I've had a bad relationship with the scale since I can remember. I have a vague memory of stepping on at some point and my childhood, feeling horrified, and trying to figure out how many years I needed to not gain weight in order to be 'normal'.
I didn't step on a scale for almost seven years because my anxiety over that number got to be so ridiculous. The fear of having to step on a scale kept me from going to see doctors for that period of time. I'm not sure whether this is proof of how absolutely crippling anxiety can be, or commentary on how stupid our obsession is with weight. I think it's both.
When I did finally step on a scale because of I had to go to a doctor, the number wasn't pretty. But I had reached a point where I really didn't care. I knew that I was so much more than whatever number the scale read.
I was me at my lowest weight, and at my highest. I had come to the place where I didn't believe that my weight determined whether I was worthy of love, of good things, or health. (Now, whether I was able to act on that belief on a day to day basis - much more difficult.)
In the past, when I've tried to 'consciously eat better and exercise', I end up petering out because I'll exercise really hard and then not really see any results. Sure, Matt might tell me that, "I think your sides are slimming down!" but if I can't see it ... it's really discouraging. And I had that experience over the winter/spring. I exercised my little heart out, but my jeans still felt the same. I might have had more energy, but a really overcast day still sent me hiding under the covers.
As much as I want to be a 'it's the journey' oriented person, I apparently need to see some results in order to stick with things.
I want to be healthy and I want to be strong. I want to be able to run, and to give myself the best shot I can at a long and happy life. That means so much more to me than what the scale says.
But ... I'm finding that when my self esteem isn't completely bound up in the number, the scale is a decent way to track progress for me. It's not the only measure, mind you, but it's tangible and concrete. The jeans I couldn't button last year are now getting baggy. I can run for two at least two minutes, and I remember when forty five seconds was unimaginably difficult. But the scale also says that I'm down, as of this morning, 26.4 pounds.
I don't weigh myself every day, or even with any consistency. If I get the urge to check in, I do. But I'm happy to be at a place where I feel like the scale is working for me, and I'm not working for it. That's how it should be.