For years scale-watching was the only way I measured how I was doing with respect to diet and weight loss. Weighing myself helps monitor progress in the long-term. The problem with the scale? It does not measure progress on a daily or hourly basis – the scale fluctuates depending on water retention, how recently you have eaten, how much fluid you have ingested, and how recently you have gotten rid of wastes.
There are other ways to keep track of progress – percent body fat, body measurements such as waist circumference, and so on. These each have their merits, but are still not tools for assessing how I’m doing ‘right now’.
The ‘scale’ I like for assessing progress throughout the day is one that tells me if I am staying ‘on track’.
This is a simple scale to help me acknowledge how well I am considering my health and wellness at any time during the day. Without a scale for assessment, I find I just ignore or forget what I am doing, find a way to justify my actions at a particular moment or say ‘I’ll do that tomorrow’.
This is my scale for self-talk:
1: on track: eating well and exercising as I planned
instruction – keep going
2: straying from path: sitting here is not getting me anywhere; choosing to eat that food, in that quantity, will slow my progress
instruction – get back on track, no excuses
3: not on track: overeating, not exercising
instruction – stop, think, adjustment required right now, get back on track, no excuses.
Self talk occurs anyway. Providing a measurement for where I am, right now, helps me stay objective about how I am doing. And helps me decide what to do next. A ‘1’ is great, a ‘2’ or ‘3’ means change is needed.
All people do not face the same wellness issues. The scale above could be modified for any health regimen. For example, I can apply it to my knees and arthritis issues, modifying the scale to include stretching exercises and walking.