Does this sound familiar? You've been eating clean all week, working hard in the gym. Friday night rolls around and, after a hectic week at work, you're ready to unwind at Happy Hour with friends. Drinking and having fun really builds up an appetite so next it's time for dinner at the restaurant down the street...whew, that was good! And, what's a Friday night in the summertime without a nice cool, refreshing dessert So, 3 martinis, a burger and fries, and 2 scoops of cookies 'n cream (in a cake cone!) later, you're not feeling so hot and you're ready to hit the sack. In the AM, you hop on the scale andthe number is 3 lbs higher than it was at this time yesterday! "Holy crap!" I've gained 3 pounds! I knew I went too far last night. I gotta get to the gym ASAP and burn this off!"
First of all, you need to slow down! You DID NOT gain 3 lbs of body fat (which is what we really care about) overnight! More importantly, you won't burn 3 lbs of body fat in 1 session at the gym. So all you're really doing is trying to alleviate the guilt and/or anxiety from the Friday night overindulgence. The food may be different...but the mind game is still the same, ladies! This little scenario gets repeated over and over and over again in the lives of many women, myself included...and this is why I HATE the bathroom scale.
Over the course of the past year, I have improved my health and fitness beyond what I could have ever imagined. At the start of it, I would weigh myself every day just to see how much weight I had loss. Plus, everyone kept asking me "How many pounds have you lost?" or "What weight are you trying to get down to?". Even though I started to see MAJOR transformations in my body, the number on the scale wasn't going down as I had expected. After a while, I started to get annoyed by all the questions because I realized that it wasn't about the weight...the number on the scale meant NOTHING! Talk about a mind shift! My scale doesn't even talk, so why am I listening to it? Instead I focused on how I felt in my clothes (comfy not snug), how I looked and felt and, oh yeah, my overall health. The scale was a distraction from what was really important...my overall well-being: physically, mentally, spiritually.
When I look back at the picture I took a few days before starting my competition prep with Cathy Savage Fitness, I can't believe the transformation. I went from 137 lbs to 125lbs, which may not sound like a lot without the visual, but if someone had told me that my 6-pack abs were only 12 lbs away, I wouldn't have believed it!!
There are multiple reasons for fluctuations in your weight over the course of a day or even a week, none of which have to do with body fat:
- 1. Water retention can occur from dehydration or eating too much sodium.
- 2. Hormonal changes: right before you get your period you may notice a jump in your weight...it's all water.
- 3. Exercise can result in an immediate drop in the number on the scale because of sweating (this is why some people love to weigh themselves after a workout)...again, water.
Don't get caught up in what the scale is telling you because it's just a big fat lie! Unless you're trying to measure how much extra water you're carrying around, I suggest you stop weighing yourself all the time . Instead of relying on this metal monster to tell you how 'good' or 'bad' you've been with your nutrition and exercise, you can use performance-based goals to track your progress. Why not track the number of pushups you can do, the number of miles you can run outside or the amount of weight you can lift? Quite frankly, I'd much rather be able to do 10 unassisted pullups than to see 115lbs on the scale. These are REAL indicators of progress!
Are you addicted to the scale? Just ask yourself these 3 questions:
1. Do you get on the scale every single day or even multiple times a day? 2. Has the number on the scale fueled many guilt-filled workouts at the gym or a few days of depriving yourself of food? 3. Does the number on the scale make or break your whole day? Bonus question: Do you have 2 scales...a back-up scale that confirms the number on the first scale??
If you've answered yes to all of these questions, it's time to step away from the scale! You are more than a number on a scale, more than a dress size and more than a measurement...you are a complete person. The scale does not define you, nor does it tell you who you are as a person...it's time to reclaim your power. Do it today!