Sometimes, in spite of our best efforts, the numbers on the scale don’t budge. Or–God forbid!–they go in the wrong direction. There are lots of reasons that can happen, but I know my weight can vary as much as four pounds without doing anything “bad.” We retain water, our digestive system slows down, or we’ve started new medications. The dangerous thing is when we allow the scale to mess with our brain. Down? Great! Maybe I can have pie. Up? What’s the use? I give up. Let’s have pie. See?
Ups and downs are part of the journey. Even people at healthy weights fluctuate day-to-day. It just happens. And while I can’t keep the scale’s roller coaster from happening, perhaps I can help with the emotional roller-coaster.
- First, if you find yourself obsessing over the scale, weigh yourself less often, like once a week. And always at the same time of day. Or do as one friend does and hide the scale entirely. She trusts the process–eating what she should and exercising–to get the job done.
- Take your measurements. If you are exercising and building muscle, your body is changing. You may see inches disappear without an appreciable loss on the scale.
- Pay attention to how your clothes fit. Can you button those pants now? Can you wear your rings again?
- How do you feel? Can you walk for 30 minutes now? Can you climb stairs without getting winded? Tie your shoes? Cross your legs? Touch your toes? Do your hips and knees hurt less? All of those are signs of progress.
- You look great! Compliments are always a mood-lifter. Be gracious and thank the giver of the compliment.
- Remember how far you’ve come and what good habits you’re developing. Give yourself a little credit!
Good health is a journey, not merely a destination. There will be ups and downs along the way. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward.