Breaking Bad…habits

August 15, 2012

I have been hemming and hawing this topic around in my head for quite a few weeks now about a terrible habit I have and am working on breaking. What is it? Weighing myself.

I broke the “don’t weigh yourself” rule almost every day of the Whole30; at the time, it was exciting! I could see the fat coming off as I looked at myself in the mirror and the numbers on the scale served as further proof of that. Cutting the grains, sugar, legumes & dairy from my diet was something my body really, really appreciated.

I was over the moon as the pounds melted off. I knew it wouldn’t continue forever, especially now that I was eating animal protein at least 3 times a day – far more than I ever have in my life – and continuing to lift and work out hard. Much of what I read about switching to a strict paleo diet was that people will lose weight initially and then put weight back on – in the form of muscle – as they continue to shrink in size. And I did finally hit that point, which was when I started to realized my relationship with the scale is ridiculous.

Weighing myself had become a part of my daily routine. I would wake up, go to the gym, come home and weigh myself. Actually, weighing myself literally took the place of my chocolate milk habit that had been in the exact same place prior to June 1: wake up, work out, drink chocolate milk (feed the cat melon…yes, seriously, he’s so annoying about it and waits for me at the door every day). Well actually it was sometimes wake up, work out, fed the cat melon, drink chocolate milk since he’s very insistent.

My new shoes! I love the bright color and they’ve been helping me crush some WODs this week, too. Maybe it’s the new socks though?!

So when the numbers stopped getting smaller every few days I was cool with it. Fine, I get it. I’m not going to continue shrinking forever. The real tipping point came when they started moving again in the opposite direction WHICH I KNEW  WOULD HAPPEN AT SOME POINT. But still! I was so TIED to that number. I mean I could physically see my body leaning out; I was not only losing fat but starting to build more muscle mass. I was able to lift heavier things, do more pull-ups, run and row faster. This is what is supposed to happen. So why did it bother me so much?!

I was truly letting my weight ruin my mood. Even if I had just crushed a WOD it was all forgotten because my weight wasn’t decreasing every day. Even worse was when it started going up! “What? I can’t believe I’m 1 lb. heavier than last week!” (In somewhat of a slight defense – sometimes when I try to calculate what % of my body weight I can deadlift, squat, etc. it’s nice when it’s on the lower side of things so I feel like ‘wow, I’m strong!’).

Simply put, the scale was causing me to freak out and wonder what was wrong in my diet. Should I cut out fruit? Nuts? Reading the plethora of paleo-ish blogs online it’s easy to find someone who cut out nuts and suddenly claims to have a six-pack, or is cutting out all sugar (including fruit) and discovering that miraculous leanness I am striving for.

So, after driving myself crazy for a few weeks I made the decision to put the scale away. In a closet. For the first couple of weeks I was better…I only weighed myself once each week. I was relieved to see I hadn’t gained any more weight, but really, what if I had? Then what would change?

Oooshey says FEED ME.

The funny thing about all of it is, the scale is – for whatever reason – a number that bothers me. My size in clothes? Not so much. I could care less what actual ‘size’ of pants I wear as long as they fit right. Most of what I wear is made by businesses in the outdoor industry who have not gone the way of mainstream American clothing manufacturers and inflated sizes along with the general population. So while I had been a size 12 in “my clothes” I could often easily wear an 8 elsewhere (I’m looking at you, Chicos!). And I didn’t care. So why on earth did the scale number have such an influence on me?

In all honesty, I may never know. I can only acknowledge that since my dietary reformation began I have leaned out, built muscle, recovered from nagging overuse injuries and seen HUGE gains in my athletic performance. So there is no arguing that my body totally digs this.

My ultimate plan is to put the scale up in the attic…but I just need someone to do that because I don’t DO the attic (there are dehydrated BATS hanging from the rafters up there!). Once it is safely ensconced up there I know my squeamish factor will win out and I will never be tempted to step on it. So, it’s on the boy’s “to do” list. He, on the other hand is waiting to put it up there until AFTER our trip to the Bugaboos. He wants to weigh himself before and after the trip. I kind of don’t want to know the results either way. We will be doing some backcountry alpine climbing which will necessitate eating dehydrated meals that aren’t paleo. And there’s nothing we can do about it but to stick to as paleo-friendly snacks as we can (almond butter, Lara bars) and not go the way of our usual ‘climbing diet’ which was chock full of refined sugar (gummy candies, tootsie rolls, etc!). I could write a whole blog about how I am FREAKING OUT about this, but what’s the point? It’s going to just be what it is, and I will do the best I can with the resources I have.

In other news I am looking to get my CrossFit Level 1 Cert in Atlanta Oct. 20-21. Anyone want to go with me?

Oh, and make this Crockpot Ropa Vieja with Cuban Style Rice. Trust me, you will NOT regret it! And for what it’s worth, fresh figs will not break down to where you can actually make ‘balls’ (hehe balls!) of these Double Chocolate Energy Bites but it will come out tasting a lot like brownie batter if you’re into that. I’ll find out later what several hours in the fridge may have helped acheive!



  1. Haha I broke that rule too! I feel like I wanted a reward because I was having a really crappy day, and I had no access to sweets except fruit, so I weighed myself and gorged myself on berries and bananas.. If that is the worst thing I do, then I don’t feel tooo bad, ya know?

    • Absolutely Lauren! I think the next Whole30 I do will be much better as far as the scale goes since I’ve been eating pretty close to Whole30 so I would assume I won’t go through the dramatic weight loss changes again.

      As far as the sweets go, I got to a point where I realized I was overindulging in grapes. They were just too easy to grab a handful of whenever I passed through the kitchen, so I had to go cold turkey on fruit for a few days to get that craving out of my system. I’m getting back to about ‘normal’ now. That damn sugar dragon, I wish I could just keep him tucked away permanently!

  2. I have the exact same shoes and absolutely LOVE them! I’ve had them for a couple months now and they’ve been wonderful the entire time. I normally wore Vibram Five-Fingers, but wanted another style minimal shoe that had more coverage. I hope you enjoy the shoes as much as I do! Also, good work putting away the scale … it’s for the best!

    • Thank you! I was rewarded for writing that post finally by a random woman at Publix this morning who told me I have “great” legs. Which is the first time in my life anyone has EVER said that! Stupid scale never told me such nice things!

      I’ve been wearing the Minimus since about March-April for, well, almost everything I do (and everywhere I go). The green pair is the newest pair I got. Too many rope climbs and other fun CrossFit activities wore my old ones out (and they smell like something died in them) so I’m super psyched on the pretty new color. If you have any suggestions on how to manage the, uh stink in those suckers I’d love to know!

      • Nice, doesn’t it feel great to get compliments like that? True what you said about the scale too.

        I’m glad you like the shoes as much as I do! Do you wear socks with your shoes? I know you can wear them without socks, but I like to wear mine with socks to help prevent the stench from getting too bad. It’s working for now and I don’t have any stink problems. My Five-Fingers would get really smelly though, so every now and again I threw them in the washing machine, which is actually recommended.

  3. I do wear socks! I have just a sweating problem with my feet (and hands, too!). I’ve heard of people putting the Minimus in the washing machine with good results. I guess I should try it with my old pair and see if that works since the soles are so worn out I’m not worried about still using them!

    • Yep, everyone’s body chemistry is a little bit different, so that plays a part too. The shoes seem like they’d wash up nicely — probably on a cold, delicate cycle with just a little soap, and air dry. Hope it helps get the stench out for ya 😉 I’m sure mine will need it soon enough!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: