Here’s one thing I know about myself. I NEED accountability in order to accomplish big things in my life. I am the queen of “put it off” and “I’ll get to it later”. For this reason I surround myself with people who will crack the whip and hold me accountable. Because there is strength and power in numbers, when it comes to losing weight I also get encouragement and support from others who also fighting the weight loss battle. One of the ways I stay connected to others is through accountability groups on Facebook. I love being a part of a community and the support and encouragement we give each other is bar none!
But something jumped out at me the other day as it was a reoccurring theme in one of my communities. As a group, many of us are kicking butt. We’re drinking our water, cutting back on the calories, moving our bodies, and watching the scale come down in numbers. But here’s the sad part. We are not giving ourselves credit for the AWESOME changes we are making and we are totally discrediting all of our hard work, effort and victories big and small because of that dumb, stupid scale! We allow the number on the scale to wipe out all of our accomplishments because it doesn’t show a larger weight loss. In a nut shell our unrealistic expectations are killing our joy.
I think the scale is a horrible form of measurement when it comes to measuring effort and hard work. The scale is just one form of measurement and a mighty fickle one at that. Over the summer, I weighed myself daily. I don’t suggest you do that, but what I came to realize is that on any given day the scale will fluctuate anywhere from 1 to 5 lb., and that’s from one day to the next even if you do EVERYTHING right! It is the most frustrating and disappointing thing in the world.
Because our bodies are complex machines, when it comes to weight, any number of factors can show up on the scale…too much water, not enough water, hormonal factors, stress, which affects our metabolism, etc. etc. etc.
We are not on the Biggest Loser, or My Diet Is Better Than Your, or Extreme Weight Loss! While these shows are inspiring to some degree I think they do more harm to our psyche when it comes to our expectations and stepping on the scale. Why? Because it gives the impression that to be successful at losing weight you have to pull big numbers like 5, 10 even 20 lbs. a week. What kind of foolishness is that?
Losing one to two pounds a week is a great accomplishment, especially if you’re doing it consistently. That means you’re making progress and that’s the goal right? Slow weight loss is sustainable weight loss and I believe that’s what we all want.
I love this quote: If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you WILL get results.
When we eat a sensible diet, when we move our bodies more, when we get the proper amount and quality of sleep, when we get out more and enjoy our lives, when we step away from our phones, computers and any other device that keeps us distracted and dangerously busy…when we make those changes in our lives, that’s when the results will show up.
I would love to banish the scale from our existence. I think it’s evil. Instead I think it would be more beneficial to track our behaviors and celebrate our consistency in sticking with our plan. More progress could be made if we’d just tune into our bodies and recognize how much better we are feeling. Oh what joy it would be to go shopping in our own closets to slip on a pair of jeans that were too tight 3 months ago. As I shared in this post, these are all the things the scale doesn’t measure, which brings me to this question. Why are we giving it so much power?
Your Turn To Share
If the scale no longer existed, how would you measure your weight loss progress?