- If you’re going to “cheat,” do so after the weigh-in; not before. And give yourself about 3 days to burn it off.
- Weigh in as early in the morning as possible. Who cares if the meeting doesn’t start until noon? If security unlocks the building at 7:00am, say “Good Morning” with a smile and head for the scale. You can always come back for the meeting.
- Eat just enough to drag your body to the scale. Only rookies eat a full meal before weighing in!
- Weigh in wearing as little as possible. Okay, a swimsuit is a bit extreme, but there’s nothing wrong with capris and a tank top in the dead of winter, during a polar vortex; that’s what coats are for! I made a very dear friend at a Weight Watchers meeting in the 80s after standing behind her in line for the weigh-in, and watching her stop to remove her shoes, blazer, belt, necklace, and earrings, and then reach inside her blouse and pull out the shoulder pads.
- Not satisfied with the number on the scale? Gently lean forward, or slowly rock backward. You never know!
You can learn something else, too, while waiting in line for the weigh-in. During one of my stints at Weight Watchers while in grad school in upstate New York, I observed something very interesting, especially to a psychology student like me. The pursuit of a lower number on the scale can drive even the most private woman to reveal very personal things. The staff member recording the weekly weigh-ins was a young, soft-spoken man who’d lost and was keeping off more than 100 pounds. We knew of him as Larry, the guy who does the weigh-ins (I later learned he was also a relatively new professor at the business school). Week in and week out, I’d stand in line while women shed their accessories and disappeared behind a tall screen to step on the scale, where Larry would balance the metric, and then record the weight on the member’s card. And week in and week out, I’d hear things like this:
“Ohh, I'm dreading this; I got my period this morning.”
“I’m retaining water; it’s my time of the month.”
“Yeah, I've got my period, so I knew I'd be up.”
Larry knew the menstrual cycles of a quarter of the women in town! I pointed this out to him one week when it was my turn to step on the scale. He turned crimson, but he couldn’t deny it.
It’s good for us to laugh at ourselves, especially when that laughter comes with a level of understanding. In this context, we need to understand that we’re only playing games with ourselves. WE know what we’re eating and drinking. Regardless of the reasons why we might have made the choices we did to consume whatever it was that we ate or drank, we know. It doesn’t matter if the number on the scale reflects this or not. We know. We have to own it, and accept it, every single time, if we want to eventually change the behavior.
In the end, will it really matter what you weighed on Thursday morning? It’s not like there will be an obituary that reads, “She passed away on February 3, weighing 206 pounds at 10:28am (but her scale at home read 203.4 at 7:40 earlier that morning).”