Picture this. You weigh yourself, look down at the scales and feel that you should lose weight. OK. You decide that you should lose a stone. OK. You decide to join a group and start a healthy eating regime. You go to your first weigh in, get it down on paper and get your plan. Grand. You go shopping and get all your healthy foods, count your points and stick to everything for the rest of the week.
You go to your second weigh in, skipping like a kid’s first day bringing in homework to the teacher.
You step on the scales.
You’ve lost 4 pounds.
You get a round of applause and a million likes on Facebook. You leave the meeting feeling on top of the world. You may or may not have a cake to celebrate, otherwise for the next six days you do exactly the same thing and step up to the scales again, hopeful that the fat loss fairy is doing her thing.
1 pound gain.
Your heart sinks.
You’re being told mixed messages of advice, because you went walking you “gained muscle”, because you didn’t eat all your points “your body starved itself and held onto fat”, because you ate and drank normally that day “you’re just carrying water weight” and if you’re on your period “you’re bloated.”
Those excuses do not make you feel any better because at the end of the day the scales doesn’t lie.
So you persevere, and “keep going” as they say in the group. But then your old friend from school gets in touch and would love to catch up. You graze the internet wondering how many points are in a low fat cappuccino and a scone with no butter. You hum & haw about whether to arrange the meeting, and wonder if she’ll feel awkward if you just ordered water.
The thoughts of sipping water while your friend enjoys a delicious coffee and cake makes you miserable.
But the thoughts of stepping back on the scales next week with little or no change is worse….
The Outlook is Bleak…
Now picture this.
You go shopping, buy in a selection of lean protein, starches, vegetables, fruit, dairy, goodies, the fridge is full of colour and wonder. The weather is finer so you get more active 3 times per week and increase your daily steps. You don’t pile your plate high with food, not skimp on it, just like Goldilocks you get your portions “just right”. You stop eating when satisfied, even if there’s food left on the plate you don’t clear it because of the starving children in Africa, or because you spent too much money for it to go to waste. You weigh yourself every-single-day (for a week or so) just to see how much it can fluctuate on a day to day basis. It may move, it may not. Then you put it away and forget about it.
Because you’re making informed decisions when it comes to food. You don’t binge or starve. You don’t eat in response to your emotions. You’re being active. You’re taking in plenty of water and you’re sleeping enough.
You start to feel better within yourself.
You meet your friend for coffee and you have that scone – with butter, and jam, if you fancy it. Because it’s not a practice you do everyday. And scones are yummy.
She says “You look great, how do you do it?”
“I’m now taking care of myself, in body and mind”
No restriction. No consuming desires to have “treats”. No counting. No dieting.
Your shape starts to change. You need some new clothes to compliment it.
You’ve completely forgotten about the scales until one day, you step on it just out of curiosity.
Huh? But I look and feel better now more than ever before…
Feck that, it’s going in the bin.
The moral of the story is that the scales is merely one unit of many to measure body composition. If you want to keep an eye on your weight via the scales, why not consider doing it on a monthly basis rather than weekly? And if the number doesn’t drop, so what? What else have you done to improve your health and happiness? Look for the positive aspects in your progress. How do you FEEL before stepping on to the scales? If it plays a negative role in your mindset then just get rid!! A healthy mindset is key to weight loss. Because if you’re stressed out about not losing enough weight fast enough, you’re actually phychologically inducing stress hormones which will prevent you from losing weight.
It’s also very possible to slim down with minimal weight loss, depending on how much fat you have to lose.
Take pictures and measurements, make note of how your clothes fit. Keep in mind how your overall diet has improved and how your mood and sleep levels are. Track your fitness levels, do a fitness test – that could be anything from taking the stairs in work to timing your daily walk – or keeping the time but noting if you feel “fitter” after that walk. A Glass Half Full Approach will keep you from pouring everything down the drain.
If you need accountability and support, that’s fine. It’s much harder to do it alone than in a group or guided by a professional. But if your group gives you the option to not weigh in every single week, think about it, still go to your group and just get the support and then get weighed after a few weeks. It’s your choice, your terms.
If you need daily accountability on a 1-2-1 basis, my online nutrition programme is opening soon, you can sign up for more info >>>> here <<<<<