When I joined WW I told them I didn’t want them to say anything to me about what the number on the scale was, not even if it was up or down. Not because I didn’t know; I have a scale at home, so I pretty much know what my weight is (the scale sits on carpet, so I figure it’s probably one or two pounds off, but it’s in the general vicinity), but because I know how my body works. Here’s the thing: when I start working out, my body puts on muscle really fast. Not bulky muscle or anything like that, but I get really strong. Now as we all learned in science, muscle weighs a LOT more than fat. So usually, in the first couple of weeks on something like WW, I GAIN weight – generally between 3 and 7 pounds, which is a pretty significant amount. During that time, my measurements drop, so I know I’m doing ok, but I go to those meetings and the well-meaning weigh-in people say things like, “Don’t worry, you’ll do better next week.” It makes me NUTS!!! I want to scream, “SHUT UP! YOU’RE NOT HELPING, HERE!!! I’M LOSING FAT, DAMMIT – STOP PATRONIZING ME!!!!” Ahem. So if they can’t say anything to me about it, they don’t patronize me. I know they know. And I know that I know (although they don’t know I know – still with me?). But this way I can deal with things on my own terms.
I know better than to get on the scale more than once a week, though. If I get on once a week, I’m pretty ok with life. Twice a week is ok, too, but much more than that and it gets ugly really fast. But the scale is like a little siren on the bathroom floor, calling out: “Heeeeeere I am . . . . maybe you’ve lost weight since yesterday (or even since breakfast . . . or lunch . . . . or ten minutes ago . . .) . . . . Wouldn’t that be a loooooooooovely way to start the daaaaaaayyyyyyy??????????” Of course, I read the stories about sirens. I know that that scale is just waiting to dash me on the rocks of my self-esteem and laugh while I drown, but do I remember that from the LAST time I got on the scale (which may only have been an hour or two ago)? Noooooooooooo. So I get on the scale, and *GASP, CHOKE* I’m the SAME! Or worse yet, POINT 2 POUNDS HEAVIER!! Oh, the shame of it all . . . :P Jesus Christ.
And the more I weigh myself, the more I WANT to weigh myself. I rapidly spiral down from once a week to twice a week to every day to twice a day to (sometimes) three or four times a day. I think it’s some sort of bizarre irrational mixture of hope and self-flagellation. All I know is that as of Monday, I had lost 5.4 pounds, and as of today, I regained 2.8 of those pounds. I know that’s not really possible, and here’s the kicker: I’m PMSing like a mother-fucker. I was watching TV the other night and there was a cat-litter commercial with a kitten in it, and I was sitting there CRYING, for God’s sake! I didn’t even cry when Bambi’s MOTHER died, so if I’m crying because “That little pooping kitten is so cuuuuuuuuute (sob, sob),” I know I’m deep in PMS-town. Either that or I’m sick, because when I have the flu I cry at everything.
But does the knowledge that I’m about to start my period make ANY difference to the irrational part of my brain? Of course not. Rationally I know that I’m retaining water, and so the scale is higher, plus I’ve started a martial arts class, which has a lot of strength training, which equals weight gain (for me), and of course the scale is on carpet, which means Monday’s weight might have been higher (really) and today’s weight might have been lower (really). Does any of that matter to my self-esteem right now?? HELL, NO!
I fucking hate PMS.