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The Deceiving Scale

Posted Sep 21 2009 4:52pm

scale I must admit, over the last few months I have not been working out as often as I should.  I had been doing some cardio (okay, a little cardio ) but really got out of the habit of being consistent and stopped lifting weights.

About a month ago, I started to notice a change in my body (not for the better) and decided to get back to exercising more regularly and doing some light weights.

Back to Business

So a month ago I stepped back into the gym to get back to business.

That first day I weighed myself.  Though I usually measure my weight by how my clothes fit, I wanted to get a reality check of where my body was.

I wasn’t too shocked by the number (I HAD gained some weight) and wanted to be a few pounds lighter.

Okay, I don’t really need to lose weight (I’m at a healthy range) but as I get older I’ve noticed it’s not as easy as it once was to stay at my weight.  (And yes it’s true, I guess I was eating ice cream a few too many times!).  And I noticed my clothes getting just a bit snug.

Consistency

Since that day at the gym 4 weeks go I’ve been really consistent in my cardio and weight routine.  Though there have been days when I didn’t want to go, I just visualized where I wanted to be and knew the only way to get there was to put in the effort.

Taking The BIG Step

Yesterday was the one month mark and when I was at the gym I couldn’t help but notice the scale.  I hadn’t weighed myself since that day 4 weeks ago.

So I got on the scale, saw the number and freaked out!    “What?  Four weeks of consistent weights and cardio …and that’s it? “ I was down by only one pound.  One freaking pound.

What the heck was going on?  Hmm, maybe it’s due to my eating and food intake?

Food Does Matter

I’ve been eating quite healthy (with the occasional treat…hey, one has to live!) and as food and weight-loss is my business, I know not to “fool myself” and can honestly say I have been eating really well.  With the summer bounty of fruits and vegetables, it’s been easier than during the winter.

But my “freaking out” lasted only about 2 minutes.  I gained my composure, took a sip of water, and tried to stay “zen.”  I didn’t want that bad feeling to ruin my workout.

Reality Check

Then I remembered that muscle weighs MORE than fat.  And I have been gaining muscle.  My clothes are fitting better, and when I put my hand on my hip I can feel it’s tighter and more firm.

I also remembered the first time I lifted weights a few years ago.  I lost a couple of pounds, then put on a few.  I remembered how worried I was that I was doing it all wrong.  But I kept it up — I continued to eat healthy, get enough cardio, and stuck with my weight routine.  Within a few months I was down a size, and clothes that were tight now fit perfectly.  So I remembered that.

So yesterday when I weighed myself and saw I only lost one pound, I gave myself a reality check:   I’ve been feeling really great, sleeping better, my clothes are fitting better, and I can see my body is a bit firmer.  Besides, I’m also able to stay on the cardio machines (treadmill, elliptical, etc) for longer and at a higher pace.

AND it was a reality check of what my clients sometimes go through.

You see, when we start exercising and eating better our bodies will start to lose weight, but then we’ll hit a bit of a plateau.  Our bodies are getting used to the change, and if we’re doing enough (and the right kind) of cardio, we’re also building muscle.

It’s Only A Number

So though I freaked out a bit by the number on the scale, I realized it’s just that:  a number.

I’m looking better, sleeping better, and feeling better and THAT’S what matters.

Have you had any times when you freaked out over the number on the scale — even though you knew you were doing all the right things?

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