Health and Wellbeing

The bathroom scales aren’t the problem, it’s my brain.

March 4, 2014

arch nemesis - bathroom scalesSo, I have this love/hate relationship with my bathroom scales.

At the end of last year I was going through some fairly major stress and although normally someone who can eat their way through any mood, my tummy was in knots and I found the best solution for my stress was exercise.

The results of this less than ideal time in my life was fairly pleasing for me as I was rather fond of the new-look lean, buff, don’t-mess-with-me-in-a-dark-alley me.

We’re not talking 10, or even 5 kilos here, we’re talking a subtle difference in my weight and shape that I was not unhappy about.

Obviously, as things return to somewhat normal or I adjust to the stress my tummy knots have loosened and I can now fit in more ice-cream and booze…. AKA calorific joy.

This little turn of events has exacerbated my love/hate relationship that I referred in the first line of this post.

When I mentioned on my Facebook page that I hated the scales yesterday morning because they were traitorous arseholes I was surprised and interested to see the resulting commentary.

I was surprised at the hate that got dumped on my scales. They were even called ‘punks’.

Which I think is perfect!

Firstly, a number of people said they NEVER weigh themselves and alternative methods of gauging were offered –

  • tape measure
  • judging by clothes
  • energy levels

These are all very valid, no doubt, but they are all just alternate ways of weighing in, are they not?

Not as precise, or exact, sure, but whether that’s a good or bad thing I don’t know.

If you discover the tape measure is a traitorous arsehole, or your jeans are suddenly sprouting muffin tops the results are still the same as jumping on the scales and discovering a couple of cheeky kilos that have glued themselves to your love-chunks.

As Doctor Nealie, my friendly neighbourhood doctor/reader/friend/partner-in-crime pointed out weighing yourself and keeping an eye on your numbers is actually not a bad thing.

Don’t hate on the scales she suggests.

Unintentional weight gain or weight loss should not be overlooked as a major indicator of general health, but also, it’s not unhealthy to want to keep your shit in check.

Nealie also mentioned that if being thin is what drives your life than the problem may be bigger than the scales.

So true, however, being 10 kilos overweight is not healthier than being mildly obsessive about scales or weight…. it’s all relative.

I will put my hand up quite honestly and say I have body issues. I have had these issues for a long time, and I struggled with bulimia for many years…. thing is, that shit in my head will probably never go away.

Just like an addict is always an addict, I will probably always be bulimic.

I’m just non-practicing these days.

I have made a pact with myself to never, ever speak negatively of my weight or appearance in front of my children (unless I look exhausted and it’s all their bloody fault). That is actually a no brainer for me because I don’t ever want my kids to feel as negatively about their rig as I felt about mine for a long time.

The issue I have with the scales is not whether or not I do it too often, or whether or not I’ve gained a kilo or two (human beings fluctuate within a couple of kilos. That is normal. Yo-yoing is not normal, and is really bad for your metabolism).

The issue is how it makes me feel in my head.

My head is a strange and wonderful land. I overthink, obsess and turn conversations inside out and I have multiple thought trains steaming down the tracks at any given moment and it gets very flippin’ loud in there.

Strenuous exercise helps that. It helps me stay calm.

Diet is also very important. I’m not a nazi, and I eat a helluva lot, but I endeavour not to eat junk and if I do I will compensate for it. It’s the old 80:20 thing…. but I eat ice-cream almost every day so I am no saint.

It’s about wellbeing, but wellbeingers (true word) can also be obsessive so I guess it’s all about balanced wellbeing.

I’m no expert but I reckon laughter is tres important in wellbeing.

I hear what you’re saying about the scales, but they do actually help me keep my shit it check as it also reassures me that everything is within the good range…..Some days I just don’t like what they have to say.

The love/hate relationship will continue.

For the sake of this post I jumped on again this morning and the scales and I have made up.

Today we’re friends.

I’ll leave you with this awesome JK Rowling quote. I love it.

JK Rowling quote

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  • Reply Carolyn @ Champagne Cartel March 4, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Oh wow, you and I are practically the same person. I could have written pretty much all of that, except I was a binger and starver. Like you, I try to eat healthily now and exercise regularly. And I weigh myself too but I’m convinced my scales are broken. They barely seem to budge no matter what I do. But I know I’m a nicer person when I feel good, so I persist with the healthy life. Hope all that chaos in your life has settled and now you can just work out for fun. And don’t give up the ice cream!

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys March 4, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      Not the first time I’ve thought we’re very alike, my dear!! Life is always beautiful chaos, it’s about dancing on regardless.

  • Reply shecando March 4, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Unfortunately the voice in our heads love to tag team with the evil scales. It’s not cool!

  • Reply correctionsandclarifications March 4, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Ahh, the psychology of the scale…the sweet spot in the floor that gives you the best weight…the “at the doctor vs. home weight,” the “morning vs. evening” weight, the “I wore my heavy underwear weight.” Now the button on your pants – that’s a little more unforgiving (she says while eating apple cobbler).

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys March 4, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      You obviously know what I’m talking about.
      So, home, not doctors. Morning, never night, and as for that sweet spot? Carpet is best 😉

  • Reply ksbeth March 4, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    great post and so honest. when i think my scale isn’t ‘working right’ i change the battery. somehow it ends up making no difference. hmmmmm…..

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys March 4, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      when I was pregnant Mister H took the batteries out of it, and didn’t tell me. I kept forgetting to buy a new battery so I just let it go.
      Quite liberating, but I was surprisingly chilled about pregnancy weight gain. I just went for it!

  • Reply Zanni Arnot March 4, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Amazing piece lady. I have a pretty relaxed and healthy relationship with my body…I occassionally weigh and it’s always about the same. I have a love love relationship with food and exercise but it all seems to work out xx

  • Reply San March 5, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    I could go on and on about this topic but for once I’ll be succinct and say simply this, no matter WHAT time of the day I “hop” on the scales they always say the same thing… “one at a time please!!!” :o)

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