Last week I kicked off my Weight Loss Series and discussed my reasons for choosing & sticking with Weight Watchers. One of my ‘bones’ with the plan is its heavy emphasis on weighing scales. As a result, I spent 4 years being an emotional slave to the scales: a gain would be upsetting and discouraging whereas any loss would send me to Cloud 9. To put it simply, the weighing scale measured my success and validated my efforts of sticking to my daily points allowance.
Looking back, it’s sad to admit that a piece of technology had such an impact on me. More often than not, stepping on the scales after a bigger-than-normal meal would send me on panic overdrive. After seeing a 5-pound gain, I would freak out, eat considerably less throughout the day and hit up the gym to ‘burn it off’.
To store one pound of fat, we need to eat 3,500 calories more than our body is able to burn. In other words, for me to actually store 5 pounds of fat, my “huge” dinner would have had to contain a whopping 17,500 calories …REALLY????? Unsurprisingly my weight stabilized after
a couple of hours of eating less my dinner had a chance to digest.
As a starting point, I think a weighing scale is a fantastic tool…but it’s not the only tool. Scales don’t paint a complete picture and doesn’t tell you how much fat you’re losing. Along with fat, it weighs muscle, bone, water, glycogen stores, internal organs, undigested food and so forth.
Whether you’re currently losing weight or plan to eventually, I strongly urge you to measure your journey with more than just a weighing scale: track your body measurements, rely on the fit of your jeans, or check your body fat %. At the end of the day, it also comes down to common sense. Are you eating a healthy diet & regularly exercising? Are you sticking to sensible portion sizes? Are you feeling confident in your clothes? Do you like what you see in the mirror? If you can answer yes to any/all of those questions, you don’t need a number to define your success.
Now for my weight loss results after training to run 10 miles over these past 5 weeks:
- Body weight: 1.2 kg gained
My body measurements were as follows:
- Waist: 1 inch lost
- Hips: 1 inch lost
- Mid-thigh: 1.5 inches lost
- Upper waist, above my knee, and mid-calf –> no change
Enough said about the scales…
What are your thoughts towards weighing scales- yay or nay?