Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Scale

Are you a cow? A bird? Neither! You are human.

A lot of food and health bloggers out there usually end up writing about their scale habits. So I figured now was as good of a time as any to write about mine. Many gals who have struggled with their weight have sworn off the scale all together, and pay attention to their measurements or how their clothes fit. Others weigh themselves frequently, using it as a tool to keep them on track.
I'm an inbetweeny, myself.

I weigh myself occasionally... every two weeks or so. I used to weigh myself a lot more often. And guess what? The number didn't really change all that much! So every two weeks gives me a better idea of weight that I've lost and kept off, rather than fussing around with a pound or two of water weight, or too many pieces of cake, or that third dark, heavy, syrupy beer, or eating like a bird due to some strange social situation that I've overdeveloped in my head or WHATEVER.

Ahem. For example, on New Year's Day, I stepped on the scale and then picked up Maple and I did some quick math to get her weight. Two good things came of it: 1) The vet confirmed her weight and I realized that I was not failing at doing basic arithmetic in my head. Take that, calculator function on my cell phone! I resist your powers and remain independent. Until I have to divide out how many sheets vs. how many rolls of toilet paper per package in the store to ensure the best deal. But ANYWHOO... 2) I actually lost a couple of pounds over the holidays (or week after Christmas, most likely) and when I weighed myself yesterday, I received the news that I kept it off. It was not a fluke. Oh joyful news!

NOW. If you start exercising more, you might seriously consider using your body measurements. Because you will lose fat and tone up. Inches will disappear. Unless you compensate your exercise by eating marshmallow fluff straight from the jar, it's a basic fact of science. Trust me. I read about this stuff ALL the time.

But if you are running and lifting weights, your body will look slimmer, and your waist will slide around in your jeans, BUT the scale might remain stuck at the same ol' number. They say you don't actually gain that much weight due to muscle development, unless you seriously start pumping iron. But if you lose a pound of fat and gain a pound of muscle in a week, which is not a crazy idea, well... whip out your cell phone and do the math. Same number. So please, don't agonize. Use a measuring tape. Swim in your clothes. You will feel much, much better about yourself. You must trust me here.

So I readily advocate scales, or tape measures, or your clothes, or the mirror. You know your body better than anyone else. And you know what works best for you. When they say it's just a number, they are right. It is. And it can change, for the better or the worse. And you can change it. You have that power. So don't freak out too much, because it's not written in stone or anything.

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