The scale has gotten a bad rap recently.
The touchy feely crowd feels that the scale can give us negative feelings. As if the number on that little piece of metal can make or break our day. As if a tiny weight gain could send our strong, fearless selves into a quivering (large) mass of depression.
I think not.
The scale will help you stop gaining weight.
Sometimes you just have to deal with reality. For anyone who has struggled with her weight for a long time, the scale is the best tool to use on a weekly basis.
Is it perfect? No. Does the scale reflect your ratio of lean body mass to fat mass? No. Is the scale smart enough to know that the pounds you are packing on are muscle and not fat? No. Will the scale show goofy water weight gains like after you’ve eaten salty ‘ol nachos at Taco Bell? Yes.
The scale has limitations.
The scale is not the be all and end all of weight loss (and maintenance) progress. But it is a simple tool. It takes all of 15 seconds to step on the scale, note the number, and write it down.
What if that number goes up? What if I’m backsliding? What if I’m getting fatter?
Deal with it.
That sounds harsh, but I don’t mean it to be. Neither am I being judgmental or critical. I got on the scale this morning and it showed a gain. I am not particularly pleased with the number I see at the moment.
Can I attribute my gain to a random fast food meal?? Uh, no. Could it be the scale’s batteries are wearing out and I’m really five pounds thinner?? Nice try.
Will that larger-than-I’d-like-to-see number send me into a pit of despair? No. Actually I’m feeling pretty upbeat at the moment.
My happiness, or lack thereof, does not depend on the scale. And yours shouldn’t either.
But can’t I use my clothes to tell me if I am gaining weight?
Sure, if you find that elusive article of clothing that doesn’t stretch. I’m still searching for a magical pair of jeans that don’t stretch.
Actually that’s a lie. I like stretchy jeans.
I can tell you that I am still wearing a size 2, but I shouldn’t be. The only reason I’m squeezing my slightly larger than normal ass into the same clothes is because THEY’VE EXPANDED WITH ME. There is a bit too much muffin top spilling over my khaki capris. My favorite black lace top is a little too snug in the tummy area.
But I’m rocking my flip flops. My feet haven’t gained an ounce.
In all seriousness, the scale is the easiest tool to keep us on track. My best advice is to have a regular day and time to weigh in and MARK IT ON YOUR CALENDAR. Catch any weight gains immediately and reverse them.
Don’t be afraid to peek at the scale – it won’t hurt you. You’re stronger than it is.
If you think you’ve gained weight, guess what? You probably have. So what?
Our weight loss and maintenance journey is not linear. The scale will go up and down. That’s normal. The danger only lies in when we ignore small changes and let them become big scary gains.
So get on the scale, note the number, and get on with your day.
If you’ve gained weight, go back to your basic eating plan. Do exactly what helped you to lose weight in the first place. Do what you know works.
Don’t use a temporary gain as a STALL TACTIC excuse to search out a new perfect diet. You just have to eat a little less and move a little more in the way that works best for you. It’s not sexy and it’s not rocket science. But it works.
So today I stepped on the scale and it showed a gain. That doesn’t mean I’m a failure or on the road back to obesity; it’s just a fact. Just as it’s a fact that today is Friday and the temperature is currently 55 degrees.
The scale was up, but I will still have a fabulous day! I will follow my eating plan and workout. And I hope you will too!