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Weight Loss Corner

The Scale Lies
By Bethany Roberts
A friend of mine named Stacy came up to me the other day and with an tone of frustration said; "I have been working out for over a month now as well as eating better and so far I have managed to gain two pounds." I asked her how her clothes fit compared to before she began her workout program and she admitted that she had been able to wear a pair of jeans that she had not worn in over a year. "But I want to see weight loss on the scale" she exclaimed. I think a lot of women feel the same way even though what really matters it how you look and feel not how much you weigh.
Obviously what had happened with my friend Stacy is that she had managed to gain some muscle at the same time she lost some fat. Since muscle is much more dense than fat it takes up less room and explains why she was able to fit into jeans she had not worn in a year even though she had gained two pounds. Actually Stacy should have been thrilled to have gained some muscle from her workouts because it would help speed up her metabolism and help her lose some more fat. I tried to tell her that as well as telling her how much better she looked but she was too hung up on her scale weight for my encouragement to do much good.
Far too many people are like my friend Stacy and are hung up on how much they weigh. I think the reason for this is because weighing yourself becomes such a ritual that it then becomes the only measurement for success. Unfortunately it is a very bad way to measure success. Reduction in body fat should be your goal. In order to stay motivated you need to have a way to measure your progress. The problem is it is very difficult to get an accurate measurement of body fat without spending a lot of time and money. The only truly accurate weigh to check your body fat is through hydrostatic weighing, which is done underwater. Skin fold calipers are somewhat accurate providing the person taking the measurements knows what they are doing. All the other devices out there including the scales that check body fat are useless.
So what is the answer? You need a way to measure your progress but you cannot use a scale or the other devices that people try to market to you. I have a way to measure your progress that is both accurate and inexpensive. What is the catch? Well, it takes a certain amount of courage especially at the beginning. I advise everyone to take a picture of themselves in their bathing suit prior to starting a workout program and then at least once month after they start. I warned you it would take some courage. It is amazing the difference you can see in pictures. Do not fool yourself in to thinking that you will notice the change by looking at yourself in the mirror. You must have pictures.
If you are too squeamish to have someone take a picture of you then buy a camera with a timer and do it yourself. The key in taking the pictures is to pose the same way each time. Wear the same bathing suit. Use the same location. Stand the exact same distance from the camera. After a couple of months you will be amazed at how different you look. You will feel terrific because you can see the changes you are making in yourself and that will motivate you to continue you effort so that you will make even greater changes. Hopefully my friend Stacy will take my advice and start taking pictures of herself. If she does then the next time I see her she will probably run up to me excitedly saying "Its working!! I look so much thinner."

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