The scale! A place where motivation dies and negative self-talk begins. Why are we so attached to this number? How is it that we can feel great and one simple number ruins our day? Read on to know how you say…
“Screw you scale! I am a freaking Bombshell!”
First and foremost: know that your current weight does NOT reflect your progress.
Here are a few of the factors that can affect weight even though you are doing everything right:
- Sodium Intake – Increase in sodium intake without adequate hydration can promote water retention to offset the increased load. (The body is very very picky when it comes to electrolytes)
- Changes in body composition – “Muscle weighs more than fat” I’m sure you have heard this one before and it is accurate. Your weight may be reflecting some muscle gains.
- Changes in sleep or lack of sleep – Lack of sleep causes increased levels of Cortisol (known as the stress hormone) Cortisol also causes water retention.
- Bowel Movements – Or lack thereof. Constipation can most definitely affect your weight.
- Fiber intake – Fiber pulls water into the GI (totally normal and necessary for healthy bowel movements.) Changes in fiber intake can cause weight changes.
- Inflammation – Numerous factors can increase inflammation. It is important to take necessary rest, stretch, warm-up, eat the right foods, and hydrate to avoid/lessen inflammation. If you believe inflammation to be food-related; eliminate only one food at a time to better isolate the cause.
- Alcohol – Drinking alcohol also affects hydration status. May affect water retention and changes in weight. It is important to stay hydrated when enjoying alcoholic beverages.
- Hormonal Changes – You probably know this one. Each month your weight may do some crazy things around that time of the month. If you track your weight and want to make sure you’re making progress, I recommend you compare your weeks rather than simply days.
Now that we looked at what may be affecting your weight, it is time to talk about healing your relationship with the scale:
- Have non-weight related goals:
There are so many goals you could have rather than the number on the scale. Dig a little deeper, there is something MUCH greater that you’re wanting! And I guarantee you, a compelling goal requires less will power. An amazing goal will evoke a “whatever it takes” mentality! That attitude will take the focus off the scale and lead to greater RESULTS.
- Take progress pictures:
Compare your pictures! And don’t forget your back pics. We all lose weight differently; the front may not tell the whole story.
- Be Curious:
Once you get to a place where you can look at your weight objectively, be your own science experiment! I find it fascinating to see what weight does depending on what we eat, monthly cycle, and stress. Keep a weight chart and write down your weight and whatever happened the day before or during the week (i.e: sushi night, period week, work deadline stress, poor sleep).
- Take Averages:
Taking a single weight in the week can be misleading. Again, if and ONLY if you can look at your weight objectively, it is helpful to weigh yourself daily and take a weekly average. Comparing averages can give you a better understanding of how your weight is trending. Daily weight changes are expected and completely normal, a trend tells the tale.
- DON’T weigh yourself:
f whatever you do you still can’t disconnect from the emotion attached to that number, then don’t do it! Try this, tape a piece of paper over the screen. On it write whatever you want! Your goal weight or a phrase; “bombshell”, “healthy”, “stronger”, “unstoppable”, etc. Change it every week to keep your brain aware of the changes you are making. Soon you will heal that relationship with the scale, be kind to yourself and give it time.
Weight is simply a measure of the downward gravitational pull. Stop attaching emotion to a number. Learn to look at it objectively, get curious about what causes your weight to change, and finally remove the idea that a number is your ultimate goal.