When's the last time you stepped onto a scale? Maybe it was last week, last night, or perhaps you're one of those people who've already stepped on it twice before you've even had your morning coffee. Why is it that a number can dictate SO much about how you feel and what you think about yourself? Well friends (and those of you who are just here to see how terrible of a writer I am), I have made the decision to "screw the scale" and stop living my life based on a silly number. I can think of numerous occasions where I've stepped onto the scale, thought to myself "no way is that right" and stepped right back on, only to find that nothing had changed in the point two seconds I waited in between "weigh-ins." Why are we so focused on seeing a certain number, when what we should really be focusing on is experiencing a certain feeling. A "Dayyyum, I look good in this outfit" feeling. It's time to stop basing your goals and life around being a certain weight and instead base them off of that feeling that you'll get when you try on your old prom or wedding dress and can actually zipper it the whole way up again or better yet, realize that it's now loose on you! I know what you are thinking, how are you going to measure your progress if you don't have the number on the scale to go off of? Here are a few tips and ideas for you as you officially call it quits with your scale.
1. Get your extremely truthful friend to act as your mirror
You know that one friend that isn't afraid to say it like it is? The friend that will tell you if you are acting like a complete idiot over a guy/girl or who will tell you if the outfit you are wearing is horrendous? That's the one you are looking for! Ask your very truthful friend to act as your mirror for you. He/She can give you an honest opinion about how you look (without sugar coating it). Remember, don't get angry with your friend if he/she tells you that you look the same as you did a month ago or that you look a little bloated after a weekend of eating cheese and drinking wine (it happens)! If you are sitting there thinking "well, I don't think I have a friend like that," Newsflash...it's because that friend is YOU. Consider using one of the other methods below.
2. Self Assessment
This way of measuring your progress is not for everyone. If you know you can look at yourself in the mirror and give an honest, accurate assessment of your body, then using this method will work wonderfully for you. Those of you who are very in tune with your body will likely find this to be a simple method to determine your progress. However, if you have body dismorphia or are very self-critical, please choose one of the other methods to measure your progress as this method can do more harm than good.
3. How you Feel
Who knows you better than you know yourself? Yes, that is a trick question. You know yourself better than anybody or anything (including your scale). So ask yourself...How is my energy level? Am I happy or moody? How's my confidence level? Am I experiencing any physical symptoms (headaches, bloating, irritable, etc)? Pay close attention to the way you feel, as more often than not, this is a good indicator of your progress. *One of my personal favorite methods*
4. Picture Tracking
Some of us love taking pictures (#selfie) and some of us absolutely despise being in front of a camera. For the latter of the two, no need to worry, they now make self timer apps on your phone, so you won't have to awkwardly ask your significant other to take a photo of you in your bathing suit or bra and underwear. Picture tracking can be a good measurement of your progress, however it shouldn't be done every single day. You need to give your body time to change and also give your mind time to process the changes that your body is going through. Every two weeks take a picture of your body (front side, back side, side angle, whatever floats your boat) to track your progress. Then, put your old photo from the previous two weeks next to it to compare. Note: Try to wear similiar clothing in each photo to get a more accurate idea of your progress.
5. Clothing Test
A very simple, yet effective method is the clothing test. Personally, I don't have to step on a scale to know that my button may pop off my jeans at any moment or to realize I've been avoiding jeans all together and am on my sixth day in a row of wearing leggings. "Are leggings proper wedding attire?" Let's face it, clothes don't lie, but sometimes we do. "I must've shrunk it in the dryer" or "this brand runs small." Dig into your closet, get out your favorite pair of jeans (no stretchie jeans, we want to be honest with ourselves) and the same shirt and every one to two weeks slip them on and see how they fit. Are they getting looser? Good...you are doing something right! Keep it up!
6. Fitness Progress
Take a look at your fitness level! Are you able to perform an exercise you weren't previously able to do..."I just nailed that chaturanga!" Do you get less winded during your workout or even performing every day tasks, such as walking up the stairs? Are you able to lift more weight or take less breaks during your workout..."I only had to take 6 waterbreaks instead of 8 today!" These are all good indicators that you are making progress and to keep on going!
As you continue on your fitness journey, I hope that you'll "screw the scale" and try out one or more of the methods I described above and remember... focus on the feeling, not on the number!