I am obviously not an expert/pro at anything so, whatever I say is just based on my OWN experiences and my own research. Feel free to do your own after reading this!
I know I briefly addressed the muscle compared to fat concept here, but I have to focus on this for a minute.
While I was in the hustle and bustle of losing weight for my wedding, I was consumed with numbers. The wrong kind of number obsession... I was obsessed with seeing the numbers on the scale to go down. I ate great and worked out more in one month than I had in my entire life, at the rate I was going, I was risking being invisible by my wedding... if only it worked that way.
Like I mentioned before, the first month before I started paleo, the only change I did in my entire diet for the month was substituting any liquid with water, making sure I drank my daily requirement, and quit dairy. So, in one month of no sweet tea, milk, cheese, or yogurt- I lost 12 lb. Talk about a "wow" factor. I was so excited. It was the best feeling to see the scale go down. It was habit: wake up, weigh myself, jog, shower, get dressed, go to work. repeat. I was constantly texting my family, "one lb down!!! whoohoo!!! five down! ten down!" etc... AND THEN.
I started working out. So, I went from just cardio to actual weight lifting in the mix. I was toning up and making the deadly mistake of weighing myself every morning. Three weeks in, feeling incredible and toned up, I almost had a nervous break down when I looked down to see the scale laugh at me and actually show an extra 2 lb. WHAT?! what is going on. 4x a week gym. paleo. some cardio. why am I getting "bigger?!"
Ok, here's where the revelation took place. I looked in the mirror, expecting to see this "fat" person I was convinced the extra 2lb turned me into... only to my surprise, I liked what I saw. In fact, I was content. I saw my legs in my shorts (that I only wore in my house! no self confidence YET), and said, "maybe in a few months I COULD wear these out!"
ANNNNNNNDDD that's when the Anti-Scale Movement (ASM) happened. In that moment. I tore my entire house apart looking for a tape measure. Determined to use a different set of numbers. I remember searching a solid two hours for one when I finally gave up and used a string of yarn I had. I took one strand, wrapped it around my belly and cut it. Put it aside. Then I did the same for my arms and thighs. Every month, I measured myself with the same pieces of yarn on the 17th, and would shriek with excitement seeing how much I would take it in! (I ended up getting a tape measure and would measure the excess string from the first month to wherever I was).
Along with the tape measure/yarn method, I did the following:
-I put on a pair of shorts that fit me perfectly and a t-shirt that was kind of snug on my love handles, but didn't look like I was wearing my nieces. I took a selfie of me in the outfit.
-I dusted off a pair of old college jeans that were too tight, but I held onto for over 5 years as a "one-day" goal. You bet I wiggled in. My first selfie of me in them had them at my thighs. It's ok, I took the picture anyway.
-I put on a bikini. This one was the hardest, but by far the most motivating. I saw all my imperfections magnified in front of me. You know I locked the door when taking these. God forbid anyone walk in and subject themselves to such horrific images.
On the 17th of every month after my yarn measurements, I slipped into the above 3 picture outfits. and took the same picture, in the same pose- and compared them month to month. The first two months, I had to do a side by side to see any difference. By month 3, the shorts were so loose, as was the t-shirt, and the college jeans were going up (not zipping yet... but up my hips). Month 6, I screamed with joy because I couldn't even get away with wearing my college "goal" dreams because they were too big!!!! I couldn't even believe it....
AND THEN, the devil said, c'mon- get on that scale! Let's see all your hard work!
3 months into diet and exercise, I lost 4 pant sizes, 8" all over, and still weighed the same as I did when I first started. Thank God I could see my body changing and realize the scale was the DUMBEST way to measure weight loss!!!
9 months into diet and exercise, I lost a total of 8 (!!!!) pant sizes and was faced with daily accusations of starving myself or bulimia. I loved knowing that I looked so much thinner and could PROVE to these people that it was definitely done the healthy way, because I could hop on a scale and easily weigh 30lb more than them (or what they THOUGHT I weighed!) I had muscle mass, I was lean because of my muscle. The irony? I weighed the exact same as day one of my journey.
From July 2011- October 2011 (3 months) : With a combination of paleo and cardio: I lost the majority of my weight. Around 35 lbs. While I weighed less, I was flabby and still had muffin top/extra weight/bloated face etc.
From October 2011- March of 2012 (5 months), I weighed the EXACT SAME, but managed to shrink from a 10/12 to a 4/6. Even wearing Old Navy size 2. I know they run big, but, I still had a pair of size 12 shorts from there. I was elated. This was due to that crazy amounts of weight lifting I had added, which made me burn more calories while resting. So even if I wasn't in the gym, I was getting fit. It's weird. I don't get it. But trainers do, ask one you know!
Everyone thinks I was "so tiny" for my wedding... but as embarrassing as it is to admit, if it helps you guys join the ASM I will tell you the numbers.... UGH I never thought I would do this. I was a size 4 on my wedding day, and weighed 147. That was a farrrrr goal from my original "goal" of weighing 130 for it! Goals Schmoals.... I had my dress taken in 5 times. The seamstress was getting mad at me, but I couldn't help it. I wasn't TRYING to lose weight anymore, I was just maintaining my fitness, and the irony is she kept saying, "STOP LOSING WEIGHT" and i wanted to laugh and say I'M NOT!
So, for 5 months, I weighed the same but looked SO DIFFERENT. I should be living proof of why you should take the battery out of your scale (since I know you won't listen and will want to weigh yourself occasionally--- blog post on THAT to come soon).
I absolutely hate doing this, but in case my words mean nothing- maybe my pictures will help?
I started my weight loss goal with a WEIGHT in mind, because it was all I knew. I knew I weighed too much, and I wanted to LOOK the way I did when I was at this particular weight in my life.
|Taken at my sisters wedding in 2005, I was a sophomore in college and weighed 135|
|I feel like I look similar... but whatttt I weighed over 12lb more in this pic|
See how numbers can be deceiving?.... Ok, let me REITERATE...
I weighed the same in THIS picture
|how emb, i cringe looking at how bloated I look...|
|i will take a bigger number on the scale and have a toned body any day, over a smaller number and flabbier bod!|
SO, I hope that makes it clear for anyone out there using the scale as the true sign of weight loss.
IT ALL depends on how you feel, look, and perform. I swear, let's do this ASM and quit beating ourselves up over numbers that don't matter! I know plenty of people who were bigger than me (measurement wise) and weighed less, and I know plenty of people SMALLER than me who weighed more. Just think about how you feel in your clothes, how you feel when your picture is taken, etc. I have come to peace with the fact that I will probably never ever be in the 130's again. It's not in the cards for my body frame, and that's ok! Because, last time I checked no one put a scale in front of me and forced me to get on it for any reason. Not for a friendship, relationship, etc. So it's not even worth it. Do it for yourself, do it for the right reasons, and the end result will always please you!