I found an article – I’m not going to say where – that basically stated that it’s a “great idea to check your weight every morning on the scale.” Actually, it said this:
Step on the scale every morning. This will help you monitor even the smallest fluctuations in your weight. Another helpful strategy is trying on the same pair of jeans every morning. That way you can actually feel how your body changes on a day-to-day basis and when your jeans fit tighter than they should. Size can often be a more real measurement of fat than weight. Whatever you chose, keep tabs on your weight.
Let me tell you a personal story.
In May of 2008, I finally became fed up and decided to sign up for the 24hr gym located nearby. Inside, I found a beautiful workout center, a gorgeous bathroom, and a scale. When I first stepped on that scale, I was emotional. Teary eyed. I felt like that scale was a negative correlation to my worth… the more I weigh, the less I am worth. No, it’s not true and no, no one would openly and outwardly say it but we ALL know that actions speak much louder than words on any given day. Standing on that scale was a reminder of how I had let myself go.
I immediately jumped off of it, rushed out of the bathroom wiping tears from my eyes (there weren’t really any there, but to make sure that the trainer didn’t see any signs of emotion) and grabbed my keys, vowing to be there that night. I WAS there that night, and sure enough… I jumped on that scale. I hit the gym 7 days a week, and every day… I hopped on that scale. I don’t know what I was expecting it to tell me, because I wasn’t eating a pound’s worth of calories in one day… so I certainly wasn’t going to lose a pound’s worth of calories in a day.
Between days, though, let me tell you – I got some of the CRAZIEST numbers for my weight ever! Some days, I’d gain 4lbs, other days I’d lose 3. I mistakenly thought it was because I was busting my tail at the gym, but it wasn’t. It had much more to do with the fact that I was eating like a pig, mistakenly thinking that when it came to calories, I was burning way more than I was taking in. Womp womp.
Did you know that drinking two liters of water a day can add up to 4lbs to your weight on the scale? That’s not to say that you shouldn’t drink water, but it’s to say that every little thing that you bring in your system can alter your weight on the scale. Did you have a nice carb-heavy dinner, and very little fiber? In other words, did you have a day with food coming in, but no food going out? That’s going to affect your weight on the scale, too! In short, when you step on the scale, there’s no allowance for “what you might’ve eaten that day.” When you step up there, you’re weighing everything on you – your clothes, your shoes, the water you drank, the food you ate, that which has not yet passed through your system… everything. That changes throughout the day, let alone throughout the week. Sure, you can hit the potty before you step up there, but there are no guarantees.
There’s also another thing – you are (presumably) losing weight. You have a mental hurdle that you have to overcome that has nothing to do with numbers on a scale. Addressing obesity demands a lifestyle change that is MUCH more important than numbers on a scale. Hitting that scale every day and seeing progress for a few days (assumedly your body ridding itself of waste) only to potentially gain again or “plateau” (again, probably only your body no longer having huge clumps of waste to rid itself of) is going to be tough to endure for the health novice. Will you mentally understand that? Will your efforts be thwarted by a lack of progress on the scale?
Will you realize that you’re making lifestyle changes that will help you get fit and remain fit for the rest of your life?
The important thing, here, is to realize that weight that took you months, years, or a lifetime to accumulate won’t be gone in a week. Maybe you’ll be at a point – mentally – to be able to deal with seeing “no progress” stare you in the face repeatedly. For now, it shouldn’t be your priority. Your priority should be incorporating healthy behavior in your daily activity, because the weight will just fall off after that!
Now… after reading all of that and you still think you can handle hitting the scale every day and seeing the same number even though you’re putting in twice as much effort as before, then by all means, go for it. Take this post as a warning sign of what roadblocks you can expect to encounter, and know that you can always scrap the scale until you get in a regular routine. If not? Say Sayonara to the scale and get to work!