So recently I’ve been breaking one of the serious tenements to weight loss – that is, don’t step on the scale too much, or don’t step on at all!
To start with, I kept to the weekly weigh-ins that Weight Watchers has. Now, previously, when I was on my last weight loss adventure in 2008, I weighed myself daily. It seemed to have worked for me, as it kept me focused not so much on the numbers but on the reminder that I was working towards a particular goal.
This time around, I did the weekly thing. It was okay, though the temptation to peek from time to time was strong. I managed to ignore it and did my weekly weighing every Wednesday, approximately at the same time of day.
I found, however, that while putting off the scale was helpful in a way – I didn’t have to witness the natural fluctuations of weight gain and loss from day to day, hour to hour as if I’d weighed myself daily – I also found that during the course of the week, my expectations would be wildly off the mark.
Take the week where I lost less than 0.5lbs; I had busted my ass to keep to my healthy eating plan and I had run my ass off in my workouts. To step on the scale and see the thing barely budge felt like I was doing it all for nothing. Yes, my optimism took a nose dive. What did I do wrong? Did I eat something without realising it? Was I not working out enough? How on earth does one do 6 hours of working out and watch the food intake and only come away with a measly half a pound to show for it?
I know there are other factors that come into play with weight – water retention and loss, monthly cycles, fat loss, muscle gain and all that good jazz. I find, however, that playing the denial game and leaving my imagination to fill in the gaps was hurting me more than helping.
So yes, I broke that tradition of a weekly weigh-in and I’ve gone back to my old habit of daily weighing. I know this is against everything any weight loss coach tells you to do, but I’m feeling better about it. It’s part of my routine, it helps me stay on track (even if I don’t lose anything day to day), and the teeny tiny changes I see developing over the course of a week bolsters my confidence more than seeing the larger chunk at the end of the week.
For example, I get up and weigh myself first thing. It can be down a little, the same, or even go up a bit. The tiny gains don’t bother me much either, as I remind myself I might be retaining fluid. Even if I wasn’t, it reminds me that I could take some time out that day and do my workout. I can see the results daily and actually do something about it on that day, rather than go an entire week unaware of the impact my diet and exercise is doing, and then only find out if it was positive or not.
On a side note: my weight loss has continued quite well, though slowed a tiny bit. Despite the numbers doing their usual fluctuations, I’m become more and more aware of changes in my body. I feel my thighs rubbing together less (this is so awesome!) and I can see that I’ve lost inches in my thighs, butt and waist.
To partner up with the scale, I need to look into getting a tailor’s tape measure to track my loss on my body. I can certainly see it and feel it, but it would be nice to have solid confirmation to add to the track sheet.