Friday, January 18, 2013

The Scale Won't Budge!

by Kris Pitcher

Against your better step on the scale. Hmmph! You step off and remove your socks. The read out on the scale still isn't "right". Stripping completely naked you take off your glasses and pee one more time. Why won't the scale budge!?

This is a scenario I know plays out in homes other than my own. I have to tell you, after a week of contest prep...the scale's a bit of a bitch.

But then I have to think about my expectations. I'm not going to pull big numbers in a week. I don't have big numbers to pull. This is a slow process. Starting twelve pounds up from contest weight...I'm not going to see a 3 pound drop in a week.

And my point is, stop being disappointed by the number on the scale. Reassess your expectations and settle in for the long haul. This is going to take as long as it takes. You're not going to get "biggest loser" numbers every week. Ain't gonna happen.

There are a few things at play that are important to consider when we let the number on the scale play games in our head. Foremost, it's measuring our total body weight. That is all.

The scale isn't measuring how much fat we've lost. It's not measuring how much lean body mass we've gained. And it doesn't know the first thing about our hydration.

Did you know a gallon of water weighs about 8 pounds. Eight! The scale doesn't know if you've gone to the bathroom, eaten a meal, or sweated more or less today. It's a relatively useless piece of information.

If I told you I weighed 125 pounds, you'd believe me. Or, if I said I was 145 you'd believe that too. See? It doesn't matter. It's only a number. The number doesn't indicate whether I've been spot on with my diet, or done every second of cardio I was supposed to do this week.

The scale doesn't measure my workouts or how hard I lifted this week. It doesn't take into account how many hours of sleep I got. So whether it moved a quarter of a pound, or a half this work remains the same.

When I check in with my coach and he looks at my body, or when he tests my body fat - these are indicators we can work with. I may have gained muscle and lost fat this week. I'd be beating myself up over that when I should be celebrating if all I did was pay attention to the scale.

So, from now on...think about skipping your morning trip to the scale. Think about what role it plays in your progress, in your success, or lack thereof. Your mind-set during this process is too important to be filling your head with useless information.

I won't be getting on the scale every morning before I get on my cardio machine. I've got my head in this game and I'm paying attention to the information that matters. What are you paying attention to?

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