I know what you're thinking...
"Oh, great. Here's another post on why the number on the scale doesn't matter."
Boom. You're right. But, I have the evidence to prove it.
Let's face the facts: we are a numbers-based society. But, the problem begins when we rely on one specific factor (in this case, scale weight) and ignore everything else.
One such example occurred this past weekend with a client of mine. For some backstory, she's just coming off having two young boys (both under the age of 4), and she started with us about two months ago. At the outset, she weighed in at 131.2 and had a body fat percentage of 29.4%. Definitely not terrible, but not good either.
Fast forward to yesterday, and we took her latest numbers. While the weight on the scale measured 133.2....her body fat had DROPPED by 4.2%! Did she weigh more? Yes. But, is that increase due to more lean body mass and less fat? You betcha.
After talking with her a bit more, I came to find out that she had actually gone down a size in her wardrobe (further evidence that lifting weights will NOT transform a woman into Mr. Schwarzenegger). However, she was continually under the impression that she wasn't making progress because the number on the scale wasn't going down.
Below is a picture (not of my client) that has made it's way around the internet over the past year. I think it gives a solid appreciation for how basing your health around a scale is an unhealthy and simply wrong way to live your life, as this client looks like she lost 10-15 pounds, even though she weighs more in the picture on the right.
Ok, so what's the secret?
Instead of focusing on running or "cardio," my client and I were focused solely on getting stronger! She also made more of an effort to eat more whole foods and less processed foods. Is it simple? Yes. But was it easy? Nope.
The number that displays when you step on a scale is hardly indicative of any success in the gym. Of course, if you're solely interested in the number on the scale, you could simply cut off your least favorite arm and reach your goal. But, does that mean you should?