I weighed myself every hour for 16 hours… here’s what happened.

I weighed myself at the gym the other day after my lunchtime pilates class and the number was higher than I both expected and liked. And I spiraled. Mind you, I had been up since 5:30 am, had an early day in the studio so I  was on my second large iced latte. But none of that mattered because as hard as I try, I’m still not immune to emotional relapses. I got back to my desk and immediately started googling anything and everything that would confirm that the number I just saw was wrong. And I found something so interesting…a nutritionist weighed herself  15 times in 1 day. 

So I decided to recreate that experiment myself.  I’m always looking for ways to take the power away from the scale, for myself and anyone else who feels weighed down by that number and this felt like the perfect opportunity, especially since I was off from work for the next day and rain was in the forecast.

I set up my experiment on that Friday, August 31. I was going to do exactly what I normally do, eat exactly how I’d normally eat. I put the scale in my bathroom, on a hard wood floor, didn’t move it all day. And I weighed myself every hour for 16 hours.

Here’s what happened…

7:30 AM: My first morning weigh in, naked, right when I woke up, I was overall satisfied with that number.

8:30 AM: After a little morning movement, I pooped and lost .5 pounds. I was naked again at this weigh in. This would be the lowest weight I would see all day.

9:30 AM: I got dressed for the day, I was wearing jean shorts and a loose fitting sweatshirt. I still hasn’t eaten anything. At this weight in, I was up 1.5 pounds, (1 pound from the initial morning weigh in.)

10:30 AM: I went out for coffee, finished a 16 oz latte before my next weigh in. Here, I am now up 2 pounds from my initial morning weight. That was quick gain…

11:30 AM: Since I skipped breakfast and opted for a coffee instead, I had an early lunch. A turkey sandwich on wheat bread with mayo. At this weight in, no extra weight gained, I am still up the same 2 pounds from my initial morning weigh in.

12:30 PM: In a very unusual event for me, I pooped again (TMI) so at this weigh in, I go down .5 pounds, only up 1.5 pounds from initial weight.

1:30 PM: No change from 12:30…still up the 1.5 pounds from initial morning weigh in.

2:30 PM:  Since it was raining I started snacking. I had about 1 cup of grapes, drank some water and had 3 graham crackers and 5 large chocolate covered almonds. At this weigh in I was back up .5 pounds. So 2 pounds total from initial morning weigh in.

3:30 PM: No change from 2:30…still up the 2 pounds from initial morning weigh in.

4:30 PM: The rain cleared and I got out of the house. I took a 2 mile walk. It was muggy and I sweat a lot. I weighed in… now up 3 pounds.  This to me was very interesting to me because so many of us weigh ourselves at the gym AFTER a workout. yet, I just burned calories and sweat out some water and gained a pound….hmmmm

5:30 PM:  I had showered and changed into leggings and a tank top. I lost the pound I gained after my workout. So again only 2 pounds from my initial morning weigh in. Waiting for dinner I had about an entire bag of 700 pretzels and 1/2 of a diet coke. Yet oddly enough at my next weigh in..

6:30 PM: I  lost .5 only up 1.5 from the initial morning weigh in – literally no explanation for that…because I felt bloated.

7:30 PM: At dinner I ate a hamburger, corn on the cob and avocado. Then I had 1/2 really large shortbread cookie and 1 piece of crumb cake. At this weigh in I was up 4 pounds from my initial morning weight. I felt those 4 pounds by that point.

8:30 PM: Lost .5 pounds, now only up 3.5 pounds

9:30 PM: No change from 8:30…still up the 3.5 pounds from initial morning weigh in. I snacked a little before bed. As I usually do. I had some Ritz Crackers and Penelope’s goldfish that were sitting out…

10:30 PM: My last weigh in of the day before bed…up 5 total pounds from my initial morning weigh in…  up 5 pounds in 1 day…. I mean it makes sense but it can’t all be “real” weight…can it?! The rational side of my brain said no…The irrational side panicked…and went to bed a little really nervous….

Now here’s where it gets interesting, the next morning at 7:30 am, I weighed myself.  I was still up 3.5 pounds! Had I gained 3.5 pounds in 1 day?! Was this real weight now? My rational and irrational brain start fighting. I decided to continue the experiment and keep weighing myself every hour. At 11:30 am the number finally dropped back to the same weight it was 11:30 am the previous day…

Ok so a lot was learned…but now GET THIS…take a look at the below images. One image is from me on my scale on the carpet. The other  image is from me on my scale on the hard wood floor. A 13 pound difference.. are you kidding me?!?!? Literally so unacceptable.

So now what does all this mean?! And why do I subject myself to these ridiculous experiments…because the scale sucks. It can’t be trusted. And even though we know this…we are all still always searching for the most “authoritative scale.” The scale that is “right.” The surface that is “right.” The position that is “right” The time of day that is “right” Well guess what…that doesn’t exist. And in searching for this, we are only feeding our irrational brain. The brain that tells us what we weigh defines who we are. That number will never define you! It never did and it never will.

And after these two experiments, and my scale post from prior, I’d say

Nicole: 3  Scale: 0

Happy Monday! (Well, Tuesday)

To read more: I weighed myself on 10 different scales…here’s what happened


One thought on “I weighed myself every hour for 16 hours… here’s what happened.

Leave a Reply