Another Rant About The Scale


I started this post off as a Facebook status update and it evolved in to a rant about the scale.

As you know I HATE the scale. I think it’s trouble and if you let it, it can break you mentally. It doesn’t tell you the true numbers in weight loss.  It measures how much your bodyweight goes up and down in weight and that’s it. It doesn’t take fat loss or muscle gain or water retention in to account, it simply tells you how much your body weighs at any given time.

This is why besides just stepping on and off the scale, I always use a seamstress measuring tape and I take measurements in key areas of my body to see what kind of gains and losses I have, (leg, abdomen around the belly button, chest, bicep) and I record them and compare them every week.

I’ve been busting my ass in the gym and eating very well the past week and when I stepped on the scale this morning, I had only lost 0.2 lbs.  That’s nothing. That’s a bowel movement for fucksake. And if stepping on the scale was my only weigh of measuring my success, I’d probably be very upset.  Fortunately for me though, because I took measurements in other places around my body, I know that I lost 1/2″ around my abdomen, put on almost a full inch around my bicep and put on 1/2″ around my leg and my chest stayed the same. I LOST 1/2″ around my belly.  That’s HUGE!! And I put on almost an INCH in size around my bicep… ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

I’m so happy right now. If I were to simply look at the scale and nothing else, I’d be moping around, frustrated and feeling deflated because of how hard I worked out this week and the lack of results on the scale. But instead, I’m smiling ear to ear knowing that I lost ½” around my stomach, my hardest place to lose weight.

I know not every week is going to be a drastic change like this and I know that the main reason I had such success is because I had been slacking in the gym and with my diet and the big change in my lifestyle made for big changes in my body. But, I just want to make sure that you all know that you shouldn’t rely simply on the scale. My boy Hank realized this, and you should too.

So, how do YOU measure success in weight loss?


    • I WISH!

      Either way, I don’t care about the pound, it’s the numbers on the tape that make me happy!

  1. I think the best way to measure weight-loss success is to FUGGEDABOUTIT. Really. I think that if you (a) take care of your food intake, (b) keep building muscle and raising your metabolism, and (c) focus on your measurements such as your body-fat % and measurements (like you’re doing), then what the scale says doesn’t matter one bit.

    I’ve been focusing on getting my eating under control and building muscle these last few months, and I’ve gained somewhere around 5 lbs. But I don’t care what the scale says, because I know that I’ve gained some serious muscle where it counts. Some of that gain is likely still fat, but as I start my 5K training and get even more conscious about what I eat, I know that number on the scale will eventually stabilize.

    • Keep up your great work, Chris! You’re right on all of those points. Unfortunately, for some, no matter how much knowledge or experience they have, mentally they can be derailed by a stupid little number on a scale.

      I’m actually hoping to go up another 2 lbs to get me to 180lbs but I want to lose fat and build muscle in doing it.

  2. I hardly ever get on the scale for just this reason. The numbers can really turn my mood. I guess I base it more on how clothes fit and how I feel. I know when things aren’t right and you don’t need a scale for that! As well, I know when things ARE right and that doesn’t need a scale either 🙂

    • Good call. But if you started off working out and you were overweight (such as myself) you rely heavily (pun intended) on the scale. It’s tough to break those patterns, but I’m trying my best to show people that there are other and BETTER methods!

  3. I weigh frequently. Very frequently. But I also measure around my natural waist, my left thigh, and my bust every Sunday when I mark my “official” weight for the week. Some weeks I’ve showed a tiny loss or a gain, but I’ve lost inches, so I’m happy.

    • The inches are where it matters. I’m actually trying to put on weight. I’m only looking to lose inches around my stomach (my love handles) and then everywhere else, I want to put size on.

  4. So I think another good thing to do, in addition to measurements, is pictures. Taking pictures when you are starting your weight loss and taking new pictures when you feel down in the dumps. Comparing those side by side is a great eye opener. You notice so much in a picture of yourself and you could see every detail of what’s changed.

  5. I’m not disciplined enough to take measurements. I have a pair of jeans and if I have to wear a baggy shirt to hide the muffin top then I know I need to clean up my life. If not, then I’m doing something right. If you want, I can lend you those jeans and you can see how you’re doing. ahaha
    The only benefit I can see from weighing yourself is that there are risks with dramatic weight changes. Ex – A pound gained adds 4 pounds of pressure to your knees. Things like that don’t discriminate between muscle, fat, and water weight.

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