This show has related to so many people, but Steve and Tasha’s episode seemed to really hit home with so many moms who’s battled the scale for a long time, and who have put their family before their own health. It was a show about priorities and perseverance. Today, I want to address the mental battle of the weekly weigh-ins – and ups and downs of the whole weight-loss process. More than the physical work and dieting, the real fight is in our head.
First, let’s talk about the scale. On this journey, and on most people’s weight loss journey, there is the issue of that darn evil scale. Steve and Tasha weighed in every Monday – and the scale proved to be very mentally challenging. While weekly weigh-ins are fantastic accountability, they can mess with your head. Between water weight fluctuations, that time of the month and other variables, the scale can beat you up sometimes.
I am writing this blog to encourage you. One, to encourage you to keep weighing in even if you hate it and, two, to learn how to understand the scale, the process and your body (and your mind!).
More Than A Number
“It’s not just about hitting a mark on a scale.” – Steve Pfiester
In some ways, I had to laugh at Steve’s comment about it not just being about the mark on the scale. Weight loss is ALL about the number on the scale. If we are doing everything right, we WILL eventually see it reflected on the scale. The scale is the best way to track progress.
However, since Steve and Tasha had a lot to lose in a little time (and everyone across the nation would be watching), there was a lot of additional pressure about that darn number. The number became the focus instead of the original goal, which was for Tasha to be the mother and wife she needed to be for her family.
Isn’t that how it always works? We start a diet and workout program for one reason. Whether it’s to get fit, to fight a health issue or to be a better parent, we quickly forget why we started and get fixated on that stupid number.
Getting Past the Number
For Tasha, one of her worst weigh-ins was the one she brought her whole family to see – and she “only” lost 3 pounds. She had been seeing such big numbers on the scale and had a feeling this one was going to be really big one, but was disappointed at the 3-pound loss (when 3 pounds in one week is AMAZING by the way!). That stupid number crushed her – and she’s not alone. Most people have experienced this same disappointment before.
Like Steve said, “you feel like your work should have equaled this weight. Well, life’s not like that.” Isn’t that the truth? We bust our butt dieting, training and doing all we can do to have a good weigh-in, and sometimes we don’t get the payoff we want to see on the scale when we expect to see it – and we feel so defeated. The key to not letting it beat us is to refocus and stay the course.
This is when our mind will lie to us and convince us we are a failure if we let it. We have to regroup, refocus and think about why we started, look at how far we’ve come and look at where we are headed if we don’t stop.
For Tasha, Steve reminded her of her “why” (and possibly why she may have failed in the past).
“For you to be who you need to be for all the other little people in this house, you need to do some things for yourself. And you I just want to get it in your head that that’s not selfish. I think that it’s from the guilt of investing in yourself, but you can’t let that guilt become an excuse for you to not take care of yourself.” – Steve Pfiester
5 Tips To Beat The Scale
Can I encourage you right now to change the way you view the scale? If you want to beat the scale, you have to know how to fight it.
1. Commit to weekly weigh-ins and track your results. Many people avoid the scale because they don’t like what they see. Just because we don’t look at the number on the scale doesn’t mean the weight isn’t there. We need that reminder of what is really going on with our body. We need the accountability. I like weighing in on Mondays so I am accountable for what I eat over the weekend. Post your weekly results somewhere visible to others for even more accountability. Whether you put your weight changes into your LoseIt app or you jot them down on a calendar at your house, you need some kind of accountability – even if it’s just sharing them with a close friend.
2. Don’t expect weight loss to be in a straight line. Weight loss doesn’t go down in a perfect sloping line. Women can fluctuate 3-7 pounds during their cycle, and there are many other variables. Muscle weight fluctuates depending on what you eat and how you train. Even our bowls can hold several pounds of waste and fluid, throwing off our scale. The bottom line is, there are many variables that can mask progress.
3. Take a closer look. If you did have a bad weigh-in, don’t completely blow it off. While some people beat themselves up for a bad weigh-in, there are others who use muscle gain or other variables as an excuse for their lack of weight loss. While you can gain some muscle weight (3-5lbs average) when starting a fitness program, the weight on the scale should eventually start going down. Muscle gain normally happens at the beginning of a program, but it levels off – and the fat loss will eventually outweigh the muscle gain. So, don’t use these variables as excuses not to check your program. Always take a closer look at your diet and look for possible mistakes. Sometimes it may be a missing day of logging or it is a high-calorie food you missed. Whatever the case, always take a closer look at what you are doing just to make sure you aren’t making mistakes that are preventing progress.
4. Refocus. Once you have done everything you can to make sure you aren’t making mistakes, then you chalk it up to one bad weigh-in and you refocus your energy on your “why”. Remember, you didn’t start this for a magic number. You did this to improve. Have you improved since you started? If you have done it for any length of time, I’m guessing that answer is yes. Do you still want to reach the goal you set when you started? Of course you do. Once you weigh-in, step off the scale and leave the number on the scale behind. This is your LIFE, not a number. You are doing this to make improvements, not perfection. No matter what the scale says, you are becoming healthier and better every single day you keep on keeping on!
5. Don’t get sad, get mad. Tasha used her failure as fuel. Instead of letting the scale beat her up, she used the scale to pump her up – and it worked every time. Instead of diving into a bowl of ice cream in self-pity, she ramped up her intensity even more. A bad weigh-in actually can be very good for a trainer and client because it holds them accountable. Sometimes, a good weigh-in results in the client slacking off. However, a bad weigh-in reminds us to tighten the reins and work a little harder. Plan NOW how you will respond the next time you have a bad weigh-in. Will you go for a long run. Will you fast or change your diet? You WILL have a bad weigh-in from time to time. Be prepared for it and be ready to fight with all you have.
Click HERE to learn more about the program Tasha followed to lose weight.
Steve & Tasha Talk About Weekly Weigh-Ins