I feel like I was lucky this year. Because I went on a ski trip, I had the opportunity for a ton of exercise. I went snowshoeing every day until my legs wouldn’t move anymore, took a break, and then went again. But even with all my hard work, on Christmas morning, I had only managed to break even because of all the food I was eating.
I think breaking even over Christmas is a very good thing. I’m counting it as an achievement. But there is something that’s changed. I look in the mirror this morning, and I don’t feel like I’ve broken even. I feel like I’ve lost.
I’ve been monitoring it for some time. Because I’ve been focused on my legs, I keep on eye on how they’re looking. Over the Christmas break and all the snowshoeing, they look…thinner. I may not have lost any weight, but I definitely see toning still happening.
I’m one of those people who hate the number on the scale. My entire life, my body never matched that number. I was a muscular kid because of all the sports I played, so the number was always higher than my just as thin friends. I used to be embarrassed about it. I want to go back and tell that kid to look in the mirror, see her muscles, and be proud of them. But it has colored the way I think about that number. Even now, seeing the number go slowly down, it doesn’t match how I feel. I’m happy that it’s going down, but to see my thigh continue to slim but the number stay the same, it confuses me. It can be disheartening when you spend an entire week working hard, and then get on that scale to see the numbers maybe gone up! But it is the easiest way to measure progress.
My roommate Dee, who as we know is a weight watchers teacher, told me to think of the scale as a single measure of progress, but not the most important one. There are a hundred measures of progress, and just because the scale isn’t moving, doesn’t mean something else isn’t. In my case, the fat is slowly receding, while the muscle is growing. I can see and feel a difference, so it doesn’t matter what the scale says. As long as the scale isn’t climbing and you lie to yourself and say something like ‘well muscle weighs more than fat so I’m just gaining muscle’, then you’re okay. Weight is weight, and you’re going to obsess over it. Just makes sure you’re to failing to see progress in other areas and becoming consumed with that number that can ultimately mean very little.