To weigh, or not to weigh; that is the question

weigh-689873_1920Every dieter there ever was has been told, ‘don’t weigh yourself too often’. Once a week is enough, we’re told. But I beg to disagree. And it seems these days, that even the experts are on my side.

Previously when I’ve been trying to lose weight, I would weigh myself every seven days. That’s what they said you should do.  Weigh yourself too often, they said, and you’ll become obsessive about it.

That pre-shower moment on Monday mornings could make or break my week.  It could catapult me into orbit… ‘oh, the joy, I’ve lost TWO pounds!’… or it could send me plummeting into a pit of irrational desperation.  Yes, it can be so disheartening, after a week of careful eating and energetic exercise, to get that exquisitely cruel Monday Morning Feeling, when the weighing scales refuse to play ball.

In truth, it happens, for so many reasons:

  • You had a big dinner last night
  • You usually starve yourself on Sundays and this week, you didn’t
  • You’re retaining water, time-of-the-month stylie
  • You forgot yourself and drank a glass of water before you jumped on the scales
  • Your obstinate body is retaining water for no apparent reason
  • You drank too much water
  • You didn’t drink enough water
  • You drank wine last night – heaven forfend!
  • You consumed a Twiglet, a toffee bonbon, a KitKat… [insert favourite temptation here]
  • You’re exercising, so you’re building muscle
  • You’re not exercising so you’re laying down fat
  • Your once rigorously controlled portion sizes have begun to creep up
  • Your colon is in a sluggish mood
  • You haven’t been for a couple of days
  • You’re not eating enough fibre
  • You’re eating too much meat
  • You have plateaued, the dieter’s ultimate frustration…

A few weeks after I acquired my Fitbit, I treated myself to some Fitbit Aria scales. They link up to my Fitbit app via Bluetooth. I step on the scales and a minute later, the result is pinging up on my iPhone.  Up until my Aria scales came into service, I had weighed myself once a week.  It was alright at first, as everyone knows weight loss in the first 3 or 4 weeks is (thanks to water loss) swift and encouraging. Once things slow down though, it’s a different matter.

Once a week just isn’t enough (for me…).

But I’d noticed the experts had changed their tune. Apparently now, if it helps you (oh, the breakthrough!), it’s okay to weigh yourself every day. Well, that’s alright then.

So with Aria, I began to weigh… every day.  At first it was chaotic.  I went up. I went down. I went up on days I thought I’d go down, and down on days I thought I’d go up. Then I realised Aria for all its high-tech digital Bluetoothyness, is no more accurate than any other set of scales, so I began to go for a best of three approach. Aria would present me with three weights – sometimes, horror of horrors, they’d be a pound or more apart! So I would choose the middle one (unless I needed cheering up, in which case it would, with only the tiniest twinge of guilt, and the knowledge that I would surely suffer for it tomorrow, be the bottom one). One day I did best of five but even I knew that was taking things too far.  Obsessive? Moi?

So, I have a daily weight figure, but I’ve learned not to hold too much store by it.  The good thing is, if I don’t like it, I don’t have to suffer for a week; there’ll be another one along tomorrow.

Best of all, Aria takes all those daily weights and gives me a mean average figure for each week, and that’s the one that really counts in my book. I can see from that figure, what I can’t see from the up/down concertina effect daily graph – that I am… going down, and down.  And here’s the proof – a little Excel spreadsheet of my weekly averages over the last 5 months or so.  Except for one nightmare week in November, even the weeks which looked like a plateau have given me me a little downward tweak of the weekly average figure.

Screenshot 2016-02-05 17.53.01

A definite downward line, for all the ziggy-zaggy that goes on each week. And that works for me.

Author: Jools

Abundant, Bold, Confident, Determined, Empathetic, Forthright, Grumpy, Healthier, Individual, Just me, Kind, Loving, Mellifluous, Natural, Optimistic, imPatient, Quirky, Real-world, Single-minded, unTreatable, Unwound, Verbal, Wilful, eXtraordinary, Young and old, Zero-tolerance.

25 thoughts on “To weigh, or not to weigh; that is the question”

  1. Good for you, Jools! You found a good system to watch your weight! Years ago I stopped weighing. I forgot the numbers game and went with how clothes fit! Don’t even weigh at the doctor’s office. There’s no question weight is important for specific tests or procedures though. Lucky that the clothes fit works for me. But I’m disciplined in healthy food & exercise habits, even being on the high side of age 70! 💛 Elizabeth

    1. Thank you! 😀 I didn’t weigh myself for years, but I know it keeps me focussed when I’m actively working at losing weight. It’s a measure of success/progress and as such I value it – but it is only a small part of the overall ‘healthy lifestyle’ picture.

  2. Not sure about weighing yourself every day, and wish I could stop doing it. Our weight on any given day reflects what you did (or didn’t do) the week before, but it can be soul destroying…

    1. I know.. And I found it frustrating at first. But I’m used to the daily routine now and it does help me. It’s a bit like micro-managing – you don’t let things get too far off track if you’re watching every day.

  3. Jools I am a gadget app freak my self, i cant walk a yard without turning on my run/walking app which links to my calories app. It drives my best half insane, “you know you went for a walk! Why do you need that thing to tell you”? A fit bit would be a wonderful thing i will covet from afar but linked to scales… scary a step too far for me on the footplate of obsessed. 😇 you are doing fantastic though! Twittwoo!

    1. Thank you! 😊. I’m a gadget freak, and that’s just that! I have a tendency to obsess and Fitbit feeds that tendency. But at the moment, with so much weight to lose, and exercise being an important part of that journey, it’s working well for me. I only bought the very cheapest one though – the Zip. Dare I tempt you? It’s only around £40.

  4. Well for what it’s worth, I read a psychology study that revealed people who weigh themselves at least once a day had the best results over several weeks. The idea being, that you have continual feedback which spurs on weight loss.

  5. Wow! Nice work. I briefly had one of those, but it didn’t work properly with my WiFi as I believe I was, at the time, using a service that was being phased out. Keep up the good work. You are an inspiration.

    1. Aww… Thank you 😀 I’ll tell you what’s an inspiration to me – so much positive support from all the lovely people who read and comment on my blog 🌻

    1. I love that! The line graph is all my own work, not Fitbit. Now a pie chart… Would that be an apple pie chart, or a pork pie chart I wonder. 😉

  6. There may be a Fitbit commercial in your future, I use my FitbitHR because I like to see my heart rate while exercising . I still haven’t mastered the bluetooth, Apple thing yet. You’re doing great

    1. You could be right. I only have the basic Zip – a glorified pedometer. But it’s steps that I need to build. Maybe I’ll upgrade in due course, but I rather like the face you clip it to your waistband, rather than wear it on your wrist. I love the Bluetooth to iPhone and the face that my scales also connect to the same account. Nice and seamless. Yep – I’m a geek!

  7. I love your posts jools😀 You’re so good at writing and witty ☺ I too agree that weighin every day has its benefits! Anybody can have one bad day and its great not to have to wait a dull week

    1. Thank you Elizabeth! It’s slower now, but I’m adjusted to that. It was good to work out that ‘average’ graph and realise the trend was more marked than I’d believed.

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