Disclaimer: I'm not a real doctor nor do I have a medical background. Nothing in this entry should be construed as medical advice, it's just my own research and experience. All care but no responsibility taken. Not valid in all states. Do not exceed recommended dosage. Void if removed.
I posted recently about the way we all crave external validation. We live and die by a list of numbers; kilograms, pounds, inches, centimeters, clothing sizes, whatever.
It is not enough that we feel healthier, that we can walk without puffing, that we sleep better, that we have more energy. We need those numbers to make us feel like we’re doing the right thing.
And there is no number more insidious than that on the dial of a set of scales.
We measure because it’s a simple way to quantify our achievement. But that only makes sense in a stable environment.
The female body is NOT a stable environment.
There is stuff going on in there constantly. Things are changing on a daily, hourly basis. Processes that are necessary for us to survive, processes that can create such profound change in such a short period of time that a static measuring tool like a scale simply can't keep up. Certainly not on a daily basis, anyway.
Unfortunately, that is how a lot of us use scales.
You always hear people telling you not to weigh yourself every day. You've probably wondered why. Let Dr Tree™ explain it all.
The inimitable JuJu at The Skinny Daily wrote about this very phenomenon recently; Overnight Gains. By the way, if you’re not already reading The Skinny regularly, what's wrong with you? Go on, go read. I'll still be here when you get back.
She outlines a whole raft of reasons why your humble bathroom scales just can't cope with daily weigh-ins. Your body is doing so many crazy things on a daily basis that your poor scales can't possibly keep up. Take water retention. No, please, really, take it, for the love of all that's holy…
Not only that, but your scales are only giving you a tiny piece of the weight loss puzzle. We've already covered why your weight might not change but your body might shrink. The scales can only give you a reading of your current mass, it can't tell you WHY you weigh what you do.
So, of course, if the number on the scale isn't in your favour, you freak out. But I ate really well, I did all my exercise, I did all the right things, WHY GOD WHY?!
And then you go and eat your body weight in chocolate mud cake.
Or you get on the scales and the number makes you smile but last week you ate lard burgers with a side serving of lard and glued your butt to the sofa. So you eat an entire chocolate mud cake in celebration because the scales let you think you can get away with it.
We need to keep what the scales tell us in perspective. It's only one part of the total weight loss process and it is an uninformed part of that process. It's not the be all and end all.
Your bathroom scales are a tool. Understand that and understand their limitations.
Don't let them dictate how you feel about what you've achieved.
This has been another quality rant by Dr Tree™ - Making nutritional and fitness mistakes for 20 years so you don't have to.