Last night hubby and I are lying in bed. He's telling me that he wants to weigh himself tomorrow morning before he has breakfast. He and I have recently changed our diets, you see. We did a 21-Day Sugar Detox. We feel great, we look great, so we're trying our best to keep going with it. I am pretty happy with my weight at present, but hubby still has a ways to go. He is a veteran dieter from a family of veteran dieters. His brother, Michael Magenta, actually wrote a one-man show about dieting.
Hubs and I disagree about using a scale.
"Don't weigh yourself," I said. "You know it's bullshit. When you finally made me weigh myself after the Detox I'd lost maybe 3 pounds. But I LOOK different, and my clothes fit differently. Plus every weight loss program in the world says you should only weigh yourself once a week, and you've been doing it every day."
"Every day? Please!" he said. "I do it way more than once a day! In the morning before I eat. After using the bathroom, either Number One or Two. After meals. It's a motivator."
"No, no, no. It's a red herring. You may well be getting healthier, converting fat to lean, but it won't show up on the scale. It's a lousy gauge for how you're doing. The Scale is a Bitter Mistress!"
"You just don't understand how to use the scale," he said.
"I don't? As far as I know, there are two steps. Get on it. And read the dial."
"Pfft, that's for amateurs."
"Okay, so what are your tips?"
"Drumroll, please," he said.
Tip #1: "Be morbidly obese."
"Be morbidly obese!"
"Isn't that the problem?" I said.
"Well, yeah, but if you have a lot of weight to lose, and you change your diet just a little bit, you start seeing results, like, immediately! You eat a slightly smaller lunch and you lose a pound! You don't know about this because you've never been truly overweight."
"Wow, I'm already learning so much from this guide!"
"And we're only on the first tip!" he said. "Here's the next one."
Tip #2: "Force Yourself to Urinate and Defecate"
"You know, as your wife I feel obliged to tell you that you probably shouldn't be forcing yourself to do anything in the toilet arena. But if you are, I really don't wanna know about it."
"Don't worry, my methods are safe!"
"Again, don't wanna know."
"Okay, but lemme just tell you one tip."
"ONE tip. And nothing gross," I insisted.
"It's not gross! If you take a warm shower you usually have to urinate."
"That's your tip?"
"Did you learn that at sleepaway camp? Isn't this just a variation on 'hand in warm water makes you wet the bed'?"
"No, that's just your HAND," he said sagely. "The shower is your WHOLE BODY."
"Oh, I see. Way more scientific."
Tip #3: The "Baby Chemical"
"Weighing yourself after urinating and defecating is okay," said my husband. "But the best thing is to do your business in the morning, skip breakfast, and then weigh yourself a little later in the morning."
"Oh, like fasting?"
"No, it's more akin to how that chemical that babies secrete that makes them lose weight immediately after they're born. Waking up is like birth. The three-hour-later trip to the scale is the trip to the pediatrician. You'll find you've lost weight."
"Um, isn't that just because you're fasting?"
"No. You really aren't getting it. Google the baby chemical."
(Later it was revealed that he was talking about "surfactant". Which has nothing to do with weight loss.)
Tip #4: Self-Talk
"Next tip," he said. "If you weigh yourself, and you don't like the result, you can always blame it on wearing underwear that day that you didn't wear before, or on wearing flip flops that add a couple of pounds, or on the fact that you had a big glass of water before weighing."
"It seems like more and more it doesn't actually matter whether you've lost weight, you're just interested in the number on the scale," I said.
"Okay, next time I actually care about what a scale says I'll make sure I'm not wearing exceptionally weighty undergarments. Please keep going."
Tip #5: "You Need to Find a Forgiving Scale"
"One that weighs light, you mean?" I asked.
"Mmm, no. See, that's where you show a certain...amateurish quality. Sorry--didn't mean to hurt your feelings."
"Oh, don't worry. I'll get over it."
"You want a scale with a wide spread," he continued.
"Like an imprecise scale?"
"More like you want one that can be interpreted in a number of different ways. That way you can choose from a number of different readings or interpretations."
"I guess that's where the self-talk becomes important."
"Exactly! You're finally getting it. Okay, here's my last tip."
Tip #6: "Hang a leg off the scale."
"Hang a leg off the scale!"
"Come on, that is LAME!"
"Okay, I'll admit it's not as high quality as my other ideas. But it does work. You can't argue with its effectiveness."
And you know what? If what you're after is a lower number on the scale, he's right. You can do all kinds of crazy stuff to make that dial move. The thing is, I don't care one bit about the scale. What I care about is feeling better. And when I ask my hubby if he feels better, he looks at me like I'm crazy and says, "Of course I do! I'm not eating total crap anymore! I feel great!"
Can't argue with that.
Labels: dieting, paleo, scale, sugar detox, weight loss