Today I want to talk to you about something I speak about every single day in my practice and that is using bathroom scales as a measure for weight loss/fat loss and how it can set you up for feelings of failure and ultimately the head space of yo yo dieting, or all or nothing.
I have created a video for you to watch below or you can read on below the video.
There are times where I am feeding back to the client that they have lost centimetres around their middle and my body composition machine is measuring fluid gain and muscle gain which all adds up on the scale but, because we have been programmed to define our success by a shiny instrument (mine are black) on the floor that spits out these often random numbers one morning it is way down, the next it is a gain and then the following day a gain despite exercising and eating well.
And, what about when you move it across the bathroom and it spits out a different weight because of the floor.
Now, surely you couldn’t have gained or lost weight in a matter of seconds.!!!!
The client literally goes quiet and I can see them cogging in their head, I can feel it as I see their whole state change and as they go within and tell themselves horrible stories of not good enough, stories of defeat and why does this body thing constantly elude me.
They have not taken in any of these stats that I am sharing with them about how they have basically nailed it and they have more or less shut down any ability to see any other possibility other than, they haven’t lost any weight…
The highest number of water gain for one of my clients that I have seen to date in the clinic was 3 litres prior to her menstrual cycle and prior to her working with me she was unaware of this. Now as women we all kind of know that we may retain some fluid…. but 3 kilos!!!
So let me share with you how this used to play out for her prior to her not knowing this.
She used to sabotage her health in the week leading up to her period where by the way its totally normal to be a little more hungry around your period due to your hormones so rather than restricting and depriving yourself you are way better off to work with your appetite in a way that serves your health goals and fat loss goals.
So she used to pretty much binge eat with chocolate and Ben and Jerrys’ because of the underlying feelings of not getting anywhere, and that sense of hopelessness from putting in all of this effort with no return.
And in turn the impact this had on her body confidence and the internal voice telling her all sort of versions of not good enough and then she would lose momentum and ultimately it would end up in a plateau or even a small amount of weight gain.
She would tell me how she used to beat herself up and tell herself that she was fat, lazy, undisciplined, unattractive, lacking willpower all because of this number on the scale on the floor.
This always breaks my heart when clients share this with me.
Attaching your self worth and confidence to a random number on a machine on the floor that is most likely inaccurate can really dis-empower you and if you are doing it first thing in the morning it can… if you let it… effect your emotional state so much that it has a knock on effect to how you show up through your day because of this niggling feeling and head trash about how you can’t seem to get anywhere with your weight loss.
Your amazing body is way more than a random number on the scale. It is made up of muscle, water, bones (your skeleton), your organs, and fat.
As you start to increase your weight bearing exercise and as you strengthen and shape your muscles you develop this lean muscle density that provides shape and firmness to your overall body and so as this happens you may only change slightly on the scales but yet you are shedding centimetres off your waist and your fitting into the next size down.
Here are some of the reasons why your weight may go up and down on the scales:
-A recent trip on a plane. The tin can in the sky can literally add on a few temporary kilos due to water retention.
-Low thyroid function
-Constipation (yes believe it or not you can retain a few kilos of waste)
-Increased muscle mass
And here’s the thing…
in the early days as you are highly motivated and making all of these adjustments with great enthusiasm you may not see much change as you will only lose 500gm to 3 kilos a week if you are eating for your metabolism rather than dieting.
What I mean by this is by switching on your fat burning furnace rather than calorie counting it may take a couple of weeks before you notice anything substantial.
And this is why many people give up.
Because they aren’t yet seeing a number they like on the scale and their internal dialogue can literally set them up for throwing the towel in.
So I am begging you stop defining your success by a random number on the scale.
You definitely need to keep a measure to know whether you are on track or not. Because there is nothing more soul destroying than thinking you are moving in the right direction, and you are making all of these positive changes only to wake up in that future point of time and nothing has changed.
Here is what to do instead.
- Take a photo
- Take measurements like your waist and hip.
- Try an item of clothing on that is the next size down and then use that as your measure.
Ultimately we embark on a fat loss goal because we want to feel good and lets face it so we can feel better in our clothes.
You can’t body shame yourself into a leaner, more energetic you.
Well you can….
but it will be a gruelling process that you won’t enjoy because you will be in the mindset of dieting, and restricting and going without. And having to cut things out and not allowing forbidden “bad” foods.
This will lead to sabotage in the long run. Or getting to all the way you want to get to but you haven’t changed your internal dialogue about who you are in your body and so you end up right back where you were and then for some even heavier.
So focus on how you are feeling if you want to achieve lasting results.
When you are eating well for your metabolism and moving your body you will begin to notice more energy, more clarity, better mood, more confidence and self esteem because you are doing something for yourself, improving fitness and shape and as you notice all of these changes also start to notice the effect it is having on the quality of your relationships with your family and loved ones and notice how you are more effective at your work.
Keep focusing on this and how you are literally transforming your body right before your very eyes and that is the direction you will head in.
And I promise you, you will feel liberated and back in control.
So, make a pact with yourself today to not define who you are anymore by a lousy number on an inaccurate machine on the floor.
If you know now is your time to finally lose the weight once and for all so you don’t have it hanging over your head anymore and you know that you need support through the process then take my team up on their free initial consultation where they can show you what is exactly making the weight up on the scale and what will be the best process for you to get the lasting change.
FOUNDER OF VITALISE WELLNESS, A COMPANY DEDICATED TO PROVIDING PREVENTATIVE HEALTH CARE TO THE COMMUNITY.