Living a healthy lifestyle has so many benefits for your mind, body, and soul that weight-loss is just a side effect of eating clean, exercising and taking care of yourself. However, the weight-loss part of being healthy can sometimes take over and not in a good way. Seeing the numbers on a scale move down or up can become a simple weekly or once-a-month task or it can morph into an obsessive, everyday inconvenience.
So, what is all the fuss about a number? Why is there so much pressure on how much we weigh? The number on the scale is in no way an exact indication of how much one really weighs but yet many of us become obsessed with “a number.” I want to “be this number” or if I could only reach “this number” I will be so much happier. Yes, losing weight is an amazing fete but we shouldn’t let ourselves get caught up with a number. Scales have as much power as we let them have; that's like saying "my self worth is determined by the coffee pot." Don't let the scale or the coffee pot have power over you!
When we begin to eat healthy and exercise, especially adding in strength training, weight-loss and increased muscle mass will occur. Muscles will grow and replace fat cells, and the number on the scale will change but so will how you look and how your clothes feel. There is a myth that muscle weighs more than fat, which is not the case at all. Muscle and fat weight the same; pound for pound. Whether you’re weighing feathers, pennies, or bricks a pound is a pound. Muscle, however, is more dense and compact and takes up less space than our fluffy fat cells. This is why using the numbers on the scale to track progress can create a distorted vision of how to measure success.
So how do we measure progress if we don’t use a scale? It's called Non Scale Victories!
Non scale victories use your clothes, a measuring tape and your friends! Just by putting on the same pair jeans week by week, month by month, your body will show you progress by how lose your clothes fit; or, if the opposite happens, how tight they are becoming. Using a measuring tape or even a piece of string is a great way to measure how many inches you’ve lost, which isn’t reflected when you stand on a scale. Sometimes losing inches happens more often than losing fat, causing our clothes to fit better! Our friends see progress usually around eight weeks of starting a healthy lifestyle journey so when others see a change in our bodies or even an improved attitude this just another positive affirmation of being healthy!
A scale is only showing your numerical value with gravitational pull. Success and progress comes from lowering blood pressure, having a healthy heart and improving overall health! Being able to run or walk longer, increasing the amount of weight you lift, sleeping better, and increased energy are all ways to know you're winning!
Scale back on using the scale. Keep up your hard work and your body will show you what you want to see! Non scale victories will always win!