You Are NOT Your Weight!
“Living Well” is all about getting into your best shape, having stable energy levels, and feeling GREAT. However, getting there is a journey (even arriving there can still be a journey!) And one thing that can derail you, is stepping on the scale too frequently.
I send the following “The Scale – Friend or Foe” article by Dr. Strand out to all my clients at least once a year because it is SO important, especially for women. By focusing on wellness and everyday healthy choices – the weight will come off. It has taken us YEARS to get our body/health to where it is today, so allow time for the Live Well Healthy for Life Program*, be gentle with yourself, and never let the scale, or your hair :-), determine your happiness on any given day.
Be Happy…Be Vibrant,
“The Scale – Friend or Foe?”
By Dr. Ray Strand
I know all about scales. I have a beautiful one sitting in my medical office and I guarantee most women would rather have their blood drawn than to step onto it! Even though we hate them so much, we’ve come to accept them as a necessary evil. The scale will determine whether we’re a success or failure. The scale will hold us accountable. The scale tells all.
Almost every weight loss program centers its reason for being on the results you are going to get when you step onto that scale. The power of their program is based on losing weight. After all, these are “weight loss” programs and you are paying dearly for exactly that. Most people will do anything and apparently pay just about any price to lose weight. For the $30 billion spent each year, the proof and effectiveness of these programs has to be evident when you step onto the scale-right? Wrong. The greatest foe for anyone who is trying to get thinner is the very thing that so logically seems to be the barometer of success-the scale. Why?
Your body weight is made up of many different factors that are reflected when you step onto that scale. Water content, muscle content, fat content, and even what you happen to have eaten the night before makes up what is known as “weight.” In fact, several fad diets play on the notion that total body weight is paramount and that decreasing weight on a scale is the ultimate goal.
Can you recall a time when you were on a diet and you stepped on a scale only to shout with jubilation at the fact that you had lost two, three, or maybe even four pounds that week? If not, I’m sure it has happened to someone you know. Everyone clapped and cheered. You were elated. The weight loss program was working and finally you have found the answer. Your attitude and desire took a major leap forward during the next week and maybe even the next month. You stayed with the diet faithfully.
You may have even had the experience where you step on the scale week after week and were amazed at the amount of weight lost. You were on your way and maybe you had lost 12 to 15 pounds already and only had 25 more to go.
But then it happened. You stepped onto the scale after being absolutely perfect that week and you actually gained weight! Shock and fear overwhelmed you. Of course, you gave that little wry smile to everyone in your group as the instructor encouraged you to do a better job sticking with your diet the next week. However, as you went back to your chair the only thought on your mind is that you couldn’t have done a better job if your life depended on it. You played by the book, measuring, running, and eating weird tasteless combinations during the entire past week.
There is a very powerful principle that has never quite been understood by the weight loss industry: when you use the scale as a tool to motivate your clientele, it only works as long as people are losing the amount of weight they believe they should be losing. If they either do not lose as much weight as they feel they should, or horror….actually GAIN weight, this trusted tool of the weight loss program backfires and soon becomes the greatest hindrance against success. Dieters feel betrayed and their trusted friend, the scale; becomes the foe. Then they simply give up and go back to their old eating habits. It cannot be trusted.
So how is the scale used in the Healthy for Life Program?* Primarily, I have discouraged anyone stepping on the scale during the program. However, I find it necessary for people to weigh themselves at the beginning and the end of the program in order to determine their Body Mass Index (BMI). This is a very important measurement in the eyes of the medical community and is the tool used to determine many of our health care decisions. You will again be asked to take some basic measurements at the end of this program and one of these will be your weight. However, you must realize a few things before you step on to a scale. You have been involved in developing healthy lifestyles that simply have a side effect of weight loss-if you need to lose weight. However, those patients who have insulin resistance will find themselves in different stages or severity of this health problem.
Many patients who have not developed full-blown metabolic syndrome will usually totally reverse this problem within the first 12 weeks of this program. However, many of my patients have had insulin resistance for years and may just beginning to improve their disease after 12 weeks into this program, especially those who are already diabetic. These patients may have not lost much weight at all; however, may just now be starting to release fat. This is why the maintenance program is so critical for everyone. The beauty of this program is the fact that you have been trying to develop healthy lifestyles that will last a lifetime. The first 12 weeks are merely the time it takes most people to truly understand the health concepts surrounding the Healthy and Lean for Life Program. The Maintenance Program (2 years) is essential in allowing you to firmly establish these lifestyles.
Many of you are thrilled with the fact that your clothing is looser or that you have gone down a dress size or two. Men may be excited by the fact that they need to cinch up their belt a notch or two. However, most of us have an ideal weight in the back of our mind that we should weigh before we have truly arrived. It may have taken us 10 to 15 years to put all of our excess weight on but we want to be at our ideal weight after 2 to 3 months of being on any program.
I would encourage you to think differently about your weight or the scale. I would like everyone on the Healthy for Life Program* to not be possessed by your weight or the scale. Don’t have an actual weight that you are trying to achieve. Instead, have a goal to be developing healthy lifestyles and feeling more energetic, more fit, and free to enjoy healthy, delicious food. Be encouraged if you are able to physically do things like taking a major hike or brisk walk. Enjoy the thrill of not being addicted to carbohydrates.
Have you ever had the experience of looking at an old picture album and commenting to yourself how thin and fit you use to look? Then you recall the fact that back then you really thought you were actually overweight. Isn’t in funny how our mind works. You would probably give anything to look and feel that good again. Well, it is happening on the Healthy for Life Program*. However, it is not going to happen overnight. Since it took you several years to get in the shape you are in, it is going to take a year or two to get back to the old you. Simply begin to project how you will feel and look in a year on this program. It is exciting and worth the trip. Your body will love you for it.
*Contact your local Live Well Coach for more information on the Live Well Healthy for Life Program, 5 Day RESET, Healthy Weight loss and/or Healthy Maintenance.