This great quote was given to me by a fellow MFD'er and it comes from a website I intend to investigate much more thoroughly: Hussman Fitness
But for now, I want to talk about my disappointment, resignation, and acceptance of a number this morning. The number on the bathroom scale. I didn't like what it showed.
Many people who struggle with their weight decide the bathroom scale (or the one at the gym or the doctor's office) is enemy #1 and should avoided at all costs. I see these reasons often given:
- The fluctuations make me crazy
- I can't deal with the disappointment
- If the scale reflects success, I take it as permission to splurge (I'm guilty of this one)
- If the scale is up, despite my being faithful to plan, then I say 'what the hell' and give up
- What does a number matter?
Excuses. That's all these are. And yes, I know that's a harsh statement, but it's true. I avoided the scales all the way to 211 lbs. I was fat (obese), unhealthy and depressed and avoiding facing the truth. Guess what people - avoiding facing the truth, for emotional eaters, can cause triggers to go off which can turn on the "I NEED TO EAT" screaming voice.
The scale serves as tool to show you how well you're adhering to your weight management plan. No, it does not take into account water retention from eating processed foods. Or hormonal fluctuations, etc. But those typically are minor blips that self correct. What the scale does do is show a trend. Steady, down, or up. And it allows you to make minor tweaks when necessary.
I avoided the scales for the past week. It was intentional - I knew the number would be up as I'd eaten way too much fat, sugar, and processed foods over the holidays. So, I gave myself a few days to return to a normal eating pattern. Then I weighed. Didn't like the number but I now have a baseline from which to assess my weight management success.
The scale alone can't do that - if tomorrow's weight is up from today and I did everything per plan, then there are more factors to consider. However, if the next day trends up too, then I have an indicator that I may need to look at my behavior. Am I REALLY following the plan? Am I measuring the butter? Am I drinking my water? Am I sloppy in my logging?
So, alone, the scale can be quite frustrating. But it can and should be used as a signal to assess the effectiveness of your weight management efforts. And I do use the tool daily.