau. I know it's very common to see your weight increase as you start using new muscles, breaking them down, building them up. And even though I know any gains would be a result of toning, and my body would be improving, I still didn't really want to deal with it. Silly, I know. I've been planning to tackle Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred, but I was petrified that it might derail my mental state. But, my mental state is already pretty derailed.


In September, my scale is going to remain locked in the trunk of my car, Marilyn the Jetta. She will guard it bravely. And every single damn day in September, I am going to do the 30 Day Shred DVD. (Okay, wait, maybe that's too lofty of a goal. I'll give myself five skip days for the month? That seems fair. Setting myself up for failure is always a bad idea.) In addition, I'll still be going to yoga at least 3x a week.

This challenge has a number of desired outcomes:

1) I'll prove I can stick with healthy habits without the positive reinforcement of weekly losses.
2) I will challenge myself to shake up my exercise routine and push my body to new limits.
3) I'll learn to gauge my progress by what I see and how I feel, not some arbitrary number.
4) My self-control will be tested in multiple ways and I'll show myself that I am stronger than my impulses.

I did today's workout already, and I'm...well, pretty unenthusiastic about this self-challenge now that it's actually begun. I've done 30 Day Shred Before, I know how it goes, and today I was Fucking. BORED. Hopefully I can come up with ways to make it exciting and fun for myself, because I will succeed!


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