Help! I am Afraid of My Scale
By Barb Brathwaite, RN MSN CS
It is hard enough to get up in the morning. To break the bonds of sleep and dreaming, to open your eyes to the bright sunlight to face another day of work and stress. And now, you venture into the bathroom and there it sits: the scale. You try to avoid it--forget it is even there, but still it haunts you. Every morning, it reminds you that the weight struggle continues and will continue until you decide that THE SCALE IS NOT YOUR ENEMY.
Take a minute to process that thought. The scale is not the keeper of bad news. It can be the bearer of good things--of accomplishments! It can be the teller of good tales! The scale is one of the many ways that allows you to measure your successes. It can speak of lack of weight gain, which in itself is an accomplishment. It can show weight loss, which is great. Or sometimes it can show weight gain, which can happen.
Don’t panic if there is weight gain, or lack of weight loss. This is not a failure or a catastrophe. It is simply a reading on a device meant to measure mass. It is not a judgement on you personally. Simply read the numbers on the scale and make your decisions for your daily eating based on all of the data that you see. Not just what the scale is telling you.
Other things to consider, how do your clothes fit? Are your clothes clinging in the wrong places? Feeling a bit too tight around the midsection? Or are they baggy in the hips where they once were very tight? This is important information. If the weight on the scale is the same, but your clothes are fitting differently, then you are changing your body contours. This is a success and you should be proud of yourself. Remember, muscle is denser than fat and takes up less space so you may be losing fat and maintaining or adding some muscle so the scale may actually stay the same yet, your clothes may be baggier.
Another thing to think about: How does everyone react to you? Do people tell you they think you look like you have lost weight? If so, then likely you have! The first place that you will start to notice weight loss is in the face, so if people compliment you and tell you that you look slimmer, accept it graciously! You are doing well with your weight loss plan. Regardless of whether the scale is moving or not.