The Moment of Truth is a Lie

This is a true story.  Not so long ago, in a land not so far away, a princess awoke from her nightmare-filled slumber after an evening of carousing in the kingdom.  The carousing had filled her belly with food and her heart with heaviness and her head with thoughts of guilt.  She approached the royal scale and thought to herself “this is the moment of truth.”

But then the fantasy faded away to be immediately replaced with reality and harsh florescent lighting.  And the middle-aged woman, standing there in a ratty old nightshirt with bedhead instead of a tiara, stopped in her tracks.  And said to herself “there is no moment of truth that comes from stepping on the scale.”  And she was a bit aghast that she had initially thought those words to herself at all considering what she had seemingly learned on her journey.  Moment of truth indeed.

The reality for me is that IF there are moments of truth to be had, they don’t come from the scale.  They come when choices are made and actions are taken.  Like the evening before, filled with whatever food it was, because honestly I don’t remember anymore, was a moment of truth.  Going to bed filled with regret at what I had eaten was a moment of truth that stretched on as I lay there.  Having a bellyache from overeating might be a moment.  Waking up the next day filled with regret might have been a moment as well.  And certainly finding my pants fitting more tightly… another moment.  But stepping on the scale – not so much.

Now don’t get me wrong – I want to know what the scale says.  Every day.  Yep, my name is Karen and I am a daily weigher.  But I have long since learned that the scale sometimes lies.  It is a fickle creature.  The number it shows is almost meaningless when taken one day at a time.  As a trend – potentially useful.  But those daily fluctuations sometimes vary according to what I eat and sometimes vary according to something that I have yet to figure out.  So there is little truth for me in what the scale says after a big night of eating.  It might be higher; it might be lower; it might have stayed the same.  Regardless, the danger comes in giving too much power to whatever that darn scales says.  Letting it rule my emotions.  Or letting me fool myself into thinking I can binge and not gain.  Or that I can actually gain three pounds overnight thanks to one restaurant meal.  No, it is not truth.

If I am looking for truth it rarely comes in just one moment.  I can look at my measurements or how my clothes fit.  Or I can reflect on how I feel, physically and emotionally.  Truth is with me, myself and my body, not with the scale.  And, quite honestly, sometimes that is harder to live with.

Have you ever been surprised at something you thought or said to yourself?  Do you have a moment of truth?



Filed under cheating/overeating, emotions/emotional issues, weight issues

51 responses to “The Moment of Truth is a Lie

  1. Can moments of truth change over time, I wonder?? My moment of truth right now is that the current buzzword of “intuitive” eating does not work for me. I wish that it did and my hope is that someday it will. I’m not being critical of the concept or of anyone who has had the moment of truth that it DOES work for them. It’s just that my intuition still tells me I need to be eating and doesn’t understand, “stop when full.” So for now, my moment of truth remains the same – I know what works for me, keep doing it!!

  2. M

    This is great! We do give that scale too much power. I know I’ve let it ruin entire days… woeing over a gain. Truth is my actions… Sometimes, slight variations of weight are out of my control… How I react, what I do to myself everyday is the only thing I can control. But, who knows, that thinking could be flawed too… I’m still a fat girl, not recovered or reformed quite yet.
    XO M

    • Karen

      My reaction could sometimes have been as fickle as the scale! I think the key for me is about what I do and not what I weigh. If I do everything right, the weight should follow:) Right?

  3. Oh Karen…this is AWESOME! YES! I have had that undeniable moment of truth…it took months to get there! and now I see glimpses each and every day with the choices I make!

  4. I LOVE this post!! I keep having these moments…in fact, yesterday on Facebook I wrote: One thing I’ve learned about “ah-ha” moments is that they are fleeting. You forget then you remember. Then you forget again and remember again.

  5. love how you write. Love how you made it into a great story I was that person but now I understand that I have no control what the scale says but instead I use it as a guide and the other things as facts. smile

  6. Ewa

    I hop on the scale daily. Often I am tempted to say, oh, I know it will be up since I ate salty foods, and then not weigh. But if I skip my weigh in I will continue with salt or other junk. It is funny, but my scale is almost like warden making sure I keep accountable. Without it, I would keep on fooling myself.
    Great post.

    • Karen

      I’m the same – I am afraid if I skip then I will know I CAN skip in the future and have that in the back of my mind if I am heading for a binge. I have been weighing daily for so long that I can’t remember when I didnt’t!

  7. sunnydaze

    I weigh daily, too, but I know that the scale fluctuates ALOT so I usually go by my weekly results and definitely by how I feel phyically and by how my clothes fit. That is the real truth. Good post.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  8. Learning to be in my body has been one of life’s hardest lessons and perhaps is one of the reasons why I could gain (and regain) so much weight. Learning not to define my success by the scale is a new lesson. In fact choosing a metric to define success, well, there is no one or combination of measures – just sticking with what (for me) is being mindful not only of eating but remaining mindful of my entire self. That truth has taken a long time to develop.

    • Karen

      It has been one of the things that I got from blogging and reading blogs this year – the realization that success for me is not really about a number anymore. I still think I have a lot to learn though.

  9. Karen, woohoo! That’s a moment of truth realizing the scale won’t give you one. I’m so happy for you, good comes out of bad all the time. 🙂

  10. I really surprised myself when I went running. For a long time I’d built it into something that was hard, sweaty and difficult and I wouldn’t enjoy it but would do it anyway because it was good for me.

    But, when I got to the bridge and started running and looked up at the sky I took a big lungful of air and *felt* what running was about. I surprised myself by letting all the thought go and just running. I didn’t think about anything but my feet, my target, the sky and the scenery. No worrying about my day, no guilt tripping about how much easier it would be if I was lighter.

    That was a real moment of truth for me because I saw through my own facade and into the true joy of what running is (for me, at least). And all though I’m still sore as hell, I’m carrying that feeling with me and can’t wait to go again.


  11. It’s funny how the scale is- because right now I’m feeling thinner but the scale shows a 2 pound gain, how the heck does that work? I attribute it to the soreness from my intense workouts lately. *shrug* I’m trying to not let that number upset me.

  12. I do it all the time. It’s kind of embarassing really. Finding out how I’ve been lying to myself.

    My moments of truth? That’s when it all clicks together and all my gathered nuggets of wisdom finally enable me to achieve my goal.

  13. Great post, Karen. That darn scale really is fickle and unreliable, esp. on a daily basis. And then it has the power to control what I eat that day…bad number – eat less. Better number – can get away with a little “extra” (read: binge). Crazy headed people are best to not weigh more than once a week. I’m doing okay with that now, but if I start with consecutive good food days for awhile, I know my head is going to want to hop on daily to see how I’m progressing. Very dangerous.

  14. I don’t think the scale lies so much as it records a truth that doesn’t mean very much when taken, as you say, as a single number. Our actions, whatever their cause or influence, tell far more powerful truths, if only we will listen.

    And yes, I’ve been surprising myself for a little over 3 years now. I hope it continues for a great many more years. 🙂

  15. Great post Karen!!! We do have to live with ourself & the actions we choose each & every day.

    I agree with Cammy, one day at a time, the scale is fickle but on a whole, to me, it can be helpful if you learn to understand that it does not always reflect “the truth” based on what we may have & have not eaten, time of month, hormones & more. But on a whole, I do think it can shock some people into reality. I use both the scale & really, how my clothes fit.

    As for ah ha moments… yes, good & bad! 😉

  16. You’re totally right. I too am a daily weigher and the individual numbers are not too significant. What IS significant is my weight trend. One point in time is not overly useful, you need to join the dots. I tie that in with my food and exercise to see where I am headed 🙂

  17. I’m just now realizing that my body’s health means way more to me than what the scale says.

    Also? Why’d you make it necessary for us to click through in order to read your posts? 😦 I used to be able to read it via Google Reader and now I have to click through to your blog to read your whole post.

  18. Well, I’m having a very unhappy moment of truth right now. Earlier, I posted on my blog that I was going to get serious about resuming my fitness regimen and walk on the treadmill for at least 6 miles today. After 1-1/2 miles, I had a series of interruptions, and now I’m looking at the clock and seeing that it is 4:40 PM. Oh, too late in the day! But wait! This is a raquetball night for my husband — he won’t be home till after 7PM. Another 4-1/2 miles of treading is only 90 minutes — I can do it…I can do it….BUT, will I??? To be continued….

    • Karen

      Did you? That is a long walk!

      • See my post tomorrow for the answer.

        And Karen, I am going to work up a special award for you in honor of the reason you bestowed an award on me. And I’ll tell you the story behind my comment about holding hands. Probably won’t be tomorrow though — I’m going to try to make one myself!! Oh my gosh…do I need a life???

  19. I love, love, love this one!!
    You make me think I need to create a little box on my site to highlight specific posts like this one to link to. More tinkering for me…
    I hope you have a great weekend!

  20. Another entertaining blog post. You have a wonderful way with words – you can even turn a scale into a great story.

    Though I want to know what the scale says, I rarely weigh myself. Could I be a truth avoider?

  21. I totally love this post and so very true. We blame the scale, when the real problem is we were not making the true effort. Janelle

  22. It is but one measure of how we are doing.

    I think the truth teller is how my clothes fit.

    I use both as measures of how I am doing combined with the knowledge of what I have been eating and knowing the affect that plays with my weight fluctuation.

    I try not to give the scale too much credit or blame!

  23. AFG

    I surprise myself daily. Seriously.

  24. Amy

    I agree but the scale is the easiest thing for me to use as a guage. My clothes are way too big anyway so if they start fitting I am in trouble.

  25. Hi, Karen! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂 Actually, I think more than “intuitive eating” I am more on board with Self-Love, Self-Compassion, Self-Acceptance and Definitely Self-Empowerment. 🙂 In other words: Know yourself, accept yourself, stay true to yourself and know what motivates you, while also being kind. This doesn’t work for everyone, but it is finally working for me. 🙂

  26. I always gain 2-3 lbs after a restaurant meal. It sucks!!! I also weigh myself every day, and I also allow the scale to dictate my moods. I am trying not to let this happen. But I get depressed sometimes that I am having trouble losing those last few pounds. And with going back to work I know I have to weigh myself every day or I might gain all my weight back if I’m not careful.

  27. Karen — I’m much more prone to have an emotional (i.e. I can now eat what I want) reaction to the number on the scale if it’s gone done, than if it’s gone up (or stayed the sad same number). I also don’t weigh every day if I’m gaining (or off plan) or if I’m losing regularly. I’m only on there every single blasted day if it’s not moving. 🙂

  28. I think the scale can be like the grade you get on a test. Often when I took a test, even though I studied for it, I would go home and look up some of the questions and often actually learn more afterwords. Whether or not I got a good grade, I knew the material by the time the grade came. Time to learn the material.

  29. D

    Yet another great post! Yes, I have given the scale too much power – but I need it to keep me in line also. Somehow I begin to live in an unreal world when I don’t weigh myself regularly. Somehow I begin to “feel” like I don’t have a weight issue, and then I “act” like I don’t have one…BUT I have had days when I’ve “felt” very slim and the scale just hits me hard. Ugh.

  30. Thanks for this. I wish I could credit the blog I followed to get here, but I can’t REMEMBER, and apparently I closed that window. *shrug*
    It’s amazing what our minds are capable of telling us, isn’t it?

  31. Yes, we all have moments of truth especially around issues of size and love and so on…
    On the subject of weight, I surprised myself when after many years of being quite the zealot about my dress size, I made peace with it. I do want to be healthy and enjoy my nice clothes, but I decided that I no longer wanted to be a slave to my dress size.
    I enjoyed your piece and the honesty of it and I agree that our instincts never lie… go with what works for you and your heart.
    Stopped by from SITS Girls Sharefest Saturday.

  32. Brilliant, as always, Karen. I’m a daily weigher, too and I keep track of my daily weight in a journal. I’m able to interpret the scale’s truth a little better after two years of seeing how it reacts to Thai food, or brownies, or NOT weighing myself for a few days. That’s the kiss of death for me–If I stop weighing myself each and every day, I gain–big time. Like you, I take this as a limited truth. I also enter my weights on to see a moving average–it smoothes out daily fluctuations and gives you a visual idea of how you’re doing over all. And yes, my WW weigh ins, clothing, measurements, my record of exercise, and photos of myself. All those things are good for learning the truth too.

    • Karen

      I actually tried that site the other day after I commented on you pretty color-coded chart. Seems to be glitchy so I am not sure I am going to be patient to check back to see if it works. I think visuals like that can be more impactful for me than just a number.

  33. Genie@dietof51

    I liked your comment about going back to read (and remind) yourself of your own epiphanies. Funny! And, true!

    I stay off the scale, and rely more on my “clothes” feeling. There are plenty of moments of truth to be had during the fastening of pants, believe me.

  34. I think my truths (not just a moment) began when I made the decision to start this journey on JUne 26th for ME, first. I have learned in such a few short months so much about patience, acceptance, sheer honesty, being kind to myself and stepping out of the closet in so many ways about my weight and obesity. I can not way myslef every day. Torture. I only wiegh in a couple of times a month. Works for me.

  35. When I was done with my weight loss, about 10 years ago, my husband took our scale and sold it at a garage sale we were having! That’s the last time we’ve had a scale in the house. Lately, because of menopause and God knows what’s going on with my body, I weigh myself once a month at my Jazzercise center, privately in the bathroom on the heaviest doctor’s scale I’ve ever been on! But it’s okay because I just need to know if it goes up, down or stays the same. I consider it a major accomplishment that I actually don’t care so much about the number as much as the difference between the numbers from the prior month to the current one. I’ve finally grown up!

    • Karen

      I love the beginning of this… “When I was done with my weight loss…” It struck me, because I am not sure I imagine ever being done. But it sure is something nice to imagine:) I think you are at a place that I (and others) aspire to be as well. I am picturing myself in 10 years and smiling.

  36. this might be my favourite post yet, Karen! i too am a daily weigher, but i don’t let a little fluxuation bother me, and i certainly don’t define myself by my weight. it just keeps me on track. if i’m not paying attention, i can add on the pounds all too quickly.:p

  37. I broke my legvtwo years ago taking my students in the winter to an outdoor learning center. It took me a VERY long time to get back up to speed, any speed in terms of walking. I am still the slowest walker in The world, but my stamina has increased. Thus my exercise of choice is my bike. It is hard to get back at it when youhave been injured. Sounds like it was just right for you to go to the gym. I am sure you are glad you are back at it.

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