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Saturday, November 09, 2019

I know just how easy it is to get caught up with the number on the scale and letting it be your primary focus for becoming the healthiest you, you can be. BUT, and that's a big but because, in my opinion, it isn't healthy or sustainable. It should never be the be all end all when measuring your success.

Being physically fit, and healthy is too often confused with weight loss, This belief is both discomfiting and without merit. The number you see on the scale is just that: a number, without insight into anything else.

I know that most of you know that the scale isn’t the only means to measure progress. It’s definitely not the best way to measure if it’s the only thing you’re tracking. Why, because those particular numbers will mess with you!

The number one reason is its to easy to become discouraged when you’re only focused on those numbers alone. There are several reasons for this. To name a few: Muscle weighs more than fat, bloating, for women, your monthly cycle can affect your weight, sodium causes weight retention, and your cardiovascular health isn’t measured in weight.

There are other numbers far more important. There are your cholesterol and blood pressure to name two. Let's start with cholesterol.

When doctors talk about high cholesterol, they don't mean the amount of cholesterol a person gets from food, but rather how much of the substance is circulating in the blood. With atherosclerosis, the specific culprit has elevated LDL cholesterol, the "bad" kind associated with increased risk of heart attacks and dying of heart disease.

While LDL is harmful, HDL, a "good" form of cholesterol, helps arteries. Besides quieting down inflammation in damaged arteries, "it blocks the oxidation of LDL," Gotto says, "and we think that HDL has the ability to pull some of the cholesterol out of the cells on the arterial wall and transport it back to the liver, where the body can get rid of it. The higher the level of HDL, the lower the risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease."

Know your cholesterol numbers, he adds. "It's better to talk to your doctor about atherosclerosis before you get symptoms, and unfortunately for many people, the first symptom may be the fatal one if they have sudden cardiac death or cardiac arrest."

"If you have elevated cholesterol, dietary and lifestyle modifications should be the first course of action. A high-nutrient diet, containing a portfolio of foods such as green vegetables, nuts, beans and berries, works to bring LDL cholesterol down and restore the health of arteries.
A high-fiber, high-nutrient diet, focusing on natural plant foods, such as vegetables, fruit and nuts, was found to reduce cholesterol by 33 percent within two weeks." says Dr. Joel Furhman.

Why blood pressure matters

You hear so much about blood pressure and how important it is to keep yours within a healthy range. Blood pressure readings measure two things: the force that pushes on the walls of your blood vessels as they carry blood and oxygen to your organs (systolic pressure) and the force that’s created when your heart rests between beats (diastolic pressure).

If you’re looking at a blood pressure reading of 120/80, the systolic pressure is the first number and the diastolic pressure is the second one. If either of these pressures is too high, it means that too much pressure is being put on the walls of your blood vessels. This can lead to stressed arteries that could develop weak spots or scars over time, which can cause increased plaque buildup and raise your risk of blood clots.

So, the number on the scale doesn't seem quite as important anymore does it?

The bottom line: There are just too many influences that contribute to body weight. Your body can slim down and you can lose fat while staying the same weight or even gaining. Your health can improve despite the number on the scale! So please don’t measure your progress or your self-worth solely based on the scale numbers.

Should you ditch the scale?

As controversial as this topic is to weigh, not to weigh. There is a middle of the road.

Let me ask you something. Why do you weigh yourself? To find out your weight, right? For some, that number is a great motivational tool while for others it could mean great discouragement.

Honestly, there is really no right or wrong approach because when all is said and done, a lot of depends on your goals, where you are on your journey, and if 'weighing in' is the right approach for you.

I say, use the tool. You, of course, want to know you're starting weight. Everybody does and you should have a starting line, a jumping-off point. Fine, so you initially weigh-in. After that put it away. Out of sight, out of mind.

All I'm saying is, don't let it become an obsession. Don't become its slave. If you have it's definitely time to ditch the ball and chain and concentrate more on your non-scale goals.

Taking your measurements is one of them. Setting up a list of goals and checking off each victory as they happen you begin to notice that everyday tasks are getting easier your energy levels have increased, your joints hurt less, you're noticing more muscle definition and your endurance is improving.

You feel stronger, you're more resilient than you used to be, your mind is getting sharper, and you're craving less sugar.
You've achieved a fitness goal, your digestion is more regular and you have an enhanced sense of well-being. Your measurements have decreased, you're now into a smaller dress size and your clothes fit better. You're sleeping better, you've been able to reduce your meds, your mental health is on an upswing, and last but not least, you're noticing that your skin has a much healthier glow.

See, now do you really think you want to become a slave to a number?

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