Does the SCALE Matters?

Just a number????
I often read and hear statements like "Forget the scale. It's just a number. Focus on how you feel and how your clothes fit."

Even though I agree with the above statement to a certain extend, I think that we cannot just simply disregard the scale all together.

I hated the scale at one point.  For years I did not step on one and I had no idea how much I actually weighed.  I guess I was in denial.

I knew what size I wore, but that also can be deceiving.  Some clothing do run in smaller sizes. I had clothing from size 18 to size 22, and they all fitted the same way.  The day that I stepped on the scale and I saw a number that shocked the hell out of me, was when the situation became real.  This particular scale had huge numbers staring back at me, it showed the number 238.6-- OMG!! it even gave me the ounces.

If I was in math class, and we had to round off, according to the rules I remember, if the number is greater that 5 you go up to the next number. So technically I was 239 pounds. Sigh!!

The Scale as a Tool
The scale reads 137.8 (101 pounds less)
The number 238.6 not only scared me, but it gave me an idea of how much trouble I was in.  I never imagined in a million years that it would have been that high.  The number reflected all the consequences I was facing - diabetes type 2, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Throughout my journey, the scale became one of my tools. I used it to know more or less how I was progressing.  The key here-- I think-- it is not to become obsessive with the number.  Body weight fluctuates from day to day for several reasons like:
  • hydration 
  • sodium intake
  • carbohydrate intake
  • hormonal profile
  • added muscle - Know that muscle is won and you will not gain 5 pounds worth of muscle in a week or two.
  • time of day and 
  • other dietary or pharmaceutical factors.
I use to weigh myself once a week, on the same day of the week, at the same time, wearing more all less the same light clothing and on the same scale.  Different scales can give you different readings.

There were times the scale did not move at all, despite my sensible eating and working hard at the gym.  This can be very frustrating and discouraging, to the point that you want to give up.  This is when you have to just dig in deep, stay in the game and continue to be consistent.

It is true!! that the number on the scale can set your mood, but you have to move away from that.  I used to give myself some time to be upset and disappointed, but I knew I had to get out of the mood and continue.  I promise when I tell you-- You will get back what you put in.

It has been almost six months since I reached my goal weight of 125 pounds (113 pounds down).   I still struggle and I'll always will as a food addict, but the scale still keeps me accountable. 

I don't obsess too much with the number especially when I know I have been within the boundaries of my sensible eating and working out.  Now, if I know that I had binging episodes or I have really been over indulging -- The number on the scale will let me know the consequences of my actions.

I have learned not to panic, giving myself a rule --5 pounds up or 5 pounds down of my target weight.  I have to confess that I still weigh myself once a week.  I'm still in the process of a transition phase.  As I become more confident and as time goes by my weighing will become far in between.
There will always be a difference of opinions as to the relationship with the scale.  There has even been several studies as to the positive and negative on weighing.  The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity has indicated that the studies have not been perfect and more targeted research is needed .

In my personal experience I know that it is possible to develop a relationship with the scale. Make it your friend and don't obsessively weigh yourself.  Don't let it hinder your progress.  Use it as a tool-- objectively for the simple purpose of weight management. 

You might be within the group that believes that it is best to throw away the scale due to the emotional roller coaster. and that's OK.   The scale has become my friend and it can be yours-- know how to use it.  My food police would say: Would you disregard a red light? 

 Accountability breeds response-ability. ~ Stephen R. Covey

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