January 11, 2010

How To Stay On A Diet

So, I was thinking about this whole weighing in thing, and realized that what I'm really after when I hop on the scale is some kind of a visual that will keep me going. We know ourselves too well . . . all the times we've started a diet only to fall off the wagon a few weeks later . . . and desperately wanting this time to be THE time that it actually happens, we get the weight off and change the way we look forever.

On the other hand, I really respect what others have said about the deception of the scale. Depending on our fluid intake, when we last ate, what we last ate, how much salt we've had, and a host of other variables, the scale just doesn't tell the whole story. But, as many problems as the scale seems to have, it is still one of the most concrete ways of gauging our progress.

But, is there a better way, or maybe an additional way? In one of my past weight loss attempts, I did a couple of "visual" things that didn't involve the scale. This particular time I was desperately wanting to get into a size 16 jeans.

So, I went to the store and bought a really cute pair and hung them on a hook on the back of my bathroom door. Then, every day before stepping into the shower I would pause at the mirror and look at my body. Yeah, while naked, no clothes to cover up or camouflage anything, just bare nakedness. It was like how I told myself the truth about where my body actually was. Then, a couple of times a week after my shower I'd try those new cute jeans on.

I was successful that time in getting a bunch of weight off I think because I kept a constant visual in front of me, both in the form of actually seeing my body for what it was and seeing those jeans that I wanted to look good in. I was working out hard with both cardio and strength training, and was gaining muscle while losing fat, so the scale wasn't always showing the kind of loss I really hoped for. But, those jeans!! I'll never forget the day I tried them on, and voila, they fit like a glove.

So, what do you guys think? I personally don't think I could give up the scale completely, but maybe adding other visual reminders in will help us stay on track this year. Would love to hear if anyone else has tried this visual thing and if it worked.

Workin' it,


  1. Measuring inches can be a good non-scale way to measure progress. Mostly I try to focus on the process as success. For example, if I workout 5 or 6 times a week, that's success. If I stay in my calorie range, that's success. The scale will come along eventually. I think I just came up with my morning post, lol.
    Great Post.

  2. I'm a visual person too. I have little reminders all over the house of what I want to look like....and a picture of Tara from the biggest loser on my fridge.

    I love that this worked for you!

  3. I've hung a picture on my fridge of me at a smaller weight before. Sometimes it worked, sometimes I shrugged...opened the fridge and at the leftover pizza.

  4. @Kat Yah, counting all the successes along the way is huge. And, if I've set reasonable goals, it's easier to trust the process when I'm doing what I know is right.

    @Connie Thanks Connie! And,this reminds me that I want to make an inspiration board with all my dreams on it - very soon!

    @Lisa I'm becoming more and more convinced that losing weight is largely a mental battle and I have to be ready...and the pain of remaining the same has to be greater than any pleasure I get from it. If visuals don't work that well for you, I'm interested to learn what you've found that does. Please share!

  5. That sounds good. I have a skinny pic of me on the fridge and a size 12 skinny jeans too! Do what works! It will happen! I know!

  6. Cheryl, this is interesting cause i have done the same thing too. I may need to try this approach again!