About twice a year I hold a big 8-week body transformation challenge for my boot campers. During those 8-weeks the extra motivation to win and be awarded awesome prizes like new shoes, free boot camps, gift cards and even champagne, pushes the women to sweat just a bit more and eat just a bit less.
It’s fun, but, it’s not all sunshine and roses.
I recently had one of my long term clients, we will call her Sally, excited to have her bi-weekly weigh in. For the past two weeks, she had been making it to workouts regularly, cutting out excuses of giving luck luster performances and really pouring her heart into each workout. At home, she was making changes to her diet and following the plan I had given her.
Sally just knew that when she stepped on to my cold scale that the number blinking back would be drastically lower than it had been two weeks prior.
She took a deep breath and blew it out before placing each foot on the sensors (we all blow out before getting on thinking that the air in our chest will clearly add weight)…
The numbers bounced around for about 3 seconds, and I could tell she was growing impatient.
When it finally came to a stop and “the number” was revealed I could feel her shock and disappointment fill the room almost immediately.
She had lost a pound. A single pound. Uno.
Sally stepped off the scale, head hung low, tears filling in her eyes, and asked me a one word question: Why?
The Magic Of The Scale:
“Scale Scale On The Floor, Who’s The Thinnest Of Them All?”
Before I answer that question, I have one for you: Why does the scale have such a strong hold over us women?
I mean, Do we really allow a 10 x 10 inch machine to dictate how we will feel for the day?
I guess that was two questions. But they’re important.
–>If it reads 2 pounds under our “normal” weight, we walk around all day with confidence and an air of sexiness. Instead of wearing the black ballet flats that were sitting out, we slip into pair of 3 inch heels and a pencil skirt.
–>If it reads 2 pounds over, we feel ugly and disgusting, and while getting dressed we convince ourselves that our pants are feeling tighter and our muffin tops are rising up higher. The pencil skirt gets thrown onto the closet floor and your outfit of choice is an oversized pair of black pants and a sweat set. Not sexy. Not confident.
Men don’t do this. They don’t let the number on a scale dictate the day they’ll have, the breakfast they’ll enjoy, or the mood they’ll walk into the office with. Oh to be a man.
I don’t often say I wish I was more like Dan, but with weight, we could learn a few things.
Dealing With A Disappointing Scale-In
Back to Sally…
It honestly broke my heart to see her so upset. After all, she had lost weight! It just wasn’t the 5 pound weight loss she wanted.
Here are a few things I told her:
- A women’s weight can fluctuate up to 5 lbs every day depending on where she is in her cycle, hydration, and even bathroom regularity (or irregularity).
- Healthy weight loss ranges from .5 – 2 lbs/week, so in that respect she is doing great!
- You didn’t gain 10 pounds in 2 weeks, and it’s not going to come off in 2 weeks.
There are a few more influences as to why your weight fluctuates such as sodium intake, sleep, and accountability (are you really eating as well as you think… TRACK IT)… but #3 is the most important factor to remember.
Losing weight is about discovering you have patience.
The most impatient people are the ones that fall victim to the diet fads and weight loss gimmicks. They’re the ones that aim to lose 10 pounds in a week and yet end up gaining 20 pounds in a month.
I talk a lot about staying motivated when starting a new workout and diet regiment but just as important is being patient.
A single pound can seem deflating, it can seem as if you’re never going to get to the end of your weight loss journey. But if you’re patient and keep reminding yourself of all the other benefits that come along with this journey then you’ll be one of the few women that will be telling people about how you lost 25 pounds and have kept it off for a decade.
In terms of that scale… I say screw it.
The scale tells you jack sh*t. Sorry, but it’s true.
What is weight? Well, using my bio degree (see, I do use it), weight is nothing more than mass x gravity. And since gravity is relative to where you are in space, if you need the scale to give a good number to have a good day, then move to the top of a really high mountain where you’ll weigh less.
Or to the moon?
But if you want real, tangible results then be patient and keep with the plan:
- Exercise to burn around 2000 calories/week
- Eat clean 90% of the time (80% once you’ve hit your goal)
- Track your workouts and food choices
- Track something that really measures your results:
* Measure your body: waist, hips, thigh and arm every month to see your transformation.
* Take pictures of yourself each month! You’ll be shocked to actually see a comparison chart and your patience and motivation will continue as you see your face getting slimmer, arms more toned, thighs less thunderish and waist smaller.
Sally’s Happy Ending
After Sally and I talked, it was time for her measurements. We do these every 4 weeks in boot camp so that results are more evident.
Sally had slimmed down by over 3 inches.
And of course she immediately said, “Yea, I thought my clothes were feeling loose.”
That was the proof she needed to feel great and know that what she was working so hard for was worth it.
How often do you use a scale?
Does it ever affect your mood or choices during the day?
If you would like more information dealing with a scale, here are some previous posts that can help:
- Why your weight fluctuates
- Spousal Envy: Why he loses weight faster
- Why the scale sucks (an OLDIE but goodie)