Losing Motivation? Say no to the scale!

Here’s how you can stay strong and motivated without stepping on a scale regularly:

Remember that your journey to a healthier life is a marathon, not a sprint. Changes from day to day are practically meaningless and incredibly difficult to quantify, so go with changes over a longer period of time.   Weigh yourself once a month or every other week to make sure you’re trending in the right direction.  If it’s weekly, make sure you weigh yourself at the same time of the day, wearing the same type of clothing.  Remove as many of the variables as possible to make your reading accurate.  And even then, don’t put too much stock into it.

Look at your body composition rather than your weight. I try to take a picture of myself every month or so, giving me the chance to compare how I look.  You can also buy a body fat caliper (I use this one) or tape measure to keep track how your body is adjusting.  Just make sure you’re taking your measurements in the same places on your body at the same time of day.  If you’re taking photos, take a straight-on photo and a profile photo.

Set goals that are not weight-oriented. Say you want to do 15 push ups, run a half marathon, and/or do a pull up.  With your mind focused on a strength building or endurance goal, you won’t have to worry so much about a dumb scale.  If you can only do 5 push ups now but next month you can do 15, you definitely got stronger, but you probably also lost some fat.

Keep a journal. I know plenty of 170-pound people who are out of shape and 250-pound people who are incredibly healthy.  How do you FEEL this month compared to last month?  Maybe you can now run around the track without stopping, you don’t get winded going up and down stairs, and you can give your kids a piggy back ride without being out of commission for days afterward.  Keep track of your energy levels, your conditioning, and your overall well-being.  It’s time to say “SCREW THE SCALE!”

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