Battling the power of the bathroom scale is one of the toughest head games in the whole fat loss challenge. We let a random number control how we feel about ourselves and it isn’t right.
Put your hand up if you’ve ever weighed yourself and let the number you see then dictate your mood for the rest of the day?
Me, me, me (waves both hands wildly in the air).
But let’s remember that it’s power that we gave the scale. We have allowed an inert piece of machinery, usually valued around $12 at retail, to dictate our sense of worth. How messed up is that!
You could weigh yourself 15 times in one day and receive 15 different readings – and this is what we set our mood by? Uh-huh.
The scales have been my enemy, lo, these many years and just recently have been trying to wriggle their evil way into my consciousness again.
I was diagnosed with severe anemia recently (you can read about that here) and couldn’t train for 2 months. And I put on weight. Lots of weight.
When I finally stepped on the scale to measure the difference, I was devastated. I sat myself down and questioned myself as to how I had let this happen. I was mean to myself and spoke badly in a way I would never do to a client or friend.
And make no mistake, though it went on fast and my training is building back up again, the weight is in no hurry to leave. It’s doing my head in.
Ten years ago I put on a stack of weight, I was going through my Turning 40 Mid Life Crisis. It was not a good time (that’s called “understatement”).
I’m actually only 4kg off that weight at the moment and I cannot describe the horror of standing on the Evil Scales and seeing that number approaching again.
BUT there are some major differences and I think it’s really important to talk about these here.
Although my scale weight is similar I am actually fitting into clothes that are 3 dress sizes smaller than that time. I can still fit (just) into my clothes from 3 months ago when I weighed 10 kg less.
So why the difference? There are definitely health related issues, obviously because of the anaemia, that are playing havoc with my scale weight that don’t necessarily show up in my body composition.
Shawna talks about this in a video she recently shot (not long after we talked and I had a meltdown about those bloody Evil Scales) where she reminds us all that there are many and varied reasons for the scales to show the number they do.
Those are including where you are in your menstrual cycle, whether you’ve eaten starchy carbs the night before, how much water you’ve had, how much sleep you’ve had – the list goes on.
If weighing yourself doesn’t mess with your head – don’t worry about it, go ahead.
But for those of you who compare the stress of weighing yourself up there with a car crash, then this message is for you.
Choose an outfit, top and pants, and use those as your yardstick for whether your body is changing. This will be miles more telling than an arbitrary number on the scales.
Take photos. We all have smart phones these days so take progress pics in your undies and save them in a secret folder somewhere (not the iCloud lol). Compare monthly photos and be kind to yourself.
Take note of cumulative improvements – how your skin and hair are looking; whether you’re sleeping better; how your energy is; are you feeling stronger in your workouts; are you receiving compliments? (how often do we receive compliments and then brush them off because we don’t believe them?).
I know that this is tough because we all want one simple number to tell us we’re heading in the right direction. But if you’ve been eating well and moving well and you know you’ve dialed in your lifestyle behaviors then you need to trust the process (read more on staying the course here).
Throw the Evil Scale out the window (not literally, you’re liable to hit someone!) and use other measures that are more accurate.
Losing weight is emotional enough without beating yourself up over a cheap piece of machinery. Don’t do it!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and falling into self sabotage ways then I’d like to remind you gently and with love JUST STOP THAT RIGHT NOW!!!!! Yep yelling tough love is what I do best 🙂
Get your workouts right – you don’t have to become Ms Olympia in a week, but you do have to commit to regular exercise, you’ll feel better and more in control for it. These workouts are ideal because anyone can do them.
And your homework for the next week is to choose one meal in your day that is going to be 10/10 perfect. Good fats, lean protein, loads of colorful veggies all sitting on a plate alongside a large glass of water.
Start at the beginning and keep moving in the right direction.
Oh, and get rid of that scale!