Weight Loss

The Scale Experiment

I know, I know.  I talk about the scale a lot.  I’m not quite as obsessed with it as I used to be.  Since I started doing so much weight training I am seeing how the scale is less and less important.  I’ve always heard about how much one’s weight can flutuate throughout the course of a day.  So I decided to put that to the test and record my weight various times throughout the day.

It was ridiculous, I admit.  But it was interesting to me to see just how unreliable that stupid scale really is.  Here are my results and my very tongue-in-cheek attempt at “rationalizing” the fluctuations.

7:30  188.2 pounds.  First thing after getting out of bed, before using the bathroom, with my pajamas still on.  Two pounds up from last week.  Great.  I can’t say I don’t know why–baby shower fondant cake is the devil. 

7:35  186.2 pounds.  After using the bathroom, pajamas off.  Seriously?  Two pounds and all I did was use the bathroom and take off my clothes?  Back to my weight from last week–thanks bladder and colon!

10:15  188 pounds.  At the gym, after Interval class and running a mile, clothes and shoes on.  I always weigh about 2-3 pounds heavier at the gym. Of course, I don’t take my clothes off there either. 

1:00  189 pounds.  Upstairs at home, after lunch, clothes and shoes on.

1:09  189.6 pounds Downstairs at home, same scale, same clothes and shoes on.  So, I gained 0.6 ounces in nine minutes just by walking up and then down the stairs.

4:25  190.2 pounds After a mile walk, clothes and shoes still on.  Weight is climbing up despite eating healthy foods and getting lots of exercise today.  And there’s that stupid 190 number again.  I’m so sick of seeing that dumb number.  

6:12  190 pounds.  Before supper, clothes and shoes on.  Whew.  I’m sure my bladder was to thank for this 0.2 ounce loss!

6:16  187 pounds.  Before shower, no clothes.  Do my clothes really weigh 3 pounds?  

6:22  187.6 pounds  After shower, no clothes.  Maybe because my hair was wet?  I knew I should’ve cut this hair off.  

12:40 a.m. 189 Before bed, pajamas on.

And finally, 8:30 a.m. the next day 186.8  Whew.  Almost back to last week’s weight.  

So in 24 hours time my weight fluctuated from a morning low of 186.2 to a high of 190.2 and then back down to 186.8 the next morning.  Four pounds difference!

Don’t let this post fool you…I really have not been as focused on the scale over the last two months as I was previously.  I’m beginning to wonder if I really need it anymore.  It has been a good tool for me to use as a guideline but I’m much more attuned to my body now.  I know when I’m not eating clean or eating too many calories.  I know when I’m slacking on working out.  I can tell a difference in my clothes with just a few pounds.  So do I really need the scale?

I’ve always used the scale as my crutch.  It told me if I was on the right track or if I needed to step it up a notch.  I’m wondering if I can trust myself and my body enough to stay on track (and know when I’m slipping up) if I pack the scale away?  Maybe I should just try it for a month.  I am proud to say that it does not hold nearly the amount of power that it used to.  My clothes are getting smaller, I’m happier, I’m stronger and I’m seeing positive changes in my body so that really should be enough.  

These guns don’t care about the number on that scale! 😉 

Do you weigh yourself?  If so, how often?  Talk to me, people!  I want to know your thoughts on weighing in!

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16 thoughts on “The Scale Experiment

  1. I weigh myself every Friday and post my weight on my blog. I actually weigh myself more frequently than that (not usually more than once in a single day). It helps me see where I am at and how I am doing. It clues me in to things I might be doing wrong (like not getting my water in). I weigh naked after the bathroom, first thing in the morning.

    1. I do the same with only keeping track once a week. Lately I’ve been good about only weighing in the morning–same as you, naked and after using the bathroom!

  2. I weigh myself every morning. And often 2 times, I wake up to use the bathroom around 4am and I weigh myself, and then when I roll out of bed at 6:20am I weigh myself again after using the bathroom again. This morning my 4am weight was 152.2, and then my 6:20 weight was 150.0. I usually use the 6:20 weight on Fridays as my “official” weight, but sometimes when I see a huge difference (like today)I kinda average the weight. 🙂 I also weigh myself after I run, almost every time. That is usually my lowest weight (the other day I saw 148.4) and if I’m feeling extremely fat in the evenings I sometimes weigh myself. I don’t know why I do that, I know I’m going to weigh more, the other day it was all the way up to 158.

    However, I don’t feel like it has control over me. I do it because I like to see the fluctuations. I can always, always tell when my weight is up before I ever step on the scale. Seeing 158 the other day didn’t put me in a bad mood, it just made me think “well, what did you think it was going to be, you just ate dinner and had 2 glasses of wine.” The next morning it was back down to 151 or 2, and I knew it would be.

    1. I’m finding that my attitude is starting to change about it and I see it more like you do. If it’s up I can usually pinpoint why and usually it isn’t a surprise to me. Those evening weights can be crazy sometimes! I am usually excited if I have a halfway decent evening number because I know in the morning I’ll be a few pounds less! 🙂

  3. I weigh myself once a week. Every Friday morning (before I screw up by slacking off some on the weekend) no clothes on. It lets me track my weight loss so I know I am on the right path, but is not the only thing I go by. I also take arm, waist, hip, thighs, and calves measurement at the beginning of each month! Seeing some great progress over the past 3 months! Follow me at downtheroadofperseverance.weebly.com. Good luck with your relationship with that scale. So proud of your achievements so far. You are very motivating!

    1. I’ve been doing measurements every month too. I’m always surprised by how many inches I can lose even when the scale doesn’t budge! Thanks for your kind words and for commenting! 🙂

  4. I try not to weigh myself, but I do it all the time! I try not to let it distract me from how well I am doing, but it does. I should just not step on it, but My first goal (on the way to my ultimate goal) is to get out of the 200’s….so I check to see how close I am all the time! Keep up the great work!! 🙂

  5. I’ve been really perturbed with my scale lately, so it was interesting to see the fluctuation over the course of your day. I was seeing a difference of four pounds over two or three days and I was like, “Do what? How can I gain and lose so quickly? Is that possible?” Granted, I then started me period this week, so I am wondering if that attributed to the increase? I have always “weighed a little more” when I’m consistently working out too and I attribute that to muscle gain.

    1. I always gain during that time of the month too. I just accept it for what it is and drink a TON of water! I’ve read that lactic acid build up can also cause weight gain especially right after a workout so lifting not only will cause weight because of muscle gain but because of lactic acid as well.

      Skinny Meg had a great post recently that showed her at 148 pounds and at 153 pounds and she looks very small and fit at the heavier weight. It was very motivating for me!

      Thanks for commenting!

  6. I loved this post; completely puts that freaking scale into perspective. My name is Jenn and I’m addicted to the scale…I’ve been scale free for 2 months now. Ok, that’s sort of an exaggeration…but I used to weigh as many times in a 24 hour period as you described above. Hubs had to hide, then throw the scale away. I let that dang scale (and may always) make or break my day. So, 2 months ago I decided that I loved the feeling I got after a really great run as well as how wonderful I felt when I had a healthy day or a healthy week…that’s when I decided that I was going to start weening myself off; to start focusing on the other healthy aspects of my life. I decided that I was not going to weigh anymore. Then, I remembered that I DO have to weigh at least monthly because I’m receiving a health discount at work which requires me to weigh monthly. I’m okay with that :). However, I’m still a work in progress because yesterday was my weigh-in day and although I had a loss, I was disappointed with the amount. I wonder when I’m going to rid myself of this feeling? I hope it gets easier!!

    1. It is a hard addiction to break. Part of my addiction stems from fear that I’m going to gain this weight back. I need to find a happy medium between not weighing at all and weighing three times a day. Maybe start with once a day and go from there!

    1. Hey, Jennifer! It was kind of fun…is that the right word?! It did open my eyes though to just how much our weight can fluctuate in a day. I mean…really. 0.6 ounces and all I did was walk up and down the stairs?! LOL! Thanks for stopping by and for commenting! Nice to “meet” you!

  7. Never, I do not own a scale. Scales Lie. I go by inches and how my clothes fit. Even at 5’3 and my “smallest” and right after months of marathon training I still weighed 146 lbs (according the the Dr.s Appt scale right before my race) If I went by the scale I would hate me. The best thing to do with the scale is throw it hard on the concrete… pick up the pieces, throw it again, stomp on it and sweep it up and into the trash. The world would be a healthier place without people focusing on scales and instead focusing on inches and fitness

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