With spring in the air, many of us have fast-forwarded to our summer wardrobe – especially our swimwear—wondering how everything will fit this season. For me, if all goes as planned, everything should fit as it did last year. What I mean by, “If all goes as planned” is exactly that; I plan for it. Do you?
What I’m getting to specifically is how frequently you step on the scale. Is it weekly, monthly, at your annual physical or maybe never? Well, I have a confession to make…I get on the scale daily. I know many in the health and fitness industry would scoff at my routine, arguing that it isn’t appropriate to be number obsessed, but I do it anyway. I hear the phrase, “I had no idea I gained this much weight” all too often when signing on new clients. You may not think that gaining two to three pounds in a year is all that significant, but if you continue in this fashion, it translates into 10-15 pounds in five years or 20-30 pounds in ten years! This can mean the difference between being within your healthy range, over-weight or even obese.
Although some may view the scale as evil, these same people would probably agree that some form of measurement is necessary. One alternative method used, is judging by the fit of clothing. I think there are flaws in this approach. A-line dresses, elastic waistbands, exercise gear, leggings—some can go days or even weeks wearing this type of attire. And when it is time to put on those skinny jeans, they're tight! What happened? Time has gone by with one too many social events, too much eating, not enough exercising and you’ve put on three pounds because you haven’t been wearing the clothing that is meant to be your gauge. Even if you have been wearing your “fitted” items, clothing may shrink and/or stretch. Now how do you know if you’ve gained a few pounds? You just don’t.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you be as neurotic as I, and get on the scale daily, but a few times a week can’t hurt and in fact it could help. It is important since it is easier to lose one pound than it is to lose five. If you weigh yourself every few days, you’ll catch any gain in the early stages, when it’s still fairly easy to get off, instead of the point at which you really need to make an effort to lose it.
So, try using that evil scale for a month and keep a log. Let me know if you were able to keep your number stable.