I think that I should take on this one early in the life of this blog. Seeing as how I have and will talk a lot about weight loss in my writing. This topic is one that can easily turn into a rant, or just run wildly off topic so I’ll try to keep it on point and hopefully making at least some sense to you are you’re reading it.
So is your weight just a number, or is it something more?
As you look around the internet you will find tons of posts on fitness blogs about the scale being just a number. When I ask myself if I really believe that I have to say that there is a part of me that doesn’t believe that it is. Everything we do is measured in some way shape or form, and while it is true that the scale only gives you a small picture of what is going on with your body it is still a valid measurement. Now before anyone get’s the wrong idea about what I think about using your weight as a measure of success let me say that I think it is way down the scale on what you should be looking at. But from time to time it is good to know what you weigh. I have not weighed myself in months I’ll be honest about that, the gym I go to has a scale in the locker room but I refuse to use it. Why, because I feel that I have moved passed using my weight as a measurement. Until I hit my goal I did weigh in once a week. For that part of this journey I was concerned with where I was, and how I was tracking. And I think that when you are trying to find out how your body is progressing stepping on a scale every once in a while can give you valid data.
Here is how I did it for the last year, first I only weighed in once a week. This was a solid rule for me, as a former wrestler and someone that can be very Type A about things I had to limit myself. It was simple I weighed in Sunday mornings, I woke up, went to the bathroom and the weighed in before I brushed my teeth. That gave me a baseline weight, let me know how my diet had been for the last week and if I was going in the direction that I should be. Most weeks I had lost something, a couple weeks I had gained, and they were weeks that I had changed something in my diet and I knew then that I had to go back to what I was doing. That allowed me a chance to take a snapshot of where my body was at. The rest of the week I didn’t worry about it, why because if you weigh in too often you’re just chasing the needle and trying to make yourself hit a certain weight. My weekly weigh ins were a small part of an entire picture and within that context it was a number but it was a part of something larger.
Second, I didn’t freak out when the number that I hoped for didn’t show up. There were lots of weeks that I had hoped to see a certain number, usually when I was close to another milestone and I didn’t get it. I just had to remind myself that this wasn’t the only way I was measuring success and usually those were the times that I only had to look as far as a workout that I had PR’d or looked in the mirror to see my body composition changes to understand that my body was changing in more ways that just dropping pounds. I wasn’t always successful in this however and there were a few Sundays that I would walk into the box for the strongman work and complain that I hadn’t gotten to where I wanted to, but once I got into the work for the day those concerns tended to go away.
Lastly, don’t take it too seriously. I know this seems dumb, but really sometimes you just need to make a game out of it, understand that every week won’t be perfect, that sometimes you’ll mess up and that it won’t be a smooth road. When you step on the scale maybe take a guess while it’s calculating, see if you can guess where you’re at for the week. It might even help you be more in tune with what your body is telling you throughout the week. When you have a big loss celebrate, when you don’t lose anything remind yourself that you’re in for the long haul. You don’t get to where you want to be overnight, and sometimes there are things going on with your body that you don’t know about. There were times that I wouldn’t lose more than a few ounces a week for a few weeks and then bam, I’d drop 10 pounds because my body had been working on some body comp issues. So take the number with a grain of salt and put on your big boy/girl pants.
Overall just remember that it is a number but it’s more than a number too. Use the scale for what it should be, one part of your measurement of progress. There will be times that you’ll lean out, and times that you build, sometimes the number will go up, sometimes down, and sometimes it won’t go anywhere. Just don’t get on that thing everyday, don’t obsess, and sometimes when it doesn’t show the number you want it to. Tell the scale off, cause you know what, it deserves it.