The scale is a funny thing. We depend on it so much for validation of our efforts. If you’re not careful, the number on it can make or break your mood for the day. I rely on that daily feedback on my progress, but I’m aware that so many things can artificially increase or decrease that number.
Take Motrin, for instance. This anti-inflammatory is a miracle drug for headaches and all manner of other aches & pains. However, it invariably causes an upward blip on the scale for me, due to fluid retention (see this article). It’s discouraging to be doing everything right with regard to food and exercise, yet still see the scale go up because you had a headache the day before. Sometimes I try to hold off on taking meds, especially right before my Monday weigh-in, and just guzzle water or caffeine instead, but it often isn’t enough and leaves me in a foul mood.
This past weekend, I went away for 36 hours with two friends. The food was extremely WW-friendly, with lots of salads and grilled veggies. I had enough points for 2 alcoholic drinks on Saturday night. But being an infrequent drinker, I awoke on Sunday with a stonking hangover headache. As the day went on, my stress level increased, due to my son having an accident at home that required an ER trip and 7 stitches, all while I was too far away to help. The headache grew and was still lingering on Monday. So instead of the scale reflecting my diligence in staying on plan over the weekend, it reflected 3 doses of Motrin in 24 hours, and I was up 0.6 lbs at WW on Monday.
I KNOW this is only temporary. I KNOW I will probably have a bigger loss next week. I KNOW I’m not doing anything wrong. All this makes sense on paper. But it still sucks when you don’t get that numerical confirmation of your efforts.
Yesterday afternoon my 3 year old daughter stepped on our bathroom scale, looked down at the numbers and then asked, “Mommy, what time is it?” Oh, to have that carefree attitude towards those numbers!