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Can we ever make sense of the scale?

One day a woman told me that she and her friend went to Boston on a Friday night and ate dessert and the next morning when they went to Weight Watchers, she had lost 4 pounds. She felt she had gotten away with eating the dessert. And like many people, she felt that the scale just doesn’t make any sense and that when she was “good” the scale went up and when she was “bad” the scale went down. The conclusion was, “why even bother?!” 

Over the years this has caused me to think you could win a Nobel Prize or something if you could determine when what you consume today actually, really, truly shows up for real as more or less body fat on the scale. Well, one of you may deserve the Nobel Prize as far as I am concerned! (You know who you are). 

The person I am describing actually gained 30 pounds in the first 3 years of coming to me. She could not make heads or tails of food, eating, appetite, weight or much else. Every time she thought the scale would go down it went up and every time she thought the scale would go up it went down. 

Since then a lot has happened and her body today weighs nearly 140 pounds less than that highest weight. She has learned many things. One of the things she recently learned and taught me was that, at least for her, the scale reflects her eating, drinking and moving as much as 10-14 days after those behaviors take place. She happens to be an extremely detailed oriented person and tracks her consumption and activity in relationship to the old “number on the scale.” 

I personally believe she has sort of “cracked the code”, that there may be at least a one week lag time between what food and drink we consume today in combination with the amount of movement we do, and when all of that really, truly, and yes finally shows up on the scale.

How many of us have made the mistake of throwing in the proverbial towel because we thought we were “good” and the scale went up, or we thought we were “bad” and the scale went down? How much would it change this journey for you if you cultivated a little bit of patience and simply waited another week before changing things, so that you could stop chasing your proverbial tail and finally have a weight that supports your health and happiness?