How I stopped weighing myself obsessively (formula: Jeff Bezos + Allen Carr + Elon Musk)

May 21, 2015


Make bad habits as hard to do as possible.
This is known as adding friction.
Because the higher the friction, the harder it is for something to move. Something I learned from Jeff Bezos.

Good companies aim to make their product as frictionless as possible.
An example of low friction is amazon’s one click button.
You go to a product page, click ONE button, and done. In a couple days, the item shows up at your doorstep.

An example of high friction are those long shopping carts crappy companies use.
Every time you shop there, fill out your shipping address, billing address, credit card info, click this, click that, read this, read that, fill out the fuzzy captcha, punch yourself in the face and twirl around two times, then type all the info in again. Then maybe the item will come to your house in two to three weeks.

Adding and removing friction is useful in our personal lives.
If you’re on a healthy diet, the first thing folks tell you is to get rid of all the junk food from your house. Even if you have one cookie crumb hidden somewhere in your house, your animal brain will sniff it out during a strict diet.

I’ve been using a weight scale for nearly 15 years. Daily.
Initially, I had those scales with needles pointing to a number. The friction here was that it’s hard to see the exact weight at times.

Then I got a digital scale. The one that uses batteries and spits out a specific number. 245.2 lbs. Great.

And for many years, I would step on the scale in the morning. And try to remember my weight and run to my computer to jot it down into a spreadsheet. Or write the number onto a piece of paper. Or write it into my phone notes app. But many times I would forget the number by the time I got to my destination.

Then I found the withings smart digital scale.
It too uses batteries. And it connects thru the wifi to the withings website. And there’s a free withings app you can download for your phone. So when I step on the scale in the morning, I don’t have to do anything else. Automatically the correct weight gets recorded on the website and the phone app. It keeps the data forever. And makes cool weight charts.

They reduced nearly all the friction from weighting yourself by automatically storing the data. And it checks your body fat, C02 in the air, and tells you the weather. SUPER.

Now I have a new problem.
I’ve weighed myself for so many years that it’s become an obsession. And it’s ruining my day. I’m living and dying by a number that I have very little control over.

Sometimes there is water weight gain. Because I had some carbs or extra sodium. Sometimes there is food still in my stomach which is being digested. That also adds to the weight. Othertimes, I just plain gain weight for reasons unknown. Regardless of how strict of a diet I’m on.

Being obsessed with weight meant I’m adjusting my life in a way that is super stressful. I become careful not to eat anything in the evening. I don’t even drink water in the morning unless I’ve weighed myself first. I try to force poop to make extra weight loss.

You know how mma fighters use weight cutting techniques to manipulate their weight before fight night. Well, I subconsciously started doing that, except it was EVERY DAY.

It’s hard to live a happy life if the first thing I see in a morning is a disappointing number.

So I needed to add friction to weighing myself.
I didn’t want to throw out the withings scale because it’s expensive.

1. I tried hiding the scale in the bathroom closet.
This worked for a couple days. But eventually one morning, I would automatically pull it out and weigh myself. The habit was too strong.

2. Next, I took the batteries out and put them in my living room.
This worked better, but a week later I would put the batteries back in and weigh.

3. I tried putting a piece of paper on top of my scale.
This was to remind me in my morning haze that I don’t want to check my weight. This kinda worked but it was so easy to kick that paper aside.

I tried many variations of this experiment.

Allen Carr’s Subconscious Method
One morning, I took out a pen and paper. And wrote down the pros and cons of weighing myself. There were nearly no pros and a ton of cons.

This is a trick I picked up from the book: The Easy Way To Stop Smoking by Allen Carr.

I don’t smoke but heard so many rave reviews about this book that I wanted to see what the secret was.

There is no secret.

Allen Carr smoked upwards of 100 cigarettes a day. He tried unsuccessfully to quit many times.

Finally he quit one day. Never picked up another cigarette again.
And the book details how.

He plainly explains what cigarettes are made of, why you get addicted, how you can stop, what causes the symptoms when you quit, etc. He had tried self-hypnosis at a time and that seemed to help him. So he uses some hypnosis techniques in his writing.

All he does is just explain everything in such a detail that our subconscious mind gets it. And many people never smoke another cigarette again after reading this book. It’s wild.

Then I heard an Elon Musk interview.
As a child, he was afraid of the dark.

Then he read about what causes the darkness. The sun, the moon, the earth’s rotation, etc. And he stopped being scared again. Because he took the mystery out of darkness.

So I combined the three techniques together.
Jeff Bezos + Allen Carr + Elon Musk

Adding Friction + Speaking plainly to subconscious + Figuring out how something works

I wrote the following in a journal:
– all the reasons my weight rises
– why my weight decreases
– things i have control over
– things i dont have control over
– what happens to my mood when i weigh myself first thing in the morning
– the ratio of “good weight” vs “bad weight” days. 3 out of 4 days were going to piss me off. even if the weight is stable, it angered me.
– how I wanted to live a happy successful life and why weighing myself was stopping me from accomplishing this
– other stuff
– then, took out the batteries and put them in my living room
– put the scale away in my closet

And I haven’t checked my weight in 12 days straight.
This is a huge deal.
I’m a guy who weighed himself religiously every day for YEARS. Sometimes multiple times a day.

There is no resistance at all.
I could care less about my weight anymore.
The scale’s power is gone.

And if the scale has the balls to whisper my name again, I’ll smash it to bits and throw it down a volcano.

I’m not gollum, you fucker. And you’re not my precious.

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