Are you obsessed with your weight? Do you weigh yourself on a daily basis or close to it? If you do – STOP! Success is not measured solely by the numbers on a scale. Does the scale have any role in helping you reach your goals? Yes, but it is just one of many tools you can use to measure success. Unfortunately, it is probably one of the least helpful tools.
If you think you have a weight obsessed personality, here are better ways to measure your progress:
LOOK IN THE MIRROR.
Do you look better? Sometimes it can be difficult to notice small changes in the mirror because we see ourselves so frequently. But it can be one of the easiest and most gratifying measurement tools.
USE A TAPE MEASURE
Measure yourself with a MyoTape body tape measure. Measure the circumference of your waist, hips, arms, legs, and chest.
USE BODY FAT CALIPERS.
Take skin-fold measurements on your abs, obliques, triceps, back, legs, and chest. If these numbers are getting smaller on a weekly basis, you know you’re losing fat. All you need is a pair of body fat callipers to get the job done. Then read about how to take body fat measurements.
TAKE PROGRESS PICTURES.
Snapping some photos every couple of weeks under the same lighting is a great way to notice changes. Those small changes are much more noticeable when you have before and after pictures side by side on your computer.
THE SCALE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND
The reason a scale is not a good measuring tool is because your weight might not be going down, but you can still be losing fat. This happens when you both lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. In other words, it does not measure body composition, which is more important than weight. For example, somebody who is 180lbs at 20% body fat carries 36lbs of fat. Let’s pretend that after months of working out he weighs himself again, but this time he’s still 180lbs. The scale would seem to suggest that he just wasted months of hard work because he didn’t lose any weight. What the scale doesn’t show you is that his body fat percentage dropped to 15%. So now he’s only carrying 30lbs of fat on him. That’s a loss of 6lbs of fat and a gain of 6lbs of muscle! Having that additional information is enough to take you from discouragement from seeing no weight change to encouragement now that you know your hard work is paying off. Don’t become obsessed with weight. It is only one of many tools you can use to measure your progress with. Stay off the scale and give one or more of the alternate measuring techniques a try.