I hate the scale. When I think about stepping on the scale my palms get clammy and my anxiety peaks. It’s a Pavlovian response. I see a scale and immediately conjure up all those visits at the doctors over the years. The nurses say “Okay now get on the scale,” and I say, “But shouldn’t I take my shoes off?” They say, “No.” I say, “K but I’ll just take them off.” The scale is a scary thing for many of us because society has taught us we damn well better be terrified of it. But why? Why can’t we just use it as a helpful tool? Why can’t the scale be like a friendly buddy that’s keeping an eye out for us? Today we’re talking about how the scale can be your friend, but maybe not your bestie. How to lose weight with consistency, not stress.
The last time I weighed myself was maybe a year ago. Longer? I don’t know. I hate the thing [we know, Megan]. Just for a little back story, I have weighed less than I do now and over 50 pounds more than I do now. I know weight fluctuations intimately. These days, following the Prescribe Nutrition Protocol, and knowing an eating pattern that works best for my body, my weight is pretty much at a ‘happy point’ for my body. It’s very easy for me to gain weight and not so easy for me to lose weight, so if/when I’m not watching things closely, I likely fluctuate about 8lbs. Whatever, c’est la vie.
About a month ago I decided to do a check-in. Why? Because I’m 35 and my body is changing [psst to all you twenty-somethings – give your metabolism a big hug and a kiss now because it’s not hanging around forever]. But I digress. I decided to check-in and see where things we’re at. I was on the lower end of that 8 pound fluctuation. Booya! Then I had a wild weekend [wild for a girl who likes to be in bed by midnight], weighed myself 3 days later and was 6.5 pounds heavier.
You know the emoji where the eyes are wide and bugging out of the head? That was me. But I calmed down, realized I would likely de-bloat once I atoned for my weekend sins and carried on. I had to coach myself on all the things I coach others on: weight is a myriad of factors. Food is one, but so is muscle mass, hormones, food sensitivities, water bloat, dehydration…it’s a puzzle. For example, weigh yourself when you’re hungover and you’ll do a jig because you’re light as a feather…why? You’re dehydrated, calm down it won’t last. So I had a wild thought and decided to a little science project and weigh myself relatively regularly for ~4 weeks and report my findings.
Here’s a snapshot of what the following weeks looked like. No, I’m not telling you my actual weight because a) it doesn’t matter and b) come on give me a break. Disclaimer: discussing menstrual cycles because it matters.
And there you have it. The wild ride of my weight in a one month period. Interesting that that 8 pound fluctuation is nearly accounted for in just one month.
- Are you a weekend warrior? Yeah I get that. Here’s the thing: my lil weekend fiesta caused a dramatic change in weight in just 3 days. Is that a big deal? Of course not. But if you are the type of person who regularly eats angelic M-F and whatever the hell you want S-S, you should know that you may be setting yourself up to fail if you are actively trying to lose weight.
- Consistency is key. If your weight is stuck, you really do need to make a commitment to sticking with clean eating on a daily basis. If you’re an all or nothing type person who has trouble with small indulgences here or there, then don’t try to do it alone. Consider signing up for Prescribe 20. Why? Because when you truly commit to 20 days without any distractions or slips, you wake up to all the small things that end up making a big difference in day to day life. It quite literally helps you re-define the way you eat [coupon code below!]
- Weight is more than just food. Do you know how many times I’ve heard people say they gained weight after picking up a kick-butt spinning practice? That ol’ muscle weight more than fat thing is true, so keep that in mind when you are hating on the scale. You legitimately may be fitter/healthier.
- Digestion matters. Slow system? Well, believe it or not, that stuff will show up on the scale. Gross, I know, I know – but all the more reason to eat in a way that keeps your system regular.
- As a woman hormones play a massive role. Having a strong understanding of your cycle is important! If you don’t know much about your cycle, take some to learn. All the ladies at PN use an app to track their cycles [there are tons but I like Period Tracker] – you’ll begin to know when you ovulate, when to expect PMS [if you have] and your period – all things that can temporarily increase weight. You can take it a step further by tracking your temperature which helps accurately pinpoint menstrual phases.
- Weigh yourself at the same time / same timing of month. You will be heavier at night then you are at the morning, and for ladies you will be heavier the first day of your period than you will on the last. If you want an accurate view of where you’re at, keep those things in mind.
Finally, make an attempt to re-frame your relationship with the scale. If you’re scared of it, don’t be. It doesn’t define you, not one cinchy bit. If you’re obsessed with it and it causes stress, take a little breather from getting on it every day. Think of her as a very straightforward friend, but who doesn’t have an awesome sense of humor. Like you’re glad you know her, but she’s not that fun to chill with all the time. You dig?