Friday, February 01, 2008

Why the scales shouldn't do one's head in

I hear this quite a bit from my clients - "aaah, I don't want to weigh myself, the scale does my head in". If you step back and re read this statement, can you see how nuts this statement is?

We have 100% control of what we think, say and feel and we have 100% control over how we are going to react to that number. A highly disproportionate amount of time is spent analyzing scale weight over other measures of progress - the thing is, that scale weight is a very useful measure, but it is just ONE item in the toolbox of things that we measure "progress" by.

I try to weigh myself daily if possible. If you are fully committed to your progress and are eating well and training hard, then you have nothing to fear the scale. Fear the scale only if stepping off it gives you the excuse to indulge in crap "because noone's looking".

Even if you're training hard and eating well the scale can be quite variable.

Reasons for variation include:
a) menstrual cycle changes
b) DOMS - lots of DOMS produces a lot of fluid as a by product of recovery, sending your scale weight higher than usual.
c) salty food - you retain fluid if diet is very salty
d) high carbohydrate intake. When you eat carbohydrate and it is digested, much of it is stored in our muscles and liver as glycogen. Glycogen provides us with ready to go fuel when we exercise. For every gram of carb that is stored, 3 grams of water are stored with it. "Carb bloat" is not a figment of your imagination.

Yesterday's eating and training was classic - I have severe DOMS, I ate a lot of carb yesterday dipped in soy sauce (salty) - you gotta love Sushi Rolls! These sorts of uncharacteristic eating days can give me a 2-3kg increase in scale weight. But knowing why variations occur is essential for me in brushing it off and drinking plenty of water!

Training Today:
Upper Body Strength training, including mobilization and preparation
Elliptical: 30 minutes steady state (harder than it sounds); Rower: warm up + 5 Tabata Intervals (ouch), Heavy Stationary Bike 5 minutes)


Lia Halsall said...

Great post Liz. You certainly changed my perspective of the scales and that I'm truly thankful for. :o) xx

Antigone said...

I love sushi, I should get back into making them again yum :)
Sounds like you have had a great week :)
Hope you have a lovely weekend :)

jodie said...

So true Liz. Love your new header!

Cat said...

Great post.

Im loving your new header, your very clever.

OneSkinnyGirl said...

Wow, thanks for the info on the scales.... I weigh every day and am so in tune with my fluctuations!! People tell me I'm mad but I dont let the fluctations bother me - and this post also lets me know why exactly they happen.... thanks Liz!

* miss tiny donna * said...

i am in love with liz.. because she talks SENSE! hehe

good post love. i will remember this one!