Thursday, December 13, 2012

Do You Confuse How You're Doing With What You Weigh?

It's certainly what society teaches.

If you're trying to lose or maintain your weight the scale will tell you how you're doing.


The scale never tells you how you're doing. The scale only tells you what you weigh.

How you're doing is what you're actually doing. Are you cooking healthful meals? Are you organizing your dietary timing, calories, and proteins? Are you minimizing meals out? Are you being thoughtful? Are you keeping track of your choices and intake? Are you exercising? Are you consistent in your efforts?

Boiling it down even further ask yourself,
"Am I living the healthiest life that I can honestly enjoy?"
If the answer's yes, you're doing great - scale be damned.

The fact is sometimes you weigh more than how you're doing even when you're doing great.

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  1. Actually checking regularly your weight (even daily) is pretty useful and should be part of the routine. While some argue that lack of results early in a diet might make people stop dieting, actually research showed (I think cited in Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength), that checking your weight daily makes you more discipline about keeping it in line. So while it might not be good at the beginning of diet (though having a diet is a ridiculous idea), for healthy eating in general it should be good.

  2. I completely agree with the article. The scale is not the measure of how you are doing. Making small PERMANENT changes is far better than the temporary ones that make the scale fall....for now. Too many people use the scale to monitor their progress. Better to use a tape measure. Take your measurements once a month and see real change. Or take a picture of yourself in your underwear, with the camera in the same spot. The power of the picture cannot be denied and with digital cameras no one will see it but you. This has helped me release almost 200lbs and more importantly, keep it off for 4 years now. Lifestyle changes are key.

  3. I love this advice. You have said it before, and I appreciate it. During my weight loss journey I aimed for a finish weight of 130 pounds. Despite eating very healthy, measuring portions, and exercise, I found that once I dropped below 140 pounds I was hungry all the time. All. The. Time. I couldn't stop thinking about food. Then I came across your genius gem: Was I living the healthiest life that I could honestly enjoy? Nope. So my finish weight is 144 pounds, my BMI is 22.8 (which is great!), and I'm a size 6 (from a size 16). I'll never be a size 2 or size 0. But I'm healthier than I've been in a long time, I enjoy my new healthy lifestyle, and I'm HAPPY.

  4. Anonymous9:22 am

    Great Advice,

    Can you forward this to the peeps at the Ottawa fertilty clinic?

    All they care about is BMI. Doesn't matter that I can run 5 km, or that even with eating less then 1500 calories a day and going to the gym 6 times a week I don't lose weight. What matters is the number on the scale.

    Those with BMI's higher then 35 can't get help to have children because it is high risk. OFC will implant multiple eggs into a smoker, or someone with diabeties, but overweight women, well I guess that they think we aren't go enough to be parents.

    I wish that everyone in the medical field had the same outlook as you do.

  5. Quietsunshine10:23 am

    Anonymous - I am reducing a little more diligently right now for that exact reason - The kicker - we're dealing with male factor infertility. From what I understand among Maternal Fetal medicine experts (okay one, but she's awesome), she considers high risk with a BMI above 40. Mine is between 35 and 40... I'm fortunate that I can lose weight, but due to my age and our daughter's age (she was a fluke we found out, but she's 6 1/2 years old so the age difference is getting a lot wider), I'd like to proceed with IVF within the next year. From what I understand every other clinic in Ontario does not have such a strict cut-off... I'm not bitter or anything ;)

    I do have the nicest doctor at the OFC who has never made me feel bad about my weight (perhaps because in my case our infertility issue has nothing to do with my weight, but honestly he's been very kind to us). Here's another kicker he warned me about - I have to be careful not to lose weight too quickly because it could reduce my fertility *facepalm*.

  6. Anonymous12:04 pm

    Yeah, its definitely all about the skin calipers if you wan't to know body composition... That or a bod pod or dexa scan if part of the 1%

  7. I'm kind of split on this one. When I was interested in losing fat, I'd read that weighing yourself frequently was a good way to keep your goals in mind. Apparently, people who know they have an appointment with a scale every morning are less likely to eat junk food.
    On the other hand, now that I'm trying to get stronger, my weight isn't a good indication of my success.
    As someone else pointed out, waist size might be better. Are your 32" pants still a good fit? Then you're increasing strength. If they don't fit, you're doing something wrong.

  8. after losing and maintaining a 130 pound loss for 2 years, my *feelings* about what I weigh follow my feelings about my life. I have been utterly convince that I have gained well over 15 pounds because of how my emotions are playing out. Twice. Only to find out that I actually hadn't gained anything. I learned that just because I feel like I'm doing awful in my life, doesn't necessarily mean that I am gaining weight because of it!

  9. Kasia1:36 pm

    Yes. I agree. Weight is just a number that represents how heavy we are, not how healthy we are. What are your thoughts about Health at Every Size?