October 20, 2010

My Nemesis: The Scale




Swim. Bike. Run.


This is what my life has consisted of for the past few months. Ever since the end of June, when I decided to add triathlon training to my half marathon training, I have been swimming, biking, or running virtually every day. Most weeks I work out 7 days a week; I only take a day off if I am sick, exhausted beyond measure, or if it's the day before a race. Since the end of June, not only have I worked out almost every day, but I have also run 2 half marathons and completed my first triathlon. My second triathlon is coming up in about a week and a half; this one will be a double one, where I will swim, bike, run, get back the water and swim, bike and run again.

One thing that bothers me is that in spite of all my exercising, I have actually GAINED weight. No, I am not exercising to lose weight. On my list of reasons why I am exercising, losing weight is not at the top of the list. Before I started running again back in January I was a size 6, and now, 10 months and a million workouts later I am still a size 6. But the scale shows more weight. I have not changed my eating habits, so I know that the added weight is muscle. My body is tighter, my clothes fit better, and I hear from everyone how good I look.

And yet.

And yet, I would like to see the number on the scale reflect what I feel my body looks like. I used to weigh myself daily, and would be in either a good mood or a bad mood depending on what number I saw. Recently I moved my scale into my closet, where I can't really get to it easily (I have to actually take it out of the closet and put in on the bathroom floor to weigh myself). I only weigh myself once a week now. And I am trying not to let whatever number might show up get me down.

Ideally I would just toss the scale altogether...but I'm not that brave. I need to embrace the body that I have. This is a body that I've worked hard to get heart-healthy and bone-healthy. This is a body that allows me to train for and compete in half-marathons and triathlons (heck, I've even once completed a FULL marathon). This is a body that conceived and carried two beautiful children to full-term. This a a body that was cut open twice to deliver those babies. This a body that nursed a boy for 14 months, nursed a girl for 12 months, and produced so much MORE milk that I had to donate the excess to a milk bank. This is a body that I have finally, at the age of 40, grown comfortable in it's skin.

I need to not be so hard on myself---and to ignore some pesty little numbers on a stupid scale.


  1. I always gain weight when I train for something. I was training for Hood to Coast for a year and with running I was STARVING. All. The. Time. I could not eat enough food! With my running injury I've taken 6 weeks off and I switched to weight training. I actually lost weight not running. And I lost even MORE weight with weight training! And I'm not starving. :)

  2. Please don't let the numbers get you down! The most important thing is how you feel, and if your clothes don't get tighter then you are doing well. You are also setting a great example for your children and you DO look fantastic. You might need to hide the scale in the attic!

  3. I understand your feelings about the number on the scale. However, I'm not as hard on myself as you are.
    We are the same age but I do think/hope that when you're a little older you will accept yourself & really believe that all the amazing things you listed that your body has done & can do, are fabulous enough to keep you content :) You're such a great role model, especially for your daughter! What a great lesson for her that you do all these incredible races and events and look great and love yourself. But, I know, it can be a challenge. It's hard! Good luck.

  4. I completely understand this. When I trained for my marathon last year, I joined a weight loss contest thinking that it would be easy to drop the 10 pounds I needed in order to collect some money. Unfortunately through all of the training, healthy eating and such, I only lost 2 pounds. I could tell where I had added lots of muscle though. My doctor keeps reminding me that the scale is just a number and that I should focus on how I feel, not what that number is. Easier said than done though -- I know!


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