Guess what- THROW OUT YOUR SCALE!
Sometimes we can all be a little concerned, scratch that, we can be a little obsessed with making sure the number on the scale goes down when we start our fitness journey. So, should you concern yourself with the number on the scale? NO. I’ve been working as a trainer inside the gym and online for a little while now with various individuals – short, tall, skinny, overweight, athletic– helping them achieve “the look.”
What “the look” entails I’m not exactly sure, as different people have different goals and different viewpoints on what they’d prefer to look like. More often than not, though, for most, it just comes down to feeling and looking better. I don’t think it’s wrong for me to say that many people fall into this trap and often end up stuck in this never ending cycle of dieting, feeling lousy, not getting ideal results, dieting some more, feeling even more lousy, not getting results, and well, you get the idea. They’ll hop on the scale – as if that’s somehow the end-all-be-all– and see that they’ve made little (if any) headway in terms of the number going down, feel even more desperate and frustrated and repeat the cycle over and over and over again.
SPOILER ALERT: If you want to change how your body looks –you actually have to put forth some effort! You need to actually provide enough of a stress to make it change. Deep down, do you really think that lifting a weight that weighs less than your shoe is going to do anything as far as body composition goes? Come on, really? You get out of it what you put in. If you lift light weights, your body is going to represent it. I can’t stress enough how crucial it is to actually challenge the body and work. Only then will you see the fruits of your labor.
You see: the scale only measures QUANTITATIVE progress. For some, especially those who are morbidly obese and need to lose weight for health reasons, it makes sense to track weight using the scale. For everyone else, however, it’s nothing more than a mind game. Seeing the number on a scale go down doesn’t really tell you the QUALITY of weight being lost. Many people make the mistake of equating progress with the number on the scale going down. If they don’t see the number going down on a weekly basis, they feel they’re failing. Let me make this simple. The scale can be very misleading and in a lot of ways, invalid. How do you know the weight you’re losing is fat and not valuable muscle? You should be more concerned with what the mirror is telling you. Are you losing inches around the body? Do your clothes fit better? Are you lifting more weight now compared to two months ago? Perhaps these results are less quantifiable and harder to notice, however, the sooner you realize that these are better indicators of progress, the better off you will be.
Do yourself a favor: ditch the scale.