Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tales From the Scale

Ugh, the dreaded scale.  I can hear you all groaning already.

For some, it's a motivator; a key to defining weight loss success and the relationship is a happy one. For most, I would guess that therein lies a love-hate relationship of epic proportions.  The scale can make you happy or it can instantly cause feelings of defeat and sadness.  It can make you feel like all of your hard work has just gone down the toilet in only the 10 seconds it took for the number to flash up at you.

I know those feelings all too well and I've been down this path so many times.  I'm going to talk a little bit about how I have let the scale go.  You will notice that I'm no longer posting weekly weigh-ins.  Why? Because it's a rollercoaster of happiness, celebration, defeat, angst, negative self talk and all of the things that come from stepping on the scale. Sure, it's a great indicator that I'm doing all of the right things. But so is the way that I feel, the way that my clothes fit (and inches lost!) and the knowledge that I'm doing what I need to be doing to propel myself towards my goals.  I used to be scale-obsessed, some weeks stepping on it every single day.  If you are like I was, STOP!! You are only playing one of the greatest mind-games ever and this time the scale is winning.  Instead, focus on what you are DOING to get the scale to move in the first place. If your food and exercise are tight 7 days a week, then the scale will move in the right direction.  You might be carrying a lot of water weight one week, or you might have had some really tough lifting workouts and your muscles are sore.  Did you know that muscles that are repairing themselves hold onto water?? So don't even think about weighing yourself if you are experiencing lots of soreness. Is it your time of the month?? Put the scale away! And most importantly, weigh yourself once a week and once ONLY.  Resist the urge to give into the scale game.  If it's moving, be happy. If it's not, reevaluate but don't let it get you so down on yourself that you lose focus of your goals.

When you decide that this is going to be a lifestyle change, the approach to the scale is much different.   There isn't a finish line to this race any longer.  This is going to take time, effort, and then when you get to your goal weight, it's going to take more of that to maintain.

I'm in it for the long haul and while I would love the scale to show me a 2 pound loss each week, I know that's not always realistic.  I've learned to let that go and to be content knowing that I am doing things right each week and with that, my goals are slowly being met.  If I have a slip up, I know the scale will reflect that. Do I let it define my overall success?? No way. Not every week is going to be perfect and this is something that's taken me a long time to realize.  I might lose great one week and then not lose the next.  But when I look at my overall weight loss over the years, I always tend to average out at about 1 pound per week which is good, healthy fat loss.

So, my challenge to you is to resist the urge to let the scale define how you are doing. Take monthly measurements and put your energy into watching the inches come off.  Focus on doing all of the right things: track your food (eating plenty of  healthy foods!), drink 100 oz of water a day, get at least 4-5 days of exercise per week, lay off the alcohol and get enough sleep.  If you do those things, I can almost guarantee that you will see the scale move.  If it's not moving, take some time to reevaluate what you are doing, and put a plan in place to ensure that it will move next week.  You own the scale, it doesn't own you!  And always remember, that no matter what that number says you are absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

1 comment:

phitnphat said...

Love it! I just went through and linked you to my blog from a few years ago because we are on the SAME WAVE LENGTH lady. You do such a great job helping people get the RIGHT ATTITUDE to get healthy.