My most recent scale reading means…
My plan is working, My plan is not working, I’m making good progress, My progress is to slow, I must have followed my plan perfectly, I must have strayed from my plan, I will be down X pounds by (insert date here), I will never hit my goal, I’m retaining water, I am a good person, I am a bad person, I am a horrible person, The battery must be low or this scale is broken!
“To track my progress” – Ok I get this one, you want to see progress. However, the big problem here is that we create linear goals. We’ve all done it; “I want to lose 50 pounds in 1 year”. Somehow that translates into “I should be losing 2 pounds every week”. So now you need to measure yourself every week to see if you are “on track”. Weight loss doesn’t work that way; in fact it’s more like a curved line, taking longer and longer to lose weight as you get closer to your goal. You don’t really need a scale to measure progress, when you walk down the street and your pants fall down because they are too loose, you will have your progress report.
“It motivates me” – Oh, I see, daily losses and gains of 0.2 pounds sounds really motivating. How motivated are you when you suddenly gain 2 unexplained pounds over the week. If anything I think the scale becomes a de-motivator. The sad part is that all too often our gains and losses on a daily and weekly basis fluctuate due to a variety of factors. We all have played the game before, have you ever started your diet weighing in in the evening only to have your first weigh-in in the morning? Or how about starving yourself the day before the weigh-in just so you can be motivated by that number the next day (or just so you can hopefully break even and somehow salvage a bad week). Wouldn’t it be more motivating to see 25 pounds lost after 2 months? It’s harder to game the system when you spread those weigh-ins out. Wouldn’t it be more motivating knowing that you had the confidence in your abilities to stick it out for a month or two without weighing in?
All About the Number