Saturday, March 26, 2011

Losing a Confidant

I cannot fathom why the scale has become my adversary.  When I was on Nutrisystem it was a best friend, a confidant something that supported what I was doing.  Now since Maintenance and living a life of a healthy, weight conscience person its not supporting me in any way!

I track my weekly weigh-in's within my spreadsheet since the beginning of my weight loss journey and its so easy to see where it started giving me back talk.  Last year when I rode the Tour with my husband (63.5 miles) it started putting the numbers back on.  Why?  I am exercising like crazy and I watch what I eat, I never eat 3,000 calories!

This morning it had put on 3.5 pounds since last Saturday and it has once again disappointed me.  So, the question I have is do I give up weighing and strictly go by clothes?  I struggle with this because the "number" has deemed so important in my life as a weight consciousnesses person. 

My friend Karen over at Waisting Time struggles with the math behind weight gain too.  Perhaps we are looking at it in the wrong way?  Perhaps the math is correct, but what we aren't realizing when we hop back on that scale every week is it tracks more than food!  It tracks muscle, bone, water and internal organs.

You can read a great article I found at Natural Physiques on "Why the Scale Lies".  I am going to mark it and reread it every week.  :)

Let me know what you think.  Does the scale frustrate you as much as it does me?  Maybe when we hit Maintenance we shouldn't rely on it so much?  Give me your thoughts.

Just a kudos for myself, I ran 17.43 miles this week!!  Not in my life time did I ever believe I would ever be running, but I can finally say "I am a runner!"

Excerpts from The Motivational Girl are protected by copyright and used here by permission of The Motivational Girl, 2011.


  1. The scale is a frustrating chunk of metal. My weight has been the same for about a month now, yet my legs have slimmed beautifully with more muscle definition, my tummy is flatter and my face is slimmer. I can't do the scale like I used to. I just does NOT report the real picture behind weight loss and body transformation.

  2. @Yum Yucky Fantastic Yum Yucky!! I also feel the same way about my body. However, its so hard to give up viewing the number.

  3. The scale is a fickle friend indeed. I still use it as a check on my weight, but keep in mind that it measures only that. "Skinny jeans" are the other way I keep tabs on things. If I am gaining muscle, my jeans will still fit.

    Congrats on the running!

    WE ARE RUNNERS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The scale frustrates me
    I stopped weight for about 4 months when I started the Clean Eating way...and then decided to weigh myself with a group challenge I had...
    And the challenge is to weigh in daily for one month to see how the body gains and loses a few 100 grams each day...and where we are at the end of the month
    Well for best month training and eating wise in over 6 months and I have remained the same weight...not a gram lost.

  5. I understand what you mean. I do think that how your clothes fit is more important than the number on the scale. Very hard to give up the losing number on the scale, though. Maybe you could look at it differently? Maybe instead of a spreadsheet, try a chart. So when you look at your weight over time it is more of a straight line, like maintaining, vs. the weekly gain/loss. Would that help?

  6. I think you're going to have to measure by clothing. That scale can be a very, very fly-by-night friend! Sorry that you're struggling.


  7. LOL:) There I was, reading along, nodding, formulating my comment, and then I saw my name. So I know that you know that I find that darn scale to be a fickle, frustrating beast! Over the course of many posts, I have gotten great input from readers that suggests to me that while we are all different in our reaction to and need for daily weighing, for those who are successfully maintaining, the scale is not as important as other measures. Like how clothes fit. But I think the sad truth is that over time we might always need to adapt. What we did in the past to lose or maintain may no longer work either because our bodies adapt or we are aging and our metabolisms are slowing.

    I think if your clothes fit the same and you know your eating and exercise is on track than the number shouldn't matter.

  8. The scale is my mortal enemy. In fact I have not faced it for about 2 months. I am sure this is not a good thing for my progress or lack there of. I know I am not making progress and am not willing to face it. I have realized that I making these little changes here and there to find something that works is NOT working. I believe I am going to have to make some drastic changes in my habits and face the scale for now. I have hopes that when I am in the maintenance phase like you I can go back to not relying on the scale. :-]

  9. Sheri, I am with your 2nd commenter. I use it & I weigh every day but it is just one part of it. How my clothes fit are just as important if not more. Age does throw a loop into this because the scale might stay the same but the clothes fit tighter OR the scale may be heavier & the clothes fit better.. crazy stuff BUT I do think it has its place as I have ignored it in the past & honestly, I was getting heavier & clothes, not so good, but ignoring it. I think both have a place.

    You have to understand that weight does swing & not always due to the day of eating... maybe the day before. Also, too much sodium, not enough water, hormones, monthly, stress, lack of sleep & the rest. That is where clothes are the key & as I said, I use both.

    Sheri, you have to do what is best for you & if the sale is deterring you, use your clothes or fav jeans & how they fit. I have a tight pair that fit right when all is in place.

    Just don't let anything fool you though... ;-)

  10. Thanks everyone for your comments! They are all so good! I will continue to weigh every Saturday, but I have to adjust my thinking. What I never realized before is when I was losing weight, I lost a lot of muscle. Once I stopped losing and started gaining muscle, my body went back to where its happy and that is where I am now. Sometimes its just hard to see past the numbers.

  11. The scale doesn't tell all, especially when you're at the maintenance stage. If you were constantly gaining than, yeah, I'd talk to your doctor, but we do go up and down about 3 lbs, do we not? (some more or less than others) I think we all know when we are eating and exercising properly and to heck with what the scale says from time to time. You can be up 3 lbs one day and down 2 lbs the next. Arrggh, that scale :)

  12. I stopped weighing about 2 months ago because the scale was starting to dictate my mood. I'd wake up happy and feeling clothes fit better and I had tons of energy. Then I would weigh myself and see that somehow I was up 3 pounds (overnight) and I would be edgy and self-deprecating. It would trick me into thinking HOW I was eating and the exercise I was doing wasn't doing any thing for me, so what was the point?? Funny, 2 minutes earlier I had felt on top of the world and I was hating myself again but I was exactly the same person...I had simply made the mistake of weighing myself. Shoot, even my tight jeans were sagging on me, but that stupid scale made me think otherwise!! I take measurements maybe once a month...but rely on how my clothes fit and how I feel. It works for me and saves my sanity.

    I posted today on your post and more. Just thought you'd like to see it and know what I said.
    I do still thank you for this because it has made a huge difference looking at that scale.
    I hope that you have a great day today and my friend, controlling your diabeties is more important then feeling like a failure on having to weart the pump. It the pump can make life managable and lets you do the things you need to do, want to do...then just smile and wear it. It's sorta like having to take two pills each morning to be able to thrive, I hate it but in order to keep my thyroid in order I have to and because I let my stomach go to long I have a stomach pill. For the longest time I felt like I had let my body down and had to take these because of that but if I don't I can't funtion so I just do and enjoy that I can have hair and fingernails, I can think and put things together. I'm glad I can walk and not hurt terrible (before I started the tummy stuff I couldn't move without pain, this is much better). It's not the same but sorta in a way it is. I do understand though.
    Take care my friend, have a blessed day!!

  14. I haven't read your other comments so may being repetitive here. In my view, the scale doesn't tell the whole story. You could even be losing weight and still not have much lean body mass compared to fat. Or you could be gaining muscle.

    I believe in using our intuition more for our bodies... how clothes fit, how our bodies feel when we eat certain things. I'm behind you 100% no matter what you rely on for monitoring your progress, but if you want to talk more let me know :)


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