Friend or Frustrator?

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Why Weigh Day After Day?

There are clearly different “schools of thought” about the value of the scale as one embarks on a weight loss journey. Some popular programs out there are known to instruct their members to NOT weigh in, to pay NO attention to the scale and to only weigh in when they arrive at their appointments once every few weeks. One phrase often seen or shared says “Ignore the scale and make the process your goal”.

Yikes! While we understand the healthy mind-set that phrase is attempting to promote. We do NOT prefer the approach of totally ignoring the scale. Please allow us to touch on this (sort of) controversial topic in this blog.

First, we FULLY acknowledge that a number on the scale does NOT “define” a person. Also, it is NOT the only measure of success. In fact, we could go so far to state that other “non-scale victories” are even more important! Consider these …

And that short list doesn’t even include other benefits many people experience by achieving and maintaining a healthy weight - such as getting off medications or the always impossible to measure factor of diseases and disabilities they AVOID.

So, clearly we agree that the scale is not the “end all be all”…

But, be sure to know that we DO value it as one important tool. In fact, at the beginning of our program, as clients get started in the initial more intensive phase, we have them weigh DAILY at home. We also want them to text that weight to us along with a brief update on how they are feeling. Yes, each and every day! Why is that?

Although we DO realize the possibility of a person experiencing some days of frustration and/or emotion as the result of this strategy, we have absolutely observed that the pros far outweigh the cons. After all, what is REALLY frustrating and REALLY emotional is the all-to-common scenario of people trying program after program with no significant or lasting results. So, we do not want to mimic and mirror an approach that has failed far too many people. In fact we believe this …

The scale CAN become your friend rather than your frustrator!

Here is what we see as 3 very simple benefits to weighing daily at the start of our program:

Awareness – we want our clients to be highly tuned in to their process – and attentive to what’s happening with their body. We want them to be conscious about how the decisions they made and the action steps they took the previous day affected them on a short term basis. Of course, we do NOT want them to get overly consumed with or emotional about one particular day. There are certainly factors that may inhibit the scale from changing on a given morning despite a day full of good decisions the day prior. But, most of the time, when a client truly follows their plan … and does so on a consistent basis … and gives their body adequate time to change, the scale does begin to reflect the desired change. What seems to happen so frequently with the “ignore the scale” or “weigh weekly” or “only when you come back” approach is that people tend to get loose, lax and less conscious about things … until the reality of that weigh in coming up in the next day or two. Then, they attempt to tighten things back up and essentially do a “crash course” of getting ready for a weigh in. Does this sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. We hear it about all the time. This mini version of yo-yo dieting despite being involved in a program does not work! We do not want compulsion with a number, but we DO want steady and consistent awareness of behavior and results. Actually, all of that leads directly to the next benefit …

Accountability – We speak about this frequently in our program. It tends to be THE thing clients tell us they need most. And once they sense it being done effectively, it is probably THE thing they most appreciate. Besides the client being more aware when they weigh on a daily basis, posting their support team (US!) inherently raises their level of seriousness, consciousness and accountability. We speak all the time about TEAMWORK. Accountability is a time tested principle of success in virtually any area of self-improvement and personal growth. So, unless you’re super-disciplined it is really, really tough to hold yourself accountable. Trying to be self-accountable through a significant weight loss journey and making a focused lifestyle change almost never works. But, when daily communication is done properly with knowledge, care and compassion it is very powerful. Plus, this allows our team and clients effectively achieve this next benefit …

Adjustments – If the scale does NOT change, do not freak out! Just be prepared to make simple and sensible course adjustments. First, we always encourage clients to ask themselves if that number is REALLY a surprise. A lot of times, a person is frustrated … but deep down probably not really surprised. They may be “on a diet” (remember: we do NOT like that word) and they may have followed it “for the most part”. Yet, maybe … just maybe … there was “an incident” the day before. Hey, it happens to everybody! A person will typically realize where they may have gotten off course. They are immediately reminded what they can adjust and do better or differently. Of course, other times it really is confusing. That’s when it helps to share the results and allow your coach to watch trends, compare those with an eating journal, etc. Experience and a focus on weight loss along with clinical knowledge are what enable us to suggest adjustments for clients in our program. We know that for a person to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result DOES NOT WORK! So, consistent communication about the reality of their status enables adjustments to be made. It’s as simple as that!

The scale is a tool. When used properly it can (and does) help us help more people attain and maintain a healthy weight. When you are ready just click, call or come in!

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