27 Sep Why Your Weight Really Doesn’t Matter
I haven’t gotten on a scale since 1999 (well..with the exception of the mandatory weigh-in at the doctor’s of course.) There are many compelling reasons why I broke up with my scale. But the main one? My scale is a liar. And yours is too. Keep reading…
Mr. Scale has no idea how much muscle I’ve packed on compared to body fat or how I’ve sculpted my shoulders to balance these full (but sexy!) hips of mine. Mr. Scale has no clue how many squats I’ve endured to build my booty. And he certainly doesn’t know that I just indulged in a massive piece of carrot cake and my body is temporarily holding on to a few pounds of extra water weight. Nope! Mr. Scale is one dimensional and displays only a number…a number that can change at the drop of a hat AND a number that can successfully kick my good mood’s a$# within seconds. Like any dishonest, one dimensional relationship; we just didn’t last. And I’m good with it.
The truth is, male or female, your weight can fluctuate between 1 and 5 (or more) pounds per day depending on your hydration level (oddly enough your body holds on to water weight when it’s not getting enough water.) Or whether or not you’ve recently indulged in alcohol, a salty meal or even a high carb meal. Consider this- every gram of carbohydrate you consume causes your body to hold on to about 3 grams of water! So a ridiculously big plate of pasta (hey, we’ve all been there) guarantees an increase in temporary water weight that will absolutely show up on your scale.
My advice? It’s okay to weight yourself once in awhile if you’re in the right mindset. And if you’re actively trying to get in shape (ie. eating my deliciously balanced recipes and working out!) It’s NOT okay to let your success or confidence be tied to a number on the scale. Want to break your attachment to Mr. Scale? Toss him like I did mine and do this instead.
- Pay attention to how your clothes fit. Notice how your jeans are ever so slightly looser? How you can slide into them just a bit easier? That’s you losing body fat and getting fitter. Nice work.
- Look in the mirror. See that sliver of bicep peeking through your tee shirt? Or the trace of ab muscle that you swear wasn’t there before? That’s you building lean muscle mass and dropping body fat.
- And most importantly, pay attention to how you FEEL. Notice more energy in the afternoon or the motivation and endurance to push through an extra set of weights at the gym? Or maybe you’ve got a little more confidence in your step. Pat yourself on the back. It’s those seemingly small things that lead to long term success. Again, nice work.
And if you insist on weighing yourself, please follow these guidelines.
- Remember to use the number on the scale as a “bench mark” only.
- Weigh only once a week while in your birthday suit and at the same time of day.
- And no matter what, don’t weigh yourself after vacation or after a big night out…you’ll only beat yourself up over a number that isn’t your true weight.
So, two things. First, please share this article with a friend who is addicted to his or her scale (We all have that friend. Hell, I used to be that friend.) Just click one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of this blog and tag a friend.
Secondly, tell me in the comments below how YOU measure your success! Do you weigh yourself often? Are you a little too attached to Mr. Scale? Or have you kicked him to the curb like me? Let me know below.
P.S. The image above is on point and illustrates how weight really is just a number on the scale. This picture was taken by Nicole Partridge for Marie Claire Australia magazine in 2012.
Kimberly FlowersPosted at 22:14h, 02 April
After losing 110 lbs with 47 lbs to go, I admit that I am one who weighs everyday. I try not to get stressed out when the numbers don’t go down and to celebrate the other victories, like looser clothes and more energy and walking farther. But after chasing this goal for over a year through balanced eating and fitness, I likely won’t give up my weight goal all together. I am determined to get to my eventual goal and am driven in the process. My trainer has cautioned me about the same pitfalls you mentioned above.
Valerie CogswellPosted at 08:52h, 04 April
Hey Kimberly! Congratulations on your weight loss; that is amazing! I have no doubt you’ll reach your final goal…and I really appreciate your determination! I know when you have a process that has led to success (weighing daily) it’s tough to deviate from that and I wouldn’t ask you to do that. I would just invite you to keep an open mind as you continue your journey and continue paying attention to the way your clothes are fitting and how you are feeling etc. As you continue on, you may find that you surpass that number on the scale OR that you don’t reach it but look better and feel better than you ever thought possible- likely because your body composition has changed. If you gain pounds of lean muscle while simultaneously burning pounds of burn body fat, that number on the scale may plateau. Keep us posted on your journey..and keep going!!!