How often have you heard of someone wishing to get healthier and they say, “I just want to lose a stone” or “I’ll be happy when I get to (Insert Desired Weight)”? Or even more so, have you said this yourself?
Due to a number of flawed indicators of health used by medical professionals in the past (looking at you BMI!), many people get the idea into their head that they will be happy when they reach a certain weight or lose a certain number of lbs/kgs.
What they ACTUALLY desire is what they think will come along with that number on the scales. “This celebrity weighs this much, so if I get to the same weight I’ll look like them!” Unfortunately, this is all too often not the case.
Although tracking your weight is a useful tool in measuring your progress on your fitness journey, there are a number of other tracking methods that are more beneficial and efficient in showing how far you are progressing.
Let’s have a look at a non-exclusive list of the Pros and Cons of using scales:
- Easy to use, set the unit of measurement, stand on and note number
- Relatively cheap, unless scales with extra features are purchased
- Easy to track (numerical)
- Useful tool to measure progress WHEN USED CORRECTLY
- Often prioritised over more useful methods of progress tracking
- Can become easily fixated on Influenced by a vast number of different factors, such as time of day, stress levels, previous day(s) diet etc.
- Will often use someone else’s weight as a reference or target, without actually considering the extensive list of features that affect this number, such as height and muscle mass.
In conclusion, unless you are participating in a sport or an event that requires you to be at a specific weight or within a particular weight class, don’t fixate on the number on the scales! It can be useful, but it’s not the be all and end all of your fitness journey!
Focus instead on how you look and more importantly, how you FEEL! The mirror and tracking measurements of particular areas that carry the most body fat are a much better way to track progress and will give you a truer reflection of how well you are doing.
I know it’s hard but try to stay off the scales and stay focused on each day’s tasks. Breaking your day down into smaller, more manageable goals to accomplish, such as staying on track with your diet, smashing your workout, getting enough time to rest and recover.
The best thing to remember is that you are on a journey, not a race to the finish line. Do it right and I absolutely promise you that it is the journey to your goals that is the most fulfilling.
Ali G – Personal Trainer at The PT Studio