Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What the Scale Does Not Say...

Like many women, I have a love/hate relationship with my scale...
I love it when it shows me numbers I want to see, specifically those that are smaller than the ones I saw on it the last time I made the scales acquaintance. Descending numbers only, please.

I hate it when it does any and everything else: stagnant numbers, ascending numbers, calling my name and calling me names every time I walk into the bathroom. This is the case six out of seven days of the week.

True story: While in my last year at Drew, I had to politely ask my roommates to remove the scales from public spaces in our apartment. Like many women, I can be a bit obsessive when it comes to getting on a scale. I would get on the bathroom scale, daily. I would get on my Wii scale daily. I would get on the scale by the hall closet, daily. In other words, I was torturing myself, daily. If and when the scale said something other than what I thought it should, my entire day was ruined. It seemed crazy, I'm sure, however both of my roommates gracefully granted my request. I am still grateful to them for it.

Dr. Ian Smith, in his book, "The 4 Day Diet" writes, "There are several measures when it comes to weight loss, but we often get too stuck on a number. Please don't get me wrong. Yes, the pounds reflected on the scale make a difference, but there are other ways to measure your progress."

What you say? Other ways to what?

"The size of the clothing that you fit into can sometimes be the first sign that you are losing weight...Basing success strictly on the number on the scale is not taking into account the true complexity of body transformation."

Amen, Dr. Ian. Amen!

Like today, when I put on my black pencil skirt that I had banished to the back of the closet and it fell just right on my body. The last time I tried to wear this skirt it was way too tight. Today, however, the skirt told a story that this morning's conversation with the scale did not. Even now, I am wearing a pair of black pumps (that had been just slightly uncomfortable around my instep because I had picked up a few pounds) that feel like a dream. These shoes have not felt this good in a long time. Indications of success that did not come from a scale...

All that is to say, if you are on this journey to Praying Away the Pounds, and the scale does not tell you what you want to hear, seek a second opinion! Try on a skirt or pair of pants that were a little snug before. Check in with your body: Can you walk farther and faster than you used to? Can you do more reps of your strength training exercises? Do you have increased energy throughout the day? Or better yet, keep on keeping on simply because this journey to weight loss is not about the numbers on the scale, but is all about glorying God in our bodies. The scale may not encourage you today, but eventually it will!!!


  1. Why? Oh why! Oh why are you speaking to me?!! There are many times that I get caught up on what the scale says. The scale doesn't tell the whole story. It doesn’t say that I can run faster/further. It doesn't say that my pants are saggy in the legs, thighs and butt. The scale is not the "be all end all" to my journey.

  2. that is so true about the scale, even though my scale says i am heaver than i have ever been i am still wearing smaller clothes than i have ever worn, so i would say the scale is a liar. one should not get on the scale every day it can be very disappointing.