I know you’re out there. You get on the scale every day, sometimes multiple times per day. You feel a level of validation from whatever it decides to say. When it acts right, you feel incredible- such a sense of accomplishment. You smile, externally and internally, as you shout, “Yes! All my hard work is paying off and leading in the direction I want. If this sounds like you, then you are the reason I decided to write this.
I know that when you see the number on the scale decreasing, it provides many good feelings, but I also know that each of those feelings are easily replaced when the number increases, and the scale then makes you feel like Sh*t! All your hard work! All your sacrifices! Aren’t you tired of the emotions? I wish I could tell you that this improves over time. It doesn’t. What must improve is you. You get stronger and you learn that the scale is ONE object of measure. But so often we forget this. Here are a few tricks to help improve your relationship with the scale.
Regain Control!- Outta Sight Outta mind
The key is to put the scale completely out of sight. If you have it in front of you, the urge to step on it will set in. Put in your bedroom closet or underneath your bed. Hell, at one time I had to put it in my car; I was so obsessed. The scale has a way of calling you and inviting you to step on it. Placing it in an inconvenient location makes going to get it a hassle and gives you time to shake off the urge to use it. Changing the location of the scale also helps you establish a mental boundary around how often you’ll check your weight.
Regain Control!- Daily vs Weekly
The issue with using the scale for daily progress checks is that it doesn’t show a true depiction of your hard work. So many factors can alter what the scale says on a day-to-day basis. You need to set a time once per week that you will consistently collect the data, so it can be the most accurate. Seeing seven days’ worth of data at a time, instead of just one day, will also help to keep you motivated. The best time to weigh yourself is in the morning and right before your cheat meal. Regardless what the scale ends up saying, it is emotionally easier to have a cheat meal once you learn the number. Try to make only weighing yourself once a week a habit. Start with trying it for a week and then move to two weeks and so forth. After a while, you will notice that your urge to step on the scale is decreasing. Before you know it, you won’t be thinking about weighing yourself multiple times a week at all. Instead, you’ll be looking forward to your weekly weigh-in and cheat meal!
Regain Control!- Grab a Measuring tape!
When you are lifting weights as part of your fat loss program, the scale isn’t always giving you an accurate idea of what is happening that you CANNOT see. Muscle is denser than fat. Meaning that it takes up less surface area than fat and you can have more of it. You might notice that the scale isn’t moving or could be higher; however, when you measure yourself you lost inches! Inches matter more than your weight. Clothes are based on MEASUREMENTS not SCALE NUMBERS.
Regain Control!- Take Selfies!
We all know our best angles! Taking progress photos, once a week, can also show you how your body is changing regardless to what the scale is saying. Make sure to wear similar clothing in your pictures. Afterwards, place the photos next to each other so you can visually see how your body is reacting to your fitness and diet program. If the photos show you changing, does it really matter what the scale says? Use photos to assist you with coping with your time apart from the scale until it gets easier. I have personally found that taking photos, measuring and getting on the scale ONCE per week has helped me analyze all the data and keeps me in a very positive mental place.
You’re In control! Look in the mirror.
Pretty soon you won’t need any of those things to see what your body is doing. You are strong enough to wait the time it takes to physically see changes. It takes four weeks for you to see changes, eight weeks for your close friends and family, and twelve weeks for the world to notice. Stay positive with everything, and you will be able to control those weird mental urges to jump on the scale. It’s important to remind yourself who the BOSS is! The key is controlling the power struggle between what you need to do and what the small voice in the back of your head urges you to do. You are strong enough to wait for the visible results! Besides, visible results are so much better than your perfect number anyway!