Track Weight Loss Progress by Taking Pictures
This is a post from my continuing series of Tuesday weight loss tips.
I’ve weighed myself a thousand times in the last couple of years. At one point I was obsessed with stepping onto the scale during first several months of my weight loss journey, always wanting to be rewarded. If I ate 2,000 calories in a day, I wanted to step on the scale first thing the next morning and see my reward, a loss of half a pound or more.
Sometimes it worked out that way. And sometimes, it didn’t.
I ate out Outback Steakhouse last Thursday night — it was the first time my wife and I have been able to take a date (we have a 21-month old) in a very long time (thanks, mom, for watching our little girl!). I ate, enjoyed the night, and didn’t care about calories for a couple of hours while I indulged. I had a couple of glasses of sweet tea, a 9 ounce steak, lobster, and a loaded potato. It was delicious. If I had to guess, it was probably about 2,000 calories. That’s not what the scale said, though.
After stepping on the scale Friday morning, I was told I gained 5 pounds overnight.
Many people don’t realize how easily scales can be skewed. Your weight varies wildly on the time of day you step onto the scale, whether you just took a shower, clothes you’re wearing, recent bowel movements, water retention, etc. Some things you can control, something things you obviously can’t, which is why it’s fine to use a scale as one of the measurements of your weight loss progress, but it shouldn’t be the only measurement.
I’d also recommend you measure your weight loss progress by taking pictures.
You don’t have to start a blog and post the pictures on the web for the world to see or anything elaborate, you simply need to take em’ and save em’. Take the pictures, maybe once a month, and save them on your camera phone or upload them to your hard drive so you can refer back to them at a later date. As I said, the scale lies and it can’t be trusted to give you the whole picture of your progress. For example, I’m 10+ pounds above my lowest recorded weight of 199, but I look and feel much, much better than I was at 199. I started weight lifting about 6 months ago and while I’ve moved up on the scale because of it, I have less fat, less loose skin, and more muscles.
Whether you lift weights or not is irrelevant, you should still take pictures of your weight loss progress. The pictures you snap may show big changes even when the scale doesn’t for a little while. And, if anything, the before pictures you take now will be nice to look back to when you’re 10 or 100+ pounds lighter.
You might even be able to show your daughter your before pictures one day when she’s old enough and you can smile when she expresses her disbelief.
I can’t wait for that day.