Jessie takes a leap of faithResearch from the University of Colorado and Brown University shows that one of the unifying characteristics of people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off is that they weigh themselves regularly.
While regularly weighing yourself provides a quantifiable indicator of your success, it's important that you don't do it too often. In my experience, once or twice a month is optimal.
If you weigh yourself more often than that, you may be inadvertently blocking your efforts to connect with your body and lose weight. Jessie's story is a good case in point.
Jessie - a vibrant, energetic woman - read The Don't Go Hungry Diet and came to my book launch in March 2007. Having known Jessie for a few years, I knew that she was a great advocate of my scientifically backed weight loss principles. However, I never fully realized the impact they have had on Jessie's life until July this year, when she attended one of my workshops.
As the workshop commenced and participants and I started to become better acquainted with each other, Jessie beamed from ear to ear and announced that she had something to show everyone.
She dug into her bag, and I was intrigued to see what might possibly emerge.
Finally, Jessie resurfaced with a thick, heavy, navy blue, A4-sized diary.
'At home, I have other diaries like this one', she explained. Jessie opened the front cover of her diary revealing a two-page overview of 2007. As with all her previous diaries, each day of the year was represented on the opening page spread by a little rectangle, and in each little rectangle was a neatly written entry.
'This is me before Dr Amanda's book launch' explained Jessie as she proceeded to read out some of her daily entries.
'Eight stone five pounds, eight stone five pounds, eight stone four pounds, eight stone three, eight stone four, eight stone four, eight stone five, eight stone five...'
Since she was seventeen years old, Jessie had weighed herself almost every single day. At fifty-two years of age, she has quite a few weigh-ins under her belt! Daily weighing was part of Jessie's strategy for keeping her weight under control and continually pushing it down towards her ideal of just under eight stone (50 kilos). Invariably however, Jessie's weight hovered around 53 kilos or above, and once she even went as high as 64.4 kilos.
'And this is me after Dr Amanda's book launch' announced Jessie jubilantly, pointing to March in her 2-page overview of 2007.
Whereas up until late March Jessie's yearly overview was crammed with daily weigh-in results, a few days after my book launch a giant chasm appeared on the page and the remainder of the page was blank.
Jessie had taken a giant leap of faith and had decided to weigh herself just once a month.
In the past, various health care professionals had suggested she stop weighing herself every day, but she did not trust them enough to put it into practice. However, in reading my book and hearing me talk, something clicked and Jessie decided to give it a go.
'When I finally weighed myself again after one month of putting into practice the things I learned from Amanda, I was three pounds lighter!'
After so many years of daily weighing, Jessie was astonished with the effects of letting go and allowing her body to control her weight for her. What's more, Jessie has continued to weigh herself just once a month, and her weight hovers reliably around 50 kilos.
While this 2 kilo difference on Jessie's small frame feels wonderful, the effects on her mental well-being are more far-reaching. After years of rigid mental control over her weight, she's no longer afraid of gaining weight. Jessie explained in an E-mail:
The other major benefit of letting go of this one behavior is that it has allowed me to get on with living - a phrase that you have said again and again - because I'm no longer preoccupied and taking up valuable brain space with thinking about food and eating namely:
I can't eat this or that because...; I want to weigh less in the morning so I'll eat less tonight; what will my husband say if I don't eat; I don't want to go out because I may overeat or eat something I prefer not to; I have to be strong and rigid about what goes into my mouth...
These are just an example of the myriad of thoughts that used to run through my brain which are now over!!!'
See what can happen when you let go of weighing every day and instead connect with your body?
What our readers say...
"Hi Amanda! I was so excited to receive your reply to my e-mail! I will definitely let you know what my set point weight ends up being. So far this is a very amazing and eye opening journey. I over indulged the day I bought and started reading your book, Don't Go Hungry For Life, but since deciding to follow your plan and starting my Success Diary I have not even been hungry! Usually I was eating 6 small meals a day regardless of whether I was hungry or not (a habit that was drilled into me when I was becoming a personal trainer), so it's great to know that my Fat Brake is actually working and is compensating for this past excess of food! My first meeting with anorexia was at the age of 10, and the last 10 years of my life (I'm now 20) have been a battle with bulimia. This is the first time in 10 years I feel completely in control! And it's only been a week, but my whole state of mind is so different now! And it's just in time, because my eating patterns/disorders were putting a huge strain on my marriage. My husband is so happy to see me being able to enjoy food and not end up binging/purging or starving myself for days afterward. I was particularly interested in the chapter in your book referring to hormones and the Famine Reaction, as we have been trying for a baby for 13 months with no luck. My menstruation stopped about 14 months ago, which I have been told by specialists is due to excessive exercise. I cut my exercise in half, but still no luck as my estrogen level is so far below where it is meant to be. So I am hoping that this new eating style can help balance my hormones as well as my moods. Again, thank you so much, your new book has not only helped me to escape from diet dungeon and face my demons, it is also helping my marriage. For the first time in 10 years, I feel like a normal person! I will update you when my weight balances its self out and will let you know how I go! Thanks."