Do you dread getting on the scale? Is checking your weight the only metric you're using to track your progress? Are you embarrassed to tell people exactly what you weigh? I've seen my own body change, develop, strengthen, and shrink and watched the scale do some pretty odd things in the midst of all that. Here are some reminders of the 5 things the scale cannot tell you.
Scales do not tell you anything about body composition. This is me after my first round of Insanity and dropping 2 sizes. The crazy thing? The weight difference between this photo and when this dress fit properly is all of 10 pounds. BMI and weight are based solely on your mass and it's relationship with gravity. How much you weigh does not reflect what your body is composed of. It doesn't tell you anything about height, muscle, or fat. Now, at a new body composition, I can still fluctuate 10 pounds (i.e. get back up to my pre-Insanity weight) and still fit in my smaller clothes. There is so much more to weight than just skinny or fat. Be sure you're tracking measurements as well as weight so you can see when you're body is shrinking even if the scale is barely budging.
Scales do not tell you when you gain desirable size. Depending on what your goals are, there may be a point in which gaining weight is actually what you want! We're in a world that often praises weight loss, but if you want a tight midsection, toned arms, strong legs, and a lifted booty, chances are you need to gain muscle! When I was in high school I gained 15 pounds seemingly overnight when I switched from a back to a base in cheerleading (for my non-cheer friends, that means I went from mostly helping to catch the girl in the air to lifting her). I nearly lost my mind with the weight gain, but it was pure leg and booty muscle that I gained and now I wouldn't trade that for the world!
Scales do not tell you what your body can do. I firmly believe that the biggest benefit of regular exercise is developing an appreciation for what your body can DO as opposed to just how it looks. But the scale doesn't tell you how many burpees you can do in a minute or how many miles you can run without stopping. Growing up, I used to begrudge the girls I cheered with who were smaller than me but struggled with the warm up laps we ran. It always seemed to me that if I was fitter than someone I should be thinner than them. I hope that if you believe this right now you start working on changing that thought. There is so much that goes into what makes your body the way it is. If you're active and eat well, you will be healthy. The pounds on the scale are just one small indicator of the larger picture of your health.
Scales do not tell you what your overall health is. While it is true that there are a lot of common health complications that come with being obese, being slim or "skinny" do not necessarily ensure good health. There are people who may feel they could use to lose 20 pounds but are still very healthy because of how they care for their bodies, and there are people who are very lean who have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Focus on your health first, and the scale will settle where it should for your body.
Scales do not tell you anything about your character. You are so much more than a number on a scale! You have emotions and thoughts and aspirations. You should judge yourself and your value as a person more on how you behave and how you treat others, not based on the number on a scale. We all have our ups and downs and some of us will always struggle a bit more with weight than others, but nothing about a number on a scale defines us as people. Self love can be a long, arduous journey, but it is one worth taking, and the first step might simply be stepping off the scale.
I'm Amanda K; lover of fitness, sweets, veggies, adventure, travel, and happiness.