I’m Looking at More Than Just Pounds to Help Me Get Fit: The Other Numbers that Matter

Last week, I felt amazing. After steady exercise, healthy meals of salmon and wild rice, and the cheering of my friends, I felt, well, fantastic.

Until I stepped on the scale to see those same old numbers staring back at me.


That feeling of euphoria that accompanied the knowledge that I was doing what I needed to do to help my body get healthier deflated faster than a dollar store balloon. I stepped off the scale and then back on again. How could daily exercise—over an hour a day—and healthy food choices result in no weight being lost? I stepped off the scale near tears.

Frustration warred with defeat. What was the point of all those rushed evenings with no down time? What was the point of choosing salads without creamy dressings? What was the point in eating an apple instead of chips? What was the point if I didn't see those damn numbers move?

I walked into my bedroom and put on my jeans. Jeans, I noticed, that fit a little less snugly. Jeans that didn't pinch as much as they had at the beginning of the week.

I sat on the bed and thought about the numbers that rule my life:

How many calories I eat.

How many calories I burn.

How many steps I take.

How many miles I walk.

How many minutes I exercise.

How many pounds I need to lose.

How many pounds I weigh.

So many numbers.

I decided to try something new. I'm going to throw away the numbers that bring me down. With my new program, I'm intrigued by the steps I take, the miles I walk, the calories I burn, and even the calories I eat. Those number, I'll keep.

But those other numbers? The ones that make me feel defeated? Those numbers I'm throwing away.

For the next month, I'll keep doing what I'm doing, but I'm putting my scale in the garage. I'm not going to track my weight loss or gain over the month by anything other than how I feel. I'm going not going to let three piddly numbers keep me from feeling amazing and fantastic about the things I'm doing to get healthy.

And I'm going to add a number: my measurements. Because something tells me my jeans fitting better means more than what numbers appear on the scale.

At the end of the month, I'll drag out the scale and see if it matches how I feel. If it doesn't, well then, back to the garage with the scale because I think it needs a time out until it can learn to behave properly.

What do you think? Do you think skipping the scale will help or hinder my progress?