Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Thoughts On The Scale

I am quickly realizing that diet and weight loss can make you crazy. I know this about myself, but apparently it is universally true. At least I don't feel so alone. My paranoia is not mine alone. Now that I recognize that I have the problem, I am able to work on it. I am happy to say that I am no longer a slave to my scale. Yes, I still use it and I still weigh in - but I do not freak out when it doesn't do what I want.

I have read soooo many posts by people whose focus is entirely on the scale. So much so, that they miss the ENTIRE point of what they're doing, which was to drop some pant sizes. Unfortunately, the scale is the most widely accepted unit of measurement for weight loss. And I suppose that has something to do with the fact that what we refer to as wanting to get in better shape is "weight loss" as opposed to saying that we want to "get fit" or "get in shape." The truth of the matter is - getting fit does not always equal losing weight. At a certain point, getting fit could equal gaining weight. It depends on what you're doing, how you're doing it and what your ultimate goal is.

It is absolutely bonkers to me that some people are losing inches, feeling better, looking better and their clothes are starting to fall of of them - yet ALL they care about are the numbers on the scale. Do you know how crazy that sounds?! So, let me get this straight - your body is getting smaller, your clothes are getting too big, your muscles are getting defined, but you're upset because if someone tried to physically pick you up right now - you wouldn't be as "light" as you wanted to be?


What if the scale didn't exist? What if it wasn't the most widely recognized unit of measurement for weight loss progress? What if the tape measure was the only progress indicator you had aside from what you could see in the mirror and feel in your clothes? How important would your physical mass be then? I understand that we all want to be smaller in numbers on the scale, but seriously? You can't ignore all the other signs of your progress and bank it ALL on three numbers that have less to do with your progress and more to do with whether or not you're bloated that day.

If you are trying to get fit, having a scale is kind of like having chocolate around. If you can handle having chocolate around you without feeling the need to consume it all the time - then you're ok. If you do consume it a little more than you should, but you're ok with dealing with those consequences - then fine. But if having chocolate around you means you'll devour it and then feel completely horrible afterwards, then DON'T have chocolate around you!
Same with your scale.
If you can keep your scale, but use it only as one of many indicators of your progress - ok. If you use it out of curiosity but don't freak out every time you look at it - great. If you're so consumed with the number it gives you that you truly don't recognize losing inches as more quantifiable progress than losing pounds - it's time for you to put the scale away. Or be put in a crazy house.

Sweet Charity

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