Thursday, August 10, 2023

How I lost 100 pounds ignoring the scale: Anxiety Out August weight loss

Hiya friends of this blog on how I lost 100 pounds. Today's post title might seem a bit paradoxical: how I lost 100 pounds by ignoring the scale? So how did you know you lost weight if you ignored the device which recorded your weight loss (if any)? Lemme splain. 

So clearly I needed to get a baseline weight when I first began my diet (I used calorie restricting on the 1200 calorie diet espoused by gastric bypass surgeon Dr. Now of the anti-obesity show "My 600-lb Life.") I also occasionally checked my weight loss progress. What I didn't do and still don't, 9 years after my big weight loss, is to babysit the scale weight myself daily or even weekly as Weight Watchers does. 

This diet pro-tip is part of my Anxiety Out August weight loss series. As you know if you've been following my "How I lost 100 Pounds" blog posts, this year I issued weight loss challenges beginning with New Year's resolutions and continuing. The challenge for Anxiety Out August is to de-stress weight loss as much as possible. 

Trying to lose weight can be incredibly depressing. When (not if) progress is slower than expected (because it always is), and you don't lose weight in places you want to and do in places you don't and intermittent fasting or calorie restricting on a 1200 calorie diet makes you tired and cranky (it will sometimes), anxiety will increase. And it's easier to stress or comfort eat, reduce exercise and stall weight loss. 

So back to my original tip of ignoring the scale. Weight measurement tools have their uses but they aren't' perfect and can knock anxiety out of the park. I personally believe that doctors put too much emphasis on scale numbers. If I'm not very overweight and my condition is not obesity related why must I be weighed every time I visit? And why, when I've just had shoulder surgery and have had to be more sedentary and probably did put on some weight, did I need it rubbed in my face? Answer: I don't. Or, if the doc thinks he needs to know for his own records, fine. I don't. And I always request they not tell me what I weigh. 

Is this just the same denial that people with obesity on "My 600-lb Life" practice? No. Because I know within about 25 pounds, what I weigh. I know how I feel, how my clothes fit, what I can do and can't do. I know what changes I've made in my life which have made me fitter (working a more active job and building muscle, which weighs more. I know my body shape (apple). I know our work schedule and how our SWSD (shift work sleep disorder) affects us. I know my age and how the older you get the easier it is to gain weight. And I can look in a mirror. 

A scale factors none of that in. And so yes, it may show that I have gained or even lost weight. I don't want to know because I will just agonize over it and hate myself. If I feel I've gained weight, I go back to the 1200 calorie diet for awhile. And I always look for ways to improve overall health, not just micromanage a number. 

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