Home My Journey Photo Proof: The Stupid Scale Doesn’t Matter

Photo Proof: The Stupid Scale Doesn’t Matter

by Erika Nicole Kendall

Much to my surprise, I’ve gotten bombarded with questions about…

…the scale.

Oh, the horror.

As I’ve said… I’m a proponent of “fit,” not thin. So… I make a big deal about lifting weights. I mean.. a big… big deal.

I get e-mails asking me if I’ve mourned my lost curves, and the reality is that no, I didn’t have to hold a funeral survice for my curves. I’ve still got great ones. I work hard for ’em, and I love what my hard work has produced.

Truthfully… the scale feels like a car crash in slow motion every time a weight lifting woman steps on the scale. The pressure to continually see the numbers decrease coupled with the desire to actually build muscle in a respectable fashion is… difficult to handle, to say the least.

That being said… let me offer up Exhibit A:

You’ll just have to deal with my ‘fro… long time readers already know how I am with my hair. LOL

I weigh more in the picture on the right… than I do in the picture on the left. Why?


Listen…. if you are a weight lifting woman, let me tell you something. A cube of muscle that is an inch tall, an inch long and an inch wide…. weighs almost twice as much as a cube of FAT that is an inch tall, an inch long and an inch wide. If you don’t believe me? Visit a butcher at a grocery store and ask them. Think of the last time you chopped a chunk of fat off of a piece of meat, and think of the last time you chopped a chunk of muscle off of a hunk of meat. You and I both know which weighs more.

So, as a weight-training woman, why would you torture yourself with the scale?

In the comparison photos above, there’s almost a 15% difference in my body fat. Yes: My body fat, on the left, is approximately 38% on the left; on the right, it’s approximately 22%. That means that approximately 22% of my weight is comprised of fat. I’m okay with that progress, because I’m still progressing.

And speaking of progress, just because I know some will want to see a real comparison…

No, I don’t mourn the curves I had… ’cause I’m still perfecting the curves I’ve got!

As someone who is serious about her weights, I’m abstaining from the darn scale. Who’s with me?

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ChellBellz December 7, 2010 - 10:55 AM

um…I’m proud of you. I can only shake my head at these pictures at myself for not sticking to the things i need to stick to. This is great motivation

Lyric December 7, 2010 - 6:22 PM

You are awesome!

Lynaya April 25, 2011 - 7:49 PM

Thanks for this. I was just thinking (earlier today) that I shouldn’t weigh myself for a month…though I’m tempted to weigh myself every week. This post was just the boost I needed. Thanks!

BK December 7, 2010 - 11:00 AM

^5 on lifting.. and I’ll take FIT over thin any day πŸ™‚

Greta December 7, 2010 - 11:03 AM

Awesome!!! You rock!!! Thanks for that reminder!

Ti December 7, 2010 - 11:10 AM

you look great but i bet you FEEL EVEN BETTER! YOU GO!

Madame: The Journey December 7, 2010 - 11:21 AM

I used to drive myself crazy, weighing-in MULTIPLE times a day, after I started weight training. It almost felt like the weight I lost prior to starting my lifting program (not to mention the hard work it took to even do that), was being diminished. The scale stopped going down and some days … it went up!? But after education and comprehension that the source of my weight was the important factor, my mentality changed. I’ll take lean (heavier) muscle over fat – any day. No matter how many pounds, it costs me … on the scale.

P-to-the-S … you look astounding! Flex it, Sis, lol!

Summer December 7, 2010 - 11:27 AM

Great job lady!

Lynn Franklin December 7, 2010 - 11:27 AM

I am tripping because you NEVER look in the camera! LOL You looking good. I will keep reminding myself that the scale is a liar as long as I keep lifting and see the difference then that is what really matters. Thanks! And again you LOOK AWESOME!

A Nicole December 7, 2010 - 11:27 AM

Oh. My. Gawd. I feel like you’re speakly directly to me right now. lol. I am currently on my journey to a new and improved self, muscles and all. The one thing that I have continually struggled with is the scale. I see that I am getting stronger: this time last year I would laugh if someone asked me to do a pull up and now I can do 2 from a dead hang without any assistance (progress ladies lol). But I get discouraged everytime I step onto the scale and see that the weight hasn’t moved at all or has gone up! Recently, I told myself that I need to end my ridiculous obsession with the scale so I hid the darn thing in my closet! Thank you for sharing your journey with everyone. This post has definitely spoken to me. πŸ™‚

Nicole December 7, 2010 - 11:28 AM

My scale hadn’t budged in months, but I can see the muscle in my thighs/calves..my kids notice too.

Toya December 7, 2010 - 11:28 AM

Wow!! I have been following you for a while! You look great!! Very inspirational!

Erin December 7, 2010 - 11:33 AM

Great post. I stuggle with that too and I know it’s silly. But I am so used to my hard work paying off in a decreasing number on the scale. I keep a ribbon with my measurements on it in the bathroom for my own piece of mind. The hardest was when I had gained enough muscle in my glutes (lots of hard work for that specific goal) that I had to buy new pants. Bigger ones to accomodate my new glutes. I knew this was a good thing, and my waist had gotten smaller (per my ribbon) but I was still a little upset. When fighting this “my size is not my worth” battle and getting healthy it’s hard sometimes to be logical about your own results. Great post. I needed the reminder.

lisa December 7, 2010 - 11:37 AM

Thanks for sharing. I had to do the same when the scale looked very disappointing after I started lifting weights. I’m happy about the residual burn that lifting weights give me. I’ll weigh in once a month from now on.

Curlstar December 7, 2010 - 11:49 AM

Thank you for the reminder. I remember when I was younger and dancing regularly how small I was, but I was always given grief over my weight.

It gave me a complex for sure that still needs the reminder you served today.

Valerie December 7, 2010 - 11:56 AM

You look awesome! You’ve inspired me to turn a new leaf.

Nicole December 7, 2010 - 11:57 AM

Yesss! Very inspirational. This is motivation for me. Thank you for posting.

ABSutton December 7, 2010 - 11:59 AM

Like others have said…I feel like you are speaking to me directly. I’ve been resisting the urge to get on the scale because everytime I get on it, I feel so discouraged that it hasn’t moved or has has gone up. While I know I need to continuously work on imprvoing my eating, I definitely see a difference as a result of my workouts and weight training. Thanks for the reminder that perhaps it’s time to officially hide the scale and focus on what matters!

Carolyn December 7, 2010 - 12:18 PM

I enjoyed reading your post. Since working out I notice a change in my body shape but the scale is not showing the number I want to see.

Kim December 7, 2010 - 1:17 PM

It is really hard to look at that scale I agree. The difference is in how your clothes feel, your energy, how well you sleep at night….women need to know this. I’m glad you’re putting it out there. You’re going to age much better as well!!! πŸ™‚

Kimberly December 7, 2010 - 1:31 PM

Weight training is practically the only way to go to get fit, strong, AND completely re-shape your body. Since I had gastric bypass surgery, it was even MORE important for me to weight train. While I’ll still need plastic surgery to remove lots of loose skin, the weight lifting has resulted in fast weight loss because I’m burning more calories. In theory, this would make the loose skin problem worse. However, it has not because I’ve built a lot of muscle to “fill in” some places with hanging skin.

February 25th 2009: I weighed 452 pounds. I lost 41 pounds that year by cutting out soda, red meat, and watching my sugar intake. The only exercise I got was walking my dog.

On January 4th 2010, I weighed 411 pounds on my surgery date. My hips were too big for the tape measure.

On March 15th 2010, I weighed 354 lbs and had 20-inch quads and 60-inch hips. (Yes, you read that correctly, I lost 57 pounds in 2 months w/the surgery).

On November 7th, 2010, I weighed 272 pounds, but had 26-inch quads. However, my hips were at 50 inches. It’s clear that I built a TON of muscle in my quads and hamstrings, but lost a TON of fat on my hips.

My personal trainer does measurements every month so I can see the results and stop obsessing over the scale. Today I weigh 259 pounds…but we don’t do measurements until tomorrow. That’s 152 pounds lost in 11 months. I can’t wait to see the measurements!

Once I hit 210 pounds (probably May 2011), I’ll get my referral to the plastic surgeon. My bariatric surgeon and PCP both think he’ll take about 45 pounds (loose skin, lipo) off of me (lower body lift, tummy tuck, removal of arm skin and a boob job). At that point, I’m at a healthy/normal BMI for my height.

Dietter July 31, 2011 - 11:47 AM

Great Job!

Heli December 7, 2010 - 2:14 PM

Great post. You look fantastic. I agree with everything you’re saying, *and* I weigh myself once daily, naked, first thing in the morning. It’s how I acknowledge where I am in my journey and how my day-to-day food choices affect my body. I post it on Twitter because it keeps me accountable, and also to let it go. If the number goes up and I know I’m making great food choices, I chalk it up to muscle, and I’m OK with that. If it goes up after skipping a few workouts and eating recklessly, I know exactly why.

I do a lot of weight training and I am well aware of my body’s changing composition. I also know that my goal shape/size/weight is never going to be my current 170lbs on my 5’8″ frame, no matter how much muscle I build. Before I had kids, I had lost 80lbs and was very fit at 160lbs. I’m nearly back. So, for me, even though the scale drops very slowly, weighing myself is just one of the ways I track my progress. (Other ways: bra band down from 42 to 34, arms less jiggly, thank you weights & pushups!)

Streetz December 7, 2010 - 2:56 PM

#1 Your fro is off the hook! I have fro envy πŸ˜›

#2 Im mad you flexing so tough! Thats excellent progress though

#3 I agree about the scale but what’s you view on using the scale along with other measurements, pictures etc to get a comprehensive view of your weight loss/ fat loss/ body toning progress. You can measure lean muscle and fat and see the decrease in fat muscle (with mathematic formulas of course). The scale definitely isn’t the end all be all, but when used in conjunction with other measuring stats it can help.

Erika December 7, 2010 - 3:17 PM

LOL I’m supposed to be working on launching the redesign, buuuuut….

Body fat percentage, tape measure, progress dresses (which, since you won’t have one – or maybe, never mind – would be a progress suit for you), mirror appearance… WAY more beneficial, to me, in measuring my progress.

I don’t even know that I value the scale at this point, to be honest, because if I’m putting on mass that is going to specifically alter my weight, why measure that? Actually, let me clarify – why base my progress on that? I can see a point for keeping tabs, but letting it gauge my success or failure? Can’t do it, lol.

irene November 30, 2014 - 4:34 PM

What are good Workout clothes that are not too expensive..I am 4’11 and 315 pounds..I have lost 5lbs and got a gym membership..its just hard to find something that fits(since I have the lower stomach pouch:/)

Erika Nicole Kendall November 30, 2014 - 8:56 PM

I think you should start here for some tips.

BAnjeeB December 7, 2010 - 2:57 PM

Awesome! Thanks for the reminder.

Kenya December 7, 2010 - 3:58 PM

Breaking away from the scale has been a major issue for me as I was weighing in twice a day. I’ve moved recently and the scale is still boxed up because I’m afraid to take it out. I’m so obsessed with the numbers it is crazy. That being said, I DO want to see my body fat % decrease. How do I create a comprehensive routine that will allow me to burn fat, lose the weight and build muscle? I see a huge difference in how things fit, as well as tone, but when it comes to the scale it seems I’ve hit another plateau.

Erika December 7, 2010 - 4:08 PM
candace December 7, 2010 - 5:40 PM

Wow! You your progress is awesome.

Lorraine December 7, 2010 - 6:45 PM

You are an inspiration……

LISA December 8, 2010 - 1:54 PM


Traci R. December 8, 2010 - 11:12 PM

Dude!!! Thanks for this because I was over here tweaking and so frustrated at the scale I literally wanted to chuck it out the window…I opted to abandon it in the basement instead. So I’m not doing super intense weight lifting but I do feel myself getting stronger. My legs are so solid and toned and I just feel the strength that has been a byproduct of religiously going to dance classes every week with a few cardio/toning classes thrown in. My scale is inching soooo friggin’ slowly…all the while I’m loosening in y clothes and feeling more energy in my life. I’ve decided not to base my progress on a number that pops up on a screen but rather how accomplished I feel working out more habitually than I ever have in my life, eating clean and eliminated junk and all this dang energy I have these days!

Fidelia December 9, 2010 - 1:06 PM

I am a regualar reader of your blog and have commented a few times.
Your story is truly inspirational. You’ve achieved something that is really increadible. You started out even heavier than I am now. I would like to know what advice do you offer to other women to help them get started?
I honestly feel very discouraged right now. I have tried many many times to lose weight and it just seems impossible to me; especially now I am in college and its very hard to eat right here.

Erika December 9, 2010 - 1:13 PM

Awww, thank you! Check this out: https://blackgirlsguidetoweightloss.com/qa-wednesday/qa-wednesday-where-do-i-begin/

If you have more specific questions, I am more than happy to answer ’em for you! πŸ™‚

lesismore December 9, 2010 - 4:11 PM

I needed this post this week, Thanks. (and I love the ‘fro.)

Zanjabil December 9, 2010 - 5:33 PM

You are an inspiration πŸ™‚

Denise @How Mama Got Her Swag back December 10, 2010 - 10:53 AM

Oh I hate the scale. He can kiss my (_|_) for all I care. I, too, have pictures where side-by-side the weight difference is only a few pounds, but the size difference is striking. I don’t even bother with the scale anymore. He just hurts my feelings.

VM December 10, 2010 - 7:51 PM


I have a friend right now for whom the scale is barely moving, and I am encouraging her to track her progress based on how she feels and how her clothes fit. I am going to e-mail this article to her right after I’m done submitting my comment.

I have been weighing myself on a weekly basis and I just dropped another 2 pounds from last week (GO ME!), however, I am also noticing more muscle on the sides of my stomach and in my legs, calves, back and arms, so I’m just gonna keep on keeping on! We are inspirations for each other just as much as we are for ourselves.

Peace and blessings!

Crystal December 22, 2010 - 12:45 PM

The first time I weighed myself was Monday, 12/20/10 and I don’t plan on doing it again. Since going natural (hair wise)back in ’09, I’ve tracked my journey with pics and vids (on the YT channel) so Erika I agree, the scale can kick rocks for all I care, pictures DO NOT LIE!! lol I told a trainer at my gym that I wanted him to take a pic of me now and then in about 6 months get another one and do this process every 6 months, what do you think Erika? I believe within 6 months if I’m consistent with my strength and cardio training, I’ll be losing fat truly fast within just the first 6 months. By the way, it was a pic that motivated me to start again, I looked like an elephant with stillettos on.

Erika December 22, 2010 - 1:07 PM

I’m actually a fan of monthly pictures. πŸ™‚

mzdrie2u December 25, 2010 - 5:33 AM

glad to know you got the space back by the legs you look wonderful and I was wondering how your daughter is adjusting to the “NEW MOMMY” look

Tasha January 5, 2011 - 6:19 PM

I have vowed to refrain from the scale. Whoever said numbers don’t lie, well they’re a lie. LOL. I was doing p90x for 3 months straight (early part of ’10)and weighed myself before I started and again after 3 months. I was livid!! I had gained 3 lbs. I couldn’t wrap the concept that muscle weighs more than fat, no more how much my friends were telling me. All I knew was that the number I saw did not make sense and I became discouraged. Although my body felt great, and I even looked leaner. That +3 put me in a different bracket. How can I be doing 2 a days, an hour of p90x a day and walking 3 miles a day w/ the combination of eating healthier and not lose? So of course I became discouraged and said whats the point. It lasted a couple months of me feeling sorry for myself and regaining weight. I started back on the track and i’ve been battling w/ the bulge off and on ever since.

A few years ago (23)I lost over 50 lbs and I stopped working out once I got too comfortable. Over the years the weight snuck back up without much notice and I gained the 50 plus some. I didn’t realize it until I saw pictures and they were not my best friend. This time around @ 27 yrs of age, it seems harder to lose the weight. Its a never ending process, but with a positive attitude and eye off the scale it can be done.

Best of luck to you and all your weight loss endeavors. You look great girl!

sexylocs50s February 20, 2011 - 6:45 PM

Girl, you look awesome now you are what we call thick not fat, muscle’s are a beautiful thing and they give you a awesome butt n tone body. you are right i hate the scale I think your clothes are the best judges. Thank you for answering an age-old question. I love this site it is so informative to us.

Tonia April 24, 2011 - 1:38 PM

I am in love with your site. And this article couldn’t have come at a better time. I have been working out steadily for little over a month. 30-45mins of weights and 30-45 minutes of cardio a day and not a pound did I lose. Now I “LOOK” like I lost weight, but it wasn’t showing on the scale. I felt like giving up. I’m slowly realizing that I need to get rid of my scale and your article was so helpful and reassuring. Thank you so much.

Amber June 11, 2011 - 6:14 PM

I started doing weight training about 4 weeks ago and have still managed to lose about 15 lbs while doing so. But then again I did change my eating habits and curtail my portions. Plus I still do cardio before and after weight training. However do suspect a slow down in the decreasing of numbers sooner or later.

Erika Nicole Kendall June 11, 2011 - 6:19 PM

The “slow down,” as you put it, comes in as you get closer to your goal. If you’ve got “a lot” to lose, thn the wight may very well “fly off” in the beginning, but the more you lose, the closer you get, the slower they come off as you get to there.

Cleo June 11, 2011 - 9:32 PM

The scale is a serious problem, particularly for athletic muscular types, I gave up on the scale in high school cause here’s the deal, at 175lbs I’m a size 7, at 155lbs I’m a size 4 and at 136lbs, I’m a size 0, so go figure. It’s distracting, use the mirror instead of a scale because it doesn’t tell the true story, if like what you see in the mirror, you’re doing it right.

Perfectsize June 22, 2011 - 4:33 PM

Is weight lifting the key to preventing skin issues?

Btw, before I go into this issue. I am not sure if anyone told you, Erika, but you were 100% sexy before the wl journey and still are now. That thing that we hot girls have is just natural…internal, your born with it, ya know? And the power of your inspiration transmutes through the internet waves and it’s a beast. Love this site…

I am a size 22/24 (on th bottom) and lost 70 pounds in 2009 with diet. I realize now that my reason for gaining half of it back following a back injury is the fact that without doing stength training during my dieting I had no muscle lean mass to keep my metabolic rate high enough during a sedentary period (laid up in bed with back pain).

What’s worse when I was losing my skin started to sag like an old lady (especially my tommy)!

I see you look great, tight no sagging, not even the classic bat wings. Do you think it’s genetic? Please don’t say that because then the prognosis might not be good.

I was wondering if you had initial sagging, did it tighten up in intervals or did it happen as you stepped up your weight lifting game?

Do you think if I try really hard, meditate, pray and bust my behind with strength training it will not be so saggy this time?

I am going to meditate, use the law of attraction, get in The Vortex, everything I can to visualize the tight fit (but still sexy) body I want. Cause I really feel like that person on the inside, no lie!

Tonja July 28, 2011 - 7:11 PM


Thank you I follow every day. I must have missed one but I have an issue with this I try to tell my self dont worry about the scale but my Subconscious wont let the numbers go. I Wiil need to keep working on this. Thanks for the movtivation Girl. Us ladies in AZ need it

Cy July 31, 2011 - 2:45 PM

I needed to read this today. Thanks for the inspiration. I like the ribbon idea.

Mimi Rogers July 31, 2011 - 3:49 PM

Am I the only one who thinks you look better in the first pic on the left? (pink outfit). If most scales ignore muscle mass then why do Doctor’s use the BMI as a measure of obesity/health? Like scales, should the BMI be pretty much ignored? Would love to hear everyone’s thoughts.

Erika Nicole Kendall July 31, 2011 - 7:49 PM

“Am I the only one who thinks you look better in the first pic on the left?”

Probably not, but I [obviously] prefer the much more fit me in black. πŸ™‚

Cj July 31, 2011 - 4:06 PM

Thanks for the reminder. I have been working out consistently for awhile now plus eating healthier and logging my caloric intake and although I feel and look fitter the scale has barely moved causing me a lot of frustration. I have seen similar articles from others like this before but needed the reminder!

Perkisha September 30, 2011 - 9:40 PM

Erika, I just had an Aha moment from this post! I am now at the weight I’ve always loved my body at most, but I’ve being trying to explain that I’ve been this size before in high school and I swear I remember looking good, but I feel like I look smaller and wear a smaller clothes size then I did last time I weighed this much…strength training is the difference! THIS type of moment is why I love your blog so much! It’s not just about losing weight, but about really learning about how your body works.

Tremilla October 18, 2011 - 4:11 PM

The only time I’m not obsessed with the scale is when I fall off track. When I’m not eating right or exercising I choose not to see the weight I’m putting on. I’m getting better. I would like to go from getting on the scale every day to at least once a week. Doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a step. I’m proud of anyone who can go without weighing themselves.

J. Wilson January 19, 2012 - 2:28 PM

I am absolutely loving this blog. It’s definitely worth the read, funny and honest. I am reading it to gain as much motivation as possible to help me to start my weight loss journey again. I just realized that the journey can be fun, not all blood, sweat and tears, wondering how many weeks it’s going to take before your joints stop aching after you exercise.

NOTBUYINGIT! January 19, 2012 - 9:10 PM

Muscle Weights more than fat.

more needs to be said about the “BMI” (Body Mass Index) or what i call the “BULLSHIT Mass Index”…..

This is my big issue with obesity rates…… and weight loss in general……

Why is the BMI not and Issue when it is the biggest issue?

DarkAugustChild January 19, 2012 - 10:49 PM

And THIS is why I’ve pretty much given the scale the middle finger. I went from weighting myself everyday (Yes I know horrible) to just being like meh I’ll get on whenever. Since I’ve been doing my weight-training I def can tell a difference. My stomach is flatter than it’s EVER been in my adult life. So have my arms, Legs and everything else. Also the people around me notice it as well. That scale may no be moving a darn thing but I KNOW my body is changing. IT especially became clear when I got my NYE dress and discovered I was down to a regular 14. I can’t remember the last time I was in one of those. ^_^

Dee January 22, 2012 - 3:54 PM

Thank you! I am trying to convince as many people as I can of this fact. My scale has only moved about a pound in months but I’ve lost 15 pounds of fat and gained nearly as much muscle. Use calipers, bodpod or hydrostatic weighting to determine body fcomposition. Or even the jeans you would love to get backk into–not the scale. Fat loss not weight loss!

Alene Ward January 30, 2012 - 10:16 AM

Thanks for that on time reality! And the pictures are truly worth 1000 words, because im at your beginning stage hoping to get to where you are soon. I am encouraged by your website and blogs, please keep it up!

jamila February 29, 2012 - 10:08 PM

I was truly addicted to the scale. This year i am making a commitment to be healthy and fit for life so first i cut back from weighing myself everyday to once a month and now i am at the point were i dont want to weigh myself at all. i am just gonna keep on making healthy food choices and work out often 3-4x a wk and when i get my body looking the way i want it to i will be happy regardless of what the scales looks like.

Vee March 1, 2012 - 9:08 AM

Erika every time I read one of your blogs I get more encouraged to keep going and to keep eating healthy it is challenge but at the end of the day it is beneficial to me in the long run and it is a lifestyle change not a DIET.

And you are so right about the scale I have lost about 8lbs since January 5, 2012 but it feels like I lost more LOL..My clothes are fitting looser and my bra straps are not irritating the hell out of me LOL.

whirlgirlwanda May 12, 2012 - 3:43 PM

wow, reading this post came at the right time for me. About 2 years ago, I really started getting into working out. Last year, I became very consistent and noticed the scale started dropping, for which I was very, very grateful. Last June, I dropped to my lowest weight since starting the weight loss/fitness journey and then starting going back up to about 8 lbs higher, which is where I’ve been for the past 9-10 months. Although I did strength training last year, the past 9-10 months, I’ve done lots of cardio, yoga and boot camp workouts which incorporate lots of bodyweight exercises, but not strength training specifically. Although I have done kettle bell exercises sporadically, but not consistently. Atlhough my belly/hips/thighs are still my trouble areas and I know that once I really get serious and buckle down with clean eating, I will see some of those lbs. shed, my upper arms are on fire! I used to have the jiggly arm that when you waved to someone, the underarm would jiggle and wave back. Not anymore. My arms are toned and sculpted. I was with some friends last weekend and they were waving and making fun of the underarm jiggle they had. When I went to imitate the move, they all laughed and said nothing was moving. Made my week!

All of this to say, even though the scale has not significantly changed in number, I’ve had lots of comments that I look like I’ve lost weight. And I went down a size, so obviously something is working even if the scale doesn’t move.

oliviadaughter August 13, 2012 - 12:09 PM

This article has been so helpful to me. This past week I ran 5 miles 2x, did boot camp 6 days with weight training, saw my personal trainer 2x and did weight training on my own 2x and I lost one YES one lb. I got clean whole foods and drank water. I was expecting to see at least 3 lbs, so I was a bit disappointed. My trainer had told me to expect this but I didn’t listen. I do notice I like myself better when I look in the mirror and my dress fit much better. I weight in once a week but I will know that I am building muscle. Thanks for confirming this for me.

Amy May 3, 2013 - 4:32 PM

Hi Erika! I have been lurking for a while and reading your blog and posts like this and the “fat bitch” one have been coming along at just the right time for me.

I started in 2005 at 275 pounds on my 5’10” frame. I’ve always been active and athletic but at this point, I was severely out of shape. I started walking as much as I could and progressed from there. I have PCOS and hypothyroidism so my weight loss was extremely slooooow.

By 2007, I was down to 226.4 pounds and able to run for 45-50 minutes nonstop on the treadmill. But then the weight loss stalled out. I no longer could afford to go to the gym and lost all motivation and by the time I moved from AL to GA in 2009, I was back up to 260 pounds.

From Jan. 2010 through July 2011, I went from 260 to 224.2. Then my weight stalled out again. Despite belly dance classes (I was in a student show in March 2011, which required four hours of practice for four Saturdays plus all the practicing on my own), walking between 8-10 miles a night sometimes up to three nights a week with my boyfriend (and this was outside), hiking, doing the 30-Day Shred, and just being generally very active, the weight was not coming off.

I am built like my dad: tall, broad shoulders, muscular arms and legs, my belly being my problem area. I am somewhere around 230 pounds now and trying desperately not to gain any more weight.

I know part of my issue is the food. Since I’ve started reading your blog regularly, however, I’ve cut out fast food (not that I was eating much of it before since it made me feel like crap and I am on a strict budget and love to cook) and most processed foods. I love to bake and make homemade sweets (my boyfriend is in the army and a runner and is one of those guys who stays naturally thin no matter what he eats and he looooves sweets, which are my weakness). I’ve given up sodas (well, diet soda as I never drank regular soda) and artificial sweeteners.

I started the Couch to 5K program outside last week (had been running on the treadmill for 25-30 minutes before this) and I go hiking and biking and do P90X and all that jazz. The tougher the workout, the more I want to do it and become that much stronger.

I know my tendency to build muscle and I know this makes me gain weight and makes it very hard for me to lose weight. Like you mentioned in the “fat bitch” post, I am fit and happy and healthy but my body hasn’t caught up to it yet.

But lately, more and more, I want to stop focusing on the scale completely (just do monthly measurements and pics) and really delve into strength training and running (and whatever other cardio I choose to do, as I love to be active). This is EXTREMELY hard for me because I fear, even though I know better, blowing up like a body builder. I already have 17″ calves that are 99% muscle. My thighs are muscular but they’re also so lumpy on the inside so I’m hoping strength training helps this. And my belly, oh man, needs so much work.

Anyway, I write all of this to say that reading your blog, especially posts like this, is a HUGE encouragement to me to stop weighing myself, focus on exercise and clean eating, and stop obsessing about being thin and just be fit no matter what the scale says. So thank you, thank you very much.

Erika Nicole Kendall May 3, 2013 - 10:29 PM

<3 <3 <3

Moni May 6, 2013 - 9:19 AM

Thanks for posting this. I hate the scale. I need a break from it! I am joining you in giving up the scale for a while and just focus on getting fit.

Lydia May 6, 2013 - 1:42 PM

Love this post. I had to abandon the scale this year b/c I would notice that when the scale was up, I’d go to extremes for the weight to come off. And when the scale was down, I’d easy up on my health and wellness. My mantra this year is “No Scale, Just Work”. I do weight watchers, so I’ll be checking in just once a month to adjust my points.

Rana July 26, 2013 - 10:32 AM

OMG I needed to read this at this moment. I have really fallen in love with olympic lifting training in addition to some of my other workouts in the quest to be healthy and shed some weight. The scale is the devil….I have actually thrown mine out of my house because I was killing my own vibe by seeing the visible changes and my body looking smaller but that scale saying the same thing for a few months. I finally said enough…..it got the boot!!

#scalefreesummer…and fall…

Dan July 27, 2014 - 4:38 PM

This is a great post! This is total common sense to me but its amazing of few people dont understand density of fat vs muscle. I told my ex girlfriend once, I don’t care about the darn scale and what it says about you. If you want to improve your looks goto the gym and hit the heavy weights, you will convert fat to muscle and look even sexier. Muscle = healthy curves = sexy

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