Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Scale power

Weight loss is all about mind over matter. There are all kinds of plans you can have but in the end it's a mental game. You have to train your mind to not eat the bad stuff. Your body can handle it just fine. There are lots of good, whole foods you can eat that will keep you feeling full. It's not your body that's the problem. It's your mind.

Using the scale is part of the mental game. It is the one empirical measure we use when it comes to weight loss. The problem with that is the human body is complex. It's like an ocean. It ebbs, it flows, it swells, it wanes. This is why giving the scale too much power can be a very bad thing for your mental health. Yet, it is not easy to distribute that power because the scale is the Grand Poobah of weight loss tools. But, it is not the only tool. Just as you need a hammer to hammer a nail you don't use a hammer to float grout. I suppose you could try. It would be way hard.

Another, more important (imho), tool is your clothing. How do your clothes fit? How is your body changing and how does that relate to your clothes. Are your jeans a little bit easier to put on after they've just come from the dryer? Do your shirts hang a little bit more? And then there's real biggie, do you need to buy new clothes because your old clothes are simply getting too big?

The scale is important. It is a very good measure, but it's not the only measure and the power it has over our emotions should be knocked down a peg or two. You're not on a diet. You're on a mission to change the way you think. Approaching every day with the mental attitude that you will eat right and get some exercise is akin to teaching the man to fish. This may be hard to sustain when you do all the right things but see the scale move up. Don't be dismayed, how do you even know that's a pound of fat? It could be a pound of water.

Taking off the weight is actually the easy part. Keeping the weight off is the hard part and when you get to that point, you'll be glad you've trained yourself to eat right and exercise because that's what you'll need to stay at healthy weight for the rest of your life.


tiff said...

Man, I feel so READY now - truly!

Thanks for posting this wonderful reminder.

the only daughter said...

I've felt the same about scales. At times, I've found them totally counter-productive to my ultimate goals.

Yes, a tool. One of a few.

and yes, thanks for the thoughful reminder.

db grin said...

Good points.

I was prescribed 'Body for Life' by my doctor many ages ago, and regrettably loaned it out (read: donated it) to a friend. I need to get another copy, because it echoed the same idea - there's no one-time hurrah that works in the long term.

rennratt said...

Another great book (for science and perspective) is You: On a Diet.

If you read it for the logical side, it's quite effective.