No Weigh In April: Wrap Up

As mentioned previously, one of my goals for April was to participate in Angie Gooding’s No Weigh In April Challenge.

My obsession with the scale fluctuates. For weeks I’ll obsessively weigh several times a day, and then I’ll go months without giving it a second thought.

I don’t think it’s necessarily a negative thing to weigh yourself frequently. What is negative is when you equate that number with your self-worth. When I’m in full-blown weight obsessed mode, I feel good about myself if I see a low number on the scale. If it’s a higher number (which could be for any number of reasons) I tend to feel upset and beat myself up about it. Logically I know that the scale isn’t telling me how good of a person I am. I know that daily fluctuations are normal.

When Angie posted this challenge it couldn’t have come at a better time. I recognized that my weight tracking was taking a destructive path and I thought that this challenge would help.

And so I put the scale away and didn’t touch it all month. I was tempted one or two times, but generally I didn’t think twice about it. You know what happened to my weight in April? It stayed the same. Yep. I didn’t gain, nor did I lose. I was expecting this from the way my clothes fit, but it was nice to get a confirmation.

I think most importantly is that this challenge helped reset my thinking. Scale weight is merely a number. It’s data. The scale can’t tell me if I’m a good or bad person and daily fluctuations are normal. So yes, I will continue to weigh myself (I’m a data geek and I like to track everything I can in Excel spreadsheets), but the obsessive thoughts are gone.

What is your relationship like with the scale? Do you weigh yourself regularly?



No Weigh In Challenge

Like most women (and men, probably), I’m not always 100% happy with my body. Scratch that. I don’t think I’ve ever been 100% happy with my body.

Although I have been making an effort to focus on fitness goals (e.g., run a marathon) rather than aesthetic ones (e.g., weigh X pounds), of course I still look in the mirror and criticize what I see. Of course I’d like to lose a dress size or two. I know I’m not alone in this.

I fluctuate on whether I weigh myself or not. Sometimes I go through phases where I obsessively weigh myself several times a day. I’m in one of those places right now. I know it’s not rational behavior and I’d like it to stop.

What a perfect time for Angie Gooding to start a No Weigh In Challenge for the month of April. The idea of not weighing myself for an entire month makes me a bit uneasy, which just reinforces the notion that this is something I should do.

Of course I’m still going to be focusing on eating healthy food and exercising…the only behavior I am aiming to change is stepping on the scale. At the end of April I’ll write about my experiences.

What about you? Do you weigh yourself consistently? Do you find it helpful or harmful?

‘Fitspiration’ on Pinterest…friend or foe?

Lately I’ve been a bit of a Pinterest addict. I find it’s a great tool for keeping track of online recipes I see that I’d like to make in the future. I also like to check out the fitness categories. I notice a lot of images like this:

“Thinspiration,” or “thinspo,” has been well-documented as being an important part of online eating disorder communities, such as “ana” (anorexia) and “mia” (bulimia) groups. Typically these groups will have collections of images highlighting thin models, such as this:

But what about this “fitspiration” that is so popular on Pinterest? Is it more of the same thing? Sure, the ideal in the picture is different….typically the images highlight a physically fit woman with very low bodyfat levels. Usually with some sort of motivational quote.

But is this not still making women focus on a near impossible ideal body? You can workout and eat healthy all you want, but the odds of you looking like the women in the images are pretty low. Many of these women are fitness competitors who certainly don’t walk around looking like that all year round. In fact, they are most likely severely dehydrated, just so they can look extra ‘cut’ in their photos.

Rather than focusing on what our individual bodies and being the best that we can be, this is still making us focus on what we “should” look like.

What do you think? Do you find these sort of images motivational? Why or why not? I’d love to hear others chime in on this.