Dear MizFit, I am haven’t seen you talk about it before but I struggle with the scale. ALOT. Right now I am weighing myself every day. Always. Would it be better to weigh once a week? I kind of know in my head it might be but cannot let go of my daily scale visits no matter how crappy I feel after. Also, should I weigh in the morning? Is it true that a morning weigh will give me the best information?
I try and pick emails which I think ask questions many people have. This one DEFINITELY wins by a landslide.
Ive received the same email—written myriad ways— from a number of you.
Before I answer lemmie give a brief disclaimer: I could ramble about this shit compelling topic forever. For hours.
It would be a facetime of the week and run night & day & day & night and I’d still have more to rambles left inside me.
All that to say what follows is merely scratching the surface and all my opinion.
Now let’s get to the good stuff.
Im not a fan of the scale.
Pretty much period.
Sure it’s great to hop on them once a year during your annual physical but—in MizFit’s mind—that really should be it.
I believe, in our heart of hearts, we know if we’ve gained or lost before we step upon that self-esteem demolishing numbers providing machine.
(& I wont even start down the muscle weighing more than fat path. I dont know what I weigh but Im confident it’s more than one would guess.)
However, since Im aware that 99% of the population disagrees with my scale’pinion, let’s at least set a few boundaries with that hunk of metal which can rule our lives if we give it too much power.
I implore you never, EVER *EVER* to weigh yourself daily. Talk about a mindfuck game. If our goal is to be kind to ourselves and set ourselves up for success this surely is not the path.
Chinese food for lunch with too much soy sauce? Follow it all up with some air popped popcorn & salt? The scale is definitely going to be up a few pounds the next morning.
Spend a long, hot, day in the sun and forget to drink enough fluids? Your dehydration could definitely reflect itself on the scale in pounds lost.
If you must ignore all my sage advice & weigh yourself daily, oh emailer, Id suggest you pick a set time and stick with that schedule.
This segues nicely to your second question about the accurate weight reading in the morning .
Many weight-loss professionals recommend weighing first thing in the morning (post-peeing if you wanna be extra sure you’re empty) as, since you havent eaten in a while, you will receive a true “read” or weight.
Me? I really dont think that it matters.The difference is miniscule whether you weigh first thing or late.
I guess you can make the effort to always weigh either at the end of the day or first thing in the morning—-but MizFit doesnt roll with the scale like that.
Alas, there is no dramatic reason why I dont weigh myself either (I know. There’s no hope for a turbulent MizFit memoir which could then be turned into a Lifetime movie starring La Lohan) .
For me it is *all* about how the clothes fit.
For me it’s as simple as asking myself: are my favorite jeans too tight?
If the answer is YES (and, believe me, is has been!) then Ive gained a few & it’s time to re-examine my activity level or my diet.
I wrote an article recently where I suggested people pick an article of clothing as a check-in piece (this was geared toward those who’d shed a great deal of weight/were beginning to maintain), shove the scale in the garage, and try on the article of clothing once a week instead.
If I could tell you what to do, emailer, Id suggest going that route.
Find a pair of pants/skirt/shorts you fit into/aspire to wear and rename that your scale.
I promise you, while it might be frustrating on the days the item doesnt fit, it will be no where near as self-esteem bashing as a hunk of metal bearing a meaningless number.
That’s my .02, Oh Bumbling Band, and by virtue of visiting your blogs, Im fully aware many of you disagree with me.
What’s your rationale for visiting the scale on a daily basis? Have you found it serves to motivate you unlike our emailer?
Please to share!
Have you succeeded in overcoming an addiction to the numbers? Wanna share your secrets with those of us ready to break our scaleaddiction?
Please to hit us all up in the comments…
Rupal saysApril 8, 2009 at 2:49 am
I’m with you Miz. I NEVER EVER EVER weigh myself because, frankly it doesn’t matter to me. I determine what my lifestyle choices should be based on *how I feel* when I’m halfway through my workday, when I’m at the gym, in my fav low-riders and when I look at myself in pics.
My mom went through this and we had to have an intervention (she went through it in a mania of “Is there something wrong with me medically?” rather than weight loss) but, we had to take all the scales out of the house and constantly give her reinforcement that she LOOKED healthy before she started to feel healthy again.
Have a great day!
Moonduster (Becky of Skinny Dreaming) saysApril 8, 2009 at 2:52 am
I don’t step on the scale daily. It drives me nuts enough as it is! I weigh mid-week in order to get an idea of how I’m doing. And then I have my official weigh-in on Monday evenings.
If I don’t weigh at all, I tend to go up in weight. I fool myself into thinking that I’m doing fine no matter how I’ve been eating.
When I’m at my goal weight, I’ll probably only weigh myself once a month, and use a nice pair of jeans to make sure my weight is in check the rest of the time.
Berni saysApril 8, 2009 at 3:36 am
Miz, I’m with you 100%, crossed out curse words and all. I had a hardcore weighing addiction, daily isn’t even the word for it, I would weigh myself multiple times a day, it was TOTAL madness.
It’s taken me a while to get away from the scale without feeling freaked and out of control. I suggest weaning yourself off, getting someone to hide the scale or just plain getting rid of it all together.
These days I way once a month if that, I am losing weight so it’s kinda nice to get that feedback. I try VERY hard to not feel anything about the number. It is all about the clothes and how I feel in my body.
It’s about shifting the focus, setting different goals, related to fitness or self esteem. The scale is a tormentor for me, and I am being totally honest and for real when I say I’ve never felt freer in my life now that I’m not a slave to the number.
Jana saysApril 8, 2009 at 3:53 am
I am a weigher for now.
I find that it really does help me to stay on track and it is part of my staying on my healthy routine!
I hope not always to need the daily check in but for now it is a good thing for me!
bethenextstep saysApril 8, 2009 at 3:59 am
This is unfortunately a product of our socially influenced environment.
I am with you Miz – 210%. Our weight loss / weight gain is not about the numbers! It’s about how we feel, how we move, etc.
The last time I checked : insanity is doing the same thing over and over again – expecting a different result.
My weight does not define my health. I am more than just a number.
Besides, since when did 2 separate scales every agree on anything.
Talk about insanity!
As always.. great thoughts!
Evan saysApril 8, 2009 at 4:09 am
I am actually a GUY who is in the habit of weighing at the gym after my workout.
It is just part of my prework/getting ready routine and helps me to keep an eye on my weight.
Pick a pair of pants as a substitute? I don’t think that would work for me.
jen [@bwJen] saysApril 8, 2009 at 4:10 am
I am a scale person, mainly because I ignored it for so long. Yes, ignored…completely! And I paid the price ~ I was 242 at my highest but for me, weight watchers has helped. I only step on the scale once per week at my meetings and I am learning not to freak out about that. I hate the scale (even though it is moving in the right direction) but it is a necessary evil…for now. I refuse to weigh daily because that would drive me crazy. I do wear the exact same pants to my weigh in and I know how baggy they are getting.
I love reading your thoughts! Curse words and all! You are such a REAL person and I thank you!!
Crabby McSlacker saysApril 8, 2009 at 4:28 am
When I was actively losing weight, I’d jump on daily, but because of wild-ass fluctuations (I retain water like crazy) I wouldn’t stress about a particular day–I’d just figure weekly averages and watch over months as those numbers would go down.
And I’d had the experience before of putting away the scale and gaining weight back, but only because I was also ignoring how my clothes fit!
Now, no scale for me. I use your system of not being n denial about how my clothes fit, and it seems to be a mellower way to stay accountable without becoming obsessed.
BigFatPie saysApril 8, 2009 at 4:39 am
oh dear god I don’t even know where to begin with my crazy antics involving multiple daily weigh ins!
fab post Miz xxxx
Trish saysApril 8, 2009 at 4:40 am
This is such a hard one for me.
It seems if I do not see that number I begin the weight gain despite anything. It is almost like a reset button for me when I am having a bad week or something.
For me it is a must, at least at this point in my journey.
I liken it to my compass, I need it to help me to head in the direction I want to go. When I get there I think that may not so much be the case, but now it is.
I love your idea of using a piece of clothing as your “scale” though, that definately is a great way to size up how you are doing and I will say when that blasted scale seems to be stuck I do have my handy measuring tape I get out and compare. So the scale is not the only thing I use to see my progress, it is just there to help me, a tool, in “my toolbelt of success.”
Nan saysApril 8, 2009 at 4:58 am
I am in between.
I know when I have gained weight by looking in mirror BUT I weigh all the time in hope the scale will say different.
Marsha @ A Weight Lifted saysApril 8, 2009 at 5:11 am
The scale was never my friend, and I don’t see it helping most of the women who come to Green Mountain either. We have a scale only because many of our participants would be very upset if we didn’t. Yet their experience with it just underscores what you say, Miz. They will be feeling great after a few weeks of eating well, being active. Then ‘assessment’ time arrives, and while we don’t encourage it, most feel strongly that weighing is part of the assessment. It is heartbreaking to see those good feelings disappear in the face of numbers that really don’t tell the whole story. It is encouraging, however, that more and more women decide to forgo the scale and start using other measures of success, ranging from how a pair of pants fit to how flexible they’re becoming. For more measures of success, check out our FitBriefing ‘Beyond the Scale.’ http://www.fitwoman.com/fitbriefings/beyond-the-scale.shtml
Marianne saysApril 8, 2009 at 5:25 am
My scale lives under my bed. It is an act of self love. I do enough things that make me feel like crap. Besides, when I tell people about what the number is they don’t believe me, so apparently it does not matter.
Ron saysApril 8, 2009 at 5:27 am
I have been weight less often and yesterday I actually told my self as long as I can fit into my size 32 jeans I will be fine lol
Jenny saysApril 8, 2009 at 5:30 am
This is a tough one for me, Miz and Bumbling Band.
When I weighed multiple times a day I was thinner and CRAZIER.
I have banished the scale yet can tell I’m softer and definitely less crazy.
Most days I choose less frantic and crazy.
Some days I miss being thinner.
Thanks as always MizFit.
dragonmamma/naomi w. saysApril 8, 2009 at 5:44 am
I would like to add that the “how do the jeans fit” method does NOT work if you have elastic waist or stretchy denim pants. That elastic is amazing stuff; it just keeps stretching and stretching so that you can fool yourself for a long time!
You need a nice, snuff pair of jeans with no give to them whatsoever.
dragonmamma/naomi w. saysApril 8, 2009 at 5:45 am
Oops, that should be “snug” jeans, not snuff. You don’t want them so tight that they kill you!
Couch saysApril 8, 2009 at 5:48 am
I weigh daily by preference, though I know all the experts say not to, weigh weekly instead. But I know from experience that my weight can change by a kilo day to day, which is what I hope to lose in a week, so a weekly weigh in can be very misleading. For example, I can be thrown into despondancy for a whole week because I didn’t lose any weight simply because I had too much salt the day before, or be amazed by losing much more weight than I thought I had because I’d drunk lots of water. So I weigh myself first thing every morning, but I don’t take any single number too seriously, only the general trend.
I would prefer not to be counting calories, or jumping on the scale everyday, and I like the idea of just using my clothes as a measuring yard, but years of ignoring my body means that I’m not really good at noticing it change, and I can almost always rationalise away possible changes in the way my clothes fit. I prefer the accuracy of the scale, now that I better understand when and why my body retains water. I can, of course, understand getting obsessed with the numbers, having my mood and self-esteem completely dependent on what my scale says every morning, but currently that isn’t the case. To be honest, I weigh myself about 3 minutes after getting up and I really not a morning person, so I’m barely conscious and often forget what the number was five minutes later!
Laura Jane saysJune 17, 2010 at 8:40 am
I couldn’t agree more! This is what I would have said. Weekly weigh-ins drive me crazy. I way daily but don’t pay too much attention to the number, realizing that it varies a lot. Plus, being rather overweight, I wouldn’t notice any difference in fit of clothing or the mirror until I’d lost about 15 pounds.
MizFit saysApril 8, 2009 at 5:50 am
I agree and disagree with D’Mamma.
I’ve been down the path of spending all summer in elastic waist shorts and trying being STUNNED come fall that none (literally none) of my pants would zip.
Didn’t see it coming.
However I disagree as well.
What are your goals?
You may really CHOOSE (key word) a pair of forgiving loose elastic pants as your segue away from the scale.
You may really CHOOSE to not have a pair of fitted jeans against which to measure your progress.
Its all what you goal is.
What will serve you the best to keep you on this healthy living path for the longhaul (even working TOWARD the fitted jeans some day).
Its all unique to the individual.
Pardon my thumbtyped rambles….hope they make sense.
Marste saysApril 8, 2009 at 5:55 am
Love the scale. Hate the scale. Both. Sometimes simultaneously. I’ve gone from getting on the scale 7 or 8 times a day to going months without getting on, and back again.
The sanest method I ever adhered to was to weigh every day, but only one day a week to write down the weight – plus my measurements. As long as the measurements are dropping, I don’t worry too much about the scale (because I put on a LOT of muscle really fast – at my lowest healthy weight I was/am 5’8″ with a 27.5 inch waist – and I weighed 147 lbs). Plus using measurements short-circuits the Crazy in my head: it’s pretty hard to drop INCHES that fast (as opposed to pounds), so it calms me down when I’m not seeing results NOWNOWNOW.
Um. Ask me if I’m following that plan currently, though. *walks off, whistling innocently*
Marste saysApril 8, 2009 at 5:56 am
*giggle* Just reread that – The bit about the lowest weight? I was/AM 5’8″ – I WAS that thin, but I’m not now. Just to clarify.
Jenn saysApril 8, 2009 at 5:56 am
I am a daily weigher at the moment. I am following the beck diet for life and she has you weigh in everyday to desensitize yourself from the number. Have been doing it for a while now and some days it works, some days it doesn’t. I know that some day I will break up with the scale. I might cry a little, but when that day comes I know that I will be ready for a weightless life. That part of my journey is one that I definitely look forward too.
VeggieGirl saysApril 8, 2009 at 6:01 am
I get weighed a few times a week at the gym, so that my trainer can track my progress with gaining muscle mass/weight.
Laura saysApril 8, 2009 at 6:06 am
I admit, I weigh myself every day. I can’t think of any reason why I do it other than the fact that it’s an obsession of mine, an unhealthy one I’m sure. Sometimes when my clothes fit a little tight, I’ll makes excuses and say I’m just bloated, or my jeans shrank in the dryer, something along those lines. If I step on the scale and see that the number is remaining high, it’s like actual proof that I’ve indeed gained weight. It’s more difficult for me to be in denial when the number is right there in front of me. Hopefully I’ll get to the point where I don’t care what the scale says, but I’m not there now.
Beth saysApril 8, 2009 at 6:06 am
Great post about scales and weighing in. Like another one of your readers said, I got a little too stretchy-pant-happy and ended up putting on a few pounds. I do have a question about weight though, because after I’ve done a heavy workout and my legs are really sore, I find that I’m generally up 1-2 pounds. Do you think that this is because of the inflammatory process of the muscle fibers breaking down and rebuilding so there’s extra fluid in the muscles, or something else altogether? I try to not drive myself batty with the number game, but I’ve seen this happen so consistently after a heavy workout that I wonder if there’s a correlation.
FLG saysApril 8, 2009 at 6:08 am
The scale to me is just a tool to mark my progress 🙂 It’s not something that judges me, the numbers aren’t positive or negative, they just let me know what’s happening.
Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) saysApril 8, 2009 at 6:12 am
Scale = evil piece of self loathing equipment. Yes, we own one…it sits in the bathroom staring at me every morning. Husband, being the serious runner that he is, likes to weigh himself after workouts, and it’s his scale, but of course I jump on it occasionally. I’ve sometimes had a 5 lb difference in my weight from one morning to the next. So unreliable. I’m with you Miz – stick with an article of clothing. Definitely a better way to judge if you’ve added a little bulk to the mid-section!
MizFit saysApril 8, 2009 at 6:22 am
FLG? I love that you can step back and view the scale as a tool in your arsenal.
It’s really is and should be JUST THAT and yet “just that” is such an elusive balance to strike for so many of us.
(do I see a guest post in yer future? Magic 8Ball says YES!)
Dinneen | Eat Without Guilt saysApril 8, 2009 at 6:27 am
In my line of work I’ve seen too many women measure their self-worth by a number on the scale. If it shows a “good” number then they feel they’ve been good — and if it shows a “bad” number, well, you guessed it, they feel they’ve been bad.
Our self-worth, our self-love and acceptance has nothing to do with a number on a scale. Instead, we need to start looking beyond the scale and what we want out of life.
I know I need to lose a few pounds (actually, *want* to lose a few pounds) when my jeans (or pants) start to get snug. That’s what I’ve been doing for years.
But I also realize that I can’t use the SAME pair of jeans for 10+ years! By virtue of being a woman (and human) by body has changed over the years And that’s okay. I’ve learned to honor it, praise it, and love it for what it does for me — giving me energy & allowing me to do and experience wonderful things.
A goal with my clients is to get them to a comfortable place that they don’t need or use the scale. But often it doesn’t happen right away. I know in the beginning they need something where they can SEE progress. And letting go of the scale can be scary for some.
But when you DO finally leave the scale behind, the freedom is unbelievable. And it’s amazing how your body will love you back!
Carrie saysApril 8, 2009 at 6:33 am
Your remark MizFit (#20) is spot on for me.
I can’t yet have the goal pants as my check in as they cause me to spiral into restriction and irrational habits.
I am already doing what you suggested in a nonroutinized way (occasionally slipping on a pair of dress pants which should fit without my being compulsive about either diet or exercise) and am certain many would laugh at the fact these are my check in pants as they size is none too small.
Tiny steps at a time for me.
Karen (KCLAnderson) saysApril 8, 2009 at 6:34 am
I think it’s all about what works for you…and your personality. There have been times that getting on the scale has thrown me into a crying, wailing tailspin and other days when it’s just an abstract number. My goal is to have a peaceful relationship with my body (and the number) no matter what.
charlotte saysApril 8, 2009 at 6:43 am
I’m still working on weaning myself from the scale. Basically, it makes me feel like total crap every time I do it, and yet I still feel compelled to do it “to stay accountable”! Anyhow, I used to be weighing multiple times a day. Then my therapist got me down to once a day. And just this month I’ve switched to once a week. Honestly, it’s kind of liberating! And a little scary.
Holly saysApril 8, 2009 at 6:48 am
Unfortunately I’ve gotten into the obessession…errr…habit, of weighing myself every morning again. It HELPED when I was trying to lose, but now that I’m at my goal weight, is it really necessary? No. But I can’t give it up. It truly is an addiction. I would compare it to calorie counting – helpful when trying to lose, but once you’ve hit your goal, it becomes the devil! I know I should throw it out, but….that really scares me.
COMPLETELY agree that most times we can tell when we’ve gained/lost before we step on the scale; though sometimes I’ll admit to being shocked. But as women, our weight is always up/down/up/down thanks to go old water retainage (that’s probably not a word but I’m making it one). 🙂
the Bag Lady saysApril 8, 2009 at 6:52 am
Oh dear – this is such a problem for me! I learned to weigh myself daily many (many!) years ago when I was on the Scarscale Diet. I have broken up with my scale countless times, but I always seem to take him back – self-destructive, aren’t I?
My weight can fluctuate by as much as 5 lbs in a day, so I know the scale is not my friend, but I keep letting him back in my life….. sigh.
Nina saysApril 8, 2009 at 6:53 am
I do weigh myself every day. I really HAVE to do this, because when I don’t, I take that “scale accountability” out of the picture, and that, for me, is not a good thing.
BUT it seriously does not make me crazy most of the time. I know that my weight fluctuates with a lot of things, and the tradeoff for weighing yourself every day is that you HAVE to recognize that.
What I do, though, is jot down the figures in an Excel spreadsheet, and keep a running 7-day AVERAGE weight. This… while, ok, one *could* see as obsessive, the charting part anyway… lets me disconnect from the everyday thing and see what the trend is.
Mara @ What's For Dinner? saysApril 8, 2009 at 6:54 am
Miz, this post reminds me of the main reason I continue to read your blog every day. You say what I wish other people/experts would. I used to weigh myself every day, and then when I moved out on my own, I didn’t buy a scale. My weight creeped up, and then when I joined WW, I started weighing once a week. I let that number dictate my mood for the day, weekend, week… and it SUCKS. I know in my head I’m eating well and being active, but if that number doesn’t match my efforts, I get really down on myself.
I gotta go back to how the clothes fit…
Felice saysApril 8, 2009 at 7:03 am
I completely agree. I hardly ever weigh myself and I think it is better that way. I gauge how I am doing by how my clothes fit, how I am feeling on runs and, really, how I am feeling overall.
tricia2 saysApril 8, 2009 at 7:14 am
I got over my need to weigh myself, but it wasn’t easy. I still do it once a month, so I can get ideas of downward or upward trends, but I fact-check the scale with my favorite jeans.
First off, I bought a scale. Why? Because I was weighing myself at the gym, since I didn’t have a scale at home, and for some reason, it made sense to weigh myself every time I went to the gym.
I put the scale 3 feet away from the bathroom in a wire drawer in a closet. It’s easily accessible, should I want to know my weight, but it’s out of sight, so I’m not tempted to weigh myself every time I see/walk by it.
Then I listened when people told me that muscle is denser than fat, and that your bodyweight could fluctuate up to 5 pounds a day. So if you weigh yourself after you poop one day, but before you poop the next, your weight could be slightly higher because you need to poop.
farmwife saysApril 8, 2009 at 7:20 am
Actually, I LOVE my scale, lol. Mainly because it’s gone down so much the past few months.
I do weigh myself almost daily. For me, it’s motivation. If it’s the same or higher, I kick the exercise up a notch. If I am losing, it’s an OH YEAH moment!
I don’t stress about it, but I don’t want to bury my head in the sand either. That’s how I got overweight in the first place.
Graized saysApril 8, 2009 at 7:22 am
I’m gonna go ahead and play devil’s advocate and disagree with ya somewhat, Miz.
You can weigh yourself every day if you follow a couple of rules:
1) always do it at the same time of day under the same conditions (ie before/after morning constitutional, shower, eating, taking meds, etc)
2) document the daily weights on http://physicsdiet.com
3) do not skip a day just because you didn’t like the readout
4) do not freak out and/or make excuses. If you gained, you gained. It could be water, fat, dense shit (literally) in your guts or extra filth behind your ears. Get over it and move on.
Daily weighing can be very comforting when you see the trend and physicsdiet pushes that issue a lot. More data is never a bad thing.
Irene saysApril 8, 2009 at 7:36 am
I have a scale illness. I weigh myself several times a day. My official weigh-in is Friday at 8:30 am. But I weight myself morning, noon, and right before bed. It’s a sickness I know..but I am addicted. I don’t let the scale destroy my mood too often though.
suzanne saysApril 8, 2009 at 7:42 am
I would love to only step on the scale once again, however, i’m still jumping on it every morning! I have found in the past when i don’t keep track i tend to let things slide easier and the weight slowly creeps back up! Maybe one of these days i’ll give not weighing in another go.
Cammy saysApril 8, 2009 at 7:49 am
I don’t own a scale, but I do weigh at the gym every week (or two). I use the ‘how my clothes fit method’ to some degree, although I’m a little leery of that as a sole indicator, because I’ve been in the same size for the past 10-15 pounds. I wouldn’t want that many pounds to sneak up on me. LOL
Mostly I use the ‘YOU know what you’ve been doing’ method, meaning I keep up with my exercise on my daily calendar and while I don’t log my food, I do make a note if a Major Splurge occurred. That tells the true story.
After years of setting scale number goals and feeling like a failure when they weren’t achieved on schedule, it’s much more rewarding (not to mention 100-pounds successful) to base my goals on things that are within my control: exercising 5-6 times a week, drinking X amount of water, following my nutritional goals, etc. I can DO those things and perhaps *influence* the scale results, but I can’t predict or control the number on the scale.
I should do some step-ups while i’m up on this soapbox.
Linz saysApril 8, 2009 at 7:49 am
I have to admit that I’m a daily weigher. My scale is just sitting there in my bathroom looking at me every day. I feel compelled to step onto it.
I feel like I’m living outside the numbers. Lately, that angry red set of digits hasn’t been going down at all really, but I can FEEL my body changing. I see definition where I never have before, I can pull on my “skinny jeans” without even unbuttoning them. I use the scale to give me something measurable and concrete (that I can post in my blog weekly), but I don’t let it rule my life.
I’ve also tried MaryLou’s Weigh, the “non-scale” scale. She gives you a +/-, but NEVER a number. Honestly, she frustrates me more than the numberes ever did, though.
SlackerMama saysApril 8, 2009 at 7:49 am
I’m an everyday weigher. It keeps me honest.
iGoogle is my home page and they have an app called the Google 15. It tracks your weight on a daily basis and gives you a moving average of your weight. Basically, it gives you your weight trend over time (negating the daily fluctuations). If you are an everyday weigher….it really is awesome.
I actually find that using clothing fit has the opposite effect on me. When I went to college, I didn’t go up in size. But the athletic, played-soccer-every-day body of high school morphed into a flabby, beer drinking coed. Even before I lost the weight last year, pants that I considered “fitting” me really didn’t. I need the cold hard number of truth.
Joy saysApril 8, 2009 at 7:51 am
I weigh myself less often than I used to. Maybe once a week? As the temperatures climb and my time outside goes from one hour a day to three or four, I’ll probably weigh more often. It’ll be keep an eye out for big drops though, meaning I’m doing something wrong in the hydration department.
Had a friend overcome by heat exhaustion during a long workout last summer, and it was partly because of missing the clues the few days before… including 2-3 pounds lost each day.
Once I’m sure where the scale & regular life line up, I’ll go back to once a week.
Maggie saysApril 8, 2009 at 7:52 am
I’m a scale junkie! I like your idea, of making my clothes be the new jury.
Gigi saysApril 8, 2009 at 7:55 am
When the numbers were moving in the right direction I was content to weigh myself once every couple of weeks. It was GREAT to get a nice big wet kiss from the scale. Lately, tho, as the losses are harder to come by, I strangely find myself drawn to said scale almost daily. I think for me I’m trying to get that same hit of unexpected excitement as I experienced in the early days. Scale dyslexsia? It’s just wrong on so many levels. Good post.
MizFit saysApril 8, 2009 at 7:57 am
I’m really enjoying hearing all of your thoughts (more proscale comments on the way when I am @ computer and can free em from ‘pending’) and not surprisingly it is 100 percent difernt for each person.
Ahh MaryLou and your Weigh.
Amy P saysApril 8, 2009 at 7:57 am
For all you daily weighers out there check out http://www.physicsdiet.com
When I am weighing in daily I always use this site. I put in my weight and the site averages it. I always use the average as my weight loss. It has some kind of a formula so that if you have a crazy high day or were dehydrated and had a crazy low day you use the average of the days. I love it. My daily weigh in now means nothing to me but once I plug my numbers into the site I am able to keep motivated to stay below the “trend line”. It is worth checking out.
Irene saysApril 8, 2009 at 8:01 am
Thanks so much for this one! I plan on sending a few friends over to read this post, for sure.
I’m not a big daily weigher-inner, but as an endurance athlete I sometimes use the scale as a gauge for water retention or dehydration before and after runs over 6 miles.
TB--Milwaukee saysApril 8, 2009 at 8:02 am
In need of an intervention: Dailyweigherssometimesfivetimesaday!!!
Dr. J saysApril 8, 2009 at 8:02 am
Rarely weigh myself. When I do, I usually know what it will be. The clothing idea is a very good one. I reviewed a book based on that a couple of weeks ago.
BeckStein saysApril 8, 2009 at 8:05 am
For me it’s all the above…I monitor my “weight” by how my clothes fit and by the scale. Unfortunately, I am a bit dysmorphic when it comes to my body and thus I have to have a mathmatical figure to go off of so that my logical side understands what’s going on with my bod. I never see change in myself…I really have to have numbers and pictures to see the true change, otherwise whether I’m 185 or 135 lbs, I see the same person and don’t understand why my clothes are fitting all wonky. Infact I’m going through that right now…ugh…I don’t think it’s ever going to change. So yes I do weigh myself regularly, I recommend if you’re a scalewhore as many of us are, that you make it a challenge…make it a once a week or if you can handle it a once a month thing and set small goals that your training will help you reach. Like say 5 lbs. in a month due to really great spinning classes or something.
katieo saysApril 8, 2009 at 8:08 am
I’m not a fan of the scale either.
I have all sorts of grand plans for losing the baby weight this time around. None of them include the scale. If I’m being perfectly honest, I’m a little bit scared about that. Which makes me think even MORE than I need to break my relationship with the scale. I think it has it’s place, I just don’t think that place is in my life.
Lori saysApril 8, 2009 at 8:09 am
I am a numbers girl. I love numbers and stats and all that stuff. So, I check the scale every day. *However*, I don’t really take stock in what that number is other than part of a string of figures in my day. It is just a marker, and I don’t necessarily view the scale number as good or bad. The scale is just a pile of electronics and springs – and it doesn’t care what the number is.
If I am eating right and working out, the number is just a gentle guide. I also understand very much how my body is affected by foods, hormones and the like when it comes to the scale, so I don’t let that stuff affect me. I know that most people are too affected by that number, and to those – I highly recommend to stay off the scale.
For me, it’s okay.
Miz saysApril 8, 2009 at 8:21 am
Lori makes a really good point. A point which I KNOW has allowed me to get away from the scale and food recording to the microgram etc FAR more easily than many of my clients/friends:
IM NOT A NUMBERS GIRL.
at all. from being horrible with organizing financial paperwork to NOT having math be my forte.
I do think that sometimes people get caught up in the scale because they, as Lori says, really start off *enjoying* the info.
TB? I emailed you
Im on my way… 🙂
Vanessa saysApril 8, 2009 at 8:27 am
I put my scale away for good last month, and I am so glad I did. There is no more freaking out over tiny gains, no more standing in front of it gripped with fear because I ate some french fries the night before, and no more wishing I could just get below that “magic number.”
Oh, and it turns out the Earth did not crumble under my feet, nor have I gained weight since doing so. In fact, my previously perfect-fitting jeans are now getting a wee bit loose. I think that speaks volumes about the virtues of letting off a little of that scale-related pressure.
Jasmine (Sweet and Fit) saysApril 8, 2009 at 8:29 am
gosh! I have just recently started reading your blog and its really meant a lot! I used to weigh myself everyday, but then I realized that its pointless because it takes at least 1-2 weeks to notice any difference in weight loss or what not – so now I try to weigh my self at most once a week.
Diana saysApril 8, 2009 at 8:33 am
I’m 100% with you on this one. I found that this, along with food logging, makes me completely clinically insane. Obsessed. My mental well being and self esteem are much better if I don’t do either of those things.
Kellie saysApril 8, 2009 at 8:34 am
I am just like TB.
lisa saysApril 8, 2009 at 8:34 am
ha! i have blogged often about my co-dependent relationship with the scale, who i have dubbed my Bi-Polah Lov-Ah.
bi-polar because he’s up and down more times than one of my fav relatives who is bipolar and jokes of it often. Lov_Ah because of our relationship.
Around the same time i quit smoking -again-3 weeks ago- i gave my scale to DH and said “that’s it. he is ruling my every pee break. my mood for the hour is based on his mind games. its over. take him away”.
I haven’t seen him since. I go to weigh in at my weekly meetings, and i still my stupid pre-weigh in routine (for good luck yanno) and i’m always surprised. Mostly, because i’m surprised at my happy surprise no matter what. Its never shown a gain, and yet i’ve been happy with every loss.
at times i miss him. and picture him sitting in the alley beside my house, using my lighter to light my fav brand of ciggies and woefully calling to me. I won’t go look though. Just in case. Its awfully hard to break up with bad boys with issues;)
carolinebee saysApril 8, 2009 at 8:38 am
Not owning a scale= great way to end the relationship.
Sidenote about your walking post- on MY walk yesterday (glorious), i noted that walking outside > gym anyday, simply because once you’ve gone a certain distance, you’re at least forced to go the same distance back home 😀
deb saysApril 8, 2009 at 8:39 am
I have returned to scale after leaving it for a year. Since I also gave up journaling food.
I have recently gained about 12#.
For a while I actually fooled myself into thinking that it was all muscle gain (until a friend reminded me that women can build at most 7# of new muscle a year. This was in 6 weeks..). So even with the jeans check in I could fool myself into thinking its not a problem.
The scale won’t let me lie to myself.
So I’m back on the scale once a week -ok twice. until I learn to be more honest with myself.
And BTW, a muscle is not heavier than fat. A pound of fat/ A pound of muscle both weight a pound. The muscle, however, is MORE DENSE than fat taking up less space and letting us look thinner. Though only losing the body fat makes us look leaner.
Miz saysApril 8, 2009 at 8:41 am
OOOH DEB. Did I misspeak in my post (rolling on handheld and difficult to read posts…)?
as YES YES YES! to your point.
it’s the ole: What weighs more a pound of bricks or a pound of feathers joke…
tricia2 saysApril 8, 2009 at 8:43 am
I saw your comment on Cranky Fitness. Port is made from wine, so it’s got those antioxidants. And more alcohol than wine.
VRaz60 saysApril 8, 2009 at 8:44 am
Once a week is God’s plenty for me!! Altho’ I do sneak a peek when I think I’ve been particularly good. 🙂 Before I began this journey, I never got on the scale, now once a week to measure my progress. Eventually, I’d like to toss the scale out and just let my body tell me what’s going on.
tfh saysApril 8, 2009 at 8:52 am
I actually don’t have a strong opinion on this topic and enjoyed reading the other responses and trying to formulate one. I have weighed myself at random through the years and honestly it’s never the number that made me personally want to work out more/eat better– even in college when I was seeing it go up from my high school 125 or so to 160+, I just stepped off, and went out and drank beer and ate pizza. So for me personally the scale has never been motivation or affirmation. You know what is? Photos! Now that digital cameras exist I think if I were trying to lose weight I’d take a photo of myself each week. A photo of myself trying to zip that pair of jeans. 😉
Mary Anne in Kentucky saysApril 8, 2009 at 8:57 am
I try to remember to weigh about once a week. If I don’t, my weight gain can take me by surprise. The clothes method would totally not work for me. Hardly any of my clothes have a non-elastic waist, for two reasons. First, if I can’t do yoga in it I’m not likely to wear it. Second, I bloat. My waist measurement can change as much as three inches in an hour. Thank you, allergies! (Not just food ones, either–the last time I bloated was last week when I’d breathed some insecticide.)
Sagan saysApril 8, 2009 at 9:03 am
The topic of topics! 🙂
Conflicted: I totally agree with you, Miz. This is one of those “do as I say not as I do” scenarios. I’m with FLG in that I weigh myself to just keep track. It used to have a somewhat emotional affect on me, but I was never ruled much by the scale, and now it doesn’t affect me at all. I just like keeping track.
That being said, I still think it’s probably a better idea to just keep away from it. And am all about marking progress with clothes! That’s the BEST way to do it.
Miz saysApril 8, 2009 at 9:08 am
and you know me, People.
It’s all a journey to not giving a RATS ASS (yes. I said it.) about what you weigh at all.
Did I say Im writing a book?
With THAT unpopular opinion it may be a best seller….WITH MY MOM 🙂
Diana (Soap & Chocolate) saysApril 8, 2009 at 9:21 am
Oh man, the scale is a powerful burden. I weighed myself daily for probably a good 10 months, and when I realized that the number that showed up (even if only .2 lbs up) was affecting my mood/outlook for the WHOLE day, I realized how much power it actually had, and that’s not fair to me or anyone around me for that matter!
I can proudly say that I actually have kicked the scale habit VERY recently (as in less than 2 weeks ago) and I am feeling great about it. I check in once or twice a week, as I don’t feel the need to go cold turkey, but rather I trust myself that I will eventually give it up. I already know my fluctuation/bloat patterns enough to choose that one or two days that I weigh in to get the best read, so eventually I will just be able to go by how my clothes fit, as you say (which right now are all loose so I know I’m doing something right!). Bottom line is that I know (and any doctor would tell me the same) that I’m at a fantastic weight/fitness level for my height and age, and yes it has taken me a lot of time to learn everything that got me here and will keep me here, but that’s something I can now be proud of.
Lyn saysApril 8, 2009 at 9:22 am
I weigh daily just because if I don’t, it is my “head in the sand” tactic that “I don’t weigh that much and I am not gaining any weight.” I have, in the past, stayed away from the scale for weeks and then come back to a shock. When you’re so morbidly obese that you’re out of touch with your body, it’s easy to do! I’ve gained 11 pounds in a week, and 40 pounds in 3 months, so for me I have to stay on top of it. I really don’t notice when I gain weight *until* the clothes are too tight… but that can take a long, long time when you’re wearing 3x pants with an elastic waist!
That said, weighing daily has allowed me to *overcome* scale obsession, because I see the daily ups and downs and I know it is normal. A few pounds here and there, ok. If I see a pound, two pounds, three pounds every day for 3 days, I realize I better make some changes, and fast, if I don’t want to regain all the weight I’ve lost.
I think it is very cool how you handle it though. Everyone’s different and obviously NOT weighing is working for you!
bobbi saysApril 8, 2009 at 9:25 am
I am sending this post to my friend the “skinny bride” she is getting upset that the scale is not changing but here BODY is, I am with you Miz throw out the SCALE!!!
Fab Kate saysApril 8, 2009 at 9:41 am
OK… I’m going to disagree with a lot of this. The problem isn’t the scale, it’s not getting on the scale every day, it’s what people are doing with the information.
A number shouldn’t inspire fear and self loathing. It’s not the scale at fault, it’s the person standing on it who ties their self worth by a number. The scale gives you a tool to evaluate your health. If the number is high and you’re not training for Miss (or Mr) Universe, you need to be able to step back and reassess your health needs.
Do people obsess over the scale? Sure they do, but that’s more of a general social ill. They probably obsess over their clothing size and measurements as well. There isn’t anything wrong with the tool, it’s that the person using it is using it for self destructive purposes.
I weigh myself daily. I know that my weight can fluctuate a great deal over the day (when I weighed over 400 lbs, it wasn’t unusual to get a 7 lb fluctuation) Today I know I can get about a 2 lb fluctuation.
What do those daily numbers mean? For me it can mean my salt intake is too high, I have too much joint inflammation and I may becoming out of remission with my lupus… it can mean I’m dehydrated… but most important isn’t the number itself, but the trend. Do I have a general downward or upward trend? after looking at a weeks worth of data, do I need to alter my diet? My exercise? Make an appointment to see my doctor?
The thing is, the scale may tell me a LOT of things about my health, but it doesn’t tell me my self worth. If I don’t have a sense of my own self worth FIRST, the scale isn’t going to move anyway.
Finally, I would say that if you’re at the point where you only need to lose 5 or 10 lbs, the scale is a silly tool anyway. If you’re just a bit overweight, it’s a good idea to check and make sure you’re not creeping up, but odds are you don’t have to be terribly concerned about the relationship between your weight and your health. At that point weight and health aren’t directly related anyway.
We, as a society, have such warped ideas about weight/size and beauty!
Faith saysApril 8, 2009 at 10:12 am
MizFit, I heart you dearly. 🙂 On Sunday of this week, I had finally had it with my scale, it has been ruining perfectly good days for about 7 months now. So, I put it on a way high up shelf in my closet.
Thanks to a dear neighbor who has lost about 50 pounds I have jeans in many sizes. I’ve decided to use that as my guide line. I remembered back to my college years when I liked my body and felt decently hot and I weighed in at a whopping 165 pounds but wore a very tight 8, a comfortable size 10 or a hanging off a me size 12. That’s my goal these days, to get back to those numbers (the clothes).
I look at my other neighbor (who has lost 91 pounds). You’d guess that she is a size 6 and weights 120 pounds. But she currently weighs 135 and wears a loose size 10..who’d a thunk it. 🙂
josha saysApril 8, 2009 at 10:20 am
I think it has a lot to do with wanting to be in control of something that feels uncontrollable. One of those things that once you can allow yourself to LET IT GO, you will find the control you seek. sort of controlling your control issues, maybe. I dunno…I just know that when I let go of control in any area of my life, I find myself more in control…of myself. Some questions to ask yourself: do I have the belief that I NEED to step on the scale in order to keep doing what is healthy? Do I want to keep that belief? Does it serve me? If not, then ditch it.
Ms. V saysApril 8, 2009 at 10:25 am
I weigh in once a week. It’s enough.
Quix saysApril 8, 2009 at 10:31 am
I weigh most days, but I only concentrate on “is my low this week lower than my low last week”. I can fluctuate within 5 lbs for absolutely no good reason. I find it’s a helpful tool as long as I can keep my emotions in check, and most often I can. I spent so many years of my life NOT paying attention to the scale and getting in trouble…maybe I’ll try it again once I’ve maintained at my goal for a while.
Pubsgal saysApril 8, 2009 at 10:54 am
Like Trish (comment #10), it’s just one of my tools, like my blood glucose meter, tape measure, food log, and camera.
I usually do weigh every day–interestingly enough, I passed it up today–but I only “officially” track it weekly. And while I do have a weekly weight-related goal (lose or maintain) and an eventual goal weight, I’m finding that I’m putting more energy into the things I can control: what I eat and how much I move.
Hmmm…since I’m on a roll already, maybe I should try an experiment to do only a weekly or monthly weigh-in, to see if I am more obsessed about it than I thought? On the one hand, I remember from WW days that the weekly weigh-in was fraught with much angst/anticipation. On the other, knowing I wasn’t going to have that particular bit of datum every day might inspire me to be more careful with my food & moving habits.
Miz. saysApril 8, 2009 at 10:58 am
so much of this has resonate with me in a “that makes total sense! I see how it could work for you…” way.
I still dont see running out and buying a scale, but as always you have me thinking (and YES. That means you Oh Fab Kate :))
Pubsgal saysApril 8, 2009 at 11:03 am
Ooooo, and I meant to mention my Mary Lou’s Weigh experience. I spent a month using the Mary Lou Platform at a point when I started stalling out on the scale. I had also just started taking BodyPump class weekly. Being bombarded by the usual health advice on a daily basis as I fluctuated +/-3 pounds around the starting weight was kind of annoying. Most of that stuff I already knew and was applying already. So to me, it felt more judgmental than the scale numbers, actually. End result of that month? I ended up at my starting weight, but had slimmed down all over (according to my tape measure) because of the strength training.
Rose saysApril 8, 2009 at 11:05 am
I used to get really wrapped up in the scale and sometimes still do. A few weeks ago, I went on a daily rampage – weighing myself each morning and then feeling dejected for the rest of the day. Since then, I’ve decided to banish the scale for a time and rely on clothing – so this post is very timely for me.
I think there are ups and downs to it. It seems to work for people who follow WW or the like. But I think for me, I am more concerned with how I feel overall.
Marjorie saysApril 8, 2009 at 11:22 am
Obsessing over the scale is not the cause, it’s the effect.
When people let the number on the scale affect their mood and their feelings of self-worth, that’s not the scale’s fault. Making the scale out to be the enemy is like saying “My checking account is overdrawn, it’s the checking account’s fault!” It’s not the scale that is the problem, it’s the reaction to it. If you’re letting the scale affect your feelings of self-worth, then you need to learn to love yourself. If you don’t fully love and accept yourself, you aren’t going to fully love and accept yourself at any weight. Think of all the skinny people you know or hear about who you would kill to look like and they think they are fat. It’s all perception and self-love…or lack thereof.
I choose to weigh because it is a method of keeping track of my progress in the same way that I keep track of my checking account to make sure I’m not overdrawn. I know the scale isn’t always an accurate representation so if I get on the scale and I’m up a pound even though I know I had a good week, I’ll drink extra water that day and try again the next day.
The scale doesn’t judge. We judge ourselves. So if you’re obsessing over the scale, sever the connection between the scale and your self-worth. Love yourself. See the scale as simply an indicator.
Jody - Fit at 51 saysApril 8, 2009 at 11:26 am
Some good points there MizFit! Although for me, I look at “to weigh or not to weigh” every day the same as my thoughts on exercising & food. A person has to find a program both food & exercise wise that will work for them long term. Same with the scale.
I have ready numerous articles/studies that say to only weigh once a week for long term success. BUT, I also have read the exact opposite that those that weight themselves once per day have better long term success because they understand the ups & downs as you explained due to food etc. but the monitoring helps them if they start to get to that 3-4 pound & more. The daily weighing helps them get back on track when they see that the weight is not going down but just going up.
I am a daily weigher BUT I do use the way my clothes fit as a barometer too because like you, I am a lot of muscle so I weigh more than a typical person my size but my clothes size is small. I also have the history of knowing that about my weight & I preach this to women to help them understand that more. If you are more muscle, use both the clothes & the scale (or measurements – bust/waist/hip) as indicators of how you are doing.
Also, I am a person that ALWAYS weighs 3 pounds or even more at night than when I weigh myself first thing in the morn. I can also get up, have 1 cup of coffee & be 1.5-2 pounds heavier. This is just how my body works & I know that so I always weigh first thing in the morn.
I think it just comes down to finding out what will work for you & what will not “depress” or deter you & go with that.
PS: Happy Passover!
Jess saysApril 8, 2009 at 11:39 am
I don’t own a scale, but I weigh myself at the gym from time to time (ok, 1-2 times a week). I’m not trying to lose weight, but I like to keep track of my body and I’m kind of a data person.
Kristi Summer saysApril 8, 2009 at 12:13 pm
I do step on the scale daily, even though I know it is so wrong. Thanks for reminding me it is more about how your clothes fit and less about the number. I think I may remove that scale from my bathroom tonight. I know better, but I get obsessed with the number and you are so right it isn’t even accurate half the time depending on deydration and/or water retention.
Maggie saysApril 8, 2009 at 12:47 pm
I think that if you are going to weigh yourself every day, you can’t focus on the number for each specific day. You need to look at the general trend. You could gain 4 pounds overnight bc of too much salt! But if the next day you’re up again, and the next day up again, that might be a real trend. So I think it’s good to look at trends, but not focus on individual numbers.
Kimberly Lee saysApril 8, 2009 at 1:03 pm
I have long had a love/hate relationship with the scale. I love to weigh myself daily but HATE the way my mood shifts if the number is not what I expected it to be.
As someone who is recovering from a long battle with an eating disorder – I realize that allowing the scale to dictate my mood is not healthy. However, I do not always see my body for the way it truly looks.
My husband is helping me to find that balance and end my love/hate relationship with the scale. For now, I am moving for daily weigh in’s to once a week. But I take my measurements every month, and we track our fitness goals (3 runs per week, 2 lifting sessions). I’m finding that during the weeks where he and I are meeting those goals (and spending time together), I have no need to see the number on the scale. I feel fitter, happier, stronger…and all over better about myself.
Perhaps I can finally end my relationship with the scale.
erin saysApril 8, 2009 at 1:41 pm
Oh, the scale. I have had quite the roller-coaster relationship with it. I used to be a daily weigher, sometimes even weighing more than once a day, and then one day after feeling really discouraged about how my mood was destroyed by a mere .5 pound gain, I decided I was being ridiculous. So I started to wean myself little by little, going from weighing daily to every other day to every 4 days, to a week, then two weeks. It has helped me SO MUCH. I feel so much more freedom, and somehow, when I do weigh now, my mood is not affected nearly as much. I suppose after losing 64 pounds I’ve proven to myself that I can do it and I’m worth more than a number on a scale, so the scale no longer holds the same power over me as it used to. I’m all about finding freedom from different types of bondage, and I truly believe I allowed myself to be in bondage to that scale. Not anymore!
But like others have said, it’s not the scale’s fault, really; it’s our reaction. We CHOOSE to let the scale destroy our day or have no effect at all. We CHOOSE to let it make us crazy.
And I CHOOSE to take my life back from the scale and live in freedom.
Normal to Natalie saysApril 8, 2009 at 1:44 pm
great post girl. thinking about my relationship with that digital devil now. i tend to do both… i have a goal number and a goal pair of pants!
Shannon (The Daily Balance) saysApril 8, 2009 at 1:57 pm
Great post! If I remember, I weigh myself once a week. I have a range I like to stick to — If I creep up to a certain number I know I have to increase activity and decrease calories.
I really like the idea of the ‘check-point’ pair of pants, though!
POD saysApril 8, 2009 at 2:09 pm
I don’t visit the scale every day though I could.
And if I do, it would be post-poo too.
(not just post-pee) See?
Lainie (now Fit Fig) saysApril 8, 2009 at 2:18 pm
Thanks, Miz. I have had a love-hate relationship with my scale. Usually more hate than love because it moves to slowly when I’m trying to lose.
Since becoming preggers I have just ignored it completely, except when I go to the OB/GYN where they insist on weighing me (sometimes out in the open before going into the little room–HATE that). Fortunately I have yet to put on any weight (gotta a little extra flab so haven’t needed to). Of course I go back tomorrow and will face the scale again. It may be up this time–I have a feeling it will be but I’m going to try to be relaxed about it. Plenty of time to lose weight after baby comes!
lee (getting fit) saysApril 8, 2009 at 2:28 pm
I do weigh myself every morning. I think I’m getting a better grip on not letting the number affect my emotions. By doing this, I noticed when despite eating well and exercising that my weight was starting to drift in the wrong direction — prompted me to do some research on plateaus. And then to add strength training into the mix.
Once I reach my goal weight, I plan to reduce WI to once a week and then once a month.
It’s funny (not ha ha funny), but just yesterday after putting some pants on that had been sidelined for a long time because they were impossible to zip up, I wondered, why the hell didn’t not fitting into these pants register a need to drop some weight?
BTW – The pants fit great now and I’m looking forward to them feeling loose in the near future. Funny how “looseness” registers with me.
Miz saysApril 8, 2009 at 2:30 pm
so many great insights and love the repetition of the word choice through many of the comments.
For some reason, Kimberly Lee, I love that its your husband, your PARTNER, who is helping you through all this.
Thats what relationships should be all about ….
Lainie (Fit Fig) saysApril 8, 2009 at 2:32 pm
Oh and I should mention I LOVE not being a slave to the scale. Best part about being pregnant.
IRJessica saysApril 8, 2009 at 2:53 pm
I am paying what is a LOT of money to me every month so that WW will weigh me. That is how I broke my daily weigh addiction. It is sooooo freeing. I can’t wait for maintenance. I am going to take your advice about the “scale” pants. Yeah.
Marelisa saysApril 8, 2009 at 2:58 pm
Hi MizFit: I agree that the jean test is more accurate than the scale test. Lately my clothes have been fitting more losely but the scale hasn’t budged. I’m not sure why that is, but I know for a fact that my clothes aren’t getting any bigger, so I must be losing weight 🙂
Monica Shaw saysApril 8, 2009 at 3:19 pm
Ok, I started responding to this thread (way late in the game, but better late than never), and my response got so long I wrote a blog post about it. The gist: I agree with you MizFit. Or at least, my rational brain does. My irrational brain still weighs in every day. Which is working against me cuz I’m actually trying to gain weight (muscle) at the moment. Hmm, after reading this, I think I need to hide the scale for a while. And start eating more!you know I say yesyes to the final sentence, Friend. goodcleanmore is always a good thing
Mary Meps saysApril 8, 2009 at 3:30 pm
That was one thing I did different in this go ’round, the one that worked, I never use a scale. I have no idea the exact number of poundage I lost. People have guessed about a hundred pounds.
I don’t need a scale to tell me whether I need to exercise regularly or eat properly. Does it matter what the scale says when I choose an apple over a donut? A scale was a disincentive to me. Whether I want to practice consistently sound and healthy behavior or not, is up to me not a scale. Scales had me bouncing emotionally.
There is a nice peace and balance with not using a scale. I don’t even own one. Someone tried to give me one, no thank you. If I want to be healthy, I have to exercise. period. There’s no quibbling about it. If I want to be a heathly weight and be healthier, I have to eat right. However much I end up weighing while doing both of those things, is how much I weigh. So be it.
MamaBearJune saysApril 8, 2009 at 3:47 pm
An unhealthy obsession is never good and that’s what some people have with their scale. As long as I am trying to lose weight, though, I will continue to weigh daily. It is, as someone else mentioned, a tool for this journey. When I’m at maintenance weight, I’ll probably switch to once a week and/or use my clothes as a marker. And I have readjusted my “goal weight” to a higher number because of the changes with age and being happier with the sizes I’m wearing. My goal is more of a size than a weight now. But I still need to monitor my weight as another guide to how I’m doing.
But I’ve read in a couple different places about studies of “dieters” who weighed daily, weekly, or less frequently and it was the people who weighed daily who lost the most and kept it off.
Mary @ A Merry Life saysApril 8, 2009 at 4:24 pm
Some people can have a healthy relationship with the scale, some people can’t. For me its a good thing to weigh myself daily. The number isn’t that important to me – I don’t FREAK when I see a gain or anything, and the number has long since lost its relevance on my self worth – but it does help keep me on track. Clothes are a good motivator for some, but not me. If I see the scale fairy brought me a higher number I know that I’m not doing well and need to get back on it. Once I stop weighing myself daily is when I find trouble and start to let things go. Even if my clothes feel tight I will overlook this and keep on the downward slide. It doesn’t control me, but it also doesn’t lie to me.
Camevil saysApril 8, 2009 at 4:29 pm
Once I get down to my goal-ish, I’m stopping the weigh ins. However, while in weight loss mode, I’ve found that WIs are a motivator to keep me losing. Sure, there have been some disappointing gasp-inducing WI’s, but for the most part, the small weekly losses help keep the momentum going. Once I’m in maintenance, I’d like to be more, uh, intuitive.
Like the clothes gauge idea. Make sure those waistbands aren’t elastic…those are part of the reason my weight ballooned! Down with elastic pants!
Spring Girl saysApril 8, 2009 at 4:59 pm
Uncannily good timing Miz and I heartily agree with all the crossed out words! I don’t have a scale, so I occasionally weigh myself at my Mom’s place when I am there which tends to be at random times of day. I have posted before about how my weight changed by about 1kg in an hour, hence the conclusion that the scale lies.
But in truth I think it depends on how much you have to lose. On the grand scheme of things I have little and all my exercise, intuitive eating and especially weight training have led to NO change on the scale at all after an initial drop. In fact, my weight has recently gone up a little. So do I throw out my new healthy lifestyle, stop lifting weights because I’m getting heavier? Thankfully I know that number actually means nothing about body composition, because I just tried on half a wardrobe full of pants that I haven’t been able to breath in for the last two years and they all fit.
I am a numbers girl, but this one means very little and does chip away at the self esteem each time. There is no such thing as an ideal weight there is only such a thing as an ideal lifestyle and that is reflected in a healthy body.
Shelley B saysApril 8, 2009 at 5:10 pm
Former anorexic checking in here (gotta love those insecure high school years!)…having gone from emaciated to normal to overweight over some 30-odd years, I have never had a good relationship with the scale. ESPECIALLY during the times when I’ve been trying to lose weight – I can stay on track, eating-wise and that frickin’ scale won’t budge. It makes me insane! OR, I can stay on track, eating-wise, and I will show a good loss…and then I have to keep checking, every day. INSANITY.
Currently, on the advice of one very smart MizFit (thank you!), my platform (Mary Lou) is tucked away in my closet. The only way I can weigh myself is to deliberately hook up my WiiFit, which gives me plenty of time to think about if I really want to know what it is going to tell me.
I guess I look at scales as a necessary evil for those who are trying to lose weight. Right now I weigh myself about every two weeks when morbid curiosity wins out.
SeaBreeze saysApril 8, 2009 at 5:21 pm
I was weighing myself daily. I had no good reason for doing so. I am perturbed because the scale at my gym seems to have disappeared. I don’t own a home scale. I am 8 days and counting without a weigh in and I’m OKAY with that.
sassy stephanie saysApril 8, 2009 at 5:32 pm
Yeah, I seriously hate that beyotch. She’s so moody. One day, telling me how light and airy I am, another she’s teasing me asking if I have a brick in my hands. I quit her, totally.
I judge by clothes. But, the problem there: you have to step out of the yoga pants and running shorts every now and then and sport a pair of sassy jeans. Elastic waists can only be your friend after gorging on Mexican food. They can turn on you in a split second and keep secrets from you. Ya know, the ones where they laugh behind your back after they leave big indentations in your new fluffiness.
MizFit saysApril 8, 2009 at 6:21 pm
ok this is off topic but Im announcing today that Im going to drink FAR MORE WATER.
and not with any of my beloved crystal lite tubes poured in either.
please to feel free to nag me.
you are all officially my MizFit Motivational Partners.
(I now return you to previously scheduled programming)
scale junkie saysApril 8, 2009 at 7:02 pm
OMG I swear you could have been at coffee with Natalia and I this morning, we had a huge scale conversation and we both agreed with you (of course)
The scale can send you flying high or crash you to the deepest pit of despair if you let it and for too long I let it (hence the title Scale Junkie) no more! Its a battery operated hunk of metal and glass and its not the boss of me!
Kara saysApril 8, 2009 at 7:57 pm
I disagree with you on almost all of your points, but mostly on the idea that weighing yourself daily is a mindfuck.
First of all, let’s establish one thing: there’s no such thing as a “true” weight for anyone. Scales vary. What I weigh on my scale at home is different from what I weigh on the scale at the gym, from what I weigh on the scale at the doctors, from what I weigh at the scale at a friend’s house. And my weight – actual fat and muscle weight – can be influenced by my period, by whether or not I consumed too much salt, by what I drank or didn’t drink, by if I lifted weights and my muscles are retaining fluid, etc.
So what do you have if you don’t have a “true” weight? You have a CONSISTENT weight. Always weigh at the same time of day, wearing the same clothes (or lack thereof), on the SAME SCALE. I cannot emphasize how important that last part is.
The fact of the matter is this: THE NUMBER DOESN’T MATTER.
I know, sacrilege, huh? But it’s true. The actual number doesn’t matter. It’s all about losing or gaining.
I weigh first thing in the morning, after my shower, naked. I use my digital scale. Mine. I never step on the scale anywhere else. My scale says I weigh 167 (as of this morning). If I lose weight, if I gain weight, whatever … it’s in relation to what I weighed on my scale the previous day.
It’s not actually about weighing 167. Or 170. Or 150. Or whatever the number is. It’s about knowing that I’ve gained X number of pounds or lost X number of pounds. It’s about knowing that 2 days before my period I’ll gain 3-5 lbs and THAT’S OK. I know it will happen and when my jeans get tight, I don’t have to panic. Because by weighing myself daily I know the ebb and flow of my body. I know how various foods affect me. I know how my cycle affects me. And I don’t freak out like I used to when my jeans get tight once a month.
For me, weighing daily keeps me on track. It keeps me focused. It keeps me aware. When I’ve quit weighing over a period of time, I allow weight to creep on, because I don’t see it until it’s 7, 8, 9, 12 lbs. When I weigh daily, I see the 2 lbs and or 3 lbs and I can know … this is my period, or this is me not paying attention.
Weighing daily keeps me accountable. And that’s important. It’s how I lost 80+ lbs and how I’ve kept it off for nearly 2 years.
It might not be for everyone, but blanket statements that no one should weigh daily are stupid and ignorant. Everyone is different and everyone should find a way that works for them. For some people that means stepping on the scale every morning – the same scale – and being accountable to oneself for one’s weight.
suganthi saysApril 8, 2009 at 8:00 pm
Oh dear Miz.
I agree with you that clothes size is a good indicator. But I wear a fair bit of loose clothing due to my cultural background and also becasue my folks buy.. the readymade wear which is one size fits all. But I am going to respectfully disagree with you to some extent here:
Weighing every day.. I really don’t believe in it, but never step on a scale.. no.. that is too extreme. I think for the most majority of people who have to work at maintaining their weight, it is essential to stay vigilant and weighing once a week is a good idea. I can tell from personal experience that no matter how much I know that it is all about energy balance and not withstanding good intentions, it simply is hard for most of us to maintain healthy eating habits and we all let our weight go up a fair bit before we catch it. Oh gawd… I can go on and on… I think it is an useful tool when used sensibly. We all learn by trial and error and for me personally weighing once a week helps. I always weigh myself first thing in the morning after peeing.
suganthi saysApril 8, 2009 at 8:05 pm
PS I ran 6 miles on treadmill for national walking day. My companion was Van Halen 🙂
Ash saysApril 8, 2009 at 10:40 pm
I was totally addicted to the scale. I would obsess over it every day.
I think that’s the key. Obsession. If we find ourselves doing ANYTHING that much or having our mind consumed totally with any one thing- it’s too much.
I believe in moderation and if you find a weekly weigh in a good motivator then go for it.
I just feel that there are so many factors to take into consideration. Like, for example, that I have been the same weight for a long time, in the “overweight” category. HOWEVER! I have been measuring myself and have lost over 30cms from my body in that time.. I am building muscle but my scale doesn’t know that!!
I think if we take the focus and concentration of the scale for a minute and start trying to focus on properly nourishing our bodies (not cutting everything out) by adding adding adding more and more nutritious foods every day, we will get to our destinations.
Andrew(AJH) saysApril 9, 2009 at 3:10 am
I am a scale addict too. I’m a multiple times a day guy. Every morning, most nights, before a run, after a run etc. etc. I even contemplated taking the scales on a recent vacation (but didn’t, common sense won out in the end).
I find it helps me keep on track. Doesn’t seem to mess with the head too much.
Natalia Burleson saysApril 9, 2009 at 4:19 am
I used to be a compulsive weigher. Pretty much every time I went into the bathroom I would step on the scale. I gave my scale weigh too much power! My clothes really do tell me all I need to know. It’s nice to realize I am more than a number on the scale. I’m a worthwhile person no matter what I weigh. I had to step on a scale at the dr’s office, boy did that send me into a tail spin. It made me realize how much that hunk of metal affected my self esteem, my self worth. No more scale for me!
Marla saysApril 9, 2009 at 5:50 am
I don’t even own a scale anymore, because it just drives me insane. There’s just not enough direct correlation between my efforts and the “result” shown on the scale; it’s the most demotivating thing I know.
However, when I did weigh myself, I weighed daily. Not because I expected or hoped for progress in that short amount of time, but because I think that gives you the best picture of how much your weight does fluctuate day-to-day. You learn that a particular food or particular time of month or type of activity tends to add or remove a couple pounds temporarily. If I only weighed once a week I wouldn’t realize that a lot of it is ephemeral and I’d freak out a lot more if I saw no loss or even a gain.
But that said, clothing is definitely a better measure of your body’s size. As long as you choose something that doesn’t stretch and shrink with wearing…
Elina saysApril 9, 2009 at 6:00 am
I really like the idea of going by how your clothes fit, but for those of us who are still trying to lose weight, I think you need to be a little more accurate, because the goal piece of clothing may fit very far in the future (so if you begin to gain weight, it won’t fit… and you won’t even know if you’re doing something wrong by mistake… and if you’re doing something right, then it still won’t fit, because well that’s your goal piece of clothing and it takes a while to get there). I actually read a study that people that weigh themselves daily on average lose more weight. I don’t know if that’s because if the weight creeps up for a few days in a row, they change something about their routines before a whole week (or 2) goes by. An occasional daily weight gain/loss can definitely be misleading but it’s all about the trend.
Heh, with that said, I haven’t weighed myself in a while but that’s because I’ve been indulging a bit much lately and I know what the scale will show, so I don’t need to see it. Once I’m back to clean eating for a little while, I’ll start weighing myself again. I think it helps me, but I know many people get obsessed (and upset) so at the end of the day, they should do what works for them.
Ok, sorry for the long post 🙂
Debra saysApril 9, 2009 at 7:55 am
I must be getting the Miz emails a day behind because I just realized this one was from the 8th. And it was so timely for me as I KNOW I have gained weight (and I never use a scale) and just this morning I tried on 3 pairs of black pants and none of them looked/felt the way the are supposed to – they still go on but they are not fitting the way they did 5/10 pounds ago. The universe was reminding me to eat less and exercise more…
RA saysApril 9, 2009 at 7:56 am
I completely agree with your view, I wish I practiced what I agree with! There was a time where I was so scale obsessed that I would push myself (with the aid of walls) down so the weight would go up and then get back on to see it go down. Yikes huh? One day it wouldn’t go down and I jumped up and down on it…several time…and broke the scale. (It was digital) That ended my weighing every day habit since it was no longer in front of me! Since then I have a new scale, I keep it in the garage and I weigh myself, not everyday, but too often.
I think I’ll put my scale aside for a while and get back in touch with my body!
Keep on Rockin Miz!
Foodie McBody saysApril 9, 2009 at 8:59 am
Mizfit, I think this is really healthy. But I wonder – don’t you think it is easier for people who know they are in a healthy range (like you) to resist weighing, than people who know they are NOT in a healthy range (yet) like me? I know there are other ways of measuring health and fitness, and I am using those too, but for now the scale is a powerful motivator. When I DIDN’T weigh myself, I went up to a very unhealthy all-time high weight because I was in denial. I wore stretchy elastic pants so I never really understood how big I was getting. I think if I HAD been weighing myself over that year, I would have gotten alarmed enough to do something about it. I just didn’t see it in the mirror, and the pants allowed a 20 lb gain without me really “noticing.” Just sayin’.
rhodeygirl saysApril 9, 2009 at 9:57 am
I weigh myself every single morning when I’m at home. I don’t value myself at all based on that number, and am generally unemotional about it. Some weeks it has been up like 4 lbs for no reason (WTF?) and some weeks the opposite has happened. I know that as long as I am within my 3 lb safe range I am ok. I also measure my waist and hips just to make sure that I am not losing muscle- it is the first place that fat likes to hang out, and fat can be a bully sometimes pushing my muscle away.
I KNOW I am a strong woman, and I KNOW I will never weigh 120 lbs… but I think it is important for me to always have some kind of confirmation that I am still doing everything right.. because sometimes your habits change without you even realizing it (like when i started eating a small dessert every night, gained two lbs of FAT, and didn’t notice until the scale told me about this new habit).
I also know that weighing myself every day is my only ticket to successful maintenance.. you have been fit for longer than I have, so your habits are probably sewed in your brain. I am still teaching myself and reminding myself…
MizFit saysApril 9, 2009 at 11:21 am
commenting so you know I am still here and reading (people always email and as me if I read every comment. and yes) AND should have clarified better (thanks foodiemcbody) that I was not a weigher when I was working to lose weight initially (hello freshwoman FORTY!) and when I was relosing weight recently…
Becky saysApril 9, 2009 at 12:36 pm
HAHAHAHAHA! This post made me laugh because, as you may already know, I HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE my scale!
I use it every once in awhile (er, once every 2 months) just to check in. But that’s it.
I am genuinely toying with the idea of setting it on fire in my backyard.
I think BMI is BS. And scales, no matter what we tell ourselves, DO affect how we feel and how we view ourselves.
Be honest. When your scale reads a lower number than the last time you weighed yourself, you’re flying high all day.
When its higher? Not so much.
It is my personal belief that the scale is the lamest home accessory ever. Which is why mine lives under the bed. With the dust mites and my missing hair ties.
Juice saysApril 9, 2009 at 12:36 pm
I weigh in weekly at WW. My relationship with my home scale was unhealthy so I gave it to goodwill. Now I don’t stress as much about the WW weigh in. I’m going in the right direction and I’ll get there eventually.
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Tess The Bold Life saysApril 9, 2009 at 4:17 pm
I completely agree with you about scales. When our four daughters were growing up I wouldn’t allow a scale in our home. I didn’t want them obsessing about their weight.
Of course they weighed themselves at their friends homes but hey it’s better than daily.
And yes the favorite piece of clothing always works.
Kelly Olexa saysApril 9, 2009 at 5:45 pm
I NEVER weigh myself. I go 100% for looking great naked. Not at “great” yet, but I’m on the way! 😉
Steph. saysApril 10, 2009 at 10:48 pm
My name is Stephanie, and Miz…I’m a total scale addict. I blame it on many Weight Watchers attempts failed. I’d lose the weight, only to put it back on.
A month or so ago, I thought my digital scale was broken. My trainer said GOOD. That’s just what I needed. Because my husband is raving on my newly fit bod and how different it looks, and I fixate on the fact that the scale has only dipped 8-10 pounds when I had 30 to lose. My trainer has said there’s not an ounce of fat on my legs to be found, and yet, I’m unhappy because the scale isn’t down enough.
I have a whole blog post planned on this. So, I”ll stop there. Except to say, that my dig scale was NOT broken and I’m back on it every day…at least once a day after I wake up and pee. Help me!
Zandria saysApril 13, 2009 at 10:31 am
I wrote a post on this subject not long ago myself. Unsurprisingly, I’m in complete agreement — years, ago, when I weighed myself every day, I was miserable. Our weight goes up and down sometimes on a daily basis because of all kinds of factors. No need to add another stressor to our lives.
Cynthia saysApril 13, 2009 at 8:12 pm
I guess for once I cannot agree.
I’m a daily weigh person. I enter that number in Hacker’s Diet Online and I see a trend. That’s been a help to me to stay on track. However, I’ve always weighed daily when losing weight and I am quite used to the normal daily fluctuations, can predict them much of the time and they don’t phase me.
I see no need to make daily weighing out to be a problem action or something that if done, means a person should be in therapy. That’s ridiculous! If it is or becomes a problem for an INDIVIDUAL, then they should stop and find a different method to assess progress. Just as no one way of eating fits everyone, no one way of tracking progress does either.
Today, for instance, my scale is way up. I ate poorly all weekend. I’m dehydrated as well. I have a salt and sugar load on that is considerable. So yeah, the scale is up and so what? All I read in that higher number is that it is high time to get back on track now that I’m home and not on the road. It’s not a stressor, it’s simply a piece of data.
Pants fit is not a help to me. Every single pair I own has at least some stretch to it. Seriously, the sweat pants that fit me when I weighed 262 pounds STILL FIT ME NOW! The elastic waist stretch jeans I love are the same. They are looser in fit, they are starting to feel like they could be too big in the future, but they fit. That is some 40 pounds of difference, yet the SAME PANTS WORK. This has also been true with my swim suits. Oh, and I’m still wearing the same T-shirts too.
My gut feeling says that if I’d been trying to judge progress by clothes fit, I’d have gone ABSOLUTELY NUTS with frustration and quit long since!
When you are large and changes in body size come slowly, clothes fit is NOT always the kindest or least depressing way to judge progress.
Angie saysJune 11, 2010 at 5:55 am
Such a great post!
As a dietitian specializing in wellness and weight management,I see the damage the scale causes. I think it is more the emotions that we connect to the scale and the number. I’m with you – I don’t own a scale and I might step on one a few times a year to check in. Love the great discussion!
Nina saysDecember 10, 2010 at 7:07 am
I am very much opposed to weighing. The reason is this – the scales are MOOD ALTERING. I can go from ecstasy to depression based on the number that comes up.
This has been one of the keys to my complete recovery from an eating disorder
Sheri saysDecember 13, 2010 at 1:13 pm
Miz great post! When I started Nutrisystem back in 2008 I weighed once a week no more no less.
I continued that after losing and starting maintenance and then found I had become obsessed with a number. This drove me to self destruction mentally. I felt like I was fat all the time unless I weighed 171 and the honest truth I am not fat just because I’m 9 pounds higher.
I stopped relying on the scale and started living life as a thin fit person and its been wonderful! I like you judge my weight by my clothes.
Its nice to be able to live in my skin now and be happy with just how far I’ve come in 2 years.
Kimberly Faye Thompson saysJanuary 4, 2012 at 10:48 pm
My father began weighing me as a child, after dinner and before bedtime and after he had had a few drinks. I couldn’t have been over 10 years old, as my weight was between 70 and 80 lbs. He would mark my weight on his calendar nightly and if I had gained a pound or more from the previous night, I couldn’t have bread, potatoes or dessert the next day. By the time I was 15, I developed full on bulimia, not knowing what it was called. I also thought I had invented it, and thought I had found a way to eat and still keep my weight down for the weigh-ins. My mother was always on a diet as well, and my dad would chastise her for her “fat stomach”. She was about 5’3″, 145lbs – not at all obese. But she had had two c-sections with a vertical incision, severing her abdominal wall causing scar tissue. Her “fat stomach” was the bane of her existence and she even would hit herself in the stomach saying,”why won’t this go away?” She too weighed herself everyday and it governed her mood. Soon, as expected, it affected mine too. DAILY. If the scale went up at all, I was depressed, and if it went down, I was elated. No way to live. I memorized the calorie count for every food, and went on many fad diets with mom when growing up. The scale became my greatest enemy and fear.
As a result, for many years now, I have not had a scale and only weigh at the doctor’s or occasionally in the locker room. Weight is not an accurate measurement of fitness like body composition is. And you know how your clothes feel, fit and look on your body. When I notice my clothes feeling tighter, I up my cardio and cut down on portion size. I have been recovering from bulimia since I went into treatment at age 30. I am now 51 and have maintained a healthy weight throughout-even through a twin pregnancy and a singleton- all without a scale. I can’t imagine bringing all the anxiety back into my life that the scale caused.
Kelly@CurvyFitGirl saysJune 22, 2012 at 5:04 am
I wish my scale did not hold any power over me. But it does. I feel like I will always be a slave to it. Maybe one day, I will not allow it that kind of power anymore.
Katie @wishandwhimsy saysJune 22, 2012 at 5:34 am
GREAT post. I like the idea of using one piece of clothing as your go-to scale each week.
Cindy saysJune 22, 2012 at 8:06 am
If I had weighed myself daily after losing 85 pounds, I would have noticed the numbers getting bigger again, and done something about it. Not having a scale led me to gain back 20 pounds like that, and from there on the scale has gone up and up and up. 10 years later I am trying to lose the weight again, and it was sure easier at 26 than 36 and that includes daily weigh ins. For me, it is accountability, even though I’m not seeing any changes yet.