Is it time to sack off the scales?
The scales- Dreaded by many, and for good reason. Seeing the number on the scales higher or unchanged even though you've been eating well and exercising, can make you feel demotivated and down.
The number on the scale was something I battled with for a fair year or more. Weighing myself every week at the gym and being obsessed with keeping the slips in order. Even while I didn’t need to, I felt fantastic when I lost weight. Or, it would go the other way and I’d feel crappy and restrict what I ate, or ramp up my rigorous cardio ready for the weekly weigh in.
I finally stopped weighing myself every week and became a firm believer in throwing out the scales, but then I heard a podcast that made a really good point.
“One day you will have to face the scales.”
The presenter suggested that rather than avoiding the scales, we need to learn how to deal with the results. There will be a time in our lives where we need to be weighed- at the doctors for example.
Here are a few of coping mechanisms for the scales.
Measure other stuff first
Maybe weigh yourself every 1-2 months. Then, every other week, measure your waist with a tape measure, or take a picture of your body. Keep your old pair of jeans and buy a new pair with your goal clothes size. This way, despite what the scales say, you will be able to see changes in your body. At least then, if your weight is a few pounds over what you expect, you can look at the pictures from weeks before and physically see how far you have come. That is much more motivating that seeing your weight in KG.
Fat takes up more space than muscle
'...because a pound of fat takes up about four times the space of muscle tissue, it’s possible to look and feel trimmer even if body weight remains the same.'
Remember your weight fluctuates
Your weight fluctuates naturally throughout the month, even more so if you’re a woman. You might have extra water weight, you might have eaten more salt that day, you could be wearing something different. Weight can actually fluctuate 1-5llbs a day! Remember, this is most likely water weight. You'd have to eat a hell of a lot to gain 5llbs in one day.
Don’t throw your scales away, instead, take control of when you weigh yourself. Don’t hop on the scale whenever you step in the bathroom just because they’re there. Instead select a time and date when you weigh yourself and only do it then. Hide the scales away until this date.
Most importantly, remember, the number on the scale does not define you. It is just a number and not a reason to get distressed. Instead focus on good things you have achieved- did you run up the stairs and not feel breathless? Did you choose fruit over chocolate? Did you lift a heavier weight, or complete an extra set? Are you happier with what you see in the mirror? Has someone else noticed that you're looking trimmer?
Celebrate these things.
If you do find that you are gaining weight and can't quite figure out why, try tracking your calories on MyFitnessPal, or even writing down what you eat in a day. This can help make you more aware of what you're putting in your body and then you can see where you could make improvements.
If you'd like any help or advice on your exercise regime or weight loss plans, drop me an email TheFitThing@gmail.com