SCALE OBSESSION Weighing too Often is Unhealthy
Some people just can’t stay away from the scale. Others are convinced there is a magnetic force that draws them to the wicked device. No matter how hard they try to avoid it, all the sudden they are standing on the evil machine staring down at the display waiting for the verdict. For some it is an addiction and for others just a curiosity. The problem lies when the results begin to dictate our mood, our diet, and our self-esteem.
Sometimes I think the person who invented the scale should be shot. It’s amazing how those little numbers representing your weight can absolutely ruin your day. Even on the good days, the days you feel skinny and great – you can get on the stupid machine and get crushed like a school girl getting her heart broken by her first love. The ironic part about it all is we jump right back on the very next day.
What is our obsession with the scale? For some it’s a measurement of success. A much needed pat on the back when we have been busting our tail in the gym. In a sick way it gives others the confirmation they want to hear saying “see, you ARE fat!” The scale gives some compliments and others judgment, but in the end it is just a scale that measures your body weight – that’s all.
Scales don’t tell you how much fat you are losing. A normal scale doesn’t reflect your muscle or water weight either. Our weight can fluctuate daily. Let’s be honest. Just like you can eat and drink a pound or two, you can expel a pound or two also. Certain times of the month women weigh heavier due to bloating and water retention. The bottom line is there must be guidelines when it comes to weighing yourself. Otherwise, you’ll drive yourself nuts with all the normal daily fluctuations!
First, you should pick a regular weigh-in day and stick to it. If you can’t fight the temptation to jump on the scale between weigh-ins I suggest you either put your scale up or give it away. It may be healthier to use the scale at your gym or grocery store.
Next, you should weigh yourself on the same device each time. Your weight can fluctuate depending on the scale so you should always use the same scale to get the most accurate reading. Lastly, the longer you go between weigh-ins the greater the chance for a big number. For instance, my mom didn’t weigh herself for weeks after starting her weight loss program. She wanted the first number she saw to reflect a big weight loss. Her clothes were letting her know she was on the right track and the scale just confirmed her success.
Remember, a healthy weight loss is only one to two pounds a week. Be realistic, stick to your plan and be prepared to make appropriate lifestyle changes in order to get the results you want.
Author: Bonnie Pfiester, personal trainer