Scale science, and lies
Sunday, June 16, 2013
There are lots of ways to make your scale cough up the news you want. For anyone who needs some tips on forcing smaller numbers out of it, here's some ideas.
- Eat dinner early, so that it will be out of your system before tomorrow morning's weigh in
- Be sure to go number 1 and especially number 2 before you weigh in--extra prunes with dinner might help
- weigh in naked, and get a haircut if necessary
- if you've lost enough weight already that your wedding ring comes off, remove it before you step on the scale. (If your rock is too small to make a difference, take it off anyway, because that's too embarrassing to admit.)
- stand on one foot, and balance with one hand on the wall if necessary
Ok, ok, you get it. I'm just kidding!
The truth is that there is NO science to the scale at all. It's not really some precise piece of machinery. In fact, I'm pretty sure there are mind control gremlins living in my scale. They pop out a number to make me happy one day, a different one to make me annoyed the next, and yet another to frighten me half to death the following day. The only way I've found to keep these gremlins from controlling my mind is to ignore them.
Ok, I'm still lying. I can't quite make myself ignore them. But I do try to look only for bigger trends, and to ignore the daily fluctuations that I figure are just the inexact science of weight loss. Waffling up and down by a couple of pounds from day to day is just normal for me, and if I'm getting my period I can gain almost 5, even if I'm drinking water and exercising well to fight the bloat. So I'll admit that the ticker symbol on my Spark Page usually doesn't tell the truth. I totally cheat. I only move it down if I've seen a new low weight at least twice (reasonably close together) and I only move it back up if the number on my scale is more than 5lbs above my ticker reading (which thankfully has not happened, although I nudge close to the 5 up about once a month).
So if I work so hard to ignore my scale, how do I know this whole healthy eating and increased exercise thing is really working? Here are some very clear indicators:
- most important, I feel happier and more energized (which is what it's all about, right? We ALL know those people who complain chronically about their crash diet or gung-ho exercise plan. If its leaving you tired and cranky, you're doing something wrong, no matter what the scale is telling you!)
- I have reduced my clothing sizes--all of them--pants, shirts, bras, undies, and even shoe size!
- I can move longer, farther, faster the longer I keep at this
- I can sit on the floor and get back up without groaning. I can now even do it gracefully and without using my hands on the floor to leverage my backside upward!
- I want to buy fitness clothes, and enjoy picturing myself in them. Not just how I might look good in them, but all the active, heart-pumping activities I WANT to do in them
- I enjoy cooking and eating healthy meals. I enjoy DOING lots of things, rather than feeling resentful about anything that makes me get off the couch.
- I sleep better. Not enough still, but better. I'm still working on the enough part, lately by catching a nap or two during the week when I can. But when I DO stop, lay down and close my eyes--I usually fall asleep easily, and I sleep well.
- I am strong! I have to admit that when someone says, "Wait, don't lift that. Let me get it!" And then I ignore them and lift it easily, I feel proud! Feeling healthy and strong is awesome!
- I am ever more flexible. I don't do yoga regularly, but love that when I do it, I notice better balance and increased flexibility and can get into those poses easier every time I try.
So, sure, I love it when the scale gives me good news. But I refuse to accept its bad news as long as the general trend is that both the lows and the highs move slowly lower. And I will stick to my healthy food and fitness habits regardless because it FEELS GOOD, not because of what that darn number on that darn scale is trying to make me think!
Stop the mind control and start feeling it. You will know when it's going right and when it's not, because its YOUR body and you can listen to its message without that mechanical MIS-interpreter.