Day one on the treadmill was rough. Day two was better. By day three, I’d woken up before my alarm, excited to put my sneakers on and head out the door. Good stuff, right?! Well, things went all kinds of sideways on day eight or nine when I decided to weigh myself after a workout. I’d gained three pounds. Gained?! How was this possible? I could tell I was getting in better shape because my dresses were already fitting better. The scale had to be broken, right?!
Wrong. The thing I’d forgotten, and that I always forget, is that muscle weighs more than fat. So if you’re a pretty healthy weight, and you start working out more, when some of your fat mass is replaced by muscle, you might weigh more.
When I remembered that, I decided that I really just shouldn’t weigh myself anymore. I only very rarely eat junk food, my clothes aren’t too tight, and I’m working out. That number on the scale is just a number. For girls who are seriously overweight and who are trying to lose some pounds so they can be healthier, I understand how numbers can help with goal setting and tracking progress–but we still shouldn’t obsess about them.
There are so many other way more exciting benefits of being active (like, um, having fun!) that shifting that number on the scale kind of has to take the back burner.
Who’s with me, girls? Who runs, works out, or plays a sport mainly just because it makes them feel good? Tell me all about it in the comments!