The Truth Teller and The Scale

This past week I have eaten very healthy meals, journaled my food, gone for 3 mile walks and worked out with weights (still working on my bat wings and they are improving) and I passed when offered some high calorie foods. So yesterday I approached the scale with enthusiasm to witness a new low! I stepped on the scale and the numbers flashed, settling on 138.8, that is a .2 gain from last week. I looked at the number and I really didn’t believe it. I felt thinner and I knew I had a great week behind me.

Even though the scale showed a slight gain I went ahead with my once a week try something on that has not fit to see how it fits this week. Much to my delight the brand new pair of carpi pants that were too tight to wear last week fit me perfectly!!! Cha Ching!!! Success! Regardless of the number on the scale, my body had gotten smaller since last week when I tried the same pair of capri pants on and they were too tight to wear. I cut the tags off those capri’s and wore them with pride!

Here was the evidence of a smaller body right in front of me as I looked in the mirror.I could have chosen to only gauge my progress and success by the number on the scale. If I had only looked to the scale yesterday I would have felt defeated, frustrated and I would look back at the past week wondering what did I do wrong? What do I need to do different? Why did this happen? Why don’t I see any result from my hard work and effort? My entire outlook could have been one of despair.

Since I don’t let the scale have all of the power I was able to move on and look at other measures of success. Which one do you think I should believe, the scale or the fact that I could now fit into and wear a pair of size 6 capri pants? For me the truth teller was the capri pants not the scale!

I didn’t always have a healthy outlook when it comes to getting on the scale. It use to be the only way I measured my weight loss success. When I was attending Weight Watchers that was the once a week “test” to measure how your week was. Since I have turned a corner and now concentrate on having a healthy lifestyle and doing things that are good for my overall health not just my weight or what size jeans I wear, it has taken the focus off the number on the scale.

The number on the scale measures everything, muscle, fat, bones, organs, food and water. It does not discern  between muscle and fat. You can be getting smaller with out it being reflected on the scale. If you are losing inches through cardio by losing fat and increasing your muscle mass by doing strength training you might even show a gain on the scale even though your body is getting smaller. So that number on the scale is not a good indication of how healthy you are. There are many factors that need to be included to determine your over all health. There are plenty of skinny people who are not healthy.You need to know what your body composition is, to help determine your over all health. I have never had a body fat test done but that would be a good number to know.

What are some other ways to measure your health and wellness success.

How your clothes fit. Once a week I shop my closet working my way through a pile of clothes to see how they fit. It is so rewarding to wear something new, even if it is from your own closet.

Rings, watches and bracelets. Are they getting loose, too big, do you need to get them resized? (Yes I do.)

Belts, moving over a notch. ( I don’t wear belts, but guys usually do)

Fitness, is it easier to walk, run, climb the stairs. Are you increasing your speed, distance and endurance? (Yes, yes and yes)

Measurements, are you losing inches. (I didn’t take my measurements, wish I had, but I can see the difference)

Strength, are you getting stronger, is it easier to lift a case of bottled water (yes it is!), lift your kids, scrub the floors, run the vacuum cleaner? (Yes)

Thighs, when you are standing can you see light between your inner thighs? (I will need to check on that one and get back to you!)

Food, are you eating healthy food in appropriate portions? Are you choosing healthy foods over high calorie processed foods? Is it getting easier to eat healthy? (Yes, Yes, Yes)

Are you getting compliments from friends and family who have noticed the life style changes and the changes in your appearance? (Yes)

Do you feel better emotionally and physically? (Yes, Yes)

Are you moving more and sitting less? (Yes)

If  getting on the scale is causing you pain and frustration then put it away! Learn to measure your success in other ways. You just might be missing out on the health benefits and your real progress by focusing on a number.

What  about your own truth tellers? Will you share some of your non-scale victories?

Believing the truth tellers and making peace with the scale.


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  1. karen@fitnessjourney says:

    I wish everyone would get on board with your way of thinking. The two things that stuck out most here were how you feel and what you can do physically. What good would it be losing weight if you still had difficulty walking up stairs or got breathless taking a walk?

    I like the way you think Tami! There are still so many who use the scale alone to determine their success. It’s so much more fun fitting into cute clothes as a way of determining how far we’ve come!

  2. Helen says:

    This is a prime example of why we cannot base what we do (or eat!) on our “feelings.” Feelings can backfire! You just have to try to do the right things most of the time and find the definition of your progress in other ways.

  3. WaistingTime says:

    This is a fabulous post and I hope lots of people read it and take it to heart. I am also trying to take my power back from the darn scale. Not let it control my emotions.

  4. to dream the KIMpossible dream says:

    Amen for your post! It is so true that the scale is often not the best reflection of our hard work and dedication – it can drive a girl nuts!

    One of the coolest things for me was that I had taken a hiatus from the elliptical – focusing mostly on running outdoors. I went back to the elliptical and intensity 10 which was soooo hard for me before was all the sudden a walk in the park – now that is a true testament!

    Thanks for finding my blog! I will be reading yours, as well! Good job getting in those capris – can’t even imagine a size 6 – just got into a size 16! =)

    Kim =)

  5. JourneyBeyondSurvival says:

    I am so glad you tried on those capris! Great job!!!

    I am currently maintaining a steady weight during a very difficult time that has been so stressful.

  6. Amanda says:

    Great job! And great that the capris fit! That happened to me from last year to this year. I bought capri’s without trying them on. When I got home, I couldn’t get them up past my hips! I thought about giving them to someone or returning them but never did. This year, they went right up and aren’t even tight at the waist! It really puts things into perspective!

    Great job on a great week.

  7. Marisa (Loser for Life) says:

    I love this post, Tami! I give WAY to much power to the scale! Lately, I have been completely avoiding it because I feel on-track and I don’t want it to tell me otherwise. I am going to adopt your fabulous idea of trying something on once a week instead! LOVE IT!

  8. Corletta Brown says:

    Hey there!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I appreciate your reading it as well as your sweet comment. I am now a follower of your blog! I loved your post! Because I am tall and have a good bit of muscle, I always weigh heavier than I’d like. It was not until I, too, realized that a scale is not always accurate on my progressing figure. I have learned to focus much less on the number it presents! Thanks for the reminder.

  9. Tish says:

    Fabulous post, Tami. You’re so right about the scale. You’ve got to consider other factors too to accurately judge your progress. I love your list. I’m going to print it out. As to the capris, Yay you! I love “closet shopping.” I have a habit of buying things that are slightly too small for me, so I have lots to try on. Also, as I read your list, I noticed that I’m flipping my wedding & engagement rings–a sure sign my fingers are getting in shape! I’ll be back.

  10. Lesia Davis says:

    I could not have said it better. TY for coming to my blog and inviting me to yours. I like the way you write and thin. I look forward in following your blog. I don’t want to be a slave to the scale or tracking or meetings. I hope after I reach my goal I would have learned the necessary skills to be free again. I am so excited that you fit in your small capris. Congrats..smile.

  11. Leslie says:

    What a fantastic post Tami…very inspiring and sensible. Thank goodness you tried on those capris! You have clearly done a lot of work on getting your head and your heart into synch when it comes to self evaluation. You didn’t let the scale undo your good feeling that you’d had a great week.
    I’m loving your points of view.

  12. Sarah says:

    Totally agree! It’s hard to change your mind about the numbers on the scale. Since I’ve started a regular running routine and fruit/vegetable eating regiment,I’ve actually gained about four pounds.

    But I feel good. And I know I am eating the right amount. Really that’s all that matters.

  13. Jody - Fit at 52 says:

    YES! Love this! I use the scale & clothes… as the scale can be a finicky creature! 🙂 Sometimes the weight is good but the clothes fit tight & sometimes the weight is bad & the clothes fit great! Ya just never know so.. and I do think how your clothes are fitting is a better barometer as that tells all!

    NSV… every day in the gym that I pound those weights & keep the muscle on! It is harder as we age! 🙂

  14. Mimi says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love to hear from folks who actually followed the 1970’s WW plan. I admire you so much! So glad you are following along for my journey!

    Love your blog, I’ll be checking back!!! Also–Those chicken nuggets in your last post look AWESOME, by the way!

  15. Genie@dietof51 says:

    Overall, when I can get dressed faster to go anywhere. Means I don’t have to change ten times because something is too tight or doesn’t look right….

    This is an excellent post and congrats on the size 6 capris!

  16. Carla says:

    What a great post! I really love your attitude. The hard work pays off sometimes in less obvious ways!

  17. Brightside-Susan says:

    I agree that the scale is not the best measure of our sucess, and neither is the size tag in the clothing. I have clothes that range through many sizes. If it looks good – who cares what the tag reads?

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  18. SG says:

    i love this post! i would DEFINITELY believe those size 6 capris! and if i EVER see light between my thighs…i think i might just throw my scale out the window 🙂

  1. Fun With Fruit — Loser For Life says:

    […] Blogger:  Tami at Nutmeg Notebook had a great post today about measuring your success by more than the scale.  I loved her tip […]

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