Help....my scale is mocking me!! I think I need to kick it to the curb!!!
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Hi spark buddies....
It's been awhile since I have ventured into blogland. Lately there is something that has really been bothering me and I need your collective thoughts on the subject!! My scale is being MEAN to me and I don't like it!! I don't believe the numbers on the scale are an accurate representation of how fit a person is!!
As you know I have lost a considerable amount of weight, and have been a yo-yo dieter the better part of my adult life. Therein lies the problem. I feel it is necessary for me to keep an eyeball on the numbers to keep from once again gaining back all my weight, and possibly more! I have done this so many times..I'm sick of it!
Recently the numbers on my scale have started to gradually increase. When I first met my weight loss goal over a year ago, I settled in weighing about 115 lbs. and stayed there for awhile. In my mind I looked pretty scrawny at that weight with not a lot of muscle mass, but i had just in the 6 months prior to that, begun a strength training regimen! It took awhile to see results!
These days my weight consistently stays around 120 lbs.....an increase of 5 lbs. I am approaching 2 years of strength training workouts 3 times per week! When I look in the mirror these days, I see a very fit looking person with much more muscle definition than I had when I started! I am dedicated to fitness and I eat healthy most of the time...none of that has changed! My clothes size has also stayed the same! The only difference...the number on my scale is increasing!
So... I need your take on this. I feel like I am gaining muscle mass and possibly need to get off the scale. Tell me this is what is going on! What can I do to be sure I am not gaining my unhealthy weight back as I have many times?? Should I blow the scale of totally? (this scares me)! The last time I blew off the scale totally, I ended up weighing 225+ lbs. I fear that if I continue to gain, I will freak out (I'm close to that point now)! Or...should I just continue as I have, maintaining my healthy habits and not worry about my increasing weight.
I appreciate your insight....this has really been bothering me lately!! I hate that the number on the scale has so much dominance over me. It actually ruins my day if I don't like the number that pops up when I weigh in! That is just so sad! Fear is very powerful....I just know I can control many things, but have yet to discover the secret of defeating the power of the numbers on a stupid scale! It's a fine line between controlling those numbers and letting them get out of control!
Thanks for your help! As always, I appreciate all of the support, hugs, and prayers you continue to give me!! So what do you think????
Member Comments About This Blog Post
So what's the follow-on? Did you take measurements? Did your clothes shrink or did they get baggier or did they stay the same?
1716 days ago
I can't believe my scale is broken! Last week it just stopped working. Okay, now I will need to practice what I preach!
Since I can't afford to buy a new scale right now, I am going to gage my weight lost in other ways.
Today, I took my measurements,in a few weeks I will do it again and compare to see if I lost any inches. Also, I brought a dress that was a tight fit. I will try it on weekly to gage weight lost. The only other measure will be how quickly I recover from a run and my overall well-being.
1816 days ago
The statement below was on the SparkCoach page, I copied it to share with you. I had to really think about this.
Today, imagine that you live in a world where scales do not exist. How would you measure your success? How would you know if you were healthy and fit?
1824 days ago
Here's my 2 cent on this matter.
According to a book called "The Fat to Muscle Diet", you must increase you lean muscle mass and burning power to maintain your Ideal weight. Yes, muscle weighs more than fat!
When you lose fat and gain muscle, you can weigh more than the ideal body weight tables say is right for your frame. You can be slim and actually weigh more than a fatter person, because muscle is heavier than fat. With a lower percent of body fat, you will be leaner and fit smaller sizes.
Regarding the scale, your scale tells you nothing about your percentage of body fat or percent of muscle mass. As mentioned by Proverbs31Julia stated, you can get your muscle mass measured to determine your actual percentage of body fat/muscle ratio. I did it once through a weight management class I took, it was eye opening!
Bottom line, don't rely totally on your scale, weigh yourself once a week and rely on better body feelings.
Try to stop worrying about regaining the weight, visualize yourself maintaining the slim and trim look for years to come and it will be. Sometimes our greatest fears come true because we are dwelling on it all the time. Focus on the beautiful transformation of your body and know it will continue to be as long as you focus and visualize yourself being 115-120 pounds years from now. Say to yourself "I got this!"
1828 days ago
Decide that 120-125 is you goal weight with muscles!! then keep at that weight. Dont lose the scale altogether. But dont be a slave to it. You did look scrawny for a while. You look great now.
1842 days ago
1848 days ago
Speaking as the fatty who still hasn't re-started ST but remembers back when I did, all these comments ring true. I have skin fold calipers that I can share with you, or even the YMCA has those tools - I believe you may have to pay a small fee? Then when your siblings or friends wonder what to give you for your (fill in the blank - birthday, Spark Anniversary, Christmas, etc.) gifting occasion, have 'em get one of those scales that measures body fat and lean body mass (get the kind targeted for serious athletes. The one I have specifically says it is NOT for seriouly fit athletes.).
There is a book - "Fit or Fat" by Covert Bailey, fairly small - I have his first book from the 1980's but he has done some updates since then. It's historically* funny in places, but I am sure he will put your mind completely at rest - clarifies just how muscles weigh MORE, but take up LESS volume (space)... Which does explain why your clothes still fit, but you are "heavier" then you were. Muscles are golden - they are fat-eating machines!!
*(!? should be "hysterically" !! and it's even more hysterical realizing how long I let this mistake sit here on your blog, looking like a compete illiterate schmuck!)
1855 days ago
Comment edited on: 1/8/2013 6:15:18 PM
I didnt have time to read all your responses; however, I will give you "my advice" lol
I really believe that you are gaining muscle. The way to keep track of this is to have an actual Body Fat reading done (not BMI....but Body Fat). Have it done with a professional machine. With that, it will tell you exactly what part is fat and what is muscle. I'm sure you will see that your muscle weight is increasing and your fat is decreasing.
I would also maybe just weight 2x a month....as long as you are following your plan. :)
Hope this helps.
1875 days ago
Aren't Spark friends wonderful? I just want you to remember that, as a group, we probably tend to be obsessive/compulsive in some areas including the cotton-pickin' scale. Believe your eyes--change your goal weight to accomodate the strength training; it's just a number!! I know that you're committed to your exercise and have not abandoned the other exercise you'd been doing.
Sometimes picking a goal weight is a bit arbitrary, and we probably slide to a too-thin instead of a healthy goal. Take a second look. Reaching a goal weight is amazing, and I'm looking forward to it. I know you'll be waiting for me at the finish line!!
1879 days ago
Wow, Carol...isn't it great to know you're not alone? I'm right there with you. I try to tell myself to not look at that darn scale and look at how much easier it is for me to do leg lifts, crunches, biking...whatever. My legs and arms are looking great from the swimming.
I'm just afraid of gaining back to where I started. It's upsetting, frustrating, scary. I don't want to go back!
So....I just keep moving. I just keep enjoying my swim time with my children. I just keep trying. Perhaps, I'll hide those scales for awhile
1891 days ago
Carol, you are awesome! Muscle weighs more than fat! It's okay. You go girl!
1892 days ago
It sounds like 120 is a good weight for you... you feel healthy, look healthy and your clothes fit well etc... so, if you are within a healthy BMI range, I would not worry about what the scale says.
If that scale is robbing you of your joy.... ignore it, and only weigh-in when you feel like it.
Maybe 115 was too low for you, especially if you felt you looked a little scrawny. I vote for the 120 since you like the fit, healthy person you see in the mirror.
You are doing great! Hugs!!
1892 days ago
Isn't it great to know you are not alone? I tend to live by the scale too and I have been struggling with the number there for the past 6 - 8 months. Yet, I know I'm doing all the right stuff (except for sleep) and the number has crept up. I did begin adding more weight training about a year ago and like you I see a healthy person when I look into the mirror, not one who is over weight . . . and like you, It freaks me out that as I get older, the number creeps appears to creep upward.
So many great suggestions here, I think I will take a few of them and apply to myself. All that said my friend, you are doing great! You are committed and dedicated! You inspire me!
1892 days ago
I'd second the suggestion to take measurements (waist and hip). I take mine about once a month.
I did hydrostatic weighing after I completed a 12 week body for life course back in 2002. Even then, I wondered if my lungs were really as empty of air as they could have been. I have fat fold calipers, even. I haven't used them in many years, though. I'm not even sure if I could find the directions.
The internet says muscle is 20 to 30 percent smaller than the same weight of fat. So that explanation is entirely possible.
1892 days ago
Yeah, most likely muscle gain, especially if your clothes are still fitting. Have you taken your measurements?
1892 days ago
Wow! Look at all the great response you've gotten from SparkFriends! You're a great person with lots of caring friends.
I join you in the concern that I will gain the weight back again plus more (yep, I've done it before). I guess one thing you need to determine is if 115 is just an arbitrary number to which you've become attached. Unless you're significantly less than 5 feet tall, 120 is within range of a healthy BMI.
The scale can be a great tool for observing trends. The fit of your clothes, your comfort in your own skin, and your feelings of health and fitness are other great tools.
Stressing over a number is taking some of the joy out of your life and that's just wrong. You deserve all the joy you can find in this world!
1892 days ago
well my thoughts
with being dedicated to strength training it is mostly likely muscle mass as we all know muscle weighs more then fat -- be quiet Mary--lol she knows what I mean..
maybe just weigh in once every 2 weeks --are you measuring? this will help to convince you that you are on the correct path ..eating healthy drinking water working out..
try and recalculate your calories too... this will determine if you are over eating on some nutrient..
stop stressing you are doing fantastic
1893 days ago
great answers to you blog.
I let the scale set my mood, so I can't give you advice
but I did love all the comments.
1893 days ago
Personally, I think your clothing is a more accurate gauge of your ups and downs. If you are still in the same size and they still fit as they did prior to the weight training, then where is the problem? I think the scale makes people obsessive. It's good to 'monitor' but NOT good to stress about every pound fluctuation going, since there are so many things that can cause daily fluctuations. Keep working your program and doing what you have been doing. If you start climbing up even more and your clothes begin to become tight, THEN I'd say you might have something to worry about. In the meantime, quit all the stressing, for pete's sake! LOL I'm all for maintaining but I am so not into all the stressing. That does nothing but create a vicious circle.
1893 days ago
What??? Did you jump into my brain this morning, run around, gather information and then write this blog??? I was saying exactly the same thing this morning.
I lost 60 pounds and began maintenance in 2006. I kept my weight between 138 and 140 for about 4 years. When I began walking/running in 2010 I gained 5 lbs. After much deliberation, I decided that it was muscle. When I joined Spark 1 year ago it was to find a way to lose those 5 lbs. Little did I know that Spark would help me accept the 5 lbs and keep up my fitness.
However, this morning, I added another pound BEYOND my new set point. (too many eating occasions) This always sounds like nothing to friends and family so I don't mention it. They just see me as thin and "I don't have a problem with my weight". But, in my mind the fear of yo-yo-ing again is real. I'm like you, I have gone up and down sooooo many times. I'm relatively tall, so people don't notice it as much I guess.
I keep the scale in the bathroom but have really worked on not allowing it to control my moods. I just take some new action and keep on going. I'm doing the today, as we speak.
But, scale or no scale is a very personal choice.
Looks like from the responses, you have hit a very common chord with all of us!!!!
You are amazing,
1893 days ago
Hello my friend, I had to check out your blog and must concure as I have done a lot of reading on W/L and Healthy living. Yes muscle def weighs more and will show up on your numbers. But that's NOT a bad thing. You are living healthy and THAT's the most important !!! Living healthy keeps us healthy. I would def be WAY more concerned if my clothes were getting tight, then realize the body wiehgt is taking effect , not the muscle weight !!!
GOD bless you !!!
1893 days ago
You have accomplished so much, Carol! I would not give up the weigh-ins but perhaps target "under 120" versus 115... I'd also see if there is a place that can do a "submerged water" weigh in for you... I think you would find with all of your strength training that you are a lot more muscle and that your weight is "settling in" after maintaining the loss for so long. I agree with Anne above as well ~ as long as your clothes are fitting well that's a huge test. At least you've hit goal! I'm still struggling with the last ten pounds now for over 7 months!
1893 days ago
I sooo relate to your dilemna..although I'm no where near the length of time you've been maintaining...but after reaching my goal 2 or 3 times & then less, I'm also so fearful of gaining any back. Logically I know that muscle weighs more but I think subconsciously I avoid excess strength training...because of that inward fear. I lift weights 1x a week religiously & like you I eat healthy, watch my portions & track what I eat. I am a cardio addict & my movements & activity levels keep me burning off the calories well. My advice to you is to weighin regularly as you did when you were actively losing weight. It will keep your mind satisfied, & you can adjust the calories abit until you see a reduction or adjust your activity if you prefer. I remember what it was like the week I went on a cruise & stayed away from the scale in the fitness center. I was a nervous wreck by my next weighin...so don't put yourself through that...unfortunately the scale does have abit of power if your clothes are fitting you the same.
Also, unfortunately. age does play a part & since we're about the same age I think we can't really do much about that. Afterall, its a part of life, right? Anyway, your strength training is definitely benefiting you, your photos show that. As long as you feel stronger, I think I would allow yourself a few pounds leeway...maybe its your bodies way of telling you you should weigh more. Stay with your program...you're worth it!!!
Keep on sparkin,
1893 days ago
I think it can be due to muscle gains, and it can also be that your body wants to be a little bigger. I'm sure that looking at your photos 120 vs. 115 is not that much of a big deal. And it could be, as a trainer once told me, that is the weight or number that best fits your frame. If you are still fitting into your favorite clothes with ease, then don't worry about it.
1893 days ago
Hi Carol. I'm fairly new to this weight loss journey, but in my naivety I would still say that your weight gain is due to your gain in muscle mass. You sound like a very fit individual who has started a strength training regimen with great results. From what I've learned so far, you would need to throw more cardio in there to lose weight, if you want to. In my opinion, I wouldn't though. It sounds like you look great and are trying to tone up, so who cares what the scale says? :)
1893 days ago
Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.
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