Report: Weigh-in date Friday, August 3, 2012. Weight 280.5. Down 3.0. Total loss at the end of eleven weeks, 19.5 pounds. WOOO HOOO! Lost three pounds!! Too bad that’s not typical, but it’s nice to see once in a while.
“Eat Less + Move More = Weight Loss”
Ok, after eleven weeks of more success than not, I’d say we’ve proven the validity of the weight loss equation. I’ve talked about eating less. I’ve talked about moving more. The only part of the equation we haven’t touched is the result, “weight loss.” Maybe it’s time.
There are a lot of factors involved to the right of the equals sign. For example, there is the weigh-in. I don’t know anyone who likes to step on the scale. The scale is a Medusa that turns the human body to stone at the touch of a foot, and we all know how much stone weighs.
The scale is a harsh taskmaster, especially to those of us who need to lose. The secret to the scale is the same as the secret to eating less and moving more – consistency. Nothing works for everyone, but here are the rules I follow for weigh-ins and they work for me:
- Have a dependable scale. I have a doctors’ scale with weights that slide. I ordered it through Amazon and it wasn’t even all that expensive. I like this type of scale because before I step on it I can look at the weight bars and see that they are balancing dead center with the weights on zero. I feel that is as close to accurate as I’m going to get. Whatever type of scale you use, it might be a good idea to test its accuracy with a known quantity, such as a five or ten pound bag of sugar.
- Weigh-in once each week. Don’t do it more than once, and don’t do it less. Weighing once each week is best for showing how your true weight is trending. Weigh more often and the results can be too influenced by things like fluid retention. It can be artificially discouraging. Skipping weeks can make you lose track of whether what you are doing is working.
- Weigh-in the same day and the same time each week. We all know we don’t weigh the same in the late afternoon as compared to first thing in the morning (my preferred time). I like to weigh-in on Fridays because I’ve usually been very good about my eating and exercise Monday through Thursday. My son prefers Mondays, don’t ask me why. The point is it doesn’t matter which day and time you choose as long as it is close to the same each week.
- Weigh-in wearing the same thing each week. Whether fully clothed or wearing nothing, it is important to be the same each week. You don’t want to artificially inflate or limit your weight loss. My diet buddies and I prefer to weigh-in “dry”, meaning first thing in the morning, wearing nothing, and after a visit to the bathroom. Women are famous for this. The problem is, what do you do when you have to get weighed at the doctor’s office? I always know which of my clothes weighs the least, and I have a special outfit for just such occasions.
- Measure twice, record once. Much like a good carpenter who measures twice before cutting once; I weigh-in, get off the scale, check it for accuracy again, and then reweigh. I do this especially if it says I have lost weight. I want to be sure I’m reading the result accurately.
The weigh-in can be a miserable experience, especially at first. It’s almost like a self-imposed 12-step program. The first step is always admitting you have a problem. Getting on the scale the first time is that first step, at least it was for me. I always knew I had a weight problem, but getting on the scale was me making that commitment to correct it.
So, don’t be afraid to confront the Medusa. Look that monster right in the display and let it know who’s boss!
Until next week….