Friday, June 5, 2009

The Numbers Game

Greetings and salutations my friends! I've gotten some recent e-mails and messages through Facebook about, you guessed it, that number on the scales: Why is it going up, why have I plateaued, why isn't it dropping as quickly as it should?. Let me tell you...I understand your pain, but we need to look at a few things here.
That number on the scale isn't the end all be all to weight loss. In fact, that number on the scale can oftentimes do more to hurt your efforts at weight loss than it can to help. Oh sure, when the numbers drop each week, we're elated and it helps boost our motivation. But what happens when it doesn't work that way? After a week of busting our butts, do we simply quit when we don't lose a number on the scale? I know of more than one person who simply gave up exercising and eating right after 2, 3, 4, 8 weeks because they didn't meet the 'magic number' that they had in their head. Come on and I both know that there's more to being healthy than a scale, and is that scale SO powerful that it's going to allow you to quit and not meet your goals?
My advice is to ditch the scale. Put it in the linen closet, put it somewhere out of reach so you're not tempted to just take a peak. Instead, look at the other fantastic ways your body is showing you that you're making strides towards your goals. Do your clothes fit loser? Do you look more toned in the mirror? Have you lost the double chin? Do your biceps no longer wave in the breeze when your hands are in the air? How about that muffin top? Gone yet? Take pictures of yourself every 30 days and put them side by side. What changes do you see? If you've been taking your fitness and nutrition seriously, I know without a doubt that you will see progress.
When I first started my cycle of P90X in April, I was elated with the scale. I dropped about 10 pounds that first 30 days, but when I compared my day 1 to day 30 pictures, I wasn't as elated; I really didn't look that different. At day 60, I only lost another 4 pounds, and I'll be honest, got a little discouraged, but when I looked at my side by side pictures from day 30 to 60, the difference was HUGE! The layer of blubber from my middle was gone, the muffin top missing, and arms with definition. HUGE changes, not on the scale, but in inches and pant's sizes (even though I weigh more now than I did when I met my husband, I'm a full pant's size smaller!). Even yesterday, as I was walking the dogs and got caught in a rainstorm, I ran home 3/4 of a mile. Not ONCE did my shorts ride up my inner thighs! Now THAT is progress.
It's time to get to work...keep working hard at it, push the play button (on an exercise DVD, silly), go for a run, push the kids in the stroller, do something to get your body moving and your heartrate up. But do NOT get yourself stuck in the rut of staring at the scale. Need some help? Just join my fitness team here with a free account and I'll be more than happy to help you along the way. If you need me to come over and throw out your scale, I'll be more than happy to do that for you as well!

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