This is the first post of the “Weight-Loss Talk” series! What better way to kick off this series than with the scale? I’m sure most of us can relate to stepping on the scale with a bit of apprehension or getting off the scale with disappointment or just plain confusion. Why won’t you budge? How dare you go up? Is this thing working?!
Nevertheless, I vote friend.
I think the view of the scale depends on where you are in your fitness journey. In my own experience, the scale helped me tremendously because I realized how far gone I was in terms of my health. The numbers 215 and 210 (I officially started my full on fitness journey at 210lbs) on the scale was the tipping point for me to try something new and figure out a way to prevent the scale from going up higher and higher. I knew I didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin, but I’m really not sure if I would have hit the ground running in the same way if I didn’t weigh myself before starting my fitness journey.
After literally one week of eating healthy and eliminating certain foods/beverages from my diet (I’ll have separate posts to cover this in the future), I stepped on the scale and the number had dropped by six lbs. I was shocked and wondered why it took so long for things to click for me and I also realized that if I kept up my routine, the number could continue falling. So, I kept with it. And the pounds kept dropping. After about 15-20 lbs gone, people started commenting on my weight loss, but I couldn’t see it. And when you can’t see progress, sometimes you get frustrated and you’re tempted to give up. Even now, it’s hard to tell when my body is changing. For me, the scale gave me some reassurance that although I couldn’t see the changes yet, SOMETHING was happening. Eventually, my appearance from my point of view caught up with the number on the scale, but it took a while. The scale stopped me from giving up, even though that may seem strange to others. Hence the reason why on this blog we emphasize the importance of knowing yourself and knowing what works for you.
These days, I focus less on the scale because I don’t have to anymore. Back in early 2004 it was a necessity for me. I had to know that what I was doing was working. Now, if I go off track from eating healthy or working out, I use the scale to keep me in check. For me, the scale is that friend that keeps it 100. It tells me the truth even if it might hurt my feelings. It reminds me to stop backsliding. I realize that everyone is different. Maybe some people out there get so discouraged by the scale that they revert and pick up old bad habits; if the scale is your foe, find a weight loss tool that can be your friend. Do what works for you!
Lastly, losing weight made me see just how insatiable we are as human beings. At first I just wanted to be out of the 200’s. Then I wanted to be 160. Then 15o, 140, 130 etc. etc. It never really ends and at some point you have to draw the line and be at peace with yourself instead of being wrapped up in obsession.
- Make the scale your friend if need be. You can use it as one of several trackers of progress (you can also take measurements, utilize clothes to see if you are reaching goals etc.)
- Don’t weigh yourself too often. I used to weigh myself once a week, right in the AM when I first started my journey. I weigh myself less often now since I’m no longer focusing on weight loss
- There have been many studies to show that being thin/skinny is not necessarily an indicator of good health. Plus, I’ve come across an array of people who have packed on healthy pounds of muscle and look better/are way healthier even though they are technically heavier. So just keep that in mind.
- It’s hard, but don’t fixate on the number! Never let it discourage you to the point of giving up. EVER.
Hope this gives some insight. And I’m curious, how do you view the scale?