by Stephanie M. Cyr-Engro
How many times have you heard, “It’s not about the number on the scale?” -it really isn’t. The scale has only one purpose, to determine how much you weigh. It doesn’t determine how you feel, how your clothes are fitting and how many inches you’ve lost or gained. Granted they have the scales that can calculate your body fat percentage, but are they entirely accurate?
At a young age, we’re taught by society, that we have to look a certain way or weigh a certain amount determined by medical professionals, with very little or no guidance at all in regards to how to maintain a healthy weight or fitness standards. Then there’s the fad diets that promise to help you lose weight fast or diet pills. What I’ve learned over the years is that dieting, diet pills, starving your body and all of the quick fixes for losing weight are not sustainable. Yes, you may lose ten pounds and feel great because you see the number on the scale move from the right to the left, but do you really feel great? Then once you stop, you notice you gain double the amount you lost. That is why I say: It’s not always about getting the right number. It’s about getting the proper nutrition and feeling great…
I’m 5’4 and currently weigh 135 pounds, which is a healthy weight for my age and height. So, what if I told you, two months ago, I weighed 146 pounds? If you saw me, you wouldn’t think so, but just hearing the number 146, you automatically assume, “Wow!”
I was doing heavy weight training to gear up for an upcoming fitness competition, which in turn builds muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat. Therefore, leading to weight gain. However, my clothes didn’t fit that much different from before I started my heavy weight training routine. I still ate the same, 6-7 small meals, plenty of water and supplements.
So if I’m not using a scale to determine if I’m losing weight, what do I use?
- Take a selfie! Yes…I said take a selfie…this will give you a before look. Before eating clean and starting a new exercise regimen. Take a selfie every week there after and voila, you can see your progress. This can help motivate and also help you see the problem areas you’d want to focus on.
- Use your clothes to gauge your weight. During your journey to eat clean and exercise on a normal basis, pay attention to how your clothes are fitting. Do you notice the waste or thighs in your pants are getting loose? Do you notice your shirts are fitting differently?
- Focus on your energy levels. When you start eating clean and stay away from processed foods that contain large amounts of sugar and sodium, you actually feel differently and the bloating in your abdominal region decreases.
- Changes in your skin. Believe it or not, when you start to eat clean and consume the proper amounts of water, you’ll notice a change in your skin.
- So, if you happen to get on the scale and you don’t see the numbers moving, take out some measuring tape. . Measure your bust, waist and hips to determine how many inches you’re losing. Actually seeing that your waist line is shrinking most times is more rewarding than seeing the numbers on a scale fluctuate.
Stephanie M. Cyr-Engro is a graduate of Political Science from the University of Rhode Island and mother of one child. She has competed in Miss Hawaiian Tropic Nationals, WBFF and Fitness Universe. Five and half months post baby she competed in Fitness Universe and won second place. She does not have a trainer nor is she a certified trainer/nutritionist. She writes based off of life experience and what has and has not worked for herself over the past nine years.