Monday, September 17, 2012

When you don't measure up

It's frustrating to step on a scale week after week and have the same three-digit number stare you in the face.

While dealing with my husband's illness, I went through a nine-month period where I would run 45 minutes on the elliptical and did 20 minutes of crunches and strength exercises.

Five days a week.

Still, the scale refused to move.

It became so frustrating I vowed I would choke the next person who used the standard Well, you're building muscle and muscle weighs more than fat line on me.

Screw that. I wanted to see results on the scale.

I went to doctor after doctor. I was poked and prodded. Had my thyroid tested. I even paid for an expensive metabolic test to determine how many calories I was burning each day by simply existing.

I don't remember the exact number, but I know it was something outrageous.

Maybe 2,800 calories? And that was simply to exist.

I showed them to one of my doctors who promptly told me I must have been lying about how much I was eating because the numbers didn't make any sense. That was the last time I saw that doctor. (I mean, really. Do you have any idea how much food 2,800 calories is? It's a lot.)

The frustration of working so hard without seeing any results played heavily into the major breakdown that started my journey toward spiritual and mental wellness. I wanted results. I wanted to be successful. It just wasn't happening.

Then I met Peg, my gym instructor. She helped me realize that perhaps I'd been using the wrong measuring stick to gauge my success. After becoming active with the local fitness center and finding positive encouragement from others with health-minded goals, I began gauging my progress on how I felt rather than how I looked.

The good news is the scale is finally moving in a good direction.

I can do this. So can you.

On Thursday, I'll share some tips on how to measure progress in a way that's healthier for the mind and spirit.

In the meantime, tell me about your frustrations with the scale. Tweet at me. Email me or leave a comment below. I want to hear from you.

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