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The Scale

Monday, April 23, 2012

I've gotten into the habit of stepping on the scale every day. I've heard mixed reviews about whether this is a good thing or not. Some studies I've read said that people who are most successful at losing weight and keeping it off weigh themselves every day. Others say that since weight can fluctuate daily for any number of reasons, it's best to stick with a weekly weigh in.

For me, the scale is a bit like sugar -- I can't seem to use it in moderation. I even put my scale away in the bathroom cabinet after every use. I figured not seeing it out there would prevent me from using it every day. No such luck.

Now this wouldn't be a problem for me if the scale showed me what I want it to show me -- lower numbers. But lately, the scale is not showing me lower numbers. The scale is actually showing me higher numbers. Today, I am 3 pounds heavier than I was yesterday. Yes, I have days where I eat more calories than the upper end of my limit, but on balance, I'm still eating within a range that should have me losing weight, especially when I factor in exercise. But I've seen nothing but increases for the past 10 days. Looking at all the BMI charts out there, the highest I should weigh to be considered "normal" is 158 lbs. That's almost 100 pounds less than what I am today. Even though my goal weight of 185 is well above that, I still have a significant amount of weight to lose. And since I have a significant amount of weight to lose and I'm doing everything I can to lose weight, seeing gains on the scale is frustrating and depressing. It makes me question why I'm bothering. I seem to only be able to lose weight when I drastically reduce my calories to under 1200 per day. Of course then I'm starving.

I know any number of things could be at the root of this. And I'd buy muscle gain if my weight were staying the same, or going up slightly. But in the past 10 days, my weight is up 6 pounds. There's no way I gained 6 pounds of muscle in 10 days. 6 pounds seems like a lot for hormonal changes or water retention, or sodium.

So, I think I'll take the batteries out of my scale, so that it's harder for me to use it. I get weighed in with my trainer at the gym once a week. I want to keep doing that because I'm trying to track body fat and I trust their scale more than mine for that measurement -- although even then, I question the accuracy -- it seems to fluctuate fairly wildly. At the end of March I was at 32%, climbed to 36% a week or so later and was at 34% the following week. Maybe I should give that up too, or change the frequency to monthly.

I'll try to take these to heart:

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    This is what I do if I am obsessing on something. I take baby steps. So weigh yourself every 2 days for a week and then every 3 days and so on. I would at least weigh once a week!

    With all the exercise you are doing, you probably are adding muscle and losing inches. Do you measure yourself? Do you use the Tracker in SP? A calorie is not a calorie! If you are eating too many carbs.... you are burning sugar.... not fat! Eat less carbs and take in more healthy fats so you don't get those hunger pains. And, again, make the changes slowly.

    This is Life...... not a race!
    3137 days ago
    I think giving up the scale would be best, but I can't manage to break MY habit either... I get on it multiple times a day which is REALLY bad, because then I get angry. Like you, I put it away every time, but I continue to drag it out ALL the time. Weighing monthly is NOT something I can handle. I guess I'm not much help, huh?!? I think you need to do what makes you happy, but you also have to be able to deal with whatever that stupid thing says.
    3141 days ago
    Thanks everyone. I tend to agree that weighing only once a month won't tell me much. I need to find a way not to obsess about the number. It's hard for me to gauge whether I'm seeing anything different because of hormones since I have an IUD and haven't had a period in a few years now. The gym scale weighs me about the same as my own, so I think the weight is accurate -- not sure about the body fat though.

    For work outs -- I do cardio 3 to 5 times a week and strength training at least twice a week. I tend to build muscle very quickly.

    I won't go under 1200 calories (at least not on purpose) -- I'd likely pass out. Even when I eat at the top of my calorie range (1550) I'm often starving. I will get on taking some pictures though. I haven't done that in a while.

    Overall, still not sure what I'll do about the scale. I might have to abandon it for a little while and just focus on my running goals.
    3141 days ago
    Well, I am of different mindset...I in fact DO weigh myself EVERY day. I use that as a guage for TOM, ovulation, sodium intake, etc...

    If I only weighed in every month, I would be oblivious and use that as a licence to do whatever I wanted. Should you weigh yourself daily? I think that's a personal choice. If you know it doesn't work for you then by all means, stop. But monthly is certainly too long between weigh-ins, you can't fix anything if you don't have a clue.

    The gym scale is probably fairly accurate, keep using it!
    Maybe put yours away and just use the gym scale for now. You may want to look at your exercise routine too...all cardio and no ST can kill your weight loss efforts too...anyway, my comment has become a mini blog...sorry emoticon
    3141 days ago
    Yes, give up the scale! Start by measuring monthly, scale and inches. Don't obsess over it, it'll just keep you down. As long as your eating healthy (please don't go below 1200 cal, this is very unhealthy and your body will start to breakdown the protein in your muscles for energy) and exercising a little everyday you'll start to see a difference. I also recommend before and after picts. Take new picts every 4 wks. Good luck and don't give up!
    3141 days ago
  • RRP546
    i am a scalaholic too
    3141 days ago
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