Weight Watchin', week three: The Agony of the Scale

When I'm not doing a weight-loss program, I barely step on the scale. Makes sense, right? I might check in every now and then, just to see if my weight is still hovering in the same five-pound-or-so range, or to find out if an illness or a huge meal made any big difference.

Weight Watchers asks you to weigh in once a week; if you're doing the online program, you can log your weight more often, but I've been sticking to once per week for now. Monday is my tracking day (and therefore, my blog posting day).

When you're taking an active interest in your weight, there's a little bit of internal calculus that goes on every time you prepare to step on the scale. Last Monday, my thoughts were on the previous night's Indian takeout, a 17-point indulgence that (combined with Easter dinner and wine with my family) had eaten up most of my remaining weekly points. But balance that against my six-mile run and the entire week of healthy eating before that, but subtract happy hour on Friday, divide by two, carry the one ...

At any rate, I expected a small loss, maybe a pound or even less. I stepped on the scale.

200.0. A tenth of a pound higher than last week.

1.6 ounces made the first number of my weight a 2 instead of a 1.

I know that there are good scale days and bad scale days, but I really, really didn't want to go back to having a 2 in front. So I did a very silly thing. I used the bathroom. And then I weighed myself again.


OK, really?

Finally, I did an even sillier thing. I recalled that the previous week, my bathrobe was hanging on the wall behind the scale instead of in a heap on the bathroom floor. I hung it back up and tried again.

And I must have slightly shifted the way I was standing so as not to wind up with a face full of pink microfiber, because the scale read 199.5.

Eventually, I will see this episode as a pithy reminder that the numbers on the scale really, truly do not matter. Weight Watchers uses those numbers because it's a lot easier to measure your weight than things like "how loose my clothes are" or "how much energy I have" or "whether my knees hurt as much when I run." I know this.

But for now, I think I'm going to buy a thicker robe.

Week 3 weigh-in: 198.6 (no do-overs this week!)
Total pounds lost: 6.4

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