It’s All About the Numbers

Measuring Tape
Image by Falcifer (Ben) via Flickr

My most important piece of advice to anyone trying to lose weight is: LOOK AT ALL OF THE NUMBERS.

The scale lies.  I weigh daily and find I’m up one day and down the next, then down really low for two days, and back up again.  That will mess with your head if you’re not prepared for it.

In 2001, I did Weight Watchers.  I was living in New York City and doing the program with some work friends who lived in my neighborhood (Middle Village, Queens, in case you are interested – meetings were at Metro Mall on Saturday mornings).  Over the course of about 8 months I lost 40 lbs.

I was religious about the program and completely focused on the scale.  If it went down, I was happy.  If it went up, I was sad.  Luckily, it didn’t go up too often.

I didn’t think about anything else but those weekly weigh ins and the number they wrote on my little card (and the stickers my leader would put next to it “Great Job!” “Superstar!”).  I didn’t have a scale at home, and all I knew was I wanted that number on the scale to go down.

One day in late summer I was putting off doing laundry so I dug in the bottom of the dresser and pulled out a pair of short and put them on.  They fit fine, and it wasn’t until I took them off later that I realized they were a pair of shorts I hadn’t fit into in years.  I had forgotten I even owned them!

Suddenly I realized all of my clothes were bagging off me and making me look like a hobo.  I went shopping, stat!

Somehow I was losing weight and not seeing the changes.  It never occurred to me I was getting smaller, just that the number on the scale was going down.

Talk about a disconnect!

This time feels much more natural.  I can tell my body is changing, and as of last month I started taking measurements.  Even though I had a very small weight loss amount in 3 weeks, I was thrilled to know that my waist was half an inch smaller, and my hips were an inch smaller!

I’ve added some  more measurements to take next month.  I can’t wait to find out how much of me is gone!


These days my weight loss program is SparkPeople.  If you’re looking for an alternative to pricey weight loss websites, this FREE site might just be for you.  I love the tools and the support.

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