The Psychology of numbers

For the last little while, I’ve been aware that my scale wasn’t exactly accurate (ie it would give me wildly different results depending on if I held my breathe or thought junk food thoughts) but it was nice to see the numbers as low as they were. But it wasn’t enough.

I wanted a scale that told me my weight in increments of 0.1 lbs instead of only 0.5. I wanted a scale that did more – told me my body fat % and hydration levels. I’d outgrown my scale and it was time to move on.

I bought a new scale on the weekend. It’s fancy glass and digital display and it tells me my weight, my body fat and %, my hydration levels and more. It is super cool.

It is also 3lbs heavier than my old scale.

Logically, I know I didn’t gain 3lbs overnight. Logically, I know that my pants are in fact fitting looser and my belly is flatter. I know all this logically but my mind is focussed on the NUMBER. The great big hulking NUMBER lurking in the corner of my bedroom, next to the mirror.

I tell myself that I’m getting stronger and fitter and I’m as skinny as I was when the number was lower but lying to me. I tell myself that the NUMBER doesn’t matter. But it does. In my mind, it does.

It does because my mother asks me about my weight EVERY TIME we talk

It does because I was so proud of myself for getting into a lower decade and now I’m not there.

It just does.

It’s all psychological but it’s a strong hold. And I feel sad that it’s there. I always wanted to not be my mother on this – not be held to ransom by a number. And here I am, turning into my mother.


6 thoughts on “The Psychology of numbers

  1. Fight it! At least you recognize it!

    I weigh-in at work, and I always weigh 2-3 more pounds than at home. Kind of lame, but I deal with it. It makes me wonder how accurate ANY scale is.

    And you know, you would weigh more if you lived on another planet, due to it’s gravitational pull… so what does it even matter? ๐Ÿ˜› You know you feel good and fit! Focus on that.

    I need to focus on that too.

  2. My scale will tell me different numbers if I move it a mere 6 inches in any direction – I just move it around until I find a number I like, then I make that one official. Sad, but true.

    And like Kilax said, fight it!! Keep telling yourself that the number is secondary to how your pants fit and how you feel.

    And sorry to be the one to tell you this – you will be like your mother in some fashion whether you want it or not. It’s inevitable. Sad and inevitable. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I know I will be my mother in a lot of ways, but I don’t want to take on the whole body hatred thing. Being held to ransom by a number is not the way I want to live.
      After whipping through level 1 of the 30 Day Shred last night, I can safely say that I’m getting fitter and healthier and I’m focusing on that instead of the number (or at least trying!)

      • Good job on the 30 DS!! I know exactly what you mean about the body hatred thing! Since I lost weight, my mom asks me too if I have kept it off – not once has she asked me how I feel since I’ve lost it. My mom has NEVER been happy with her body and I think a lot of my food issues came directly from her. Food for comfort is a BIG thing in my family!

  3. In the same boat (unfortunately not the love boat). Stronger, fitter, slimmer but i wanted to lose 20kgs, not 10. I have scales in my bathroom with i use about 30 times a day. Stupid i know. I keep telling myself not to be satisfied until i have a feeding straw in my nose. Crazy huh!

  4. Hi just came across your blog, and I know exactly what you mean. I’ve been getting stronger and fitter but I’m not seeing the results on the scales that I want…I’ve decided that scales are evil. I’ll change my mind when it says what I want ๐Ÿ™‚

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