Friday, February 10, 2012

Why the Scale Isn't Everything...

In having a conversation with a friend tonight who recently began her weight loss journey, we were discussing the scale and I was complaining that I have been in the 180s forEVER!  I also complained this morning to my friend Meggan, and earlier this week to my friend Beth.

I'm sure my friends are sick and tired of hearing me complain about it.  In the interest of keeping said friends, I've been trying to readjust my mindset about it.

The scale is important in that you should weigh within a certain "range."  Is it the antiquated BMI range?  Not necessarily.  But you probably have your own healthy weight you are reaching for and that's good (your doctor can help establish it too if they aren't so fuddy-duddy and BMI-chart-gospel).  That's why I only have the main "scale" goal to lose weight in increments and I only record my weight weekly, sometimes bi-weekly if I have an off week or its my bloat week...but my other goals involve overall health, like my BMI, body fat %, healthy eating, and athletic endeavors.

I'm working into understanding and fully owning that I cannot focus so much on the scale as it has been consuming me lately (pun intended).

The most frustrating part about the scale, is that it might not move, but then my clothes show a difference and I can see a difference in the mirror!

I began the 180s as a solid size 14.  I am now a size 12, and can fit into several items (dresses and jeans) that are size 10.  So while I've been in the 180s for 6 month (geez already, right?) I am still shrinking physically.

If you've been following my blog, you know that I recently began a new workout schedule.  Still running several days a week, but have begun focusing on other endurance sports like Boot Camp and Zumba.  Both of these activities are making me train my upper body in a way I almost never have consistently since I am a runner primarily, especially Boot Camp.  I have seen a visible difference in my chest, back and arms in just a few weeks! 


1) At Zumba on Wednesday night, I caught a glimpse of myself when I had my arms in the air and was jumping - I did a double take and decided the glass must be messed up as I looked slender!  Then I saw the woman to my right and her reflection was exact. 

2) Wearing my size 10 jeans on a date with my husband.

3) Putting on a size 10 dress and rocking it (below).

4) Someone gasping when I mentioned being overweight and saying, "You are SO not overweight."  And it wasn't a "friend" who might feel they needed to say it - lol.

5) My good friend tonight commented on the same; she said she has seen my shape change drastically in the last 6 months.

So while I am not settling for staying in the 180s forever, I am realizing that I might not have 20 more pounds of FAT to lose that won't be replaced, in some part, by MUSCLE.  GASP.  What if I end up in the 170s at 5'6?  Preposterous!  Well, if my body fat percentage ends up being below 25% then the BMI chart can take a long stroll of a short pier!

Not to mention changing the landscape of your body takes time.  I should know.

I'm not losing this weight quickly; I never have.  And I think that is part of why I don't have a bunch of skin leftover, especially with my muscle development.  I'm excited that I likely will never have to have a skin removal surgery to get my body to look how I want it to.

Because I'm not trying to be bone thin.  I'm working on being fit, strong, and I'm totally fine with having fabulous muscles.  Not necessarily body builder looking, but I'm good with some toned arms and legs, and I'd like my stomach to be as flat as possible (giving up on concave, ok?).  Oh, and for my butt and my thighs to have a clear beginning and end.  :)

It helps that I don't "look" like I weigh 180 something.  People tell me that all the time when I share my weight (part of why I don't mind sharing my number - ha!). What do you think?

So if the scale hasn't been your friend lately, don't stress too much about it, ok?  As long as you are working hard and feeling stronger, your body WILL change with time IF your nutrition is on point as well.  I posted a recent link to my facebook page to an article about "malnubesity" which is a sort of made up term about people who eat small amounts of crappy food (i.e. fried, sugary, white flour, etc.) and even though their caloric intake may be low, they will not lose weight as they are nutrient starved.  Think about WHAT you are eating...and of course, how much, but WHAT is almost more vital to begin with to be sure you are getting the nutrition you need.

I'm down to 30% body fat.  I started at 56% body fat!  I've almost cut that in half.  I'm incredibly proud of that, and happy.  Averages online say between 25-31% is considered average.  I'd like to get below 25% into the "fitness" range. 

I'm excited to check my body fat % a month from now when I've been at this new crazy workout schedule for 6 weeks.  No matter what the scale says then, if that number changes, and my size continues to shrink, I will be a HAPPY girl.

Find your happy in something OTHER than the scale this week, ok?  My happy in the form of yet another non-scale victory came yesterday when I ran my 2 miles in the morning after a crazy workout schedule the night before and my legs felt STRONG not tired.

Make friends with your scale weekly if you must, but don't let a daily step up create a meltdown in your mood or routine.  Celebrate those "non-scale" victories, like wearing that new dress finally, zipping up the next size down jeans, realizing your legs don't rub together like they used to.  They are many if you'll pay attention to more than just the number.  Keep on keeping on!

I plan to! 



Anne said...

It's funny how proud you can be of someone you have never met. :) I'm so happy for you that you have been so successful on your journey! Thanks again for sharing!

ClaraB said...

AWWW Thanks Anne! One of these days we need to change that! :)

Anne said...

That would be fun! If you ever find yourself in the NW... Or if we ever make it down (you're in Florida?) to the SE... :)

ClaraB said...

yes! I'm in FL/South Alabama. Where in the NW are you? I'm California bound in a few weeks. Hey, email me at clarablitch at