We have got to get past our obsession with the scale! It almost makes me want to tell you to throw it out. Almost. :-)
Your weight on the scale is just one measurement of your progress, and it can be a misleading one. Tony Horton says it in one of his 1-on-1′s (I can’t remember which one off the top of my head) = “We are so consumed with pills and potions and gadgets to make us SMALLER. That’s STUPID!”.
And he’s exactly right! Heck, if our goal was simply to get smaller, why workout at all? We should just go lay in our bed and stop eating. We’d shrivel up and atrophy into much smaller people. That’s not what we are after. Our goal isn’t to simply get smaller. Yet we gauge so much of our progress by the bathroom scale, which only tells us if we are getting smaller or bigger. It’s crazy!
We have to focus on what really matters – our body composition. What many of us are really after is losing body fat. That often correlates to losing weight, but the weight loss is just a byproduct, not the main goal. The goal is getting our body fat low. It’s far better for your health than a specific number. If you were 180 lbs at 6%, you are going to be healthier than someone who is 180 and 15% body fat. You have more lean body mass, less body fat, and the only way you can walk around at 180 and 6% BF is to care about your nutrition and train. We know that as we workout and fuel our muscles, they will increase in strength and density, which adds weight. This can mislead us when all we care about is what a dumb scale says.
Often we get so worried about hitting a certain goal on the scale that we crash diet, kill our metabolism, and burn up our own muscle mass to hit some arbitrary goal. Stop! Be consistent and patient. Trust the system. If you are losing 1-2 lbs a week, you are rocking it! Just keep it up. Don’t look to the Biggest Loser and think, “Man if I could pull down 10+ lbs a week, I’d get there too.” Those contestants are trying to win a game. Yes, they’ll get healthy (and that is a great thing), but have you also noticed that a lot of the former contests put back on weight, some times considerable amounts? We are changing our lives, our entire LIFESTYLE. We will never go back.
What Should You Track? – Feel, Mirror, Calipers
Get some calipers and start monitoring what matters — your body composition. I’ve written an article, “How to Calculate Your Body Fat”, that explains in detail how to do that. So stop gauging your progress solely on a scale. Start gauging your progress on 3 things:
–How do I feel?
–How do I look in the mirror?
–What is the trend in my body composition (body fat and lean body mass)? – You will need a scale and calipers.
I’m 225, and I feel great at 225. I have worked really hard to get there. When I first wrote about this, I was around 215. But guess what, my BF is still the same. You can see in my pictures that I have added muscle mass over time while keeping my body fat low with dialed in nutrition. I have loved all of the new programs I’ve been able to use, and I have added muscle. Yes the scale has gone up! OH NO! LOL If I felt great and felt that I looked great at 235, so be it… I might work for that over a couple years. Or if I felt and looked great at 200, so be it. The scale is just a number. It’s about looking and feeling great, fit, and healthy. It’s all about what this lifestyle change has allowed me to do. I DO MORE!
Keep bringing it and stop worrying about a target weight. Start thinking about how you want to look in the mirror and keep tabs on your progress. No scale needed — just some privacy! :-)
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