The “Weighting” Game
Scattergories, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, Scrabble, Uno… We all like games! They’re fun, a distraction and if you ‘play your cards’ right you may end up with some gloating rights or even a monetary reward. But there is one game, one we all play or have played at some point in our lives that is far from a good time; and no I am not talking about “52 Pick-up” – this one is MUCH worse!! This game has one player; only takes about 10 seconds; has one game piece; and most of the time you have to ‘lose’ to win. Some people play this game daily (or several times a day), others weekly, monthly and a very rare few – only when someone makes them. What game am I talking about? It’s the “Weighting” Game. You know the one. It’s usually played in the morning, alone, and undressed (okay, get your heads back in the game – remember this game requires only ONE game piece…); all you have to do is step on a ‘torture’ device, wait a few seconds, see where the dial stops and GAME OVER.
A number on the scale – that’s all it is, yet it has the ability to make us feel like winners or losers. We give this ‘game’ the unearned power to dictate success or failure, determine our outlook, and decide between wearing jeans or elastic waist band sweats. Why do so many of us let the results of a ‘game’ – one number, (one that is often inaccurate and highly influenced by MANY factors), rule our lives?
I often have clients that INSIST on monitoring their progress based on the results of this “Weighting” game. Some spin the dial once or twice a week, others every single day. Take note that I HIGHLY discourage this, but most often that is one game I just can’t win. When the ‘game is over’ I often receive the ‘play-by-play’ via email, call or text stating the ‘final score’. A ‘score’ that often leads to messages that read something like this; “I lost or gained ‘x’ amount of weight since yesterday/last week, etc!?!? What’s going on? Do I need to change something? I don’t think paleo works for me.” I must admit – this frustrates me to no end!! I explain (over and over again) how it is next to impossible to gain one “real” pound overnight.
Now, even though the “Weighting” Game appears simple and has few instructions and/or rules to follow there are a whole bunch of things that can determine the ‘final score’. And even though there’s only ‘one player on the court’, the other ‘team’ is hiding in the bushes, ready to attack. And be forewarned – the opposing team is stacked! I’m talking- if this were a football game they’d call a penalty for having too many players on the field… The starting line-up is enough to make any grown man cry a little bit. They’ve got hydration level, sodium intake, GI (stomach) contents, time of day, week or month – and those are just the big names! Looking over that line-up, you can see you’re out-numbered – and really, would you step onto a football field, just you against the Packers (this year). Is it fair to let an ‘unfair, shady game’ decide whether or not something is working or determine how you feel about yourself?
Now, I get it. Everyone wants to win – and win INSTANTLY. Unfortunately, overnight or in 3 days – there aren’t going to be any miraculous changes. As with all games the more you play and refine your skills the more you win. These things take time and there are better ways to determine whether you are ‘winning’ or ‘losing’ than by looking at number on the scale. How do your clothes fit, how are your workouts/ performance, how do you feel, how much energy do you have…? These are all far better ways to keep ‘score’. The number on the scale will change (if that’s your goal). This ‘victory’ happens over time – not overnight…
Are you still playing the “Weighting” Game? If you are I want to challenge you to a new and different game. Put the old game – the scale – away – AT LEAST a week or two (you can do it – I promise, it won’t kill you!!). Play the game of a healthy lifestyle- eat well, workout smart, sleep enough, have fun, and be happy. Stay mindful of how you feel, how your workouts are going, etc. and make adjustments to your diet accordingly. Your mind, body, friends, family, co-workers, trainer, dietitian, etc. will thank you for not being obsessed with a ‘game of numbers’. Are you up to the challenge? Remember, when the “No Weighting Game” is over you can always start playing the old game again – but I’m going to ‘bet’ that you won’t want, or need to!
What do you say? Will you ‘roll the dice’?
Want some extra help? Have you been trying Paleo for a while but have questions or aren’t sure what the right exercise program is for you? Or maybe you just want a 30-day meal plan and shopping list to make things easier? We’ve created a getting started guide to help you through your first 30 days.