Saturday, February 11, 2012
The Zen Art (and Insanity) of Weighing In
Georgia and I have been discussing this...ritual we go through with the scale each day. Equal parts science and crazy, we go through steps to make sure that scale remembers its job. Of course, if you remember Georgia's post, you know the only job of the scale is to Go Down. Sometimes it forgets this, resulting in meltdowns of epic proportions, especially when we have actually skipped the toasted sourdough bun on the burger and had salad instead of fries. Each of us go about the Weighing of the Bod in different ways, but both include lots of prayer and crossed fingers.
Georgia mentioned to me several weeks ago that when she wakes up, she's a bit swollen from being wrapped up in a cocoon of electric blankets and husband-created heat. Instead of jumping up and heading for the scale first thing, she waits until she's cold. I noticed that, since I share a bed with a human space heater as well, I was a bit puffy when I rolled out in the mornings. I also figured out that moving around a bit got my heart pumping and the blood flowing. Ah ha! New steps to add to the crazy ritual! Now it isn't unusual to see me doing squats or dancing around in front of the mirror while brushing my teeth.
I don't know about Georgia, but I don't want to know how much my clothes weigh. When I was a member of Weight Watchers, I had a "weigh in outfit". It consisted of the thinnest pair of yoga pants I could fit on my wide ass, a light weight t-shirt, and no shoes. Or jewelry. If it had been socially acceptable, I'd have gone without the bra, too. I'd step on the scale and exhale, as if the air in my lungs might add an extra ounce or two. While I am not measuring out food and counting points anymore, some habits die hard. And in the privacy of my own bathroom, I can step on that scale stripped down to nothing. Add that to the steps!
Finally, I want to make sure I'm only weighing me. I have to be as empty as possible. No eating or drinking before stepping on the scale. Restroom handled, breakfast postponed, I take my cold and active self to stand butt-naked on the scale. Lately, that piece of machinery has done what's expected, and Gone Down. This makes me very happy.
Now, before you decide to get all into the psychology of the crazy ritual, I should tell you that I KNOW it's insane. That all these little steps I take aren't really going to make me any thinner than I was when I woke up. I also know that the scale is not the true measurement of my success. These are the things I know in my head. My emotions, on the other hand, tell me otherwise. The difference in 0.2 and 0.6 pounds is huge to my stupid little mind. I want that scale to shoot fireworks and play music and drag out the parade for that extra two tenths of a pound. I'm always slightly offended when it doesn't.
So, each morning I wake up, take a shower, step out into the cold air and jump around a bit, dry my hair (wet hair weighs more), and step on the scale. It's nuts. But I do know a tiny bit about science. If you're conducting an experiment, you need to have a control situation. If I do everything the same exact way every day, the only thing that changes are those numbers on the scale. And my waistline. Which is the whole point.