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If your scale is owning your feelings, read this now.  Pretty please.

"Weight loss."

"I want to lose weight."

"How much weight have you lost?"

"Lose weight, feel great!"

Have you ever stopped to think about what "weight loss" really means?

Look, in case you don't know me personally, I can be a real pain in the butt when it comes to precision and details. In no way is that meant to be a humble brag. It's actually pretty annoying at times (and unnecessary). I blame graduate school.

Because I know that I have a hard time shutting the "details" corner of my brain off, I will say that I am learning how to pick my battles in terms of when the technical details are a necessity versus when to let it gooooooo (let it gooooooo). This post is not a "let it go" related post. Nope nope nope. I'm SO 'bout to pick a battle. However, hear me out, because it's one that I think will make you feel better if you are like so many of us who get discouraged by what our scales say.

Alright, BATTLE ON. Before we go back to thinking about what makes up our weight, let's define what "weight" is.

WEIGHT: "a body's relative mass or the quantity of matter contained by it, giving rise to a downward force; the heaviness of a person or thing." Thanks google dictionary.

Okay, if that's the definition of weight, then let's talk about the "quantity of matter contained" by the human body. Our bodies are made of:



Food in our bellies





Since all of that is true, then all of these things together make up our weight. Since water, waste, and food content in our bodies change throughout each day, it becomes pretty difficult to use a scale to monitor progress if you're measuring your weight multiple times a week, or even once a week (which many use a standard).

To highlight how all over the place weight can be, I used myself as an experiment/example. For 21 of 30 consecutive days, I measured my weight at the same time/conditions each weigh in. Because the menstrual cycle, as well as diet (high carb load = more water retention) can impact weight on the scale, I also tracked these two things as well. Here are the results:

A=Day after Thanksgiving (high carb glory) AND monthly "OH HEY TIME TO FEEL LIKE DEATH" time.

B=Nothin' Bundt Cake celebratory dinner. Celebrating another day of eating cake for dinner. Carb overload = water retention.

First, let me say that I'm not trying to lose weight. This is just how my weight fluctuates under my current eating, exercise, and living (YOLO) schedule. That being the case, the difference between my highest and lowest weight registered from this data is over 4 pounds.


I didn't gain 4 pounds of fat on the days that you see the sharp increases, and I didn't lose 4 pounds of fat between those days and the next days that my weight crept back down. This is just my normal fluctuation, and just like me, this is likely the case for you, too. This is why you shouldn't let the scale stress you out. If we take this information, along with the definition of all the things that make up our weight, this is why when we say "weight loss", what we really mean is, "fat loss".

We all have a rational brain and an emotional brain. By continually referring to fat loss as weight loss, we get in the habit (whether we realize it or not) of relying on the scale to define our progress, since the scale measures our weight. Even though we know in our rational brain that the scale cannot measure fat loss, our emotional brain takes over when we see that stupid number and all rational thinking goes out the door. Because we are human and base a lot of our decisions on emotions, we freak when we see that number. We stress. We tell ourselves we need to work harder. We feel a little (or a lot) sad.

This is why I think it's important to get in the habit of calling "weight loss" FAT LOSS. That's what we really want, isn't it? I mean, plug in the things that make up your weight into the first statements in this post regarding weight loss. It's pretty entertaining.

Weight = water, organs, food, waste, fat, bone, muscle.

The statements:

"I want to lose weight."

"How much weight have you lost?"

"Lose weight, feel great!"


"I want to lose water, organs, food, waste, fat, bone, muscle."

"How much water, organs, food, waste, fat, bone, muscle have you lost?"

"Lose water, organs, food, waste, fat, bone, muscle, feel great!"

LOL. That's technically what we are saying when we say we want to lose weight, even though I know that's not what we mean. If you replace "weight" with "fat", however, things start to make a lot more sense! That's where the precision comes in. By focusing on losing fat instead of "weight", then the scale won't freak you out as much. Granted that weight can fluctuate so much, I don't really understand when the once a week weigh-in came became so popular. If you don't have access to a smart scale or device such as an ***Inbody analyzer, I would suggest weighing in once every two weeks OR once a month in order to measure progress, or, you can do a similar experiment to mine and weigh yourself every day for one week to get an average and repeat that process once per month. Your weight will always fluctuate within a certain range on a traditional scale, but if you truly are losing fat, what you should start to see is the range trending downward.

For example, let's say you do the same experiment I did above and you find that your range is 174.5-169.2. You start cleaning up your diet and moving around a little bit more, and a month later, you gather new data points from the scale and find that you have a new range of 172.5-167.2. What you're looking for is new "low" numbers on the scale.

If you had only weighed yourself at the beginning on the day that you weighed 169.2, and then a month later on the day that you weighed 172.5, you probably would've freaked and thought that you'd actually gained fat and not lost fat through diet and exercise.

What's the take home? If you weigh yourself using a traditional scale, know the limitations in terms of information it can tell you and remember to use the most helpful tool in measuring progress: your eyes. Take photos. Try on clothes. You may see and feel progress in your body before it will register on a scale, so trust yourself here!

Oh also, remember that we're all human. There's nothing wrong with you. We've all been there and know what it feels like to let a number dictate our mood, even though we know deep down that it shouldn't matter. Substantial fat loss is not a quick process; it takes months and years. Let me repeat, months and years. NOT DAYS. Some days will be harder than others, you'll make mistakes and progress will feel as slow as molasses, but keep going. Stay consistent. That's what the journey is all about.

Peace out, friend!

-Lee Ann

***If you ARE interested in getting a better picture of what you're made of, shoot us a message! We would LOVE to help you get that information and use it to help you measure your progress in a reliable and really cool way!


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