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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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Girl, I am right there with you. I actually am hitting a size 12, and I decided not to get angry because I am not happy with how my body looks. I was, however, very pleased to see that I prefer healthy foods to alternatives now. Today was flukey, but my energy level is much higher. Am I going to reach my ideal? Maybe, maybe not, but I am enjoying the changes, a lot.
    1680 days ago
    Great blog! You have the right attitude toward the scale, (or at least are headed that way!) and a great list of NSV's too!
    1680 days ago
    I loved this blog. Thank you so much for sharing.
    1681 days ago
    i try not to focus so much just on the sale. i know most of my other health numbers are great. i also use my clothes as a judge. when they dont fit very well i know i my progress is going backwards.
    1681 days ago
  • ANNMACP0212
    Love this!!
    1681 days ago
  • SOFT_VAL67
    i was lol ing about the removing clothes, when i used to go to weight watchers, they placed the scale just past the bathroom so that every one had a chance to go potty before the weigh in.
    and of course, i always made sure to wear my lightest weight clothes and slip on shoes.
    one lady always wore biker shorts and sports bra under a lose fitting easy to remove dress, she would slid that dress right off and get on the scale.
    of course if it made a miniscule difference, it made us feel great.
    of course it didnt make much of one for me, i quit going due to rising fees, longer distance to get there and gas prices, that and beating myself up for not losing.
    but thanks for the lol..... emoticon
    1681 days ago
  • KAYSON25
    You are so right. Even is allyou get is feeling good, it is worth it every day!
    1681 days ago
  • KAB7801
    You are absolutely right! It's not just the scale and you have pinpointed the best indicators of your progress
    I think I'll cut my hair tomorrow! Lol
    1681 days ago
    They are handy tools.
    1681 days ago
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    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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