In April 2013 I broke up with my scale. It wasn’t a forever break-up, but we just needed some distance from one another. Here’s a peek at what I had to say about it then.

Thanks to the incredible Withings Body Fat Scale I received to review I’ve been able to keep a pretty awesome record of my weight (top row) and body fat (bottom) since October 2012.

Weight and Body Fat

As you can see my daily weigh-in’s fluctuates substantially! In early November it looks like I went from 113 to 109 in 2 days and you can see some strange spikes again in January and February. Overall though you can see my average (the white line) has stayed pretty steady for 5 months now. Daily weight fluctuations like that are normal and due to a variety of factors like overall hydration levels and what time of the month it is.

Since I can clearly see that my weight will stay them same if I continue to maintain the daily calories/exercise I have been I have decided to give up the scale. At least on a daily basis. I realized weighing in daily had become counter-productive. If I saw that I had gained half a pound since the day before I would feel a little bummed even though I know I didn’t actually eat an additional 1750 calories (one pound equals 3500) and that the artificial gain was temporary and likely due to other factors.

No matter how much I know and understand rationally – it just feels like shit to get on the scale and see it go up. I didn’t want to start my days off feeling like that anymore so I’ve taken the scale out of the bathroom and put it up in my closet. It was a little weird the first few days to not get on the scale like I always do. After a few days though I actually began to feel better not worrying about what the scale would say. I walk into the bathroom now and, I know it sounds cheesy, but I smile where I see the empty corner where the scale used to be! I’m happy with where I’m at now weight wise so I may just use my pants as a guide. If they ever start to get to tight/loose I’ll adjust my eating/exercising. I may still weight in once a week on Sundays just to see where I’m at but I can see myself forgetting to even do that now that I’m not in the habit of it.

Besides, there are so many better indicators of overall health:

  • Body Fat Percentage
  • Inches lost
  • Clothing sizes dropped
  • Increased strength as indicated by using heavier weights in your workout
  • Faster run times
  • How do you feel? This is much more important than a number!

I’m not advocating that anyone should stop trying to reach health or weight loss goals. I just think if your engaging in an activity that has developed a negative connotation to it (like weight in daily has for me) then it may be time to explore new ways to track your progress. Your weight is just one stupid little number that doesn’t take into consideration many other, more reliable and important, indicators of health.

My July 2014 Update:

Well, while I still try to make healthy eating choices 80% of the time I really let go of the majority of my food/weight guilt. I don’t even know if guilt is the right word, but it was kind of always on my mind. I still think about my weight on occasion, but I don’t care so much about it anymore. It’s a passing thought, not something I will sit and dwell on.

I used to count calories and write down everything I ate. I wasn’t aiming for a certain number but I wanted to keep track of everything. I stopped doing that, and now eat about 2000 a day and pretty much whatever I want (again, within reason!) TCBY with the boyfriend? Half a frozen pizza for dinner? 800 calories for breakfast? Okay. Whatever. I’m happy. Yes, my weight has gone up bit from an all time (adult) low of 112 to now just under 120 usually but I’m 100% okay with that.

Weight Body Fat

After losing over 50 pounds it took me about 2 years before I felt ‘safe’. There was a little voice in the back of my head telling me that if I didn’t stay on top of eating right and exercising that it’s a fast slide back into being morbidly obese. Now that the weight has been off for 5 years I know it’s staying off. I LOVE MY LIFE NOW. I love how exercising makes me feel. I love how healthy food gives me energy and tastes great. I still love sweet treats and can kill a bag of chips in a day. I’ve finally found the balance I was searching for.

Scale

Does a fear of gaining weight ever cross your mind?

How strict are you with how much you eat or exercise a day?

Since I started running two years ago I’d say I’ve failed at reaching 50% of my race goals.

I like to set goals that are pretty aggressive as I feel like that makes me train harder and helps keep me motivated to get out of bed at 5 a.m. For my first 5k I wanted to come in under 30 minutes and I finished in 31:07.Dad and I post race at Great Pumpkin Run PensacolaA year later I trained for my first marathon with a pace group from Running Wild for a 4:30 finish and came in at 4:44. (Despite not hitting my goal for 2 marathons now I still did this video on my #1 secret to having the best marathon ever and it’s 100% foolproof.)

pensacola marathon

Two months later, in January 2014, I ran my 2nd half marathon with a 2:15 goal and came in just over 2:14!RaceIn May I ran the Gate-to-Gate 4.4 mile run with a goal of a 9 minute pace and came in right on target!race1Take a look at all of the photos above. Notice anything different in any of them? I sure don’t. I look just as happy in every one of them regardless of what my finish time was or if I met my goal or not. Looking back I think I learned more, and became a better runner, after not meeting my goals.

Three Advantage of Failing to Meet Race Goals 

  • I train harder for the next race. Yes, I could be riding a PR high and put the same amount of energy into training for the next race, but there’s something specific about the energy that you get when aiming for a ‘comeback’ that’s missing when you just set a PR last time.
  • It forces me to remember why I love to run. When I fail to meet my goal I can find myself slipping into some negative self-talk. I’m never going to be fast enough. I spent all the time training and now I have to do it all over again for a shot of making my PR. I need cupcakes.  To get myself out of that trap I start focusing on why I run in the first place. It keeps me healthy and acts as my anti-anxiety medication. These benefits don’t go away just  because I fail to meet some arbitrary race goal.
  • I’ve become a better runner through trail and error. When I fail to meet a goal I look back and see ways I can improve my training plan for next time. Sure, if I PR with a plan I could just use the same plan again and adjust the paces but I feel strongly that I usually alternate between PR races and non-PR races because I’m constantly tweaking my training and finding out what works best for my body and my specific race goals.

All the medals I have hanging in my living room don’t tell whether or not I PR’ed. They all look the same no matter what my finish time was. They tell a story of how hard I had to bust my ass and whether I finish a marathon in 3:30 or 5:30 they were well earned and worn with pride!

How do you feel failing to meet a goal?
What motivates you more – the fear of failure or the desire to succeed?

Barring winning the lottery there’s no possible way this weekend could have been any better.

Granted, it doesn’t take a lot to make me happy. Good company, delicious food, and a couple of fun runs and I’m pretty damn content.

Friday night Travis and I went out to eat at the same place we went on our first date. Well, part of our first date happened there. The entire date lasted about 12 hours. We spent the day hanging out around Pensacola. It was his first time visiting the city so I played tour guide. We ended at one of my favorite restaurants, the New Yorker Deli.

I’ve been there about a dozen times and every time the food is incredible. It’s a small locally owned restaurant with phenomenal cheesecake and the best bruchetta I’ve ever had (they make it with mushrooms and artichoke hearts!) This time around Travis went with a Hawaiian pizza, and I stuck to my favorite bruchetta and a simple house salad.
2014-07-25 18.11.05

2014-07-25 18.11.10Saturday morning we ran 6 miles around a different part of Pensacola. Pensacola is really interesting in that you can literally be in the nicest neighborhood one moment (north hill), and the next block over is a part of town that is notoriously crime ridden. Then, if you keep going a few blocks your back in one of the nicest parts of Pensacola (east hill.) With Travis with me we ran around the …. colorful center part between the two neighborhoods.

For the first time ever on a run I was train blocked for a few minutes.
2014-07-26 06.34.52Then I remembered one of Pensacola’s quirkier landmarks was in the area and ran around a bit trying to find it. Fortunately we did! It’s actually listed on Trip Advisor and a few of the reviews were negative because it’s really nothing special, and it’s in the shady part of town. I’d be pretty pissed if I went out of my way to see it! It’s an old ice house that’s listed on the historical national registry so that’s kind of cool, but nothing to write home about (but apparently impressive enough to blog about.)2014-07-26 06.54.57Saturday afternoon we went to lunch at Jason’s Deli. I’ve never eaten there but we swung by a few weeks ago to get Travis a sandwich to go and I checked out their salad bar and wanted to go back. It was one of the best salads I’ve ever had! Roasted red pepper hummus with couscous and sunflower seeds. They also serve FREE ice cream and these incredible mini muffins. 2014-07-26 12.41.10Oh, and this happened.2014-07-26 12.35.14That night we had a goldfish tasting party at my house. Very exclusive guest list (just the two of us.) We both agreed the French Toast was the best. I preferred the chocolate second (and finished the bag in 24 hours) and he preferred the vanilla cupcake.2014-07-26 18.24.55Sunday morning we had a 10 miler on the training schedule. This was the first LR at my 10:30 goal pace since starting marathon training with the Hanson Method. I was pretty nervous since the nearly 100% humidity has been making an 11 minute pace a struggle for me on some of my weekday runs. Fortunately, Travis is always a great motivator and we finished at a 10:36 pace! I did stop twice, but I’m alright with that and know that holding this pace in the Fall will feel significantly better. 2014-07-27 07.44.23After the run we came home and made omelet’s for the first time! Neither of us have made them before but I’m trying to break up my usual oatmeal routine. I made mine with Amy’s vegan chili and a bit of Mexican cheese and avocado. SO GOOD. IMG_7768That afternoon we watched the Princess Bride in Bed. Didn’t I tell you this weekend was perfect? 2014-07-27 13.52.12-2What’s your favorite movie from your childhood?
What restaurant has your favorite salad bar?