We’ve all heard that we are worth more than the number we see on the scale – and that is absolutely true. However, for many of us, that number can still carry some weight. I no longer own a scale. I simply cannot have one in the house.
Why I Threw Out My Scale
With my personality, I can get slightly obsessed with the numbers. There were many days that I would be having a great day thinking I was cute and looking good. Then, I would step on the scale, see a higher number than I thought would appear, and start a tailspin into negative self-talk that had me concluding I was fat and not good enough.
The crazy part was that all of this madness could start from a difference on the scale as little as half a pound. A half-pound! Eight stinking ounces! You know what weighs a half-pound? Water weight, some big bling, or a good bowel movement. Seriously, I know that a half-pound is insignificant, but back in the day I would let that number determine if I was going to have a good or bad day.
10 Signs Your Scale Is Telling You Lies
While I no longer own a scale or worry as much about weight (unless we’re talking deadlifts), I know it can be hard to acknowledge you’re doing the right things on your journey towards health, if the scale isn’t backing you up. Here’s a list of reminders that you are on the right track, even if the scale isn’t budging.
1. Your Dishwasher and Silverware Drawer Look Different
When I was eating more processed foods I had no problem eating a bowl, or three, of cereal for dinner. This led to a dishwasher full of bowls and a silverware drawer devoid of spoons. Now that I’m eating more whole foods, my meals are more balanced and the dishwasher now boasts a mix of plates, bowls, spoons, and forks. It’s almost like I finally grew up.
2. Your Clothes-Drying Rack Is Overflowing
During a week when I’ve skipped workouts, my drying rack can be fairly barren. However, when I’m hitting all my scheduled workouts I have to double up on some of the arms of my drying rack. I love walking into the garage and seeing a full rack. It brings me a sense of accomplishment.
3. You’re Setting Personal Records
Whether it’s your run times dropping or your max snatch increasing, when you are working out consistently, you are bound to set new records.
4. Your Clothes Are Fitting Better
Disappointed with the number on the scale, but you’ve been honest with your nutrition and hitting all your workouts? Go ahead and pull that dress out from the back of the closet and give it a go. You might be surprised. Your belt size could be changing, too, so have a hammer and nail handy just in case you need to add extra holes.
5. You’re Gaining Muscle Definition
If you’ve added strength training into your routine and aren’t seeing a change on the scale, don’t worry. We all know that muscle is denser than fat, so you might be smaller even though you weigh the same. So go ahead, flex your guns and admire your new biceps or stand on your tippy toes and check out your calves. It is okay to be proud of the hard work you are putting in.
6. If You’re Lifting, Your Vascularity Has Increased
That means your veins will be more prominent due to a reduction of subcutaneous fat. This one’s definitely a personal preference as to whether you think this it’s a good or bad thing – but I personally think it’s pretty cool.
7. Your Bank Account Has Grown
This happens because you’re prepping more food and eating more meals at home. Before I realized how important nutrition was, I would eat lunches out with co-workers four or five days per week. Now I do a huge food preparation session on Sundays and pack my lunches almost every day.
Typical work day lunch and snack.
During my food-prep frenzy, I also prepare enough food to cover most of my dinners. This saves me from giving in to Chipotle (mmm, Chipotle) when I’m headed home from the gym at 8:00pm. On average I was spending ten dollars per meal when I ate out. Now, over the course of a week, I save about eighty to a hundred dollars in comparison. That savings gives me a lot of wiggle room to buy some high-quality groceries.
8. You’ve Become More Confident
When you are taking care of yourself you feel better about yourself and like yourself more. This can come through in the way you carry yourself. Maybe you’re walking more erect with your head high and willing to make eye contact with people. Or maybe your confidence comes through in putting yourself first. This could include asking for the office space you deserve or telling someone “no” when you don’t want to do something.
9. Your Social Circle Has Changed
I’ve got great, non-gym friends, but the more time I spend at the gym and working out with the people there, the more those sweat buddies become my fit fam. It makes sense given the similar interest and the fact that everyone is willing to consider a hard workout a fun Friday night out.
10. Other People Are Noticing Changes in You
This could be a change in your attitude or a change in your appearance. When you’re working out regularly, your confidence increases and with all those endorphins bouncing around you’re bound to be a happier person. People will notice, and appreciate, that change.
People will also start to take note of physical changes. When we look in the mirror day after day we can overlook all of the minor changes taking place. But friends and coworkers who aren’t studying us as closely as we do ourselves will notice that your pants are getting a little baggy or that you’re now willing to wear short-sleeved shirts. Go ahead and start practicing accepting compliments now.
Weighing ourselves as a way to measure progress has been drilled into us for years. While it can be an indicator of a changing body, it does not need to be the sole dictator of our happiness. You have to be honest with yourself about your nutrition and the work you’re putting in, but if you are on point with those factors and not seeing a change in the numbers, don’t let it discourage you or change your self-worth.
Part of our journey towards being healthy is being kind to ourselves. So find another way to measure your progress and embrace the changes you’re making.
Photos 1&4 courtesy of Shutterstock.