To Weigh or Not to Weigh?

I am facing kind of a personal dilemma.  I don’t know whether to weigh myself or not.

I know everyone says, “don’t focus on what the scale says!” but for a long long long time, not weighing myself was an exercise in super denial.  I have no idea what I weighed for most of high school and college because a) I didn’t own a scale and b) whenever I was weighed at the doctor’s office I’d squinch my eyes shut.  If I didn’t know, I couldn’t have a problem, right?

So, when I started losing weight, I weighed myself a lot.  Like five times a day.  Obviously too much.  I went from one end of the spectrum to the other–totally unaware to hyper-aware.

Now I’m at a point where I don’t know what to do.  I don’t really want to weigh myself, and I’m not sure if it’s because a) I just don’t care because I’m fine where I am or b) I’m in denial because I’ve gained a bit since my lowest weight.

The thing is, I am happy.  I can still wear the same jeans I could wear at my lowest weight.  The trainer at the running store referred to me as appearing to be at a healthy weight for my height.  Tim told me I looked skinny the other day.   I like what I see when I look in the mirror.  Even though I’ve gained a little weight, it’s boobs-and-booty weight, not gut-and-double chin weight.   I feel sexy and womanly and strong.

So I haven’t weighed myself more than twice in 2010.  I’m hanging out in the low 160s, it appears, which I don’t really feel one way or the other about.  I see the scale and think “Eh, don’t wanna.”  But when I’m NOT weighing myself regularly, I can’t help but think I might slip back into that state of denial that paralyzed me in my obesity for so long.

So I can’t decide.  Should I weigh myself?  How frequently?  Should I finally chuck my scale in the closet for good?  Go back to the every-day-weigh?

Weigh in (ha) in the comments, please.  Lurkers too.  I know you’re there!

18 Responses

  1. Do you have a scale at your gym? That’s where I’ve been weighing myself lately. I chucked my scale long ago, and I step on the one in the change room every couple weeks or so. Enough that I don’t obsess about it, but enough to keep myself in check (ie my pants still “fit,” but I have indeed gained 5 lbs in the past 2 months!)

    I think it’s all about how you approach the scale, and I know you have the good sense not to put too much importance on it. We both know there are several factors that can make it go up and down, and it’s how we feel in our skin that really matters. But at the same time, I skyrocketed to my highest weight during a period where I completely ignored the scale, so having a sense of awareness about it is important for me to maintain.

  2. I had a very hard time with that, especially dealing with an ED. Since losing weight, I’ve found that if I weigh myself once weekly on the same scale and at the same time of day, I don’t stress the ups and downs since we fluctuate a few pounds during a single day.

    I think it’s more important that you feel comfortable with yourself and don’t put too much importance on the number. Your fit lifestyle is incredibly inspirational and you are obviously keeping your health the #1 priority. You should be uber proud!

  3. So long as you are happy within yourself, and are healthy, then I think what you weigh isn’t important. If you do weigh yourself or want to, I think once a week should be enough. Same time every week will be able to tell you what is happening on a week by week basis and alert you early on if things are changing without you realising.

  4. I don’t think you should weigh yourself everyday. If you’re just checking in with yourself to make sure you’re maintaining than maybe do it once a month?
    If it would destroy you to see a number you don’t like than don’t do it at all – why set yourself up for that?
    If you do decide to weigh yourself make sure it’s after your period when water weight is gone and you feel good 🙂

  5. Weighing is a hard decision. Some say daily weighing is good for motivation, but some say it can hurt you. I personally weigh myself every morning, sometimes twice. We have an electronic scale and a dial one. I prefer the electronic because it is usually lower, lol. I’ve tried to stop with the weighing, but I am incredibly addicted. Seeing the number go down is extremely motivating, but I admit that if it goes up, my day can go down the drain pretty fast mood wise.

    I think its a personal decision. If you want to know what the scale says, weigh a few time a week, or a specific day. If you are happy, and don’t really care, weigh maybe once a month. I think you will know the right decision when you make it.

  6. The problem with weighing yourself daily is that weight naturally fluxuates everyday depending on activity and water retension, ect. This is where dieters get discouraged, when they weigh a pound more Tuesday than they did on Monday. I’m sure you know this already! When I lost a lot of weight, I didn’t weigh myself at all because I didn’t own a scale. I went from the end of September 2007 to Easter 2008 without weighing myself at all. It was a great suprise when I stepped on the scale, I was sure it was wrong! Now I weigh myself weekly.
    I have read articles that say that the people who lost weight and successfully kept it off are the ones who weigh themselves every day. That way they can see if their weight starts to increase on a regular basis and can do something about it before they gain 10 pounds.

  7. I weigh myself once a week, just because it helps me keep track of my calorie burn and metabolic rate. I care more about how I feel in my clothes and what I see in the mirror, but having a number makes it easier to have control over the details.

    🙂 Good luck, Brie! I read everyday because you are very motivating and keep me on track!

  8. de-lurking! i read everyday… we are on very similar half marathon and wedding schedules! (my half marathon is april 24, wedding on june 5.) i weigh once a week officially, but often more than that because i use a wiifit and it very “helpfully” lets me know where i am compared to the previous use.

    every day seems like it would drive me insane… my weight definitely fluctuates by a pound or so daily. i would get really discouraged thinking i was gaining weight. i think once a week is a good interval… you would have to seriously derail off of exercising and diet in order to cause major weight damage in one week.

  9. My advice: Weigh yourself.

    I lost 135 pounds between 200 and 2002 (diet and exercise). I gained about 20 of that back in the past 3 years, but am down another 5. So I’m about 15 above my lowest, but still 120 under my highest.

    I weigh myself every morning, stark naked, after I pee and before I shower. But NEVER more than that.

    Are you familiar with the National Weight Control Registry ( They track the habits of people who lose at least 30 pounds and keep them off for at least a year, and then try to extrapolate the habits successful losers have. They found that 75% weigh themselves at least once a week.

    I firmly believe that is is how you nip backslides in the bud. It makes you accountable.

    Just do it =)

  10. It’s very much about how you feel, and a whole lot less about the numbers. But it’s always nice to know where you’re at every once in awhile. I second the previous comment…Just do it.

  11. I’m currently trying to lose weight so I weight myself to keep on track. I will only weigh myself when I first get up in the AM. After that I leave the scale a lone because at night I KNOW I’ll be heavier.

    This just reminds me not to eat bad stuff and to work hard at my goal. If you feel comfortable I say don’t rock the boat – you’re eating right and active as all get out – you know where you are in your heart 🙂 I need the scale to help me get to your point.

  12. I say once a week, same day, same time, sans clothes. Congratulations on your progress…especially the better health and fitness!

  13. I know exactly how you’re feeling. I was the same way when I lost a ton of weight and it became an obsession.

    I recently just bought my firsts scale a few weeks ago. It’s in my bathroom and I have to constantly restrain myself from weighing in every time I use the bathroom 🙂 Honestly, I think it’s great to have a scale just because I don’t really trust the scales at my gym (they’re over used and I never know how accurate they are) and I like to weigh myself at home. Also, the only other times I step on a scale is when I’m at the doctor and sometimes I like to know what I am in between visits.

    I weigh in once a week. Monday mornings to be exact and eventually I hope to only weigh in once or twice a month when I get down to my goal weight just to keep me on track.

    Keep up the good work! I think you look great!

  14. I lost 60 pounds and have maintained for a year. I have gone through the “scale denial” thing in the past so now I weigh in daily so I can nip any gains in the bud. I have worked to keep the number in proper perspective and just use the scale as one tool for measuring my health.

  15. I know I have gained a few pounds over the last few months, judging by how my clothes fit. I’m resisting the scale, though, and trying to focus on listening to my body and eating healthier (I just finished reading Intuitive Eating). My goal is not to get my weight down to a certain number, or lose a certain number of pounds. Rather, I want to learn to take good care of my body by feeding it the wholesome, healthy food that it wants, so that I FEEL healthy, strong & energetic.

  16. I think it’s fine to weigh yourself as long as you don’t go back to doing it 5 times a day. Hopping on the scale once a month or once every couple weeks is normal. Just try not to make the number a symbol of your self worth.

  17. I think weighing yourself isn’t a bad idea, so long as you know that you won’t get all obsessive about it. Once a week seems okay. Everyday probably isn’t a good idea because weight fluctuates so much, especially in women. I hardly ever weigh myself, but when I do I only step on the scale in the morning without any clothes on. I’m not actively trying to lose weight, although if I dropped a few pounds, I wouldn’t complain. I just try not to let the numbers get to me; especially since I have titanium bones and weigh much more than the charts say I should.
    I’m glad that you’re happy and feel sexy and strong. In my opinion, that is what truly matters.

  18. I don’t think that the scale is bad. I weigh myself probably once a week and it helps me make sure that I’m staying on track. Just try to tell yourself that sometimes the number goes up for some random reason and as long as you’re treating yourself well, it’ll go back down.

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