By Christine Marshall Hersom
What is the first thing you must do at the doctors? Get weighed. The scale is in the hallway as you are walking to exam room. It sets the tone for the visit right from the start. God…not the scale. I hate the scale. That number begins your relationship with every doctor you ever see.
“Well, Mrs. Hersom…you could stand to lose a little weight.”
I thought, “No kidding, Captain Obvious. I’ve needed to lose a ’little weight’ all the years I’ve been coming to you.“
The scale has never been my friend. When I was young and had an eating disorder, the scale was the opposite from now. It always led the doctor to say, “Christine, you need to ‘gain’ a little weight.” Now…well let us just say I have gained a little weight.
In January 2021, I was selected to be on the cast of Season 1 of the Coach Peggy Real Time docuseries. An online, public coaching transformation show.
“Get on the scale every day and gather that data” is one of the first things Coach Peggy said. WHAAAT!!! I mean I was starting a journey to wellbeing. Weighing myself everyday was going to require anxiety meds. Coach kept stressing that the scale is a tool. It is data. Stop looking at it as an insult or the start of a depressive moment. “The scale has no emotion, why do you?” she would bark.
Sure, maybe it isn’t an insult to you, I thought. Coach dragged me kicking and screaming into the weigh-yourself-every-day habit. The first week was awful. The only thing I saw was a reinforcement of how out of shape I was.
After the first week though, I not only started to see results, but I started to relax with this “enemy” of mine. Soon, I started to believe it really is a tool. If you gain two or three pounds in one day, there is a reason! By tracking your weight, you are then armed with the information to look back to the past couple of days and maybe see what you did differently. Maybe you did not drink enough water (something I can be very guilty of), maybe you consumed too many carbs such as chips or sugar, your quality of sleep had decreased, etc. Whatever the reason, the scale can bounce up or down every day. Determining the reason is where the secret sauce is. In addition to weighing yourself, other markers such as food, activity, emotion or hours slept, the number will give you direction on how to course correct.
I now weigh daily. DAILY. I don’t freak out or become depressed. I just weigh myself, log it, and move on to the next activity of the day. If it starts to veer off track by 3-4 pounds, I start investigating why.
I went to the doctor’s office a couple weeks ago and when they called me, the nurse said, “I know…you hate the scale.” I informed her that I no longer hate the scale. It is just a tool I use to track my wellness journey.
One of the biggest AHAs from the docuseries for me, is we are responsible for the actions we take or do not take. We need to gather as much information as possible to make the decisions we need to make to achieve our goals. Most of us just run from it feeling guilty and ashamed. I think most of it is we just don’t know what to do with the number. The doctors just tell us to fix it.
I strongly recommend you all add the scale to your morning routine, track your “data,” and eventually negative emotion will subside. Weighing is a must for your health and wellness toolbox. If you want to take responsibility for how you feel, you must track your results.
Check out this video link for a short clip from Coach Peggy regarding “The Scale: Friend or Foe.”
Christine Marshall Hersom
All Things Wellness, LLC