Last updated on May 30th, 2015 at 09:30 am
It’s not on the list of things that we fear more than death, public speaking still ranks #1 on that list, but the quiet fear that we have of the scales in our bathroom should be on there somewhere. The reasoning and self talk that happens when we consider stepping on a scale can be extremely stressful for many.
There may be an alternative to the potential distress stepping on a scale can bring.
My dream for 2014: Kill your scale.
The scale, or more precisely the number so benignly displayed on it, causes fear in most of the women I talk to.
Yes, my health and fitness were greatly approved by weight loss. But my goal wasn’t a number on the scale in the long term, but rather a measure of health and fitness. So how can we all tell if we are fit and healthy?
Measuring weight loss is all in how you feel.
Lethargic. That was the perfect way to describe my day-in-day-out physical feeling before I worked on my fitness. Years of feeling like that are exhausting. Once I started moving again, all the energy came back with it.
That’s what I want to feel everyday. That’s why I keep working out.
Measuring weight loss by only looking at the scale is like trying a new recipe that turns out beautiful on the plate, but tastes like dirt. If you are losing weight but feel like crap, why would you want to continue?
Ignore the numbers and focus on how you feel.
Bikini ready is not a goal. Ever.
You’re health and fitness will have so many amazing side effect. Please consider that how you look in a swimsuit is so trivial compared to how you feel waking up in the morning, how you feel after a workout, and more importantly how long you live.
Working out and eating well, your body will thank you with extra energy. You might lose weight, stay the same, or even gain a few pounds if your muscle mass increases.
The scale will never give you an accurate picture of how your fitness is going.
There are no measurements on a scale that says “Great Job!” or “You’re awesome!”.
Do yourself a giant favor. Rebel against the images we see daily on the “ideal” female form. The images show us the least important aspects of fitness. Any anxiety we feel when when inadvertly compare ur bodies to these images, are cultural.
You know this. You’re intelligent enough to know media brainwashing when you see it.Those numbers on the scale are also arbitrary. Please don’t let any negative self-talk to impact how you feel.
Take a good look in the mirror.
So how can you tell you are getting results? Be brave and take a really long, good look in the mirror. Believe me, you will see the changes.
Clothes will start getting loose. This is the greatest feeling! The excitement that a pair jeans is now not only easy to button, but has an overlap? Loose clothes are a perfect way to show your progress.
When they start falling down on their own, it’s time to go shopping.
You’re body fat percentage is a much better test than the scale.
Just saying “body fat percentage” out loud sounds about as fun as a dental visit with no Novocaine. It may sound like a weird phrase, but it’s one I would love for you all to get comfortable with.
We need body fat to live. Finding a healthy amount for your body is what a healthy lifestyle will provide.
If you really want to see the results of your fitness goals come to life, this is the number I want you to use. Not weight, not BMI – I’ve already had a rant on how ridiculous BMI is as a health measurement.
The trick to checking your own body fat percentage? Use consistent times and consistent tools. True readings take big expensive equipment, so using a body fat testing machine you can use at home is an estimate. Pretty accurate for what it does.
What’s the point of caring? The more lean muscle you are carrying around, the more calories you burn.
- Muscle is denser than fat which equals a smaller body
- Build up lean muscle mass and you can boost your calorie burn every time you exercise
- Fat gives us absolutely no calorie burning assistance
Adding muscle, lean calorie burning muscle, is an integral part of every fitness plan. Yes, losing fat along the way will make you look slimmer, but it’s the muscle that will help you keep that weight off long term.
Get rid of the scale now and see how much better you feel.
You don’t need to walk by the scale daily to taunt you with it’s torturous little numbers. Put it in a closet, out of sight. If you can’t resist checking in by stepping on it regularly, then give it away or have a friend keep it for you.
The most positive thing you can do for your fitness goals is to start getting in touch with yourself. Spare more than a glance at yourself in the mirror. Notice your clothes fitting looser and feel your daily tasks getting easier. Gardening not killing your back, or your workout intensity is increasing.
Even if you are exactly the same weight as when you started.
Are you interested in using body fat percentage to track your progress? Try this hand held body fat monitor by Omron. It’s fairly reasonable at $33.00 and available on Amazon here: Omron Body Fat Loss Monitor model HBF-306C(Black)
Just one small caveat with a body fat tester is that it does need your weight to plug into the data. Keep that in mind if you are considering this method.
How will you track your progress?
Are you addicted to stepping on that scale regularly? Do you want to try another way to measure your success?
I’ve offered a few ideas so now it’s your turn. How do you measure your fitness success?
Go get your fit on – Heather
Heather Montgomery is a fitness writer, triathlete, and blogger who is devoted to sharing what she has learned about becoming a triathlete after age 40. She uses her Metabolic Training Certification to help other women struggling to get fit in mid-life. She lives and trains in Santa Rosa, California, the new home of the Ironman triathlon. You can find her biking the Sonoma County wine trails.
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