That number on the scale? It does not represent you. Although, it can be easy to get in a habit of weighing yourself on a regular basis and obsessing over the number, it can be unhealthy in the long run. It also may seem that checking the scale frequently can help your progress, because you can see where you are; however, the truth is quite the opposite. Obsessing over the scale can hurt your progress, because you are focusing on the wrong things. Shift your focus and transform your progress with the tips below.
1. Understand What the Scale Means
We touch on this briefly above, but it is important to understand what the number on the scale means. Most people assume that if they weigh less, they will look better; however, different weights look better on different people. And this is just the beginning of why the scale does not represent how you look. Not only does weight look different on everyone, but the more muscle you gain, the more you will weigh on the scale.
That means that sweet, sweet progress you have had from your WODs is actually making you heavier — heavier, but not wider. That last part is key. Muscle is more dense than fat, meaning that it takes up less space, but weighs more. You want more muscle and seeing that number go up on the scale is not a bad thing, so instead of trying to cut calories or getting discouraged, know that you may actually be gaining muscle, not fat.
2. Take a Break From Keeping Track
After you understand what the number on the scale means, try taking a break from keeping track altogether. This is an important step for stopping the obsession with the scale. This does not mean that you should never use a scale, simply take a break and allow your mind to refocus on other successes you have had, before reincorporating the scale into your progress measurements. Instead of keeping track of your weight, focus on how you feel. Are you energized? Do you feel stronger? How you feel is equally, if not more, important than the number on the scale.
3. Find Alternative Ways to Track Progress
Once you have taken a break from tracking your progress entirely, it is okay to re-incorporate different forms of tracking progress, just try to stay away from the scale. Measuring your waist or arms is one great way to track your progress without stepping on the scale. Or, focus on the amount of weight you are lifting. Aim for a PR, rather than a goal weight.
4. Find Non-Scale Goals
Also incorporate non-scale goals into your routine. Maybe you have always wanted to do a pull-up — now is your opportunity to challenge your body and watch it achieve something that you never have done before. Or, make your goal to be happier overall and see how fitness and wellness influence your happiness. Or, you can even make your goal to show up more focused at the gym. Your goals do not need to be numerical, simply give yourself something to work towards.