Ah, the scale. Could there be a non-lethal inanimate object that provokes more emotion?
In a recent conversation at boot camp I mentioned that I normally discourage frequent weighing of oneself because it usually leads to one of two reactions:
Reaction #1: You lose what you are expecting or more and you’re so happy with yourself that you get a ‘lil over confident. You start to think: “I can have a little more of “X” because I did good on the scale today.”
This sometimes turns into a slippery slope of a little extra here, and a little extra there until you’ve gained back those few pounds lost.
Reaction #2: The scale doesn’t say what you want it to say and it leads to MAJOR disappointment, anger, discouragement, loss of motivation. Basically, you climb out on a ledge and have to be talked down (usually by your trainer that told you not to get on the scale in the first place).
But if you are coming from a long history of weighing yourself often, the idea weighing yourself only a few times a year can be too radical of a change.
So, I have some tips to keep it all in perspective and help make your weigh-ins less of an emotional minefield.
#1 Weight loss is not linear. It is normal to fluctuate from day to day based on what you ate, how much you have digested, your hydration, your activity (did you know that you are more likely to weigh more the day after a strength workout?) and where you are on your cycle (plus many more reasons).
Even if you were to eat and drink the exact same thing day after day your weight would still fluctuate up and down. That’s just how the body works.
Therefore, weighing yourself every day is totally useless and a bit obsessive.
What you are looking for is a downward trend. Over the span of 6-8 weeks you will have weeks where you gain, lose and stand still, but your focus should be on tracking the net loss despite the ups and downs over the long haul not day-to day. THAT is all that matters.
#2 How you look in the mirror, or better yet, pictures is going to tell you a more complete picture than the scale.
If you can see a difference in how you look and in how your clothes fit, let that be enough. You are probably on the right track and should keep doing what you are doing.
Real Talk: If the scale goes more than 2 weeks in a row without moving down or moving in the wrong direction, then you need to reevaluate.
10 times out of 10 there is something with your nutrition that needs adjusting. 10 times out of 10.
#3 With all this said ‘Don’t Let The Scale Rule Your Life’! Your weight is just your relationship with gravity. It’s not a measure of what you are worth or how much you mean to those around you.
Does this mean it’s silly to want to lose weight? Of course not. Taking care of yourself is one of THE most important things you can do.
But unless you plan on putting your weight in your obituary, the tears, bad moods, self-hate and feelings of failure that rob you of the joy of living your life is not worth it.
Take the number as the fact that it is, make adjustments and keep moving forward.