Better Ways to Measure Your Weight

Better Ways to Measure Your Weight

5 Ways to Measure Weight Loss Success (Other Than the Scale)

Encore post from 2019

I once posted a meme that said, “If you’ve become obsessed about weighing yourself often to see if you’ve lost weight, then put the scale away.” That meme seemed to put some of my friends and followers off. Please, allow me to clarify that statement. I was anorexic in my last year of high school and the beginning of college. In my pre-teen years, I was labeled chubby and pudgy. I wanted so much to be pretty and accepted. Where I lived, that meant losing some weight. So I began dieting. To make a long story short, I was obsessed with the scale. I weighed myself twice a day, hoping to see a lower number each time. Spiraling into anorexia, I put my health– and life– at significant risk. Here is the truth: obsession over the numbers on the scale reveals a deeper need for love and acceptance. I’ve got great news for you—God loves you regardless of the numbers on the scale. Your value does not come from your weight, it comes from our Creator.

Weight loss is a misnomer to some degree. Yes, eventually, you want to see that number come down. It comes down to losing body fat and building lean muscle. Right? Doctors get on patients’ cases to lose weight so they can improve their health. They often need to get their health numbers under control with guidance and direction. Losing weight isn’t their answer; changing their lifestyles is. Weight loss will eventually follow. In reality, it isn’t as much about the weight you are hoping to lose, rather the excess body fat. The scale only gives you a small glimpse of your healthy weight loss picture. It’s important to know what a healthy weight range would be for you. Your doctor, a certified personal trainer, or health coach can help you. This way, you know your healthy target weight.

So, with that in mind, allow me to share what I discovered with some healthier, more productive ways to see your weight loss progress:

  1. How do your clothes fit? Most of my clients tell me they feel the difference in the fit of their clothing before they see a difference in the numbers on the scale. If you can put your fist between your belly button and your waistband when you couldn’t before, then you have made progress!
  2. Compare your first measurements with your current measurements. If you are four weeks out from your start date, try re-measuring yourself to see your progress. Insurance companies use your waist and hip measurements for your health risks and life insurance rates. Your doctor uses them to determine health risk factors. If that works for them, then this will surely work for you.
  3. Lack of bloating due to dietary changes. If you no longer feel like a balloon after you eat, then your nutritional changes are helping you. Many foods like lunchmeats and ham contain preservatives as well as excess sodium that cause bloating. Another factor is that many fried foods, fatty meats, and dairy cause a low-level inflammation in your body that makes you puffy.
  4. Do you know your body composition? What you see on your scale display doesn’t give you a complete picture of what is happening with your body. Body fat, lean muscle, and water percentage all factor into the number you see as your weight. Have a personal trainer do your body fat percentage for you, so you know where you are. Do that once a month while you are losing weight.
  5. How people who care about you see your success. The people who care the most about you will compliment you on any positive change you make. Have a trusted friend or family member go clothes shopping with you. They can help you pick out flattering outfits for your new shape as you make progress.

As for the need for love and acceptance, I have written several posts on this topic over the years. Feel free to go through the Archives to find what you want. If not, ask me since I changed websites in 2018. But explore why you want to lose weight. Is it because you think your boyfriend or husband will love you more? Is it because you don’t feel pretty? Are you trying to land a particular job that depends on appearance? Do you find yourself alone when everyone is doing something together as a group? Then there might be something deep down inside that needs attention. If so, I suggest speaking with a Christian life coach, Christian counselor, or a pastor. Any of these highly-trained professionals can help you uncover internal issues and guide you to a healthier Christ-centered view of yourself. Quite often, the reason people obsess over the numbers on the scale is the same reason they have trouble losing weight. Certain personality types are more prone, under certain conditions, to develop an eating disorder. I hope that isn’t the case for you.

If I can help you with this topic, please contact me if you want guidance toward your weight loss or health goals. In that case, the Healthy Lifestyles program or Christian wellness coaching may be valuable to you. I would be happy to walk alongside you on your journey to total health. May God bless you!

Resources of Interest

Eating Disorders

These are just a few resources who might be able to help you if you believe you have an eating disorder. Of course, a Christian counselor or your pastor would be the best person to refer you to one closer to you.

Selah House

The Renfrew Center

 Timberline Knolls

Meier Clinics

Mental/Spiritual Connections with Weight Loss or Food

Relevant Magazine

Science Daily

Psychology Today   

Christian Resources for Human Value

Desiring God

Focus on the Family This is aimed at parents of pre-teens and teens, but it might be helpful depending on your past.

 Meier Clinics

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