Scale model (Photo credit: Brett Jordan)
The winter months are quickly coming to an end and hints of spring are all around us, and with spring coming up so quickly, you know what that means right? Summer! That means, shorts, tank tops, sun dresses and bathing suits.
So if you got a little lax on your New Year Resolution to get in great shape, or have been working out but are still having KFC for lunch and swinging by Round Table to pick up dinner on your way home from work, not to worry, there’s still plenty of time to turn things around and get in great shape for the summer.
So, if you’re already knee-deep into your weight loss plan or are just getting started, here’s my advice….ditch the scale. I know, you want to see your progress, I get that, but scales are dreadfully deceiving. Because our body weight fluctuates so much (especially for us ladies during our special time of the month) you’ll find yourself more frustrated than inspired if you have the habit of hopping on the scale every day.
Not to mention that the dependency of the numbers on the scale creates an unhealthy cycle of self-image issues that should be avoided at all cost, and for those of us with young daughters – they’re watching us. Our young girls have enough distorted images of what beauty “should” look like according to what they see on television and in magazines. Let’s teach our daughters healthy self-love that is not tied to a scale and a minimalist and dangerous diet of carrots and celery.
Okay, that was my moment of digression….
Instead, the best thing I can suggest is to weigh yourself once a week if you absolutely MUST see the numbers on the scale as a measure of progress. If you can go for an entire month and you’ve worked hard and eaten clean that entire time, I think you’ll be pleasantly pleased when you step on the scale again at month’s end. The true measure of progress in my opinion, and the one I go by, is how my clothes fit. Regardless to how much weight I show on the scale, if my clothes aren’t getting tighter, I’m good. The truth is, muscle weighs more than fat but it takes up far less space. Imagine a one pound bag of popcorn and a large two pound lemon. The lemon clearly one pound heavier than the popcorn, but it is much more compact and takes up far less space than the full and fluffy popcorn. The exact same is true of fat and muscle. So as you’re leaning out and toning up, you’re also gaining muscle which may cause your scale weight to rise, but your inches to shrink. And to me, THAT is where the true magic is.
So do yourself a huge favor, ditch your scale and use your favorite pair of jeans that are currently too tight as your guide. Once they start to loosen up and fit you the way they used to, you’ll know you’re on the right track.
Kitara R. Wilson