I love this image. There were several sources sited, so I’m not sure which one to credit however, you can google the caption and see for yourself.
Why do we get on the scale when we know, for sure, that we have done nothing to change our bad habits? We cautiously approach the dreaded device and expect it to tell us something different. We want it to lie to us. Then when it tells us what we already know we step away feeling completely discouraged and defeated. Similarly, when we actually have been working on our weight loss goals, we expect results to be greater than they usually turn out to be thus we still step away feeling disappointed! The dreaded scale can cause us to beat ourselves up for a week. Then we wallow in self pity which inevitably leads us to a negative emotional eating pattern that got us to this point in the first place.
So then one might ask: Is there a way to weigh in sensibly? In fact, the whole topic turns into a steady stream of questions like: How often should I weigh in? What day of the week and what time of day is best? Is my weigh in making or breaking my mood? What does weighing in reveal, really? How do I know whether I’m retaining water, gaining weight in fat, or in lean muscle, or all of the above?
Putting the scale aside, there are several other questions one could ask themselves such as: Are my clothes getting looser or tighter? How do I feel today? Do I feel stronger, leaner and healthier? Am I happy with how I look, feel and function? Are others noticing? All of which are valid measures in and of themselves, in my opinion.
For me, weighing in is an integral part of keeping myself in check. But, it’s simply an indicator. I weigh in once a week, in the morning, butt naked, to get the bare facts. However let’s face it, any scale can turn anybody into a scale addict and it can also be misleading and discouraging. So, it’s important to analyze your relationship with the scale. Are you a slave to it? Is it an obsession? Are you seeking new, impossible information from it?
I’ve decided to invest in a scale that gives me more (accurate) information with regard to my body composition. I’m just one of those people who likes to know all the facts. I do some strength training and I know this makes a huge difference in weight composition. I advise you to do your research if you plan to go this route. There are a myriad of choices. The scale I’m looking at measures percentage of body fat, body water, muscle mass and bone mass. .
A note about cardio and strength training is important to mention at this point. The impact on our body influences the number we see when we weigh ourselves. The bottom line on cardio is that besides being good for your cardiovascular health, it burns calories. Strength training also burns calories however, it also raises your metabolic rate and builds lean muscle making your body a well functioning furnace, even at rest. Not to mention it helps to sculpt and shape the body.
I know many women who are afraid of building muscle and becoming gross looking from strength training. Yet this doesn’t happen unless one takes deliberate and intense action to do so. The truth is, 1 lb of muscle takes up a lot less space than 1 lb of fat. The difference of which can be seen in two individuals of similar height who can actually weigh the same, with one being leaner and healthier.
I was hoping for a better female version of this image but this kind of speaks to the point.
The bottom line is that, while it’s true I don’t need it, the scale is useful to me in many ways. Particularly my new one that measures all of the above. And, even though I can usually tell without stepping on the scale if I’ve gained or lost, I’m always curious to know how much and in which direction. With my new scale I get the break down which helps to guide my next steps. That’s where the scale is my friend. The naked truth is that I refuse to let it make me cry when it’s only trying to be truthful and keep me on track so that I can be leaner, healthier and therefore live better.
Recipe of the week:
Massaged Kale Salad
You’ll find lots of different versions of this recipe. This one is my personal favourite. Be sure to massage the kale until it wilts and turns a rich dark green. It keeps for days. Yummy! (Thanks Rick, my amazing foodie bro-in-law!)
One of my favourite CANADIAN nutritionists is Julie Daniluk,. Check out what she says about Kale: