I decided to do this "scale project" after hearing some of my friends and my clients complain about how much they weigh and how their weight fluctuates. I never quite understood this because I never weigh myself. I just never have - I never picked up that habit as a teenager. The only reason I use 157 lbs for the "starting weight" of my transformation is that is what I weighed when I was weighed for the first day of boot camp the summer I got serious (I randomly found the piece of paper with my weight and measurements on it). I actually do much better when I don't focus on any number - the scale, calories burned, calories consumed, macros, clothing size, measurements, etc.
P.S. Here's my post on How Getting Into Fitness Ruined My Body Image (you may want to read that one first).
WHY YOU SHOULD QUIT WEIGHING YOURSELF
We always receive emails and messages about people not losing weight even though they are eating healthy and working out.
WHY NOT TRUST THE SCALE?
Read much more about this below in our "Scale Project".
We always tell people to ditch the scale because it doesn't tell the whole story. You could be going up in weight but down in size because you are gaining muscle - which is a great thing! Did you eat something that you normally don't eat? Did you have an "off day" where you kind of got off track? Did you consume salty foods? You could be retaining water! If you insist on weighing yourself and you just aren't going to give up the scale, only weigh yourself once a week and make sure it's on the same day and at the same time each week!
WHY NOT TRUST MEASUREMENTS?
Because unless you have the same (experienced) person take them each time you will probably not get an accurate number, especially if you are trying to do it yourself. Most people do not measure in the same spot each time which can skew the numbers. If you must, we advise to only measure weekly at the MOST!
HOW DO I GAUGE MY PROGRESS IF I SHOULDN'T WEIGH OR MEASURE?
The most important way to gauge your results is by how you FEEL. Do you feel better? Do you have more energy? Are you proud of yourself for working out or eating healthy? Can you do a push-up? Can you walk/run faster, further, or longer than you used to? There has to be something NOT related to a number that you can be proud of!
You can also gauge your progress by pictures. Take them every four weeks! Another option is to try on an article of clothing that you know is a bit snug. Try it on every few weeks and see how it fits! Just wait...one day it will be falling off of you!
WHAT IF I AM NOT PROGRESSING AS QUICKLY AS I THINK I SHOULD BE?
Again, what are you using to measure your "progress"...is it a number or is it a feeling? You also must be honest with yourself. Are you really giving it your all during your workouts? Are you skipping workouts or exercises within the workouts? Are you cutting your session short? Are you truly eating healthy? Are you grazing off your co-worker's or children's plate?
MY SCALE PROJECT
So, against my own advice, as my own little "project", I weighed myself every day from February 17 - March 24. My plan was to weigh every day until my photoshoot (May 1) but mentally I couldn't handle it so I quit early. The stress it was causing me was unbearable. I started weighing myself weekly after March 24. I am proud to report that I haven't even stepped on the scale since May 2 (the morning after my photoshoot - before we left for our beach trip).
The week before I started this "project" I took this picture of myself and I was pretty pleased with it even though I was a little bloated from traveling. I'm not super lean in this picture - I had just returned from my trip to Miami where I spoke in front of 20,000 people. This was also after traveling to 3 different places over Scott's Christmas break and all of the holiday festivities. I knew I had some work to do just to get ready for this photoshoot but for "everyday" life, I was good with it. The Saturday BEFORE I started weighing myself every day I told Scott that my jeans were getting too big and I couldn't hold them up...Now, enter the scale...
I weighed myself on February 17, 2014. I started journaling my food, supplements, and water again preparing for my photoshoot. I weighed myself the next morning and had magically lost 1.4 lbs. Next day the scale went down again .4. But then on that 3rd day, it went up .6. The first week was a roller coaster ride, to say the least, but check out the chart below - overall I ended up losing 1.8 lbs. Keep in mind that I am weighing myself on the same scale at approximately the same time each morning. The graph below is pretty much how each week looked...up and down...up and down - taking me on a roller coaster of emotions.
I also journaled how I was feeling and what other people told me. The days that the scale went up were days that I was grumpy and unhappy. I said that the scale didn't affect me but that wasn't true. Even though I considered myself a strong person physically and mentally it still took control over me.
Thought: Why do we only "believe" the higher number on the scale?
Below is a graph of my overall weight throughout the entire time period...as you can see still the roller coaster up and downs.
I weighed myself daily but only took my measurements once a week. I found it very amusing when I graphed out my measurements and looked back at the numbers. Never ONCE did my measurements increase. Some weeks they would be the same as before but they didn't increase even as my weight did.
I love it - it's like my hips are saying "Nope...not gonna change anymore!". I have a really small waist and larger hips(which my small waist makes appear even larger). I used to hate this but I've learned to embrace it because I have an hourglass figure that most people don't have!
I obviously blocked out my stats because they don't matter. I don't want anyone comparing their stats to mine. But I will share with you how I did it.
HOW I DID IT
I basically did my own coaching program. About 4 weeks before the photo shoot I tried to focus on eating more whole foods and tried to get away from the multiple shakes a day and protein bars. I still had shakes and bars but not as many. I also tried to hit my gallon of water per day.
Then two weeks out I went to the Masters and the next day to California with Scott. Not an ideal situation when preparing for a photo shoot but it was an opportunity that I couldn't pass up. I packed as much food with me as I could. We made healthy choices for our meals but we also allowed ourselves a few treats. With traveling and hiking as much as we did I did eat protein shakes and bars on this trip. We also ate out at least once per day.
Once we got back from California I basically did my own 21-Day Jump Start but a shorter version. I followed everything that I outlined in this post. I switched to only whole foods and eliminated those that bloat me. The entire time leading up to the photoshoot I was doing the She Sweats Extreme workouts (there were a few workouts where I went back to the 12-Week Transformation since the photoshoot date kept changing).
I didn't live in the gym but I made sure to make my time in there count. The Extreme is just that - Extreme...which is why it's only 4 weeks. This consisted of me still lifting weights but circuit style with HIIT as my cardio. As many of you know, this is not the way I prefer to train on a normal basis so it's been awesome to be back to heavy lifting and incline cardio! As far as supplements, I used the supplements that I take on a daily basis (Daily Essentials Kit, CLA, Fish Oil) and added in a few extra towards the end. I'm picky about supplements though because most of those on the market are loaded with junk!
You can see in the picture below just how much change happens over the last few weeks!
I've said this numerous times but this year has been really rough for me body image-wise. With the rise of Instagram and "fitspirations" it's hard to not compare yourself to others. Almost every female that I speak with has some sort of body image issue. It doesn't matter if they weigh 120 lbs or 220 lbs. If they are a size 0, 4, or 22. This is a MAJOR issue that I see.
I try to be transparent and not only show the good but also the "bad". I'm not lean all the time. I usually vary in weight 5-7 lbs but always wear the same size clothes. It's not that I "quit living this lifestyle" for part of the year but it's just that sometimes I don't care about abs or lean legs. Sometimes all I care about is traveling, hiking, and living life.
I'm not going to sit back and tell you that you can drink and eat whatever you want and still be lean because I do not think that is the case but you can live this lifestyle, enjoy your life and still be healthy. You might not have a six-pack but who said that having a six-pack is healthy? Who defines that? To me, healthy is when you are eating healthy the majority of the time, staying active, and living life to the fullest. Don't get caught up in girls who post pictures of themselves partying and eating and drinking whatever they want and then the next 5 pictures are pictures of their abs. Everyone is different. There are different body types. Metabolism is different. People have different LIVES.
Do you work in an office but compare yourself to a trainer who is in the gym all day? You can't compare yourself to others - it's like comparing apples to oranges. You could have 2 people, same height, and starting weight, eat the same things each day, drink the same amount of water, workout the same each day and still get different results! I'm not telling you to come up with excuses for yourself but DO NOT compare yourself to others.
I feel like I bloat and hold onto water weight as soon as I eat something with too much salt or have too many treats but some people (because of their body type or a million other reasons) don't do this. You have to find out what works for YOU. This isn't a quick process. Maybe you can indulge in a treat a day and it doesn't have any effect on you. Maybe you can indulge in a treat per week or maybe just one per month to feel your best...just be patient with the process!
For the sake of your sanity, relationships, body image, and overall well-being - get rid of your scale!
If you insist on weighing yourself I would try to only weigh once a month and once a week - MAX!
I have been reading articles on the Miss Indiana stories and I LOVE this quote from her...I really can't say it any better:
You can’t worry about the girl standing next to you because you’ll never be that girl,” Diehl said. Your body is a gift and you have to love it and have that confidence because that’s the only thing you can do. You can’t worry about being somebody else,” she said. “You have to be yourself.
You May Also Be Interested In:
- How Getting Into Fitness Ruined My Body Image
- No Body Is Perfect: The Body Image Podcast
- 5 Ways to Break Through Negative Body Image
- 5 Things I Did (and Didn’t Do) to Achieve My Dream Body
- Build Up Your Confidence with Positive Thinking
- 5 Reasons to Wear a Swimsuit
- Social MEdia & the Fitness Industry