The scale used to be a great tool for keeping my weight in check. I would weigh myself every few days and then make adjustments accordingly. However, in the last few years the scale has become increasingly burdensome. Lately, my weight seems to vary widely from day to day or even hour to hour. Next time you start a cut back, avoid the scale for the first 3 weeks. So, what does this extreme fluctuation mean for weight loss? I have noticed an interesting trend in my last few unsuccessful diet attempts. I take a few deep breaths and make my game plan. Then, after a few days of deprivation and headaches from sugar withdrawal, I stand on the scale to find no change. In fact, at times the number has actually increased!
Now, I’m not new to the diet routine. I am quite aware of the physical demands of the first week; however, I used to get reassurance from the scale after the first few days. So, a downward movement on the dial would really give me the push I needed to continue on. However, in middle-age this no longer seems to be the case. I realize now that my last several diet attempts have failed largely because of the scale.
I had grown accustomed to the reassurance of the scale to propel me along, but the realities of fluctuating water weight can make numerical weight loss almost imperceptible in the first weeks. You see, the scale can only measure your actual weight at any given moment; it is not intuitive. It doesn’t take hormones into account. It doesn’t know that you are retaining water because you took in a little too much sodium. Regardless of the reason, middle-agers are constantly fluctuating in weight, which means you can never know what to expect from the scale.
Consequently, I would stand on the scale at the end of a long week only to feel deflated and defeated by the number staring back up at me. I can count three separate attempts this year that were derailed after a week or two because the pointer just refused to budge.
LET ME SAY THIS LOUD AND CLEAR, THE SCALE CAN ONLY REGISTER YOUR WEIGHT. IT DOES NOT DISPLAY YOUR INTEGRITY, CONFIDENCE OR SELF-WORTH. ONLY YOU CAN DO THAT!
Our relationship with the scale can be a love-hate one. We want to pick it up and kiss it when we are doing well and we all can say a few things about what we want to do with it when the number is less than pleasing! Unfortunately, I like many of you, have looked to that simple contraption for validation. Let me say this loud and clear, the scale can only register your weight. It does not display your integrity, confidence or self-worth. Only you can do that.
I have come to the conclusion that constantly stepping on the scale in the initial stages of weight loss is a definite no-no for us middle-agers. This time, try to avoid the scale for first 3 weeks. Does this sound impossible to you? I did it and it really helped jump start my weight loss efforts. I would love to hear your thoughts.