last updated March 1, 2021

Checking your weight – or tracking your food – after a binge, “cheat”, or extended time off track

by Rob Arthur

Have you ever feared, or completely skipped, checking your weight or tracking a meal (or several) because you know your actions haven’t been in alignment with your goals?

Here’s why you feel that way and what you can do about it:

Alright, let’s be real for a minute.

Sometimes even those of us who are quite serious about our health and fitness goals and – for the most part – watch what we eat, train regularly, and take care of ourselves go off the rails for a little bit.

Sometimes this is as short as just one meal, but other times it can be a whole day, week, or even month, and if we participate in habits and actions and behaviors that move us away from our goals long enough, we can notice that our pants get tighter, our shirts don’t fit, or we can just tell in the mirror that we’ve put on a little bit of extra fluff and we don’t quite look how we want to.

Often, when we are going through these kinds of… phases, I guess you’d call it… often when we’re doing this we… we don’t necessarily keep track of our weight or any other measurements we’re taking, like our waist measurements.

Now the reason that we don’t do this is because we’re afraid of what we might see on the scale or on the tape measure; and this fear is because that makes it real. You know?

Seeing that number change – seeing a higher number about our waist or our weight – that makes our decisions real.

So the question is, “Does the fact that we see our weight, or the fact that we see our waist measurement go up does that change anything about what actually happened or about our body?

If we choose not to look at the scale, does that change anything?

Does that change the fact that we just… you know… had had a period of time in which we didn’t quite stick to the habits that we try to?”

No… doesn’t change anything.

It’s kind of like if you… if you’re tracking your food, and you end up eating something that… or many things that… that you know don’t align with your current eating habits – whether that’s [your eating habits] eating certain types of foods in certain quantities or counting calories and macronutrients – just because you didn’t track the food doesn’t mean you didn’t eat it.

Yet when we track these things – be that our weight, or be that food, or any other progress, when we track these things we’re often tempted not to acknowledge when we’ve made mistakes because of fear… because of fear of how it’s gonna make us feel about ourselves.

So what do we do?

Well, I can share with you some thoughts that I have about it, and you’re gonna have to find what works best for your personality because different people are going to benefit in certain ways from different approaches.

Personally, let’s say if I… if I have one bad night where I drink more than I should or I eat a whole lot of junk that I know is gonna make me retain water and probably show a higher number on the scale than is normal, then I I might choose one or two different things.

I might choose to just skip the scale.

In… in the past… in the past I probably would have skipped the scale just cuz I would know.

I’d be like, “Well, you know what, Rob? You know you gained some weight. Just don’t even worry about it because it’s gonna skew… um, you know.. the data doesn’t mean anything.

I mean, yeah, it tells you what you weigh today, but you’re worried about the trend, so just skip today and worry about… you know… weigh once things level out a little bit more.”

So I might skip the scale if I had a bad night or, let’s say, if I wanted to re-

… now, hang on, let me backpedal…

Let’s say if I have a bad week or a bad month and I can tell that I’ve put on some legitimate weight, not just bloat, or not just water.

Let’s say if I’ve had I had I had a string of bad decisions or – I shouldn’t say bad – a string of decisions that don’t align with my goals, then what I’ll do is I will get on the scale and I will take measurements cuz it’s just data.

It’s just data.

The difference is, before I step on the scale or before I take any kind of measurements, I decide how I feel about myself.

So I decide before weighing myself at all, or before taking any kind of measurement, I decide how I feel about myself as a person and I decide how I feel about my value and my worth as a human being; and with enough practice it becomes obvious that the number that I see has nothing to do with who I am or what my value is in this world.

So at that point I get on the scale or I take my measurement and I see the results of the decisions I’ve made but I understand that those decisions have nothing to do with my role here on this planet.

Those decisions are only… or those measurements… those numbers that I see… are only a reflection of the amount of certain lipids that I’m carrying for a spare energy in the future.

There’s no moral attachment to that.

There’s no reflection on who I am as a person.

In the past I wasn’t so level-headed about it.

In the past I definitely have struggled with body image issues and investing way more of my self-worth in my body than I should have, but now it’s just data.

The data is what the data is, and I know that regardless of whether I check a scale or not, or whether I take a measurement of my waist or not, I know my value.

So if you find yourself struggling with whether to track a certain meal – if you’re tracking, if you’re tracking your food, and that’s not gonna be for everybody – or weighing yourself after a bad meal, night or week or month or at any point.

Let’s just say if you know that over the past few years you’ve let yourself go, it’s just data.

The data is what the data is and you’re gonna have to determine beforehand whether you’re ready to acknowledge that data or not.

Gonna have to find what works for you.

What works for me is not gonna work for somebody else, and what works for somebody else is not gonna work for you, …uh… but I can tell you that for long-term success and quality of life – which is what we’re all after ultimately, we’re all after just enjoying our short time on this rock – in terms of that, in terms of those ideas you’ll be much better served determining how you feel and what kind of day you’re gonna have before taking any kind of measurement of food or your body.

You’re gonna decide beforehand how you feel about yourself and your role here and the value that you provide in your self-worth, because it’s got nothing to do with your relationship to the earth, in terms of gravity, cuz that’s all scale is.

Got it?

Alright, I guess that’s all I got for today.

Cool! Thanks.

Have a good evening!


binges, body image, cheat days, cheat meals, coachroba.com, cravings, disappointment, failure, fat gain, fitness, frustration, gaining weight, health, healthy diet, mindset, mindset coach, nutrition, nutrition coach, online nutrition coach, Rob Arthur, self esteem, self-love, self-worth, sugar, sweet tooth, weigh ins, weigh yourself, weight gain

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