Saturday, April 6, 2013

Why I weigh in daily- rule 3, steps 1 and 2 from Refuse to Regain

I'm getting back to my blogging about the book Refuse to Regain- by Barbara Berkeley, MD (blog). Today, rule 3, steps 1 &2 weigh properly and use the right equipment.

I highly recommend this book when you are 10-20 pounds from your transition from loosing weight to maintaining weight. Or, if you are struggling at maintenance weight. The longer you've been overweight and the more weight that you've lost, the more helpful the book is, in my opinion.

READ this FIRST: I know that the paleoshere does not like the scale as a metric/tool over all. I totally get that and why the scale is not helpful in some cases. I respect that.  Whole9 has 5 reasons to break up with your scale . Jason Sieb has an excellent article Attention Scale Addicts. This post was so popular it brought down the Everyday Paleo Web site once it was posted. Believe me, I get it. I understand why people don't weigh in at all.

What works for me (on my soap box now....)
Weighing in daily works for me as a tool. After 40 years of being overweight, being made fun of in school, feeling like crap, looking ill, being ill, avoiding the scale, slippery slope thinking, emotional eating leading to mini-binges and not so mini-binges, having cruel things said to me day-in-day out by people I know, and people I don't know, and worst off saying bad things to myself..... weighing in daily works for me. Not weighing in daily feeds my chronic obesity ways that keep me sick.

Daily weighing worked for me as a younger person and works for me now. Long before  I discovered Paleo, for a year and half after I discovered Paleo. Because it works for me, I have a spine, a good sense of self- I use the daily weighing tool. Unapologetic. Bravely. Data. Recorded. Done.Move along.
 I promised myself on a hot day in April 2011 that I would systematically remove all barriers to a healthy weight that stood before me and I would work to my best ability day-in-day out for the rest of my life. Because being overweight was becoming or would become life threatening for me if I did not get and keep control.  For me that means weighing daily. It is not my fault I was born this way. It's 100% my responsibility to use the tools that make and keep me well. No excuses. No following lemmings over a cliff.

Stepping off my soap box right now. Feel free to disagree or do something different.

From the Refuse to Regain Book, - rule 3 steps 1&2- Weigh Properly and use the right equipment.

Step 1- I only weigh in the morning, first thing. I  don't weigh in during vacations.
Step 2- Use a scale that weighs to the tenths, different scales will have different numbers. I still attend a WW meeting to interface with other maintainers in real life. That scale is 3-4 pounds higher. I do not care about that.

It's data. I record it, I review the last months set of lowest weights for trending, and I move on about my day. No guilt. I do reflect and think- are the food amounts and types okay for me?  Is my slippery slope thinking contributing to an upward trend? A trigger food?   I'm a scientist in real life. I can use tools and data to help along the way if needed at home, too. It's my perfect right to pick the tools that I need.

What works for me
1. Daily weighing and recording of data at My Fitness Pal.
2. Looking at weight trends over 1,2,3 months.
3. Opening up a goal weight range to account for strength training
4. Looking at my food diary and seeing what foods/habits may be impacting an upward trend.
5. Looking at solutions and positive self talk.
6. Weighing in once a day, only in the morning and using only that data.

What does not work for me:
1. Not weighing in at all.
2. Not addressing upward trends on the scale.
3. Not strength training.
4. Not connecting the trigger foods with an upward trend in weight.
5. Not problem solving and having negative self talk, not taking effective action.
6. Getting hung up on the number on the scale at the doctors office or WW being different.

Feel free to share your experiences in the comments.


  1. Hi Karen! I love this post because those are the very same things that I've found I do when I'm at my best. I've had a week or two of mild slide of maybe a 1 or 2 pound gain, so I'm happy to hear you *on* your soap box with me as the audience. It motivates me to tighten up my formula and look at my own trends, which is all in my food journal, so I have the data to analyze.

    I also go to a weekly meeting at TOPS. I find that it gives me beginnings and ends each week, which break up the length of "forever" of weight maintenance.

    :-) Marion

  2. I weigh in pretty much first thing every morning -- at least 5 days a week at least (I do forget occasionally). I don't go on vacation, so that's not an issue. :) But I do not weigh myself from day 27 of my cycle (if i make it that far) until a day after the floodgates have closed again. I didn't used to get bloated during my period, but good old perimenopause; bless her evil heart -- now I do. So no need to see that # and get mad about it. 25 days a month is good enough for me to see where I am. :)

  3. I too weigh every morning. It is also my tool to maintain, just as it is yours. I try to pull back, adjust etc if it stays a little high too long. I have found that it goes up and down within about a 1.5 kilos range (3 lbs). I do need to start some sort of strength training though as that is what my body needs most.

    I love that you focus so much on maintaining your weight - so many people just let it creep on and can only bask in the magic that is their lowest weight for a few weeks.

  4. Fantastic post - another daily weigher here. Parting company with the scale is what got me a 30lbs gain over six months a couple of years ago...never again. Face the music every day and adjust accordingly. :)

  5. Every.single.morning.

    Without fail. Anything less, and (in the past) has meant avoidance, and for a reason. Although now I'm on the primal ride for life, so I don't think it will be an issue, I still do my best when I hold myself accountable every day.

  6. Weigh myself quite often, perhaps 5-6 days weekly, first thing in the morning. I can do this because I am no longer *quite as affected* by the numbers as I used to be and because I track all my food. About a year and a half ago, when I had to break a very long binge cycle, I weighed myself only once a month but I did exactly what I needed to, in order to lose.
    I've always been a very fast loser. I've also been able to starve myself on just a few hundred calories a day and work out like fiend, therefore lose fast. Doing it the right way, for the first time in my life, post menopause and almost in my mid 50s, slowed down my rate of loss to such an extent that I knew the daily fluctuations would send me over the edge. I think these decisions come down to exactly what you said: the ability to find out what works for an individual and what doesn't, even if that changes over time, as it did for me.

  7. hmmm that would be *I* weigh myself ...etc. Darn!

  8. Great post - really hits home, and lets me know I'm sort of doin' things right... I also track my food on MyFitnessPal and that's been a boon for letting me know where I stand. My one hitch in my giddyup is NOT posting my daily weight on MFP. I can see the ups and downs and understand the reasons for them, but seeing it on the chart at MFP really bothers me. One would think, at the age of 75, I would be OVER that, but I'm not. Rereading Dr B's book, weighing daily, tracking food - all that is working for me. Thanks for validating me, Karen! I sort of have validated myself too, I think, because I have lost about 30 lb and I've been taken off insulin - woot! Love following your blog - thanks again!

  9. I have noticed that everyone has a different aspect of how often to weigh themselves. Key is finding what works for you. I personally only weigh once a week..but at this point in my journey I have found a battle with myself and the scale. My scale is digital and only shows pounds. If I weigh myself every 7 days it doesn't show a loss. I now weigh myself on that 7th day and again on the 8th day and it is showing 1 pound I'm probably losing .75 pound a week.

    Funny, last week I weighed myself at 3am when I woke up to go to the bathroom instead of 7am that I always do. I knew I did excellent this past week. It showed I gained a pound! I went back to bed and weighed myself again at 7am like I normally do and it showed I lost a pound. I can really hate that scale some days lol.

  10. Thanks simply me, donna and dlamb, gwen, sandra, norma, and affection for fitness. I can totally relate to much of what has been said about daily weighing or weighing less often. Thanks for stopping by.