The End of a Scale-Free Summer

It began on June 1st–the start of an experiment. I was going scale-free for the summer. I was tired of giving that stupid little device so much power over my emotions. That number on the scale had the enormous potential of MAKING or RUINING my entire day. I had lots of anxiety about going scale-free. Would I gain a bunch of weight? Would this be a huge set back after how far I’ve come?

I was faced with a lot of challenges and temptations this summer. Road trips and lots of restaurant eating. I tried to make good choices when it came to eating out but there was a LOT of eating out. More than I would have liked, to be honest. But the food was good.

Speaking of good food…The annual Brewfest and a family reunion had good food. Celebrating my third anniversary with Michael involved food.

Even with all those temptations and food orgies, notice that I balanced them out with fitness. I swam two miles for the first time.  I was still committed to working out at the gym and I was commuting to work on my bike in preparation for the Portland Century. I biked, I swam, I ran, I hiked.  It is my opinion that continuing my normal fitness routine, plus the additional training, kept me on track.

Not to say it was all puppies and kittens this summer. I did struggle with going scale-free in the beginning. I was convinced I had gained about 10 pounds. I was sure I could see it when I looked in the mirror.  Sometime around mid-July I made peace with it. I honestly FORGOT about the scale and forgot about how much I weighed. I stopped wondering what that number was, or feeling like I had gained 10 pounds. I just enjoyed the summer. 

It was a refreshing feeling. Freedom. Freedom from feeling bad about myself based on a number. While I don’t think it’s wise to completely go scale-free for the rest of my life, I think I can go in spurts where I take a break from the scale. As it stands I’ll go back to weighing myself once a month if I feel like it.

So what was the outcome? What number was on the scale when I finally ended the Scale Free Summer?

I was 144.2 in June when I started this experiment.

After going Scale-Free for the summer: 144.4

Exactly the same as far as I am concerned. I might have fluctuated up and down a few pounds but I never saw it, so it didn’t happen. I ended exactly where I started in June. I am so happy that my experiment was a success. It gave me even more confidence that what I’m doing works– The affirmation that I needed. It proved to me that I’m secure in my routine, my habits, my life.

Where do I go from here? With the hard decisions I have about the gym situation, my hope is that my waistline is not affected by the hiatus. I will probably weigh-in for awhile until I figure out what my gym/workout decision will be just to make sure I stay on track.

QUESTION: Were you surprised by the outcome of my summer experiment? How often to you weigh yourself?

Author: Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and

27 thoughts on “The End of a Scale-Free Summer”

  1. I’m actually not surprised at all! It seems you’ve really learned to eat healthfully, most of the time, and allow yourself a treat without going overboard. You’re also very dedicated to fitness, which balances things out and simply provides for a healthier body overall. I imagine you could feel it when you gained a pound or two and adjusted accordingly, even if you didn’t do it consciously. You’re so amazing! One day, when I’m in maintenance, I would love to do this experiment because the scale really can affect my mood and affect how I feel about myself. I could be feeling great after a week of killer workouts, but if the scale hasn’t moved down enough, I’ll wind up really upset. Great job sticking to this challenge!

    1. Jennifer, thanks for your confidence in my ability to maintain. I definitely had my doubts when I started this. But yes, having a regular, consistent workout routine is probably what made this work.

      You can do it too someday! At some point maintenance just becomes “the norm.”

  2. WOW! Well done! I think you’ve got the maintaining thing DOWN. That’s so awesome! I’m not surprised to see the results–you’ve remained aware of your food and you’ve continued to be active. You’re an inspiration!
    Becky recently posted..Completely Blown Away

    1. I hate to say it, but Michael was right. He kept telling me to dump the scale and stop getting obsessed with that number. He said I wouldn’t gain weight and I kept saying “right right right this experiment will be a disaster” but now he can say “I told you so.” 🙂 I do have the maintaining thing down!

  3. WOW! This is amazing, Lisa! I am so impressed, astonished, proud, amazed at this 🙂 Like you said – this really just proves what you’re doing WORKS! I didn’t doubt you or your scale free summer but I honestly didn’t expect to see you at the exact same weight after 3 months. I didn’t expect you to gain by any means – I guess I just thought there would be a difference. I really liked reading about your challenge! I think it will give me a little more confidence in my healthy efforts, too. Such a cool experiment!

    1. I get what you are trying to say. I felt the same way–like I’d either GAIN a few pounds or, miraculously lose a few simply because I wasn’t obsessing about the scale anymore. Kind of like how watching a pot of water til it boils? But I am happy with the results and I hope it inspired my readers to keep doing what they are doing!

  4. Were you nervous when you first stepped on? I am in the middle of not weighing and it continues to be a great feeling. I hope I have the same outcome when I decide it is time to step back on the scale. You are probably right about fluctuating up and down over the summer- but you never knew it and it didn’t effect your moods or you attitude. That must feel so good! Balance is key and you proved it to us all!!! AWESOME!!!
    Jill recently posted..I was Lost

  5. I’m not one bit surprised. You’re too aware of your calories in and out. Plus, if you gained 10 lbs, you’d KNOW it by the feel of your pants. You’d see it in your swimsuit. 10 lbs isn’t invisible!
    Anyhow, congratulations! I love that you did this. I hope it inspires a lot of people out there who do struggle with the scale.
    I personally don’t own one, and I can tell each and every reader, I’m saner for that.

    1. Yes, that’s part of the success of me keeping the weight off–calorie counting being second nature. It’s just something I do. Even if I’m not writing it down, I know it in my head. I’m glad that you gave up your scale and are “saner for it”!!! 🙂

  6. The scale provides me with a little bit of a step stool to better see the mirror, so i am on it a lot (not kidding! our downstairs bathroom is kinda awkwardly laid out and the extra height helps when i’m doing makeup) but i don’t pay a ton of attention to the number.

    I had a point where I cared *too* much about the scale, so I made it awkward to get at. I’m fine with it now, so I’m not worried-the number on it doesn’t make or break my day
    (Well, ok, when I’d been ignoring it for a few weeks and discovered I’d lost weight when I got on it, it did make my day a little 🙂 )
    kalin recently posted..New

    1. You crack me up Kalin. I hope we can meet soon. 🙂

      I think everyone goes through a point when they obsess too much on the scale. It’s natural, but sometimes it’s harder to get passed that…Glad I did it.

  7. What a great job, congratulations! I’m not surprised though, as I believe that you have learned to listen to your body and have a great sense of body awareness.

    I weigh myself like 2-3 times a week. It’s hard not to react to what I see every time. But, I’m not too obsessed with it either, like I used to be. A few pounds of weight fluctuation often happens to our bodies. I try to focus on what I eat, how much I exercise, and how I feel, rather than the number on the scale.
    Mayumi (@Fitnotfried2) recently posted..Dr. Stop

    1. Yes, Mayumi! It’s more about what we eat, how we feel than what that number says. My genetics play a big part in this. I will never be a “stick thin” girl and I am okay with that.

  8. I’m impressed! That is freakin’ awesome!
    I weigh in once a week but due to traveling, I have been off the scale grid for a few weeks at a time. I think for me it all depends on the mindset I go in to the trip with. On some trips my attitude has been “well I’ll remain conscious of what I am eating and remember my ultimate goal” to which I’ll lose on vacation. With other trips though, I’ve thought “well, I’m on vacation, I need some RnR from being so good” to which I’ll gain a lot (but most of that is usually retained water so I can lose it pretty quick.) So my struggle with food is still alive and well so if I want to lose I need the scale to hold me accountable. I can’t wait to get to the point where the scale isn’t my slave driver lol, until then, I shall do it’s bidding.
    Nathan recently posted..Day 336: A Meowtastic Wordless Wednesday!

    1. I wouldn’t say that my struggle with food has been beaten but I think I do have it under control. There will always be that little voice in my head saying “You know you want to eat that whole tray of brownies….” Thankfully the voice that’s LOUDER in my head is saying “You know that tray of brownies would be 4,000 calories!”

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