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Getting Comfortable With Not Looking At The Weighing Scale

It took a long, long time to understand that the figure on the scale was irrelevant to how I felt, but when I did, it was C-A-T-H-A-R-T-I-C.
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I have been on the lean side all my life, a trait that I inherited from my mother’s side of the family. I was underweight for my entire childhood and it continued up until my early 20s, though I gradually shifted to the “slightly underweight but still acceptable” part of the spectrum.

You know you’re no longer as young as you used to be when you eat an Extra Value Meal at McDonald’s and physical feel it the next day. I used to be able to eat six meals a day – burgers included – back when I was in my late teens and not put on any weight. So, when I realised that this magical ability started to diminish as I entered adulthood, I realised by and by that I started paying more attention to what was on my plate. A little too much, perhaps.

I upped the vegetables, grains and fruit, and that was good, of course. It wasn’t that I barred myself from the unhealthy stuff. Desserts and fried foods were still a part of my life, but the thing is, when I ate these things, or ate a little too much, I would skip meals the next day and sometimes the following day and only resume my regular diet when the weighing scale told me that everything was back to normal. That all that feasting weight or holiday weight was gone. Now, that was bad.

I weighed myself daily, a habit that went on for three years. When I was on the lower limit of my ever fluctuating weight, I rejoiced. When the reverse was true, I grew upset. What did I do “wrong”? Was it because I hadn’t ran in a week? Was it because of that thing I ate yesterday? At this point, I had become afraid of going beyond the upper limit of my weight fluctuations.

When I returned from fashion month back in October, I realised that my weight was higher than usual. I expected it, considering the amount of bread, pasta, cheese and desserts I had in Milan and Paris. (All willingly devoured, of course.) Typically, the number on the scale would go down after two weeks or so when I’m back home and back to my regular eating habits. This time, it didn’t.

Again, I asked myself, what the heck did I do “wrong”? I was exercising three times a week. There were days where I cut calories. Why wasn’t the number on the weighing scale going down? There were moments where I actually felt panic and in these moments, I would text a close friend and confidante of mine. She would say things that were, again, in retrospect, very true.

“You look the same, stop fussing.”

“Maybe you should hide the weighing scale.”

Still bothered by the scale, though, I decided that perhaps exercising more regularly, by which I mean an actual workout plan, would tip things in my favour. (Pun very much intended. Come on, I had to use it at least once.) Hence, in early January, I started on one, specifically Karla Itsine’s BBG Workout.

However, five weeks into the plan, I realised that my weight didn’t go down to what it was pre-fashion month. In fact, it went up. My weight was at the highest it had ever been. Ever.

I was working out five times a week, two of which were cardio sessions, the rest muscle resistance. I was eating cleaner than ever before. Clearly, something was wrong. But this time, I realised that the “wrong” wasn’t anything I was doing – it was my perspective. For so long, I had equated looking good with a lower-than-average number on the weighing scale. I had been bothered by it for so long and for what? I may have been at my heaviest, but I felt physically great. My arms, though a little meatier than before, looked more sculpted. I finally had abs. (Not washboard yet, it’s a work in progress.) My derriere, dare I say it, looked perkier. The only thing that was giving me negativity was the freaking scale. I had enough.

So, approximately a month ago, I decided to go from weighing myself daily to not weighing myself at all. If I ever did – trust me, the temptation is very real – I decided I wasn’t going to be bothered by it. I am eating right (well, there are cheat days) and doing a good mix of cardio and weights. I feel physically stronger.

Those are what matter. The weight is irrelevant.

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