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The Scale is NOT your Friend



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RENATARUNS
SparkPoints: (3,557)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,105
2/21/13 4:18 P

I like my scale. I find it fascinating. Because of it, I know that my weight can fluctuate up and down as much as 2 pounds in a single day. (Some of this may be the scale itself. It's a cheap one.) I know that I lose around a pound in water weight in an hour of exercise, and that my sneakers weigh about a pound. I know that about a week after my period ends I should expect an inexplicable weight gain of 3-4 pounds, and that the scale is not likely to start to move down again for at least a week, maybe two -- but that when it does, it will be faster than usual.

I know that going out to dinner that one time, or feeling too crappy to exercise for a couple of days, causes no wild gains. I know that weight loss from being sick only lasts a few days. And so on.

My scale is in my basement next to the treadmill and the laundry machine, and it's my habit to step on it whenever I'm there. It's not a measure of progress toward any goal, because I don't really have one -- my lifestyle change is my goal, and I reach it ever day. It is a marker of accomplishment, when it goes down, just the same as the pair of pants is that I wore the other day, that I could have sworn should fit comfortably at my current weight and yet were actually too loose -- meaning either I'm thinner than my weight would acknowledge or I misjudged my weight the last time they did fit. The fluctuations are meaningless to me, but the trends? Every time a new low shows up, I smile. I'm pretty confident now that when I stop losing weight I'll be somewhere within the range of "normal" and that's amazing to me.

I don't step on it as much as I did a month ago, but I still find it interesting and not stressful to do it. And now that I know how it acts from day to day and from week to week, I think it will help keep me honest. I don't count calories. I don't eat a consistent menu. And the fit of clothes is even less reliable than the scale. So it's a positive for me.



MITCHARVEY
Posts: 161
2/21/13 1:56 P

I think the scale can be a monitoring tool. I do weight in about one a week to monitor my progress.
If your mood depends on what the scale says then I would say throw it away. It isn't the best way to see how you are doing.
Your clothes are a great way to see results. How things fit matter more then the silly numbers.

When I was at my smallest I was a size 6 in clothes but still weighted 140pounds. Being that I am only 5'1" My BMI said I was overweight. Which is very ironic considering I only had 18% body fat.



FITNAPTURAL
SparkPoints: (48,561)
Fitness Minutes: (46,678)
Posts: 326
2/13/13 7:58 P

I weigh every week but it's just to have an idea of my weight. It wasn't my friend this morning but I didn't care because I've had many non scale victories that mean so much more to me than that number. In the last 6 months or so I've realized that it's more about how I feel and how my clothes look. I don't think I've ever felt better or looked better...or had the confidence to say so!



BERRY4
SparkPoints: (132,931)
Fitness Minutes: (85,626)
Posts: 6,718
2/13/13 7:31 P

How clothes fit really does help me determine how I'm doing.



DIDS70
Posts: 5,070
2/13/13 12:45 P

UMMM... It's not the scales fault if you are not losing weight. The scale certainly doesn't control what you put in your mouth- you do. The scale doesn't care that you are at that TOM. The scale only can do what the scale can do. It takes your weight at a given time. It doesn't care that you just exercised or woke up. It doesn't care that you ate a meal prior to standing on it. It doesn't care that it is showing a higher weight today than it did yesterday. It is a tool. You can say the same thing about a tape measure. There is no guarantee that the tape measure will measure you at one number today and next week that number may be larger.
You are in control. Don't blame a poor little box. It doesn't control you. If it does, than that is the power you are giving it.



PATRICIAANN74
Posts: 78
2/13/13 11:15 A

You should not make ridiculous blanket statements like this. The scale is MY friend. It's all how you perceive it. Yes, it is troublesome for some people and those people should avoid it. I weigh myself every morning. I realize it is perfectly normal for one's weight to fluctuate daily, but if I see a trend of increasing weight over several days then I know to re-evaluate my food choices and it gives me motivation to increase my exercise. It keeps me in check and acts as a tool of motivation. Not my only tool of motivation, mind you, but the more tools one has the better.



CYND59
Posts: 7,685
2/12/13 4:54 P

We moved from Washington state to Florida In November and I still have not found my scales. I have been to the doctor several times since then so I have weighed. I am kind of glad that my scales are not accessible because I would weigh everyday.
I can feel that I a loosing weight with my clothes!



CHRISTINA791
SparkPoints: (39,640)
Fitness Minutes: (42,043)
Posts: 789
2/12/13 3:49 P

A scale is just a tool for taking a single reading of one body stat. It's what you do (or don't do) with that information that matters.

Personally, I like numbers so I take daily weight readings. Over time, it gives me useful information about what my body is doing that I don't get from less frequent readings. However, I'm not going to get emotionally attached to one single data point - Whining that I've 'gained' over a normal day-to-day fluctuation would be like saying we're heading into a new ice age because it's a couple degrees cooler today than it was yesterday.

Information is cool. Pinning your entire notion of success or failure on one tiny fragment of it isn't.



MARITIMER3
SparkPoints: (105,931)
Fitness Minutes: (60,792)
Posts: 5,594
2/12/13 2:57 P

Just a word of warning - for me, when I don't weigh myself once a week, I slip up and start gaining weight, even though I'm telling myself I'm on track,or even losing. I've gone back to weighing myself once a week.



SIMARIA1
Posts: 349
2/12/13 1:31 P

Awesome input by everyone. I totally agree about the scale dictating whether one feels good or not.



KRISEDMONDSON
SparkPoints: (45,320)
Fitness Minutes: (24,939)
Posts: 1,046
2/12/13 1:23 P

I just try to weigh myself once a week.



LUCKYNUMBER23
SparkPoints: (9,202)
Fitness Minutes: (10,607)
Posts: 402
2/12/13 1:21 P

My problem is if I don't weigh myself, I gain.



HEALTHYCATH13
SparkPoints: (3,667)
Fitness Minutes: (3,517)
Posts: 42
2/12/13 1:20 P

I know I shouldn't care about what the scale says when I'm starting to look better and actually feel better but it's just so difficult to give it up.



LUCKINLOVE
Posts: 216
2/12/13 12:49 P

Oooh oooh, just thought I'd say that while the scale isn't showing a significant drop for me, my coworker just told me my pants yesterday looked too big. Take that, Scale!



SIMPLELIFE2
Posts: 698
2/12/13 11:15 A

If there was a "like" button, I would click it hundreds of times. End the obsession! I know this to be true from personal experience. I weigh more now than I did at my lightest. However, I'm also wearing pants that are a full size smaller and my metabolism is buzzing along at a time in life when most women's have come to a grinding halt.

I have more muscle mass and less body fat than ever (still working on that last bit of belly pooch which I may or may not conquer). I also feel better, have energy and sleep better. Means more than any number on the scale.



SAILOR64
SparkPoints: (13,993)
Fitness Minutes: (4,987)
Posts: 403
2/12/13 10:51 A

Barb and Jenny get it.

Spread the word. "The Scale is NOT my Friend."



SIMPLYJENNY
Posts: 72
2/12/13 10:29 A

I haven't stepped on the scale in a couple weeks because I don't want it to make me lose motivation if I don't see that the number has gone down. Instead I am going to start measuring myself and tracking inches lost. I'll eventually weigh myself but I'm not going to do it weekly like I had been.



BARBANNA
SparkPoints: (99,205)
Fitness Minutes: (76,364)
Posts: 3,255
2/12/13 10:26 A

The scale can only measure your body weight not the amount of fat lost from your arms, legs, waist and other places. It can't measure how much you have learned about your eating behaviors or food choices. It does not show how you are able to walk away from foods you know are bad for you or people who like to sabatoge your fitness routine.



LUCKINLOVE
Posts: 216
2/12/13 9:30 A

I saw the scale creep up 3 pounds over my first 8-9 months of marriage, but I also felt my pants not fitting right. However, while attempting to lose the 3 pounds, I've seen the scale go down about 1-1.5 lbs BUT my pants fit better than they did before the wedding! I do weigh everyday because I like to see how the number matches to any bloating or puffiness I visibly see, but after my husband poked a new hole in a belt THIS MORNING so it'd fit tighter, I'm living proof the number on the scale doesn't prove someone's size. emoticon



35BYMAY
SparkPoints: (1,477)
Fitness Minutes: (555)
Posts: 281
2/12/13 9:11 A

nooooo, I don't want to give up my scale, I like instant feedback! LOL. I totally agree with you, but can't ditch the scale, it is my nemesis and I am determined to conquer it HA.



SAILOR64
SparkPoints: (13,993)
Fitness Minutes: (4,987)
Posts: 403
2/12/13 9:07 A

Hey Fellow Sparklers,

I have read so many postings this week about gaining weight, losing weight, not losing weight, and the scale, I'm about to lose my mind. Let's all do ourselves a favor and ditch the scale. The Scale is NOT your friend.

I have been reading that people are weighing themselves every day, or worse yet, several times a day. A person's weight is like the stock market, it fluctuates up and down throughout the day several times. Stop weighing. It's just a number.

Is weighing less really your goal? Or is your actual goal to be smaller, leaner you? What's the difference, you ask? One is a measure of mass (weight) the other is a measure of VOLUME. If you are smaller doesn't it stand to reason you will also weigh less? Then why use the scale to measure your success when you should be using a tape measure?

As you tone your body, increase muscle mass, reduce fat content, become more physically fit, won't you also become smaller? And answer me this... which would you rather have, lean muscle that "weighs" a little more or fat that "weighs" less? If you are lean and feeling great with more energy than ever, then who cares how much you weigh?

If you can fit into those size 8 jeans you haven't worn in 10 years, who cares if you've lost 20 lbs or 40 lbs? You are smaller, right?

Please, please, please stop giving that piece of metal power over you and join me in measuring success by measuring something we can control, our muscles.





 
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