I’m almost at a milestone – 25 pounds lost. Almost. Just half a pound to go and then another 35 pounds to go.
Yes, you read that right. Another 35 pounds to go. It’s amazing to me how much weight I’ve gained and lost over the nearly twenty years that I’ve battled with my weight. But I try not to think about that, or about the big number I’m still facing. I’ve been trying to think of that number in smaller increments, happy about each and every pound. Ecstatic as I move from one size to a lower one.
As for the scale, we all understand that to know the pounds lost (presumably the measure of your success) you need to get on the scale.
That can be daunting for many reasons. There’s always that sense that the scale is like a pinball machine and the moment you set yourself on it, it’ll light up and start flashing TILT, TILT, TILT accompanied by an assortment of bells and whistles to add to your misery.
For those of you too young to have played much pinball, think of it as GAME OVER.
The truth of it is, getting on the scale can tilt your sense of accomplishment in a negative way. It can frustrate you to the point that the game, namely losing weight and getting healthier, is over. So here’s some suggestions (and mind you, it’s tough for me to keep to them sometimes, too!) for keeping positive:
1. Try not to get on the scale every day.
2. Try not to make your major weigh-in on a Monday. Weekends are killers for most people and a weight gain or lack of weight loss on Monday morning — TILT, TILT, GAME OVER.
3. Don’t rely on just the scale to judge the success factor of what you’re doing.
The last is probably one of the most important of the suggestions. Why? If you’re doing any kind of exercise (which you should be in order to improve your circulation and muscle tone), you will be building muscle. Muscle is heavier than fat. Muscle is leaner than fat. Muscle burns more calories in a resting state, so muscle is very very good.
If you’re building muscle, the scale may not move much, but your body will look and feel different. You will feel better and stronger.
So how do you gauge your success while you’re busy building muscle? You can measure yourself. Upper arms, chest, waist, hips, upper thighs. Think of the inches lost versus just the pounds.
Yes, all the measuring is tough so what else can you do? Pick a pair of pants that are tight on you, but not turn-your-legs-blue-because-they’ve-cut-off-the-circulation tight.
Use them as your measuring stick. At the end of the week, do they feel looser? After two weeks, how do they feel?
When they fit just fine, find another pair of tight pants in the next size down. Keep this going until you are back in the pants you wanted to wear.
Right now, I’ve left the tight size fourteens and am in a snug pair of size tens. My goal is to rid myself of the muffin top and spillover and move down yet another size. I want to keep on going with this until I am back to where I was nearly a decade ago — approaching a size 6.
Will that also equal losing the next 35 pounds? Who knows? As I exercise and try to improve the strength of my body, it may turn out that those 35 pounds aren’t the measure of my success anymore, but rather, how I look and feel!
The thing about using this kind of approach is that it is more truthful than the scale. It acknowledges that your body is changing for the good as you eat better and exercise. It also reminds you that it’s not going to happen in a day, but as those pants become a little looser each week, it should hopefully give you the boost you need to realize that you are succeeding!
Hope this little tip helps you join the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Pants! Have any suggestions of your own?