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Weight Scale Obsession

Measure Success By What You Gain, Not Lose

Weight ScaleIn today's image conscious world, people are more concerned with how much they weigh than about how good they feel about themselves, measuring their success by how many kilograms they have lost instead of how many amazing things they've gained by following a healthy diet and exercise plan.

Diets and fitness programs have been taken on with one single goal in mind: to lose weight, lose fat, lose inches, lose, lose, lose! But when you really analyse your fitness program, do you ever think of what you can gain instead? No, I'm not talking about gaining weight or inches, but rather gaining confidence, a satisfaction of success, a better self-esteem, self-respect, muscle definition, increased energy, better health and a better physical condition.

So many people make the common mistake of using a weight scale to determine how successful their new diet or fitness program is. Scales are possibly the worst piece of equipment used to determine success. An ordinary weight scale can only determine your body mass as a whole, and not your individual fat weight, muscle weight, bone density or even the amount of water you're carrying on the day you measure yourself. All that counts; each bone and each litre of water you carry can influence the needle reading.

Each day, your weight fluctuates, which means the scale indication will differ. All this can be caused by a number of factors: water retention, the time of day you measure yourself, the clothes you wear and most importantly the different scales you step on. Think about it, how many times have you heard someone tell you how much they prefer their own scale to the one at the gym? Is it because they have adjusted their scale to show relatively fewer kilograms? Weighing yourself on a carpet or tile surface can also influence the reading.

Instead of jumping on the scale and measuring your progress day to day to determine how successful your new fitness program is, why not measure your success by all the things that have positively changed in your life because of your new fitness routine?

Its pretty simple, when you exercise regularly you feel so much more energised, and even though your scale weight may not always get lighter, your mirror reflection becomes more bearable, friends and family members constantly compliment you, and you feel much healthier. But there's always that damn scale weight lurking in the back of your mind, and after stepping on it, only to be told you are exactly where you were when you started, you begin to lose interest and return to your old unhealthy patterns.

Believe me, its very frustrating, not to mention de-motivating when you spend an hour in the gym each day and follow a healthy diet only to be told by a piece of machinery that you are not doing any good. Setbacks like this can seriously put strain on your desire to complete a fitness routine.

So my advice to you is, toss the scale; try to stay away from it as much as possible. If you must, only measure yourself every three to four weeks. Make sure you are using the same scale at each measurement and make sure that you do it early in the morning on an empty stomach, after you have been to the toilet. Start focusing on all the positive things that have happened in your life to determine the success of your efforts.

About The Author
Dimi Deliyiannis is the founder and editor of GetFIT.co.za, a free online magazine with information on training, diet and nutrition. She regularly writes articles for top South African magazines, including Fitness, Muscle Evolution and Women's Value. Visit her website on www.getfit.co.za

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