[Lisa] The numbers, they don’t lie or do they? Maybe you are like me; you begin a fitness/diet program and expect because you weigh xxx (fill in your own number) the weight should come flying off in the beginning. You prepare for your first weigh-in; it should go without saying that you only get on the scale, naked, first-thing-in the morning, having shaved, removed all jewelry and having trimmed your nails. You certainly don't want any of those things weighing you down.
You gingerly step on the scale, if you see a number you are happy with, "Woo-Hoo," if not – throw scale out the window, buy a new one and repeat weigh-in steps in seven days. Losing weight has never been easy for me. No matter what I do, it comes off painfully slow. The scale, for many of us, is the measure of success. Are there other things that even matter?
[Mike] There are certainly many ways aside from the scale to measure your success. I'll get to that in moment but before I do I want to share the following text message I received from Lisa the other night just before going to bed (yes, I do field messages from clients at all times of the day because like a doctor, I'm always on call).
If I weren't doing this blog I so would have had ice cream right now.
That's what I call leverage! Having something hanging over your head—a consequence—that forces you to stay on track. I cannot stress the importance of having leverage which is why I dedicated a huge section to it in my book.
Back to the scale...or backing off if you can't handle the truth (any Jack Nicholoson fans?). What we're talking about here is measuring progress. You need an objective means of determining whether or not the the actions you are taking are moving you towards your goals. There are numerous ways to measure progress. You can go by how your clothes fit, a tape measure, pictures, the mirror, skin fold calipers or a body composition (bioimpedence) testing machine. You don't necessarily need to use the scale but it is a quick and easy way to track your progress.
What you need to know about stepping on the scale is that your weight can fluctuate day to day even if your caloric intake is the same due to changes in your total body water. These changes in water weight are influenced by your sodium, carb and water intake. With that in mind, take your daily weight changes with a grain of salt and use your average weekly weight to track to your progress.