I bought a scale yesterday. I used to weigh myself daily but I haven’t had a scale in a couple of years.
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Back when my “forever fat loss” journey began, I weighed myself every day.
I kept a spreadsheet with my weight and once a week I’d take a picture of myself to see how my body was changing beyond the scale.
It worked for me. Beginning at close to 350 lbs, my fat loss was absolutely going to be reflected on the scale in terms of pounds. It was a great accountability tool for me.
However, once I dropped below 200 lbs, it stopped being such a valuable tool. Or maybe more accurately, I didn’t have the right mindset for it to be a valuable tool at that time.
I was leaner than I had ever been and I was working out more intensely than ever. The weight loss wasn’t as predictable and even though my body was changing, I was frustrated with the scale.
So, I ditched it.
(I think that’s the way most strategies work. They’re helpful for a while, they’re not so helpful for a while and maybe they’ll become helpful down the road. The key is to pay attention to what is working for you, what is not & what you can do about it.)
Since then, I’ve monitored my body progress through measurements and observation. I touch and look at my body on the daily and I know where to look for signs that I’m not moving in the right direction (my lower abdominals, my back).
My decision to buy a scale and start weighing myself again was based on two things:
- how much I’ve learned from monitoring my hunger
- practice in perspective and mindset
It’s not because I see the scale as a valuable indicator of fat loss: I don’t.
Let me explain the hunger thing. Paying attention to my hunger signals has been one of the most enlightening experiences of my entire fat loss & health journey.
For most of my life, the first sign of hunger was a trigger to eat and eat now. “Oh! I’m hungry! Time for a snack.”
I didn’t realize that hunger is a spectrum and that not all sensations of hunger mean I need to eat.
I’ve learned that my hunger ebbs and flows. I’ve learned that sometimes hunger is saying “don’t eat” as much as sometimes it’s saying “eat!“.
Let me give an example:
Dinner was at 6. It satisfied me. But, when laying on the couch watching TV at 9:15, I realize I’m kinda hungry. Eat or not eat?
The process of evaluating my hunger has taught me to ask:
- How hungry am I?
- Given what I last ate, when I last ate & how much I last ate, does it make sense for my body to need more fuel?
- Is giving my body more fuel right now the best choice? Or is not giving my body more fuel the best choice?
See, if I give my body fuel by eating, it doesn’t need to turn to stored fat for fuel. In response to hunger I basically say to my body, “Oh, no need to get fuel from stored body fat. I’ve got ya! Here’s a couple handfuls of almonds.”
Given that I had dinner at 6 and I’ve been sitting on my butt since then and I’m about to sleep, not eating in response to that hunger is probably the best choice.
Plus, I learned that my hunger almost always subsides. Even 5 minutes after feeling really hungry, I can find myself not hungry at all.
That awareness, which came directly from paying attention, taught me so much about my body and dramatically improved my choices.
I think the scale has the power to teach me similarly powerful lessons. For example, I’d love to know, objectively, what eating dairy does to my body as measured by pounds and ounces.
I’d love to know what kind of weight loss, in pounds, a fast produces for me.
I’d love to know how much water I retain during my period.
I’m on a quest to know more about my body.
Can I do this without a scale? Sure can. Can you? Absolutely. Am I suggesting you start weighing yourself? No.
I’m suggesting you do what works for you to learn more about your body. Journaling is a powerful way to do this.
The other reason I bought a scale is mindset & practice. I’m human. I can get irritated by an unexplained jump in weight and I can get excited about seeing the number go down.
I want to train myself out of these emotional attachments to the number on the scale. That will happen with practice.
I also want to have some more recent frames of reference for “normal” daily fluctuations to help give context to so many of my clients who continue to be frustrated with what are completely normal fluctuations.
And lastly: it has been, in the past, a powerful motivator for me. Another form of accountability. And I’m excited to use it again without the drama it might have created in the past.
So, that’s why I bought a scale.
I’m so excited for a workout that I can do as written!
Dumbbell Strict Press (35/30)
This is my kind of workout! My shoulders were absolutely toast after those strict presses but it felt great!
On the food front:
I feel back to my normal self after being ravenous all day yesterday.
I only had 1 cup of coffee before my workout (that’s a sign that I’m working too hard) 😉 and was very ready to eat after the workout.
I had chicken & broccoli over cauliflower rice from Paleo Power Meals and more coffee. I tried enjoy some new-to-me coconut cold brew from Trader Joes but if you follow my Instagram stories, you saw what a huge fail that was.
I took advantage of a few hours of sun (it’s been raining like crazy here) and enjoyed a cobb salad outside with extra chicken.
Dinner was super simple because I’m sure I’ll be going out to eat this weekend (and I’ll share those details over on Anchor). I whipped up cauliflower soup and a beautiful piece of salmon and I even had a small sweet potato! So freakin’ good.
Make it a great weekend, guys! I’ll see you over on Anchor!