Battle of the Bulge: Losing Weight with the Help of a Scale

And the battle of the bulge begins! Let me start off by saying I just bought a scale for the first time in my life. I never had a scale growing up, and the only times I could ever really weigh myself when I was younger were in gym class or at my grandparents’ house. The reason we never had a scale in our house, well I’m not quite sure why really, but I always thought the reason was because scales just generally make you feel like crap ( and I grew up with two sisters remember). I mean, how many times in your life have you really been happy after stepping off a scale? Probably a handful compared to the 100 times you just felt like a big fatty. But alas, I caved and bought one on sale at Canadian Tire on Monday night.

I know it might be risky having a scale, but let me explain the reasoning behind it. So, as you probably read on my Saturday blog love post, I went to Whistler this past weekend. On the Saturday night my friend and I went dancing and I was so excited to finally bust a move. I rarely go dancing anymore, possibly because I’m getting older, as evidenced by me using the term “bust a move”, so when I have an opportunity to do it, I do it! I brought two outfits with me to wear so I’d have some options, but when I tried on the dress I was hoping to wear, it didn’t fit! It didn’t help that I had already had a few glasses of wine, but when I looked at myself in the mirror, looking like a sausage disco ball, I almost wanted to cry. How the hell did I gain weight? And how much weight? I’ve been running for almost two months now, what the f***!?

Well, that last part is half true. The past two weeks I haven’t kept up my running (for shame, I know!). I’ve been so stressed out about getting everything ready for Christmas, my trip to Thailand, and my wedding that the last thing I wanted to do was jog in the cold rain after work. And I guess my diet hasn’t been amazing either. I’m still on my sort of vegetarianism, trying not to eat meat more than once every couple of days, but I think I’ve been replacing the meat with carbs, as so many of you commenters warned me about. So I thought if I got a scale, maybe I could track things a bit better.

Now, it may seem kind of stupid to start amping up getting fit in December, especially when there are cookies, chocolates, and full fat everything everywhere, but I honestly feel like if I wait until after New Years, I won’t be able to fit into any of my clothes. My jeans are already pretty snug, and I don’t want to have to buy a bunch of new clothes because I can’t get my sh** together! I may love food as much as sleep, but above anything else I am cheap, and would rather not spend any more money at the mall this month.

I’m not going to tell you my weight (obviously), but let’s just say I’ve never seen that number before in my life and it truly terrified me. I don’t want to be a bulging bride and if a scale could help me get my a** in gear, then I’m sure as hell gonna give it a go!

Do you think this is a good or bad idea? Do you have a scale at home?


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  • I like having a scale as it helps to keep me on track. I do try to only weigh myself once a week or so. That way I’m not mad at myself for all of the small fluctuations.

  • I don’t know about you, but when I start working out I actually eat more. If I amp up my workouts, I’m hungrier. I usually end up being fit but exactly the same size as when I started. I’d say just really watch your intake, eat mostly fruits veggies, and protein and you’ll be great !

    • That definitely true, but I think sometimes after I get in the routine of working out, I start eating more, then I stop working out, but keep eating the same amount. And definitely too many carbs. But I love them so much!

  • We have a scale at home as well and I think it helps us stay on track. I think it’s a great idea to start now as well. I know it can be hard during the Holidays, but you can still indulge some while also working out which will set you up for success next year.

  • I weigh myself every time I’m at the gym (because they have a scale and I don’t). I too recently saw a terrifying number on said scale that I’ve never seen before, and also need to get my a– in gear.

    I think it’s a good idea, as long as you’re not the type of person that will freak over the 0.1 lbs fluctuations throughout the day/week.

  • I think a scale is a good idea as long as you don’t become obsessed with it, or the number, which especially as women are weight fluctuates a lot. Use it as a starting point, but go on how you “feel” and how your clothes are fitting. One thing is not to get caught up in anyone who might post, “well you’re running and muscle weighs more than fat.” That is absolutely true, but more than likely it takes a LONG time to get to the point where that is why you are putting on weight. I’m a big believer in exercise of course, but…and believe me I KNOW how unfun it is, to really lose weight you have to eat better. Or less calories. With my shoulder injury, I’ve had to eliminate yoga and volleyball and volleyball training from my daily routine, which sucks. I exercise almost every day, but eating the same, and have gained a couple of pounds. I know I’ll have to cut calories, which is hard. One trick I have is my 10% rule. Cut 10% of the “bad stuff” and add 10% of the good stuff, and work 10% harder in exercise. It doesn’t feel like a big change. It takes more time, but you have a tendency to stick with it more. Good luck! And don’t stress-this time of year is tough for everyone.

  • Honestly, I don’t keep a scale at home. I tend to use my clothes as a gauge for whether or not my diet and exercise needs to get back into check. If my jeans fit nicely, it means I’m on the right track. If I start puffing out the top, it means I’ve over done it, and it’s time to smarten up and get my butt back into gear. It works pretty well. The trick is to use a pair of pants with no or minimal stretch. That way you’re not fooling yourself into thinking you’re fine when the pants start to bag out. I’ve been able to keep myself at a fairly stable size and weight for the last 6 years or so doing this.

    • Ya that’s what I did before, and using clothes as a gauge is good, though sometimes it would just sneak up on me and I’d be all like “My jeans fit yesterday, what the hell happened today that they don’t anymore?”

  • I don’t use a scale because I once had a problem where I became obsessed with stepping on it and looking at the number (to the point where I would weigh myself before AND after a glass of water…) Now I just judge by how snug my clothes fit, and when they start to feel snug, I make sure to just keep more of an eye on what I eat and ramp up my workouts a little bit. I think it’s ok to use a scale, but I probably wouldn’t step on it more than one week at a time! Good luck!

  • I think it`s a great idea, because it was one of my main motivations when I lost weight a couple of years ago. just make a deal with yourself to only go on the scale once a week or everyother week, so that it doesnt become an obsession. If the weightloss is going the right way, using a scale can be really motivating, because even if you cant see the physical results right away, the numbers will show it!

  • I think its great that you’re starting in December. Waiting till January has always been a pitfall of mine. So this year, I’ve been focusing on eating well throughout the holidays and I’m working out consistently (all my pants are snug too! went on vacation and returned to four days of Thanksgiving…ugh!) Use the scale as a tool. And maybe weigh yourself once a week at the same time every week.

  • I have a scale and I weigh myself every day, haha. Though I am actively losing weight (50-60lb down, less than 10 to go), and it just tells me every day if I am on track. I do feel a tiny bit guilty after a food and drink filled weekend but it makes me relieved when it goes right back down. And yeah, there’s no reason not to start now – if you keep putting it off, you’ll likely never do it.

  • I have a scale and I like it, but I think as tools go it’s not a super-useful one. Tracking your food (especially protein, as I said last time) intake will help you much more. There are so many factors that go into weight that have nothing to do with health and fat reduction that it doesn’t really give actionable feedback. I much prefer process goals (I will eat A B and C today) vs. outcome goals (my weight will be X).

    • Some good points. And I definitely realize that muscle weighs more than fat, and if you weigh yourself in the morning as opposed to mid-day or later in the evening, the numbers will be completely different. Some important things to keep in mind!

      • Muscle doesn’t “weigh” more than fat – muscle is more dense than fat. 1 pound of muscle takes up less volume than 1 pound of fat, plus it is more (positively) hormonally active.

        Does your scale estimate body fat percentage? Individual measurements are not terribly accurate but over the long-term it should let you know if you’re moving in the right direction.

  • As long as you take it with a grain of salt, I think it’s fine. But just remember that muscle weighs more than fat, and muscle also burns more calories. So the easiest way to get your pants a little loser is to do some weight lifting. The scale might even go up, but if you’re replacing fat with muscle, the dress will look much better =)

  • I used to have a scale at home but I felt so good getting rid of it! Try only weighing yourself at 7am on Tuesdays or something, so you don’t let the numbers rule your life. You are so much more than a number on a scale, and so much more than a number stitched into a dress!

  • Scale at home is a bad idea. Because it makes you more obsessive about the weight than you should be. I contemplated buying a scale for some time but then I give up. When I go to the gym I always weigh myself. So I figured it is as goods as it gets. No scale at home or I would be weighing myself three times a day. Not good.

  • I used a scale for after pregnancy and felt it did help motivate me to shed the pounds more efficiently to reach my pre-baby weight. So it is a good tool as long as it is being used as an aid instead of utilized as a masochistic means to torture yourself. Good luck, Mo. Let us know how you get on.

  • We have a scale at our house and I hate it. My wife drags it out of the closet, you can literally hear the thing scrape the floor and steps on. It beeps she says NO! It didn’t move and then gets upset. If she just didn’t read it everything would be fine.
    Plus a scale can be misleading because if you’re toning and building muscle it won’t go down as fast.

  • I never used to weigh myself, probably because I never had any problem with keeping myself at a good weight. But lately the pounds have been creeping on, and to combat that, I’ve started weighing myself daily and using the app Lose It. I’ve found it’s really been helpful and as a result I’m 2.5 pounds off where I would like to be. My feeling is, I’d rather exercise, eat healthy and monitor my weigh daily than get caught off guard, feel like a terrible failure, and have to set out to lose ten pounds.

      • That happened to me a few months ago, suddenly there was more…volume…under my chin than I was used to. Never again! It’s much easier to maintain a healthy weight than to lose weight, so I monitor pretty carefully these days and adjust accordingly.

  • We have a scale and use it randomly. But I tend to guage if I’ve gained or lost weight based on how my clothes fit. As for starting your weight loss endeavour in December, if you can manage to lose any weight this month well you’ll definetely succeed! :)

  • We have a scale but it’s hidden in the closet, because I yell at it everytime I step on to it :)
    That’s good that you are starting to get fit now instead of waiting till January. It’s never to early to start!

  • We don’t have a scale, and having met you, I don’t think you should be worried about your weight. :) Weight isn’t the only metric for health!

    That being said, I could probably do more to stay in shape and maintain my weight.

  • I used a scale in Victoria and it really helped motivate me with my weight loss progress. After a certain point though, it feels so much better to “feel” the difference, based on how your clothes fit. With your scale, help your sanity by doing a couple of things: 1) weigh yourself first thing in the morning, after using the washroom and 2) only weigh yourself once/week.

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