And other ways to track your progress…
Our society has been OBSESSED with weight/weightloss for way too many decades now. If you could ask your great-great grandmother about her weight, she’d probably think you’re crazy and she most likely never struggled with the same problems we do today…that’s a story for a different day.
We have advertisements, super skinny models, clothing sizes, and reality shows in our faces all the time telling us that our weight matters and that’s ALL that matters.
Well…it’s not! There’s so much more to it than that.
While being over weight can have a hugely negative impact on your health, it’s also not healthy to stress and obsess over a number on a scale. There are SO MANY other ways to track your progress which will all be more likely to keep you motivated since we’ve been trained to link our personal value with the number on the scale.
The following are some reasons you may want to ditch the scale, some times when the scale might be a way to measure progress, and many other ways you can track your progress.
1. The scale is not very accurate.
When it comes to measuring progress, the scale is not very accurate. The reason for the number on that scale could mean a million things. Could be water weight from inflammation from a pizza you had a week ago or inflammation from the workout you did yesterday (HINT never weigh yourself when you’re sore!). You don’t necessarily know what happened to your body composition inside to make you weigh the way you do.
Since your body weight is such a moving target, that makes it not such a great way to measure your progress. If you’re already detached from the number on the scale, then by all means go ahead and use it to measure one form of progress.
You’ve probably already heard it before but muscle weighs more than fat. It also takes up less space and helps your body to burn fat even while you’re not working out. So that means if you’re building muscle (which you should be! And it doesn’t mean you have to pump iron in the gym for hours on end.) then you may actually gain weight or remain the same but your BODY FAT may be going down.
If you’re losing weight too rapidly, then you may actually be losing muscle (hello cardio junkies, please start lifting weights!) but that’s all hard to tell by just looking at a number on the scale.
2. The scale doesn’t say much about all the hard work you put in.
Except for maybe gaining a little water weight from inflammatory foods or from that hard strength training session yesterday, scale weight says virtually nothing about the work you’ve put in.
When you put in a lot of hard work of exercise and eating anti-inflammatory foods and saying no to junk, gaining a pound or two or even 5 doesn’t say much about that hard work. Like I said in the last point, there’s no telling really why that happened. Heck you could go take a poop and then come back and it’d go down a few pounds!
So many of us throw in the towel after seeing the scale go up a little bit week after week instead of focusing on the things that are going right. If you’re feeling amazing, have more energy, and your clothes are fitting better (among other ways to track your progress which I’ll talk about later), then why the heck would you give up because of 2 measly pounds on the scale?!
3. The scale says NOTHING about who you are as a person.
Because of society, your upbringing, those crazy reality shows on TV rewarding people for weightloss and countless other reasons, we all associate weightloss with being a good person.
It means we did a good job. That we’re a better person than before. That when the scale goes up, we did something wrong. That we’re a bad person. It’s always seemed like a sin to pack on a few pounds and when your family members notice others, they mention it. Or when celebs gain some weight, its all over the headlines!
While we all know that this sounds ridiculous, we all know it’s true! Most of us have felt this way at one point or another or have even gone along with the banter.
Please believe me when I tell you, if you’re overweight, it’s not your fault! You’re not a bad person. The scale does not define who you are!
Your body’s relationship to gravity doesn’t define you!
4. It’s the quickest and easiest way to lose motivation.
Trust me, I’ve been there. You’ve been working hard and the scale isn’t budging or it’s going up or not down as fast as we would like. It is SO EASY to lose motivation if this is our only method of tracking progress.
You haven’t failed if you gained a few pounds or if the scale isn’t moving. This doesn’t mean you’ve lost the game. This just means you need to get off the scale, continue what you’re doing for a couple weeks OR tweak what you’re doing for a couple weeks and use the other methods of tracking that I’ll mention later.
5. Weightloss is a slow process. We need more immediate results to keep us going!
Weightloss is and should be a slow process. The slower the weight comes off, the more likely you are to keep it off. Even if we’re talking about the fluctuation of 5-10 pounds. In our instant society, this can be discouraging! We want more immediate results.
You can find your immediate results in
A. Knowing that what you’re doing is benefiting your health either way. And
B. Following the guideline below to track your progress in other ways that might be immediate.
I remember the first week that I started this health and fitness journey. Of course it was the first week so the weight flew right off (not so much the second and third week…that’s normal! After a while I gave up on the scale because of the reasons below.) Besides the weightloss, though I felt so great! I felt like I was on top of the world just knowing that I’d made the DECISION to never turn back! I had more energy right away and could already feel less bloated etc.
The scale can sometimes be helpful…
If and only if you are not attached to that number! If you’re obsessed with it and base your self worth and care too much about the number or if you know you just can’t handle looking at it, break up with it completely. The stress of that number may just be what’s causing you to keep the pounds on!
Remember it’s ONE mode of tracking your progress but it can also be helpful if you’re doing an elimination diet and want to see if some foods cause inflammation. You’ll see it in how your clothes fit, how bloated you are and also on the scale. When you do an elimination diet, you’ll probably drop weight pretty quickly because that inflammation will go away.
For me, I totally gave it up for a while. Only stepping on it once in a while if I was curious. I can always tell though just by how I feel right around where the number will be.
But lately as I’ve been doing some testing in the one3one diet, I’ve been weighing myself once or twice a week if I’m curious about some of the testing.