By Lisa Spodak (
Provided by WorldNow

Year without a scale:  Week 1

This is one of the scariest things I've ever committed to in writing.  I am going to give up my scale.  For a year.

I tried it once for a week earlier this year and gave in, practically in tears, after four days.  But I'm doing it again and going to the extreme.

I should back up and put this in context.

I am obsessed with weighing myself.  It's hard to admit, but I'm probably on my scale between three and five times per day, every day.  I know that weight fluctuates and I know that if I weigh myself after drinking a liter of the water that the gain doesn't mean anything, but I do it anyway.  Before eating, after eating, when I wake up, before I go to sleep – all the time.

I used to be able to convince myself that I took it all in stride and the constant weighing-in just helped me keep track of things.  Especially since I only really "counted" my Wednesday weigh-ins.  But it's time to admit that's not the case and that my scale has just really been enabling me to play mind games with myself.

On Tuesdays, I don't eat salty food or drink water too late at night.  On Wednesdays I indulge because I've got a whole week to make up for it.  If I lose a couple of pounds, I find myself splurging more.  If I gain, I try to refrain from eating until I'm so hungry I binge.  I've also found it really difficult to write here when I've gained for a few weeks because I've felt like such a failure.

As I've detailed in this space ad nauseam, I've been struggling with my weight loss ever since hitting my goal of losing 100 pounds for my 40th birthday.  My weight has crept back up about 30 pounds and I've been getting more and more discouraged as the time has gone by.

Motivation has been elusive and it's been difficult to find a goal to really motivate me.

Trying to lose weight for my brother's wedding didn't work.  The specter of my 41st birthday wasn't nearly as momentous as my 40th.  Even the third anniversary of when I first set out to make a lifestyle change wasn't doing anything for my drive and commitment.

I knew I had to find a big goal that would engage me and make me feel like I was working toward something challenging, but ultimately doable.  And I knew that even though, right now, a year feels like forever, my experience has taught me that it will zoom by in a flash.

When I came up with the idea of giving up my scale, it was instantly and drastically freeing.  

This doesn't mean that I want to stop trying to lose weight.  And I certainly hope to have a significant loss 12 months from now.  But I really feel like I need to be making healthy decisions that make sense independent of wanting to hit certain weekly numbers.  I'm confident that removing the constant self-judgment inherent in relying on the scale for feedback will free me to make more moderate choices that will benefit me in the long run.

It's still possible to gauge progress without a scale.  I'll be tracking how I feel weekly and trying to listen to the cues my body gives me.  I'll pay attention to how my clothes fit.  And I'll post monthly pictures for a visual diary.

I'm curious… how often do you weigh yourself?  What's your "relationship" with your scale like?  Want to try to give it up with me?  Answer the poll below or let me know your thoughts at

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