The Scale: Friend or Foe?

21 05 2012

Jessica Peacock

Each week I talk to at least one participant who is hung up on his or her most recent weigh-in. It’s easy to get preoccupied with what the scale says, as our weight is typically what we want to watch first and foremost when we’re trying to, you know, lose weight.
But, the scale is not always the most accurate predictor of overall progress. Why is this? For one, changes in body composition (i.e. losing body fat but gaining muscle mass) don’t always lead to a decrease in weight.

This can be the case early on in a weight loss program, which is why it is just as important to monitor:

Body fat percentage
Inches lost
How your clothes fit

In addition, the scale can’t always show you the improvements that you’ve made in other areas, such as:

Eating more fruits and vegetables
Becoming stronger and more fit
Spending less time in front of a television or computer screen
Decreased risk of chronic disease

The scale indicates primarily one thing: a number. Unless you let it, the scale can never adequately reflect:

How much better you feel
The quality of person you are
How much you are loved by those around you
Your own self-worth

The next time you get on the scale, what will you let it tell you? Will that number be just one measure to help you gauge the progress you have made, or will you allow it to dictate much more than that? Let the scale be your friend and not a foe. Weighing in a few times a month is a great way to track your progress towards a new lifestyle, but it does not have to define your journey. You are more than a number!

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One response

22 05 2012
Nadine B

Yes! A million times, yes! That number on the scale has been bouncing around the same number for several weigh-ins now. But I keep loosing inches and my fitness level is constantly improving. My favorite way to remind myself that this is working, when I don’t think it is, is to pull out some old clothes I saved for just this purpose. I have a pair of pants that used to fit, that just fall off. And I put on a dress the other day, that I had actually set aside to try and alter to make fit again. There is no saving it. It is so big.

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