January 19, 2011

A reminder: scales suck

Lately, I’ve been pretty darn happy with my body. I’ve been away from home, so I haven’t had access to my usual scale at home, but I do think I’m getting more fit. While my clothes may not be fitting loosely (yet), they’re fitting very comfortably – which is a step up from when I used to be traveling for consulting and my clothes would be constricting me because of the extra poundage I was putting on (and water retention from all the salt in most restaurant foods).

This morning, I decided to step on the scale at my hotel to see where I stood, weight-wise. It was first thing in the morning after I had gone to the bathroom but before I showered (the water in my hair adds a lot of weight, believe it or not), so I thought I’d see a big drop. But… no such luck. I was a little disappointed, but then I turned toward the full length mirror – and I really liked what I saw. My stomach looks flatter, my arms and legs look more toned, and I even got a little bit of a tan while I was running in Nassau that gives me a healthy glow (though I do realize that tanning isn’t actually healthy). So how could the scale be so high? Muscles being heavier than fat be damned; I wanted that number on the scale to go down!

I didn’t dwell on it, as I had a million other things to think about at the start of my day, but later in the morning I happened to come across this great blog post by Tyler. I read it and wholeheartedly agreed with it, as it’s almost exactly the story I told above. However, seeing it spelled out was a good reminder for me as I’m embarking on my strength training plan, so I thought I’d call it out for any of you who are having similar issues.

I will be doing my second workout in week four of my Rachel Cosgrove plan tonight, and I’m really looking forward to it – both for seeing the gains in strength I’m continuing to make, and for how I know it’s transforming my body, scale or no scale. Happy weight lifting Wednesday!


8 thoughts on “A reminder: scales suck”

  1. “Good” weights are so arbitrary. People like round numbers. If we lived in England, your goal weight would be different, because you’d want an even number in stones, or whatever freaky crap they use. It’s weird, how the brain pictures whole, pretty numbers to strive for.

    But, yes, how you look is way more important, because that’s the reality. I mean, if you could be at your goal weight, but LOOK 50 pounds heavier, would you want that? Would you want the number on the scale to be “right,” but how you look to be wrong?

  2. I’m trying REALLY hard to ignore the scale lately and focus FIRSTLY on how I feel, secondly on how I look and thirdly on how my clothes fit! Worrying too much about the number on the scale was just stressing me out and making me feel like crap. I figure, in the end of it all, will I REALLY care that much about those last 5 or 10 pounds? Probably not..

  3. Rose’s comment left me thinking about a whole new thing — that rounding numbers issue. A very valid point! If you’re happy with what you see and how you feel, that should be most important. I know it’s not always easy to convince ourselves of that, but so many look up to you just the way you are and because of everything you’ve accomplished (and not what you see when you’re at home on the scale). Priorities!

  4. Heavy strength training made me gain 10 lbs in about six months. I’ve never ever ever cared about my weight, and it kind of shocked me that I suddenly did. It was a hard pill to swallow, even though I look much better now and can occasionally fit into a size 2 in the right light, when I couldn’t before. I still have to work on not caring sometimes, but when I make the connection that losing that 10 lbs would mean that I’d lose my awesome bench press and deadlift there’s no way I’d make that trade.

  5. If you feel good and are happy with how you look, who cares what the scale says. I know it’s easier said than done, but you are in great shape and youre eating well and building muscle. Enjoy that feeling!

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