Sunday, July 14, 2013

To Scale or Not to Scale

To use the scale or to not use the scale...that's been my dilemma lately. 
I've always gone off the number on the scale when working on My Way to a Healthy Life.  My doctor weighs me so I figured it had to be an important benchmark.  But, I have been dedicated to working out at 30 Minute Hit now for six weeks and have been disappointed to see myself gain four pounds.  What?  I am going all-out exercising, trying to eat better and I am gaining?!?!?  Now I understand that this is very common when transforming fat into muscle, but it got me to thinking...should I even be paying attention to the scale?  Should I be tracking my fitness by taking measurements?  Or just judging by how I feel and how my clothes fit? 
On my Facebook page, you had some fabulous answers:

Kelly - I go by how my jeans and bras fit.... but the scale is always still there to remind me that I'm no longer a skinny teenager... lol....

Jasmin - I don't own a scale...will never own one. I got by how my clothes fit, what sizes I'm buying and just how it all looks in the mirror.

Adrienne - I'm a #'s person and like the scale. Helps me get to know my body better (for example, i went to a restaurant a couple weeks ago and found out just what it does to my body and how long it takes me to work off that splurge) and I like to set a weight goal, rather than a pant size goal.

Alyssa - Measurements for sure. Since February I've kept track of my measurements as well as my weight and I've dropped 9 inches but gained 5 lbs. I've given up on the "scale number" as I know I look and feel much better. 1lb of muscle = 1lb of fat but muscles are more dense so they don't take up as much space. Don't ever rely on the scale.

Brittany - I echo Alyssa's thoughts, I measure the same way and check in on a monthly basis. When I did a more strict meal plan in the spring I also too before and after photos - really cool to see results that way too!

Kaili - I feel lucky to be raised in a household that never owned a scale, and never stressed about what or bodies looked like. The number on the scale doesn't prove health or happiness. It just beats up your thoughts with a number you feel you should be. How silly is that? We choose to be really active, eat well, get as much sleep as we can, and spend lots of family time together. When you are truly well you will look it. A number doesn't truly speak of health...

Cat - The scale is evil. A measuring tape is more accurate for showing how your body is changing. Or, maybe we should all just stop looking at the numbers (says the girl that has a hard time breaking that habit!)

Kelly - I agree. A long time ago I was full on anorexic and spent many months in the hospital. Many years later I still avoid the scale, exercise, eat clean and use how my clothes feel and my health as a balance.

Ashley - never trust a scale muscle weighs more than fat so it’s very common for ppl to start a workout program and actually gain weight just means your transferring fat to muscle. I’m very fit and getting more muscular and I gained 5 lbs but look better than ever and in small jeans then when I graduated 11 years ago

Monique - I kept one pair of pre-first-pregnancy jeans. If I can wear them and breathe, then things are going well!!

1 comment:

  1. I think that if you're in a stage where you're changing your exercise routine, then no, the scale isn't a great measurement tool for the reasons people have stated. However, I do find it to be a great tool when you're just trying to maintain. Going by clothing fit can work, but I find that once my clothes are getting tight, I've already got more work ahead to correct it than I would like. If I'm weighing in regularly, then I'll notice a change a lot sooner and can nip it in the bud before I start blaming my dryer for suddenly shrinking all my clothes. :)



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