Tuesday, March 31, 2009

To Weigh, or Not to Weigh....that is the question

Everyone has an opinion about whether or not one should weigh themselves everyday, every other day, once a week, or never! I have changed my own opinion many times, especially over the past year! But the one opinion I have about weighing yourself in general has stayed the same.....if you can weigh yourself and use that information as simply "data" then knock yourself out and weigh as often, or not, as you feel you need to.

When I started my weightloss in Jan. '05 I weighed once a week, and I stuck to that even though I was tempted to weigh myself more often. It wasn't until I decided after my original goal weight of around 145lbs. to lose another 10-13lbs (shooting for 132lbs for the April '06 Cert) that I started to weigh everyday. I felt I needed to weigh more often so I could make the adjustments needed to reach my goal in time. From that point on, daily weigh-ins were used in that way....as data, because I started journaling my training as well and it was all part of the same "experiment".

Since my surgery in Dec. 08, it's never been the same. I don't know what happened but my body and my mind just went "willy nilly". So many changes with major surgery, my age, my hormones, my training, my eating, even my personal life has seemed to play a role in this emotional rollercoaster of how I feel about my bodyweight. I admit for many months I would step on the scale and be, downright, depressed....but that's another story, lol.....

Yesterday I was debating whether or not to weigh myself since I had weighed myself the day before (on Sunday, after an "all you can cook day"), because I knew it was going to read a higher number that I was hoping for, but then I asked myself this question, "Will knowing the number on the scale change how the rest of the day is going to go for you? In other words, my meal plan for the day was already prepared and in place, my training schedule was not going to change, and if I could see my bodyweight information as data, then what's the harm? I weighed myself, and I felt fine about it...will I weigh myself today? Probably, because I'm interested to see if I've been successful in moving back to my maintence bodyweight.....and I think I have. (but if I haven't then I know I need to make some changes)

At this point in my life I don't think it's good for me, or necessary, to weigh everyday. I can see the number on the scale objectively most times, but I would be lying if I claimed to be able to always see it that way. "Tracy's Fantasy World" is a world I live in never feeling the need to weigh myself because in "Tracy Fantasy World" I have healthy eating habits that reflect a heathly life, therefore a healthy body. The truth is that I know what I weigh before I step on the scale. My bodyweight is dependant on how much I eat, not on how much I train, and I know when I'm eating too much, and eating more food than my body needs will always reflect on the scale.

PS The one practice I don't think is healthy....and I'm guilty of it myself....is multiple daily weigh-ins.....I won't be doing that anymore, but don't make me promise, lol!


Kori Bliffert, RKC II, NASM-CPT said...

AMEN SISTER!!! I remember you once wrote a blog post about how the scale determined how you were going to feel for the rest of the day, and that is so true for so many women and men. It is funny what a number can do to you even if you are having a "skinny" day or a great strength day.
Thanks for a great post!

Christine said...

"So many changes with major surgery, my age, my hormones, my training, my eating, even my personal life has seemed to play a role in this emotional rollercoaster of how I feel about my bodyweight."

WORD. I haven't stepped on the scale in about 2 weeks now - after getting on obsessively every day - because I realized it was no longer serving any purpose other than to make me feel crappy. And given all that's going on with Dad, I don't need any help in that department.

I love your nuggets of wisdom, and to this day, things you have blogged about roll around in my head. It's good to see your posting again, I've missed it!

Amy Jurrens, RKC said...

I weigh myself about once a week or so, more out of curiosity than anything. The number on the scale gives me one type of gauge. The way my clothes fit is another, more accurate gauge.

Interesting that today I got the results of my health screening. I have a piece of paper telling me that I SHOULD weigh between 137-146 pounds. I am 5'11"!!! In whose crazy world does a person who is nearly six foot tall weigh 140?? Especially with all the muscle I have built. I will NOT listen to that stupid piece of paper. Cripes!

"Should"- I hate that word. It gets me in all kinds of emotional knots. Live your best life, Tracy. Thanks for your candid communication. It helps me and so many others rethink their own patterns.

Crystal Schulz said...

I'm with Amy on this one! I am 5'9" and 157 pounds. My "ideal" weight according to the "standards" is 146. What? I got close to that number about 5 years ago and people were telling me I looked too skinny. I thought I looked awesome cuz I could see my abs, but now I realize that they were sabotoging me!
I could not maintain that bodyfat or weight very long and now I'm happy to be healthy and my clothes fit.
Nuf said,

Diana said...

It's so true in regards to the "my age" comment. I deep down now just because I am in better health, feel not 47, but 37. My body does not work like a 37 old anymore-but it has learned a few new tricks over the last couple of years! Parts of my bod are definitely 47 and some parts are down to a 37 now! I hope this makes sense! I know I can't turn back time (as much as I sure would like to), but I am making the best of the time I have left!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Thank God we don't weigh ourselves at night, LOL! (we know better than that) It could wreck our sleep too!

Tracy Reifkind said...


"My bodyweight is dependant on how much I eat, not on how much I train, and I know when I'm eating too much"

This, for me, has been the lesson. I'm done with "wishful thinikng" and have to take responsibility for how much food I put in my mouth......hmmnn a blogpost coming....

Tracy Reifkind said...


I still have a really cute picture of the two of us last year, shopping at the cooking store (I regret not buying that "scooper", I don't know if you remember, but I've not seen it anywhere else....damn!)Anyway....

Good Lord, do they still use those outdated standards? With all we know about how exercise and diet affects body composition these days?

Tracy Reifkind said...


Funny you should mention getting down to a low weight, but not being able to maintain it....

My ultimate goal is to see where my bodyweight "lands" eating healthy....and by healthy I mean NOT eating emotionally amounts of food my body doesn't need.

I forget that during the time my bodyweight was 127-129, and my BF 17-19%, (as low as 123lbs at one point), I had lost my period! That should tell me something......maybe that was not healthy either.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Good Lord, are we the same age? (I'm not yet quite 47....but close enough, lol) I DON'T FEEL THAT CLOSE TO 50! We're going to have to redefine 50!

Anyway, I feel so much better than I did in my 30's, but my peak was definitely 42-45! But it ain't over yet! I plan on moving my body well into my 80-90's....no doubt! Seeing so much immobility around me is motivation enough that I never want that kind of life, if I can help it.

Diana said...

Maybe for my 50th I'll let ya kick my ass at a cert!!!! LOL!

Screw 50, 50 is the new 40!
Crap....I still have to get my Ironman in there somewhere before 50 too, damn, I better get busy!

Mark Reifkind said...

Let me just say as a newly minted 52 year old it ain't what I thought it would be, on both sides of the equation.I'll tell you this though, I dont FEEL 50( 52),lol.
you guys WILL re define 50.