Day 013-2 (F, 120113) — Weighing-In . . . Again; METH for Ankle Injuries?

“Happiness and misery consist in a progression towards better or worse; it does not matter how high up or low down you are, it depends not on this, but on the direction in which you are tending.” — Samuel Butler

To Weigh or Not to Weigh?  My last post mentioned Low Carb Learning.  Today, we take a look at another of Mark’s posts, this one about whether or not dieters should weigh-in and, if so, how frequently.  I think he nails it pretty well.

Weighing Yourself Frequently

This is a big one (no pun intended)! It ranks right up there with the low-fat dieters mantra of ‘losing weight too fast is not healthy’. LOL. To which I always respond, “So staying fat longer is healthier?” Back to my point: a lot of folks warn to avoid the scale. If you’re in relatively good shape this makes sense – it’s about inches and muscle definition. If you’re obese then it makes no sense to me. While yes, ultimately, it is about inches and proportion/definition, but if you weight 400 pounds guess what? The number matters. And the best way I know, that isn’t a pain in the ass that requires precision measurement, is to track your progress daily using a simple household scale. But many disagree. The typical argument is that the scale is to be avoided for one of the following reasons:

  1. “It isn’t as accurate as calipers, or a tape measure, etc.”To their point it’s hard to disagree, but getting precision with a tape measure is not guaranteed, and getting imprecise with calipers is almost a guarantee unless you want to tattoo your body with points of measurement…and really, again, if you’re 400 pounds then you need to get down in weight, period. The scale don’t lie.
  2. “It’s best to weigh yourself weekly or monthly, so as not to get discouraged by the daily fluctuations of the scale.” This one has never made any sense to me. If I’m eating something that causes me to gain weight, I want to know as soon as possible. Not wait a week or longer to be ‘surprised’.

I do have to take issue with his last comment on #1 — the scale can lie.  It’s just that it can be the easiest of bad options to remedy.

The key element to successful scale use: focus on using the scale the exact same way every time:

  • Same foot placement (it makes a difference)
  • Same center of gravity (it makes an even bigger difference)
  • Same head position (it can shift your COG)
  • Take 5-10 readings and average them

Do these things consistently and you will find your scale offers a relatively accurate trend over time.


Stuff to Read.  Here are a few articles I’ve come across recently which you may find interesting.

  • 7 Smart Ways to Stay Active This Winter — timely advice from the good people at SparkPeople.
  • Weight Loss Supplements: Fact or Fiction? — SparkPeople examines a long list of supplements which are supposed to offer health benefits.  Conclusion?  Most are utter bullshit.  My answer: stop looking for a shortcut pill, folks.  Magic doesn’t exist.  Find a program that works for you and stick with it.
  • Treat Ankle Injuries with METH — No, not the stuff that rots your teeth.  That won’t heal your ankle injury (but it just might let you ignore it long enough to do some serious damage).  I’ve praised RICE as a rehabilitation method before.  METH is Movement, Elevation, Traction, and Heat.  I may explore this alternative next time I get an injury. We shall see.

2 responses to “Day 013-2 (F, 120113) — Weighing-In . . . Again; METH for Ankle Injuries?

  1. Personally, the scale is just one tool in monitoring my weight. I look at it as a fast and accessible way to gauge my progress, but I find that in order not to be discouraged by the number on the scale I have to adjust my mindset.

    Being significantly overweight myself, the number looking back at me can be very daunting. I don’t weigh every day because for me it’s just too depressing. I know how much weight I can realistically lose in a week. I set that goal and check myself weekly. If I were to check more frequently than that, it’s likely that I would get discouraged and sabotage myself.

    But I know people who insist on monitoring weight by the scale daily and swear by it. I guess if I were going to weigh daily I would simply have to work on adjusting my expectations and realign my thinking. So much of my issues surrounding weight and eating are psychological, and using the scale daily would just mean more cognitive work on my part.

    The point I am trying to make is that I think we all have to find a way that works for us, and for myself that is weekly weigh-ins combined with periodic measuring with a tape (I measure an area three times and use the average). That’s not to say I won’t increase checking my weight on a scale more frequently in the future. I just have to prepare myself mentally if I’m going to do that.

    • Sounds like me, Amy: too frequent weighing-in would drive me nuts!*

      I started weighing-in with Weight Watchers weekly at the meetings, so I’ve been lucky in that I’ve never done the daily weighing-in that some people do.

      After skipping three months to focus on subjective standards, I will call that personal experiment a failure and go back to having regular, objective-if-not-wholly-accurate, measurements.

      I am switching it a bit, though, and only weighing-in every two weeks. I’ll try this for a while — seeking periodic normative feedback but otherwise focusing on subjective results — and report back later on the results.

      Work smart and work strong, my friend. =)

      New John

      * Then again, if it works for those who do it, who am I to complain? More power to them, I say.

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