The Hippo Effect

Confession time.

I was the woman that weighs herself every single day, even on holidays. Yup, I even took my scale to my mother in law’s house over Christmas.

Data collection and progress tracking, or so I thought.

I eat clean, do not overeat, and workout like a mad woman; yet my body continues to exert more and more gravitational pull on the earth. I have been getting the results that would coming from bingeing, yet I have not indulged.

Screaming into a pillow is something I may or may not have indulged in.

Weighing in and receiving frustrating results at 4:34 in the morning every morning is no way to live.

The daily morning conversation.

DL: Good morning Mr. Annoying Scale. I am going to stomp on you and you are going to tell me I am making progress, ok?

Mr. Annoying Scale: Whatever.

DL: Ok then. Let’s do this thing

Mr. Annoying Scale: And take that Mrs. Stompy Pants! That is what you get for smashing your heel on me – MORE gravitational pull on the earth. I dole it out like candy on Halloween. SNAP! Did I mention candy? Oops, sorry about that,  (insert evil laugh) candy is something you haven’t had in months…or is it years now?

DL: I hate you.

Afterwards I found myself peering in the mirror and saw, as coined by by friend Julia, ‘The Hippo Effect‘.

Instead of seeing myself, I chose to see a hippo.


How did THAT get in my bathroom mirror?!

Photo Credit

Some mornings a lot, and I mean a lot, of positive self talk was required to make it over the mental images that flashed before my eyes.

I am proud to say most days I found myself leaving my hatred of the scale behind by 4:57.

There is no purpose in weighing myself at this point in my journey. I am not training for a competition, rather I am becoming the most fit Donloree possible.

I made a decision before heading into the middle of nowhere last weekend.

The scale stays home.

For four glorious days, I ate sensibly, rather around like a mad woman, laughed, and felt amazing; all without having a gravitational pull measurement lingering in the back of my mind.

  • I was me and I was free.

When I got home on Monday night, I tucked the scale away and I refuse to pull it out again. There wasn’t even a ‘last weigh it for giggles‘, I was done.

Mr. Annoying Scale and I are on a break.

It’s not me, it’s you.

It has been 7 days of freedom, clean eating, training hard, and happiness.


You are SO MUCH MORE than a number!

Photo Credit

I am a fabulous and fit woman and I refuse to be defined by a number. The amount of stress that has been lifted by making this simple change is more than I anticipated.

I am committed to eating well, training, and chasing down audacious dreams, weighing in doesn’t help; it just hinders at this point in my journey.

  • Throw off all that hinders you and run the race!

All my clothes fit and I am happy.

Are you a daily weigh in woman too? Will you make the change? 

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  1. Sable@SquatLikeALady says

    GREAT post D!! I totally relate. Way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was a high schooler (okay i’m not old enough for that yet – YET) I was anorexic and I weighed myself every single day. It was like a ritual. Get up an hour early so I could drink a cup of green tea, wait until after said cup of tea made me need to use the restroom, strip, say a prayer to the gravity gods, step on scale, close eyes…and become either depressed or elated for the day.

  2. I love this post! I am currently broken up with the scale. Why the eff do we let ourselves be defined by a number? A number that can fluctuate for SO many different reasons.

    • Totally! Until I can incorporate the number into the other data without giving it undue preference, it is gone. I am happier with my body than I have been in a LONG time…and the only thing that has changed is saying buh-bye to the scale.

  3. Congratulations on becoming scale-free. I took the plunge about 4 months ago and it’s literally like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. 🙂

    – Jody

  4. I am a daily weigh-in woman and I agree it is a simple data point, one parameter on a whole host of sliding scales. When trying to put together the equation of what makes a person healthy, I feel we need to factor in clothes size, how they feel today, how long since their last cold or other bug, how much energy they have, how clear their skin is, how well their internal organs are functioning….Short of taking measurements ranging from the measurement tape all the way to a full kidney function suite, the weighing scale is just a simple, single data point in the noise of health!

    ….and I know all this, but damn do I still feel bummed when I don’t get the lottery number I want! Argh it’s frustrating 😉

    • I know it! The rational side of me ‘gets it’, but my heart tends to sink. I need a break to balance some things out and eventually I will go back to weighing in once a week or every few weeks, but until I am ready I will go about life ‘scalelessly’. 😉

  5. Yep – no competition in your sites – no daily weigh-in necessary. I understand it can serve its purpose for some, but for plain old “let’s just be fit folks” like us, those daily weigh-ins are excrutiating! I’m with ya, sister! I do weigh in one time a week as I am dropping a few lbs that I put on in the last year, but it’s no longer my defining moment each morning and certainly feels great to not have that thought forefront in my mind every day…..

    You know I love your blogs! Keep em coming!

  6. I became a daily weigh-in woman when I started reading Bikini or Bust but the number on the scale definitely doesn’t define who I am. It just helps me monitor where I’m at and most of the time I feel good about what it tells me. I’ve never taken the scale on vacation with me and even when I’ve been gone a month or more and feel that I’ve indulged quite a lot while away, I’m usually surprised to find that my weight hasn’t changed as much as I expect.

  7. I am currently weighing once a week. I am now back on Nutrisystem to lose the 12 pounds I have gained on Maintenance. I am pumped to weigh now cause its going down. I think I will always have too because I feel I don’t see the trend without it.

    Love your post and I think its great that your able to put that scale away!

  8. DL: I hope this helps in you feeling more confident in who you are and how you define yourself. I’ll always weigh myself daily. I don’t see the scale flashing “you’re fat!” when it fluctuates. For a lot of people it’s difficult to weigh in b/c they attach such a negative meaning to the scale. It’s inanimate though. It is just a number until someone attaches a meaning to it. And for people who have struggled with weight most of their lives, their lives are defined by the number. It takes a retraining of their minds and the thoughts they have attached to the scale to develop a new perspective around it.

    • I agree it is an inanimate object, thus my rational for not ‘stepping on’ for awhile until I can treat it like an inanimate object. 🙂 Retraining of the brain requires a ‘time out’ for me. Sometimes the best way forward requires backtracking or going sideways for awhile. I’m excited about this leg of the journey.

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