Friday, March 20, 2009

Weight Loss Proof: Look Beyond the Scale

Amanda Wicker is a weight-loss success story having dropped 130 pounds using diet and exercise. While I put much more emphasis on change your thought patterns to achieve in permanent weight loss, I agree with the points she brought up this month about looking at other measures of success beyond the scale.

Amanda admits that she has at times given the number on the scale too much power--a very common occurrence! I once was as addicted to the number on the scale as I was to food--often getting on it 3 or more times in a day. And that doesn't count the times I got on and off, moving the scale a few inches trying to find the "sweet spot" on the bathroom floor!

If you are going to weigh yourself, do so no more frequently than once a week. Anything more often doesn't accurately reflect "real" weight loss and can be demoralizing or lead us to false conclusions about what does or does not work for us.

So if you have reached a plateau or sure to use gauges other than the number on the scale to bolster you during your weight loss journey--and for the rest of your life!

Some suggestions from Amanda are:
  • Make a list of non-scale victories...I fit into my skinny jeans; I exercised 2 days in a row; I passed up the sweets at the office and didn't miss them; I drank more than my minimum in water today; I went for a walk when I was having a desire to eat that was totally emotional--and it helped! You can keep this in your food journal or a separate document. When you write these victories down say them aloud and express gratitude for that win!
  • Use a tape measure and take your measurements once a month. Keep a record so you see the progress. Include the basic chest/bust, waist and hips...but also measure thighs, calves, upper arms, neck. One of my big surprises is the necklaces that I can wear now that I thought were tiny before! (Hey--there's another non-scale victory!)
  • Track your body fat percentage. This is a better indicator of fat dropped which is what we really want to achieve...muscle does weigh more than fat.
  • Check to see if you clothes fit better or if you could go to a smaller size.
  • Are you able to exercise longer, harder with less effort?

I'll add to that, check in with yourself and see how you feel...physically, mentally and emotionally...are you feeling stronger, more in control, better about yourself and the choices you are making, empowered to live better...when you are improving your feelings you will be improving your body size, too!

Above all, keep up the good work! You are doing great! Certainly don't give away your power to change your life--not to another person and certainly not to a box called "the scale"!

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