The Scale Doesn’t Tell You How Much You Get to Enjoy Your Life

The Scale Doesn’t Tell You How Much You Get to Enjoy Your Life

The past few months, since Daniel and I moved to Massachusetts, have been a whirlwind. We bought a house (zoo?), I’m working on the beginnings of a new book, trying to keep up my blogging, and also planning a wedding. It’s an exciting year, but it’s also incredibly stressful. And most of you know my favorite way to deal with stress. Daniel and I didn’t have our cookware and plates when we moved in and we fell into the take-out trap.

It was just easier to eat pizza with our paint-stained hands while waiting for the last coat to dry. Days went by and we just got into the routine of eating fast casual food or take-out. Before we realized it, it had been a month and we had each gained a little weight. Normally this wouldn’t be that big of a deal but now I had the additional stress of an approaching work event and shortly after that my bridal shower was scheduled. You would think that this pressure would have helped to force me to get back on the healthy track, but the further off the track I went, the less I was able to turn it around.

As much as I understand triggers and have the ability to write endlessly about coping strategies and mindfulness, the truth is, when things really start to become difficult, I eat. I eat less than I used to and make slightly better choices, but I still sometimes can’t stop myself from the one thing that has always soothed me. It’s something hardwired into me and something I will always be actively trying to manage. This isn’t going to be another post about advice or tips or strategies to avoid binge eating. It’s about how to think about the rest of your life when you…can’t.

If you are someone who struggles with moderation, there will be times when you are a little heavier and times when you are a little lighter. It can be easy to let the number on the scale dictate how much we can enjoy our life. We think that our reunion will be so much better if we could just squeeze into that size 6. Or we will be able to make lasting memories on our vacation as long as we can wear a bikini. But the weight doesn’t have to stop you from having meaningful experiences. You can still have fun and get the most out of life when you aren’t at your ideal weight. We have to stop putting our lives on hold.

I could have white knuckled it when I was feeling the urge to loosen the reigns. I would have been able to fit into a smaller dress for my shower this weekend. But then, I would have missed out on the memory of eating Chinese food right out of the carton on the floor with Daniel on the first night in our new house. I wouldn’t have discovered a new local dessert shop that makes cookie whoopie pies that are among the best things I have ever tasted. And having those experiences doesn’t mean I have ruined all the possible enjoyment from my life for the next few months. As self conscious as I am and as anxious as I am that I’m not going to be as thin as I had always imagined for my wedding, I’m going to put on a dress that fits and have a blast at my bridal shower next weekend.

How have you been doing?



26 thoughts on “The Scale Doesn’t Tell You How Much You Get to Enjoy Your Life

  1. Jennifer Taft @inthekitchenwithsassy

    And, cue the tears. I SO needed this today. Celebrated my birthday this past weekend, and the scale is up a few pounds. I woke up this morning feeling guilty and like a failure. Why? I enjoyed myself. It was my birthday. Thank you for always being honest and putting into words what so many of us feel <3

  2. Ilene Paula Bryson

    The struggle is always around finding the right balance. My favorite quote of late is, “You are too smart, to be the only thing standing in your way.” Somehow it resonates with me. Have a wonderful time at the shower, and enjoy! I can’t wait to hear of your adventures.

    1. faith

      That quote…so powerful, and unfortunately, so true for all of us at some point. Thanks for sharing that!

  3. Jessica

    Girl, I hear you! I’m glad you were able to make those memories and enjoy your shower no matter what size your dress or what the scale said. Speaking from my personal experience, the stress of trying to lose weight before your wedding isn’t worth it, especially if you have a history of eating your emotions. I didn’t lose a single pound before my wedding, and at first I did get mad at myself (which caused me to eat more, shocker) because I had told myself I’d lose at least a few.

    After the wedding, I took stock of the situation and realized that yes, I was a few pounds heavier than I had wanted to be, but no, it did not take away from my day. I know now putting that much pressure on myself was a waste of time and energy. I’m glad to see your thoughts are similar and I wish you the best as you finish planning and have your wonderful day. :)

  4. katie o

    This is spot on. Marcus and I experienced this trap when we moved last June and again a few weeks ago while redoing our kitchen— such a slippery slope but I am working my way out! I hope you’re enjoying the process of settling as stressful as it can be, and I’m sure whatever you wear to your shower you will be stunning! I’ll make Rachel take 1 billion pictures :) Happy everything! xoxo

  5. Mel

    GASP! You’re writing a new book?! YAYAYAYAYAY! Cookbook? A new memoir? Travel guide? ;) Just kidding! Clue us in on how the book writing goes! And congrats on all new adventures coming your way!

  6. Jennifer

    Yes yes yes. Andie, before my wedding my husband and I went through a non wedding related stressful event, and on top of that life change, we moved, and planned our wedding (with all the family drama included) from across the country. In the weeks leading up to the events, showers, etc. I actually people ask me what I was going to do to get in shape for the big day while sizing me up. I was at my heaviest for myself, yet I was so so happy. I looked them in the eyes and told them I was already in the best shape of my life because I had never been so happy inside. I love the beautiful memories you are creating and I love this post. It’s beautiful as you are. My weight fluctuates but I strive to be healthy and happy, and it’s awesome to be encouraged to live without waiting and with self love. Xoxo and congrats on that house, girl!

  7. Parker Ann

    Getting married in 18 days and 1000000% needed this today. The scale has not been kind and I’ve been even less kind to myself over it. Thank you for your encouragement and reminder that we are not defined by that ridiculous number. Happy wedding planning!!

  8. Heidi @foodiecrush

    I love your words, your wit, your selflessness. But you already know that. And guess what? That Chinese food from the box makes you look just as happy and healthy and fit as I’ve ever seen you so apparently your still doing it all right.

  9. Rhea

    Losing weight the first time is always life-changing, always so titillating in itself that it’s (gasp) easy. Everything is new, every hit of dopamine at your new figure in the mirror and the slight (and not so slight) social changes that occur when out in public are enough to keep you on track, always. The emotions are so intense and real that you stay hyper-focused and it really. Is. Easy. Comparatively, anyway. Once the years pile up, things change. For better and worse. Is it sad a sad fact, and I lament it, that my new low(er) weight doesn’t seem as flashy and beautiful now as it did at first. And keeping it ultra-low is, actually, not an easy effort. (Although, some weeks or months are easier than others.) Eventually a kind of fear builds, too. Fear of losing that feeling, fear of gaining it back or not staying thin enough. I know that my body is happy to stay at a weight that is about 30 pounds over my desired weight, my “happy” low weight. I gained weight in the year before my wedding, tipped the scale back down in the months before, and gained some of it back in during my two (yes two!) glorious honeymoons after. I ate. He ate. My new husband held my hand and told me that he’s absolutely in love with me, body and soul, and that if a 20 pound difference meant I could try all of the amazing food in all of these special places with him, drink delicious wine and frothy beer, he’d rather I keep that 20 pounds. He also understands that my brain will never quite be wired right, and I will likely never be comfortable with body, especially if it’s up 20 or 30 pounds from what I perceive as beautiful. As acceptable. What I will say, is that despite the fact that it is a daily battle, I am so much happier and healthier than I was at 310 pounds. I live life in such a full way. I experience things so differently, and can appreciate them so very much. I was a little heavier than I wished I’d been at my wedding, but I felt gorgeous. When I saw the pictures I knew I looked gorgeous. And most of all, I made the very best promise to the very best person I’ve ever had the privilege to know. You are amazing, your journey has been amazing, and your day will be perfect.

  10. Courtney

    Love this post, life is for living and sometimes we get so caught up in what th scale says and forget to make those memories! When I was getting married I was so caught up in restricting and being the best shape ever that I didn’t actually embrace my shower and make th most of it, you only get to do this once and memories should be about the day and who you spent it with rather than regrets and feeling that you aren’t at the goal weight so you can’t enjoy yourself… have a wonderful amazing bridal shower, make lots of amazing memories and embrace who you are and enjoy every single second!

  11. Megan

    Thanks as always Andie. I’m tearing up over here. I gained a good amount of weight last fall (and I’m not saying a certain election lead me to eat more..) and didn’t even notice the extent until I went home for Christmas. Only one other time have I been at this weight and honestly, I hate it but I’m ashamed. Even though I know my worth doesn’t come from my weight, it makes me want to hide away. Definitely NOT easy to lose weight when you’re stressed out.

    All that being said, you are going to be a gorgeous bride- I hope we get to see pictures from your wedding. Congratulations on the new house and new book too! So happy for you and Daniel :)

  12. Katy

    I love this post because it shows what I love best about you – your realness. I love that you are honest about the struggles we all feel. You’re going to look beautiful at your wedding <3

  13. Rebekah W.

    This is so real for me right now! My weight tends to fluctuate around 20 lbs at any given time, and I’m at the top end of that 20 lbs right now. Fortunately, I’ve never truly been overweight, however I still don’t feel like myself when I’m heavier. I’m fairly tall, therefore most people don’t even notice that I’ve gained or lost weight when I do. My mom says I “carry it well”. Thanks for your realness about enjoying life! I’m still “off the wagon”, but am desperately trying to claw my way back on! You’re an inspiration!

  14. CourtneyG

    Loved this! I enjoy hearing about your weight-loss/maintain journey and am super excited to hear another book! :) I’m sure you looked gorgeous at your shower!

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  17. Belle

    I am definitely someone who struggles with moderation. Your words ” It can be easy to let the number on the scale dictate how much we can enjoy our life” really resonate with me. When I’m not at my ideal weight I wear less fashionable clothes, I don’t want to go shopping, or wear swimmers. It stops me from living my life to the fullest. Thank you for your wise words of encouragement Andie :-) I would also like to master moderation… but that’s another article!

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