Chasing the Flashing Number

My husband struggles with numbers. I don’t mean in an “I hate math” kinda way. I mean he has a hard time remembering them.

Whip off a phone number verbally to him and he most likely won’t be able to recall it by the time he walks over to the phone to dial.

Sending him off with a child to be dropped at a friend’s house? Better write the house number down on a sticky note. If he tries to go from memory, our child just may wind up at a complete strangers.

Yes ma’am, he and numbers do not mix. So, he’s had to have a plan for dealing with them.

I too have a problem with numbers. No, I’m not talking about remembering them. I can still recite my best friend’s phone number from sixth grade.

I mean with those nasty, flashing numbers on the scale. They are what trip me up.

When at a point in my life where the numbers on the scale do indeed need to go down, I commence chasing. I mentally plug a number into my head and then set about reaching the magic digits…..

Oh yeah, and the most important point—reaching them by another number–a date on the calendar. What it might look like is this:

By May 30th (date of friends Memorial Day cookout) I am gonna weigh XXX.

By August 21st (date of my upcoming high school reunion) I will weigh XXX.

Or by November 25th (Thanksgiving) I’ll finally have all this weight off and weigh only a glorious XXX.

Oh, it is wonderful to set goals in life. However, I have found more often than not, when I set these “I will weigh ______ by ______” targets, and then don’t quite reach them, I am thrown into a complete tizzy. Even if I miss it a little, I mentally beat myself up and then promptly head for the nearest binge food and physically blow myself up.

Silly girl.

While the scale can be an indicator, I need to NOT make it my God. Way back last fall, I wrote this here on a Weight Loss Wednesday:

Define your week by obedience, not by a number on the scale.

The scale does help measure our progress, but it can’t tell us everything.

It can’t tell us if the problem was too much salt of late that is making us retain a pound or two of water that might not otherwise show up.

It can’t tell us if we actually lost a pound of fat but gained more muscle from weight training that wouldn’t show up as a total loss on the scale.

And, it can’t tell us what time of the month it is and then give us automatic credit for the extra two pounds or so that glorious few days brings to us.

So let’s stop.

Ask ourselves the following questions:

  • Did I overeat this week on any day?
  • Did I move more and exercise regularly?
  • Do I feel lighter than I did at this time last Wednesday?
  • Did I eat in secret our out of anger or frustration?
  • Did I feel that, at any time, I ran to food instead of to God?
  • BEFORE I HOPPED ON THE SCALE….did I think I’d had a successful, God-pleasing week?

If the answers to these are correct, I should be pleased. Why oh why do I get so tied up in a stupid number!!!!!! And why do I almost let it trip me up and send me to the kitchen for a 750 calorie binge?

Sweet bloggy friends, we need to define our journey by our obedience, not a number on the scale.

And we just might need to stop this “I’ll way____ by ______” nonsense and just get there…..whenever “there” happens to fall.

Can you relate?

Please hop on and let us know how you are doing with your weight loss journey.

I’m praying for you!

Sweet Blessings,


  1. I have wanted to lose weight for awhile but I need help and encouragement. Because without it, I will never get there. I have tried to start a couple of times now but I always fall off the wagon again. I want to lose about 45 lbs. It is hard when cooking for other people. And trying to find time and energy after running around after my 3 1/2 and 1 year old. How do others with small kids do it? I weighed myself today and will start to check in here too.

  2. I know the truth about eatting less and moving more. But then the truth doesn’t always work into each daily choice. Everyone falls sometimes. We can’t quit, we must make a new begining.
    I have not been obedient to the Lord in my snacking choices. I will keep moving to a healthy life style and not fuss too much over the scale. I want most to please the Father who created me and second looks pleasing to the eye of man. I will pray more, move more and eat healthy!!
    thanks Karen.

  3. Yes . . . it’s all about the obedience, not the numbers, and certainly not how they add up.

    Thanks for this encouragement today. While I am preparing for She Speaks, I am under major attack. I needed to hear this today!


  4. Lisa, I sympathize. Ice cream is also a weakness of mine. I just can’t have it in the house!! I pretty much stayed the same this week. I’ve not done a very good job and being focused. I’ve been very busy but at least haven’t been making terrible choices. Trying not to let the scales dictate my mood, but it does. It always has. I do think I’m making progress in that area. My weight and food are no longer the center of my thinking and actions!! Baby steps!! keep plugging along ladies. We’ll get there! God bless you all.

  5. Thank you for this post Karen. I mark off 10 week increments in my calendar but don’t make a goal on how much I’ll lose. I’m just doing my best on eating less (and more healthy) and moving more.

    This week I gained a pound. So I need to stop with the daily treats and get back to an occasional one. Thanks for the questions to ask myself and I’ll be praying for everyone this week!

  6. It’s been a long time since I’ve posted. Between planning/packing/going on vacation, packing twice now for my 9 yr old to go to kids camp & missions trip, to exercising….my eating habits have gotten way out of control!! I’ve gained almost 10 lbs back in the past 6 weeks :-( I haven’t had time to exercise let alone clean my house that’s how busy I’ve been. Since I’ve been back from vacation I feel like my whole world could come crumbling down for some odd reason and I don’t know why. At the start of the summer I had “overcome” my eating problems and now I feel like they’ve “overcome” me! Today’s post was so needed. I can say when I did finally weight this last Monday I was relieved that I hadn’t gained more than I had but then again I was beating myself up on the inside for gaining the weight back. I really need to get back to exercising again but with everything going on I haven’t had the time. I LOVED when I could go walking during the evening but since it’s been so hot where I live, that’s out of the question. Anyways, please keep me in prayers as I keep on keeping on. Be Blessed!

  7. Hmmm….yes the scale. I didn’t own one for years. Now I have one, I hid it for a year, didn’t help. Now it is out and I was weighing every morning – not a great idea. So now…I ignore it. Yes it calls me…but I say NO! I don’t want to know that the emotional eating I have been doing this last week is showing up again on the scale. I don’t want it to make me unhappy with myself again today… Mindless, emotional eating, and not having enough of “something” – is it motivation? to get any exercise.. I just need prayer, and lots of it, as I try to let GOD decide what to do with this diabetes and this weight and how to adjust to this new diagnosis. The blogs are a great inspiration. Thank you for what you are doing!

  8. I need a do-over. :) I’ve been so busy these last few weeks, and I’ve read the posts but haven’t managed to comment. I went to the doctor this week, and had an increase. So it’s do over time. NO MORE ICE CREAM…my weakness. I try not to get hung up on the numbers, although in 3 years when I turn 40 I would like to be at my goal weight. Besides, my husband and I are called to Africa…I need to be in much better shape before I take that step. I’m officially on the ice cream wagon :).

  9. Like Jo, I too had an epiphany early this morning. Although my weight was down one pound from last week, I thought about how much stock I had been putting into my numbers – despite how I felt life in general was going, or how I was eating healthy or not, or whether my clothes fit. And I thought, why do I worry so much about the stinking numbers? I have so much to be thankful for! Yes, the doctor would like me to weigh a certain number, and I imagine I will get there eventually, but in the meantime – enjoy life and family and count my blessings. :)

  10. This comment came at perfect timing. This morning before I even read your blog I had decided I was letting the scale determine my mood for the day. So I put it high up on a shelf and promised myself I wouldn’t get it down until at least the 1st of next month. I am also one that plays the number game and let it get the best of me. Thanks for you post today!

  11. Hey everyone, sorry I haven’t posted for a while. I have read everyone’s comments, I just haven’t typed my own-no good reasons, just lazy I guess! It’s been a really productive couple of weeks, mainly because I have really focused on the amount of food I’ve been eating. Though I’ve been sick all week with an upper respiratory thingie, a good thing has come out of it. I broke down and went to the doctor after a week of feeling lousy, and she commented that I had lost 10 pounds since my last visit! Of course, that visit was in the middle of January, but frankly I was thrilled!!! I can go up and down with the best of them, I often beat myself up mercilessly, and quite frankly lose faith in myself on a regular basis. I knew when I started this that I just wanted to change my habits, less focus on the dreaded NUMBER, more focus on my health-especially on my cholesterol (the catalyst for this whole thing). I’m hopeful (I mean CONVINCED) that I’m on the right track!!! Hang in there everyone, we can do it!

  12. If I can get my brain and heart around this I think it could change my life! Thank you for sharing it! Danette

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *