So many people have a poor relationship with their scales. Personally, I can relate. For many years, when the number on the scale went up, my self-esteem went down. I hope this doesn’t happen to you, but if it does, I can completely relate.
Re-Imagining the Scale
As time has gone on, I have really come to see the scale for what it is. It provides information or a data point for us to help us measure our successes. So many people say that muscle weighs more than fat. It does not. It is more compact and takes up less space in our body, but a pound is a pound. A pound of fat is just more volume than a pound of muscle. Essentially you can weigh more but look better and be leaner.
Hormones and my lymphedema can cause me to weigh more too. Fluctuations happen and are absolutely natural. In one day, I can go up as much as ten pounds or even day to day, especially when it’s my time of the month.
What are some other ‘measurements’ you can use?
Personally, I like to take measurements of my bust, hips,
waist and thighs. These are areas that help me determine where I’m at over a
time period. Images work well too. I didn’t take enough during my weight loss
journey, but the ones I did take show a dramatic difference. That’s success.
I do NOT look like the same person. When I look I the mirror, however, I still see my fatter self. Body dysmorphia is common in weight loss surgery survivors. It’s a distorted way of seeing ourselves. It’s kind of funny, but sometimes it takes me two or three times of looking in the mirror for my eyes to focus on my new reality, my new body.
Seeing the way my clothes fit also helps me determine my progress. When my clothes fit well, I feel well. When they’re loose, I get new ones. I like to go thrift shopping for my gear since I have dropped so many sizes. I know – what a problem to have!
Not only do I like to measure myself and see how my clothes fit, I have achieved so many health goals. These are great successes and they help me put things in perspective. For example, I can:
- Hold my own doing exercise videos for up to 45 minutes at a time.
- Perform complex yet no impact isometric exercises to tighten, lengthen and tone.
- Ride my recumbent bike for up to 45 minutes. I can do about 9 miles in that time.
- Move from a resistance level 1 to a resistance level 7 on the bike.
- Add in High Intensity Interval Training twice a week.
- Walk longer distances without getting fatigued.
- Make healthier food choices. I actually crave avocados, quinoa and kale now. I never thought I would be able to say that.
- Find sugar too sweet and prefer to keep it out of my life.
- Manage cravings while eating intuitively.
I hope that you can see by this article that the scale is not the only indicator of success and well, it shouldn’t be. It’s a data point just like BMI is. It’s a piece of information in the puzzle of healthy weight loss. I recommend weighing once a month on the same day of the month and at the same time, preferably first thing in the morning. I weigh naked and after I urinate to stack the odds in my favor. You choose what to do that’s best for you. Some clients weigh themselves daily. I remind them to take an average over the course of the week if they do that. I would make the same suggestion to you.
For more information or to begin working with me, contact me via this website or call me at 512-484-7634.