Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Scale Back

It taunts me at the gym and whenever I grab something from my husband's bathroom. "It" is the scale, which I so very rarely step on.  Not because I dread the number, which I don't (sort of), but because I've been at the same weight for some time now. Give or take a pound or two, of course. But I do, however, mentally weigh myself once or twice a week. For me, it's less about the number and more about how I feel. And honestly, I tend to get obsessive about things. So if I started standing on a scale too frequently, I am almost certain the scale and I would have an unhealthy relationship. And that right there is your Daily Dose. Make sure your relationship with the scale is a healthy relationship.

As it stands, I hop on an actual scale about once every other week. At best. But I think once a week is acceptable, more so if you're really on a mission to lose weight. And only if you don't have obsessive tendencies like me. Any more than that and you'll be more likely to record normal, temporary fluctuations. Be sure to weight yourself at the same time, on the same day each week for consistency's sake. And, going back to those fluctuations, be aware that there are certain things that can cause your weight to change overnight, sometimes even over the course of a day. Water and sodium intake, for starters. And if you're a lady, need I say more? Needless to say, stepping on a scale more than once a week can get tricky. At least in my opinion. It can shed light on those temporary fluctuations, and that light can cause unnecessary worry as we all tend to focus on the number alone. Not the bigger picture.

For example, muscle weighs more than fat. So if you strength train, you might see that number plateau, or even increase a bit. If so, ask yourself how you feel. Or how your clothes fit. Both might tell you that you are, in fact, losing weight. But you're gaining muscle. Which is good.

Bottom line, we all have different bodies and therefore, we all have different ways of keeping track of them. However you define your relationship with the scale, keep it healthy and realistic. Base it on your goals and don't, under any circumstance, obsess about the number.

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