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....But weight is a nice indicator of health. Obviously focusing on health instead of weight will be the wiser choice, but you cannot discount the fact that healthier people who eat clean and exercise often tend to weigh less than those who doesnt.
I do agree though that thinness is not necessarily a good indicator of how healthy one is.
Lawyerchick, I wouldn't at all dispute the idea that people who eat clean and exercise tend to weigh less. But I would say weight is NOT a good indicator of health. I've been thin my whole life, but for awhile I ate at Wendy's 3-4 times a week...
EDIT: I think we're saying the exact same thing. lol
Don't attach your happiness to your weight! As someone who is finally overcoming years of disordered eating... don't fool yourself into thinking skinny means happy. I can tell you firsthand that there's plenty of depressed skinny girls.
Not trying to take away your successes, just sayin, why not do your happy dance even if the needle doesn't move?
In my case I followed that advice a number of years ago. Got rid of the scale for a few years and slowly put on weight. I put on a few pounds without noticing and then the new season comes and I need to buy some new clothes and I end up buying clothes that are slightly bigger (like those brands that have the same number in the size, but fit bigger). Then more time goes by, a few more pounds go on, and the next time I need clothes I have to buy the next size up.
I need a scale, because I am a bad judge of what I see in the mirror (getting fatter, but not noticing) and how my clothes are fitting. I can see over a week if I've put on pounds and do something about it right away instead of being oblivous.
Female, age 51, 5' 9"
SW - 183 (Jan 22, 2012), CW - 159, GW - healthy.
Met my 2012 goals by losing 24 pounds.
2013 goals are to get fit and strong!
Scale is a useful tool that allows for the day to day correction to one's diet. Because of the evolutionary drive to always over-eat if you do not track weight, it will normally creep up. It is easier to beat the creep down before you rolled on 5 lbs and noticed persistent tightness at your waist-band. Those 'last' five or ten pounds are the most difficult to take off. They are also progressive. One day you are 120 lbs, but it is 'easier' and 'more natural' to be 125 lbs. In six months it is 'easier' and 'more natural' to be 130 lbs. Three years down the road you are 160 lbs and have 40 lbs to lose.... Thanks. Keeping the scale.
I used to weigh 120... it really is 'easier' and 'more natural' to me to hover around 135-140, but I seem to be pretty good at self-regulating. If I pig out one day, I won't be hungry the next. I haven't weighed myself in about a year, I don't feel the need to. Who cares?
It sounds like the scale prompts you to do something other than what feels right, not to mention that you assume that just because you once weighed 120, you ought to always weigh 120 and any deviance from that is "weight to lose"...it seems like a very stressful way to approach life.
It seems to me like you'd have to be really out of touch with your body to gain a bunch of weight and not notice? But I guess it happens. When I was really stressed a couple years ago, I packed on about 15 lbs but I definitely did NOT need a scale to tell me. I felt every pound of it.
No, it doesn't prompt to do what doesn't feel right. It prompts exactly the opposite. Humans are lazy over-eaters by nature. For centuries it was compensated by the harsh environment or poverty. Those were the external drivers that limited harmful food intake and made humans move. Now it's the scale and the mirror.
I had the experience of not caring about my weight and not noticing how bad it was for over 2 years. It was after I was ttc, then i finally had my baby, and I was so darn happy, and then got a new job, contract became a full time job, and here I was 2.5 years after my baby born cutting myself from the summer pictures in the bathing suit on the lake... I was horrified. I have never noticed. I wore my mom's clothes left over since maternity. I thought it was 'right' to gain weight after having a baby. I was complacent. I was 30 lbs heavier than before the baby.
It was very hard to lose weight after it resided on me for 3+ years (I followed old wive's advice to gain 10 lbs ttc about a year before conceiving). The fat cells that were created during my prolonged fat phase are now there, and will always be. They are shrunk, but want to grow. Hence, the scale and everything until the eventual decent into fat when i no longer care.
For now I chose not to be fat, and while I make this choice, I step on the scale, and I measure my inches monthly and I try to find the best lifestyle that keeps me fit with minimal suffering.
If I was one of those thin people who can do whatever, I would go for a walk once in a while, spend my time reading and laying on the couch after work, garden a little, play games, and eat dessert every day, have a sweet snack in mid-afternoon.
It sounds like you felt fine at the weight you were at until you saw pictures of yourself and decided it wasn't okay for you to look like that. So you change your diet because you want to look better? I dunno, that sounds like a red flag to me. I struggled with anorexia for a few years, serious body image issues, so now I'm always alert for eating/fitness decisions motivated by bad reasons.... I worked out compulsively, looked mad sexy in a swimsuit, and felt seriously sad/aggressive all the time.... I might not get stares on the beach now, but I have a loving boyfriend and I don't care what I look like anymore.
Anorexia is one thing. Being overweight is another thing. It takes huge efforts for me to look Okay in clothes. I have never looked sexy in a swimming suit, and, chances are, never will. I am just not built for it. I am also happily married for 13 years and rising a 6 yo daughter. I still step on the scale and want to look reasonable. I did not know what I looked because I was so busy and never even went to the pool. My spare time was spent at the computer and with the baby. I did the old 'letting herself go' routine.
I am much happier when I look reasonable and wearing a wardrobe that doesn't consists of tent-like shirts matched to the stretchy waistband floor-length skirts. Having a waist-line is one of those littl' life's pleasures.
I just think you can gauge your health without a scale. I understand wanting to look reasonable -- but that comes on its own if you eat healthy and only when hungry, at least to me. And avoid PUFA oils and fake sweeteners and other weird shit that messes with your body's natural regulatory instincts.
Like... just an example, if I don't eat a salad on a given day, I'll fall asleep thinking "I know I should've had a salad...." and eventually, wanting to silence that thought motivates me to eat a salad the next day. Our bodies tell us what they want. Comparing ourselves to other women is the downfall...
It doesn't happen in my case. Tried three times now, was eating more and more and more every time, and putting fat in a slow and gradual way. All the good food. It changed a lot after having my child and leaving my thirties behind.