I’m excited about this post today! If it stops 1 person from stepping on the scale everyday or multiple times a day…it will have been worth it! Weight is an obsession for many people. I had past clients that did not even want to see the number when they stepped on the scale, they just wanted me to write it down because it had that large of an impact on their mood and mindset.
I saw a status on Facebook the other week that spurred this post: “society dictates us gals obsess on the scale every morning before we leave the house for the day.” Something that made this even more interesting is that she is a fitness professional.
I immediately thought: NOOOOOOOO (and commented). She should know better than that! I immediately thought about all of her clients that follow her and received this message.
I feel zero pressure to step on the scale every single morning. I weigh myself about once a week (maybe less) and it doesn’t change my mood or mindset. I’m motivated to be a healthy and happy person, and the number on the scale isn’t going to change that. I’m going to workout 5x a week and eat well because of the health benefits, energy, confidence, decreased stress level, and feeling of well being that it gives me. I want to help you achieve this mindset by giving you INFORMATION 🙂
Let me also acknowledge that this wasn’t always the case. I used to weigh myself every couple of days and have weight loss goals. I fell into the trap of just wanting to “lose 5 pounds”. My husband is probably super glad that my mindset has changed and he never has to hear that again 😉
What’s the problem with stepping on the scale every single morning?
Your weight is going to fluctuate on a daily basis. In fact throughout the day you can fluctuate anywhere from 2-4 pounds. It has a lot to do with water gains and losses (how much you sweat, where your hydration level is, if you have increased sodium intake), if you are a female where you are in your cycle (hormonal changes), if you’ve had a bowel movement, what you’ve eaten that day, what time of the day it is, etc. etc.
This is why weighing yourself daily doesn’t make any sense. It isn’t showing any true weight loss or gain, just normal fluctuations.
I went back to Erin Monfre’s interview because this quote stuck:
“To be quite honest, I wish I could throw away every scale out there to where they are only seen in doctors offices. There is much more to a healthier lifestyle than a scale number! I dislike scale numbers. There is just so much more to a healthy lifestyle than that number. The scale can never show you inches lost, confidence gained, higher energy levels, etc. But whereas when you look in that mirror and see yourself, how do you feel? Are you happy with how you look? Are you confident in your own skin? We can be so hard on ourselves that sometimes that scale number hasn’t moved but when you compare pictures or do measurements, you see all sorts of changes! I want clients to love what they see in the mirror, and never get discouraged when they look down at that number.”
Now, say you embark on a healthier eating + workout routine and you are poised to change your life. BUT you also have a preoccupation with your weight + the scale, and you are going to head there every single morning. This is not a recipe for success because you are going to experience frustration. There are so many people that expect that number to plunge when they start on a healthier journey and that’s one reason why their resolution for better health doesn’t stick.
It takes time! I know we live in America and want everything delivered with Amazon Prime speed, but the journey toward your fitness goals is going to take time. It is going to take dedication. It is going to take resilience. It may even take the help of a professional that knows what they are doing and has experience helping people work toward the same type of goal you have.
If you want your body to change and you are committed to eating better and working out more, it has the best chance of sticking if you have a goal other than weight loss. Do you want it for you???? Do you want to feel better? Do you want to be healthier?
Also, is your goal really weight loss or is it fat loss? If it is fat loss (commonly), than the number on the scale doesn’t matter as much as you think it does. You and your healthcare team are probably the only ones that will ever see that number, so why is it so obsessed over? Say you gain more muscle and lose fat, but your weight stays the same. Are you going to be mad? I hope not, because you are going to LOOK + FEEL better.
But Amy, how am I going to track my results? When I met with Nick for my assessment, we didn’t even talk about weight. He did a body fat test (using calipers) and also took a lot of pictures of me on a sports bra and capris.
Here are some practical tips for tracking progress:
Pictures: Take from the front, side, and back. Stand in the same spot in your bathroom, with your feet the same distance apart. These photos are for you to track your progress, so don’t throw an Instagram filter and catch your best angle…your only cheating yourself 😉 At any given time I have these pictures on my phone, it’s most hilarious when Drew scrolls through my pictures and says what the heck?!
Body fat: Get a professional to test your body fat. If you are in the Milwaukee area, I know a team that would love to pinch you and help you on your fitness journey. As I mentioned Drew + I just joined a new inquired about their personal training + how they test body fat (I wanted to see the gym’s philosophy and if he knew his stuff) and he answered my questions and stated that nobody ever wants their body fat pinched. I get that it isn’t the most comfortable thing in the world…but, how can you know where you are going if you don’t know where you start? You will love seeing the pinches change!
Measurements: Measure or get a helper to measure around your chest (at nipple line), waist (narrowest part of waist), hips (widest part), arms (widest part), and thighs (widest part). Write down all these measurements and you can compare these numbers. If you fit into pants that you haven’t been able to wear in years, you will be singing the praises of your new health routine.
Self-inventory: In the same handy place you are going to keep your measurements, answer these simple questions: How much energy do I have? How well do I sleep? How confident am I in my own skin? Overall, how do I feel? Be honest and write down examples for yourself to reference. It’s hard to remember specific things a month down the road, but if you write them down you’ll be able to easily reference them.
If you are still going to weigh yourself…
Weight: If you do have weight to lose, please do yourself a favor and weigh yourself at most once per week. It should be at the same day and time (as soon as you wake up is a good time), naked or with the same exact clothes on. If you are self-reflecting and acknowledging that you probably do get too hung up on the number, maybe set it aside for a month!
You are strong and you are beautiful! I always say it, but this is the only body that you are ever going to get….treat your body and yourself as you deserve to be treated. Don’t let society pressure you to be any specific weight or size, but strive to be healthy for you!
This post could be much longer, but we’ll continue talking about this concept! Hope you are having a wonderful Wednesday!