Stepping onto the scale, the number glares back at me.
Then something happens….That number commences to dictate my entire morning; and not just morning, but the whole day. Then the audacity of that number! It starts governing my being, my whole existence. One little old number. Validates. who. I am.
STOP! If this scene has played out on your bathroom scale, let’s talk. First of all, we’ve all been there. Maybe we’ve begun a new workout program, or started eating healthier. And still, the scale doesn’t budge. Let me begin by assuring you of a few facts about the Scale.
The scale is only a number and like any other data, may or may not accurately represent the entire picture, and certainly not fat loss.
The scale can provide different readings that will fluctuate depending on many other factors:
–Your current glycogen stores. This amount will depend on your carbohydrate intake. For every gram of carbohydrate that your body stores via glycogen, it also stores three grams of water.
–Water retention. This will depend on your sodium intake. The more sodium you consume; the more water retention. If you consume less sodium; your body will retain less water. But don’t think you can just cut sodium! Your body adjusts to these levels with the help of the hormone aldosterone.
–Dehydration. Obviously this is not a good thing. We need to keep our body supplied with fresh water. Cutting water to weight less is dangerous.
–Cycle. The female cycle can cause bloating and water retention as we all know.
–Binge eating. If you’ve ever experience weight gain after an indulgent weekend; it’s not the time to weigh in. Often we consume excess carbohydrates (glycogen!) and, as a result, have accumulated water weight. This type of weight gain in temporary, as long as you don’t continue on that course.
There are many more important ways to track your progress that doesn’t hinge on obsessive weighing.
Our Clothing can be a better gauge as to progress, as far as weight loss is concerned. The way we are feeling indicates if we are on the right track.
I’m not suggesting you toss the scale. Just don’t obsess over it. Don’t weight yourself daily. It creates an unhealthy mindset.
The scale is fickle. It is not a measurement of how we feel, the type of person we are, or our value as a human being. Even if we like the number we see; it is not a reflection of our worth. We are a wonderful being before we stepped on the scale! Losing weight will not make us any more or less of who we are.
Weight loss should always be about feeling healthier, more energetic, more vibrant and having the strength to do the things we enjoy. It should never be forced. It should never be drastic or radical. Our bodies have a way of fighting back in a big way if we put too much strain on them. (Ask me about what happens when we starve your body of calories or eliminate carbohydrates from our diet. It’s not a pretty picture!)
Arriving at your ‘Healthiest Weight’ is something we should do without frustration and done in the safest way possible. Slow and steady. Without pills, potions or powders. Without self-judgement.