So you decide it’s time to lose weight.
For the first time, seriously take charge of your own health.
You get a gym membership, rid your fridge of all the junk, take that initial step on the scale, and you’ve officially started your new lifestyle.
Three weeks later you feel you’ve sorta made progress but you're not too sure. Your clothes are fitting different but you feel the same and you haven’t weighed yourself since day 1.
So how do you know how your body is responding to these new lifestyle changes without the most basic of data?
Spoiler............ you don’t.
Are you tired of hearing “progress isn’t linear?” Well, it’s not - over a short period of time. Over a long period of time progress becomes approximately linear (there’s that high school statistics term), but you can’t recognize this unless you visually see the data. Data that you are missing if you’re only weighing yourself every one or two weeks. As an example I have posted my own results from tracking my weight nearly every day. You can see how day to day seems to fluctuate, while the monthly chart has many peaks and valleys, and the yearly graph shows clear weight loss progress. My weekly and monthly graphs would look very different if I didn’t weigh myself daily. It’s not something you can ignore, and there are other benefits to stepping on the scale.
By this I mean being aware of your consumption from the previous day. Wake up, weigh yourself properly, and objectively think about the results. “My weight is _(difference in weight)__ higher than yesterday morning because I had __(food/amount)__ yesterday for __(meal)__.” If you’re not weighing yourself daily you may never realize that your favorite pasta dish makes you bloat or that maybe your mid-day poptart is holding you back. What you don’t control, controls you. The more objectively you look at the scale, the less it becomes pure evil and more like a tool that’s used to learn about your body. The more you know about your body, the better.
Desensitization to Change
You’re afraid to step on the scale at all. Why? Because you associate it with self-loathing. You weigh yourself once a week then punish yourself for being .5 lbs up. How do we ever stop the suffering?? Well, is it entirely possible you lost weight this week and just happen to be stressed/inflamed/bloated this morning? Yes. It is actually fairly likely…. But you’ll never know… because you only checked your weight today. See where I’m going with this? Being up by .5 is significantly less devastating when you recognize that is just one day of many. And tomorrow, you
could very well be back down a pound (or kilo :)). At the same time, new low weigh ins will always be fun! Tracking your daily weight conditions your brain to become impartial to it. Without feeling like a number is weighing you down (pun intended) you can allow yourself to start the day with less stress and more positivity.
How many times have you been offered free food, (let’s say a cupcake,) you graciously accept, and it’s not until later you even remember you’re on a “diet.” You then decide that a daily reminder is necessary if you are ever going to resist the casual office treats and vending machine. Surprise! Just another benefit of adding the scale to your morning routine. Knowing your weight and knowing why (refer to #1) is a great way to start your day off in your “new lifestyle mindset,” aiding you in staying on track throughout the day and helping you reach for water instead of Coke. When you know you’ve done well, you may even start looking forward to the next morning… you may even start to like the scale. *gasp*
Yes, although this article only mentions one, there are many ways to track progress. Daily weigh ins are the quickest and simplest way to quantitatively track progress on your own.
As a coach, my job is to not only train my clients, but also to help them learn as much about their own bodies’ as possible in order to help maintain results and a healthy lifestyle long after they’ve been my client. The scale is a tool to be used, not an object to be feared or cause shame.
***Information contained on this website is intended as an education
resource only and should not be used for diagnosing or treating an eating
disorder. If you have or suspect you may have an eating disorder,
please consult your healthcare provider.***
National Eating Disorder Association Helpline: 1-800-931-2237