Don't get discouraged by the number on the scale

Well it was bound to happen, and it did. I stepped on the scale once again for the first time in eight weeks.

If you caught my C2BF report last week on KATU, you might have seen this moment of truth happened at our annual employee health screening event. And at this stage in the game, I'm half way toward the weight loss goal I set for myself of 18 pounds. Yes. I'm down nine pounds and counting.

I purposely haven't been weighing myself over the past two months because the most recent attempts I've made to lose weight typically end abruptly when the number on the scale doesn't take a nosedive within the first day-and-a-half.

This time I wanted to take a different approach. When I signed on to be an integral part of the Commit 2 Be Fit program here at KATU, I wanted this to be about what it should be about: achieving a level of health where I feel better in several ways.

I wanted to feel better about my numbers including cholesterol, heart rate, sugar levels and body fat percentage. I wanted to feel not so sluggish and not so constricted by my clothing. And thankfully, those measurements and numbers are getting better by the week.

That pesky scale, though, is where I and so many others put all our stock, unfortunately. If we don't see a big drop, well shoot, it's all over! And that's the immediate reaction I had to seeing that I had only shed nine pounds. After all that hard work and sweat, after all that junk food avoidance I've done at least give me an even 10 off the scale!

But as I'm trying to teach myself: This journey can't be about the number on the scale ALONE. It needs to be about the other factors that contribute to health and wellness, as well. Knowing this but needing a little reassurance, I reached out to one of the medical experts we've been working with from Providence Health and Services, Dr. Kenneth Weizer. He's a naturopath who gave me some good pointers to remember along the way:

  • Only weigh yourself once a week. That information is just one piece of data in the grand scheme of your health level.
  • If you don't have too much to lose, healthy weight loss comes in small incrementsthink a half pound to a pound per week.
  • When feeling discouraged, or as if you're not at your final destination fast enough, think big picture, long-term realistic weight loss goals -- and know that those goals will be met with patience, humor and love. (A good partnership with your healthcare provider doesn't hurt either).

The bottom line: We all need to get progress reports when we're working toward our Commit 2 Be Fit goals. I knew I needed to see how my efforts have helped, and where I need to go from here.

What I got from my status check? I know things are moving at a healthy rate in the right direction. And if I keep it up, I'll reach my goals in another couple months. Patience. It's just one more thing I need to "exercise" as I Commit 2 Be Fit.