The scale and I have had our ups and downs but we finally decided that it’s time for a break. I’ve put a lot of thought into and realized that it’s not me…. It’s the scale. When I started eating in a caloric deficit (earlier this year) with the intention of losing weight, I started weighing myself every day. I tracked my weight every morning on an app called MyFitnessPal to see my progress as time continued. After some time, seeing my progress was turning into a daily obsession. I eventually reached the point (two days ago!) where I was obsessing over the number on the scale and would mentally beat myself up when I gained even half a pound. That was when I realized that the scale and I needed to go our own separate ways. Although the scale can be a way to track progress, I can promise you that it is NOT the best way.
From personal experience, I can tell you that I am currently in the best shape I have ever been. What is interesting to take away from this, is that I am approximately 10 times heavier now than I was when I started my fitness journey in 2014. So, what happened? I gained muscle, THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED. And guess what? I am damn proud of every single pound I have gained. Weight is simply a number on the scale. That’s it. Here’s a list to show you what the scale CAN’T show you.
- It can’t show the amount of muscle you’ve put on.
- It can’t show you the decrease in body fat you have had.
- It can’t show the amount of hard work you have put in the gym and in your nutrition.
- It can’t show you how “healthy” you are.
The number on the scale simply DOES NOT define you.
When your focus remains on the number on the scale going down, your stress can increase, negative emotions may appear, motivation may decrease, etc. It is absolutely unnecessary for any of these to happen. So what can you do to measure your progress?
Set goals that aren’t focused on your weight.
- Use your clothes to track progress. When you see that they’re starting to fit a little more loose, you know you’re doing something right!
- TAKE PICTURES! This is my favorite thing to do. Take pictures with similar or the same angles and put them side by side as time passes. You’re sure to see progress.
- Notice the improvements you’re making in the gym. You used to be able to do 2 push ups but can now do 10? AWESOME! Your progress is seen through your strength!
- Get blood work done to check your health and check your progress in a few months or in a year. If you have high cholesterol, maybe you’ve made some improvements!
- Use your cardio as a form of measurement. Can you last longer on the treadmill? Your endurance is improving!
Health goes beyond your weight. Being fit isn’t determined by the number you see on the scale nor is it an end goal. As you measure your progress in ways beyond the scale, celebrate your achievements, even if they’re small. If you added 10 pounds to your squat, be proud of it! If you lasted 5 more minutes on the treadmill, keep it up! If you skipped the sugar and creamer in your coffee, hell yeah! Celebrate these small wins and realize that with every passing day, you are making progress. When you appreciate these small wins and focus on the process, you will be encouraged and your improvements will continue.
So, I am asking for a favor from you all. Join me in ditching your scale. Join me in celebrating every single small win you have – whether it be in the gym, your nutrition, etc. Be proud of yourself, because every step of your journey should be considered an achievement.
Main Photo: Huffington Post