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5 Reasons You Should Step on the Scale Post-Vacation

07/17/2014 05:16 EDT | Updated 09/16/2014 05:59 EDT
beyond foto via Getty Images

Yup, there's no typo there. It says should. You 100 per cent should get on the scale and weigh yourself post summer holidays. In fact, I think you should be weighing in weekly (but that's a whole other blog post). Let's focus on why after a week or two of vacation, you should get on the scale.

Actually, before we talk about the importance of getting on the scale, let's quickly review what the scale is not going to tell you. It's not going to tell you if you are a good or bad person. It won't determine your self-worth. The number won't win you any more friends and it certainly doesn't tell you how much of you is fat, muscle, bone or water. Nevertheless, it can be a great tool and one not to discard when weight loss is your goal.

Remind Yourself of Your Goals

Let's be honest, I've done up enough vacation programs for clients to know that 80% of the time, they don't get done. We all have great intentions - we'll hit the gym in the hotel or do a quick in-room workout before we start our day. And hey, maybe it happens, but often it doesn't, and that's ok. It's a week or two. Not months. But now that you're home, it's time to re-focus and remind yourself what your health and fitness goals are.

Stepping on the scale gives you a snapshot of where you are now. A new baseline, if you please. And a gentle reminder of why maybe implementing Margarita Mondays at home may not be as great an idea as it was on vacation.

Ignorance is Not Bliss

Nobody gains 20 pounds in a week. You'd be pretty hard pressed to even gain five to ten. But if you knew your weight ahead of time, you can catch those little increases and clean things up before they turn into bigger problems! If you do notice a bit of an increase, up your water intake, pile on the healthy food and move your body at least 20 minutes a day. Chances are within a week; you'll have combated that blip and set yourself up for success to face your next goal.

Your Clothes May be Lying to You

It's true. Clothes aren't built like they used to be. Remember when your jeans didn't have that soft, comfortable, move-with-your-body stretch? Or wearing yoga pants everywhere wasn't acceptable (or even an option)? Thanks to textile technology, our clothes may not be giving us an accurate snapshot of what's happening in reality. Ponder this... I wore my same yoga pants the entire time I was pregnant with twins. Oh and trust me, I gained weight. Just shy of 60 pounds to be exact. 60 pounds and the same pair of pants - yikes!

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Twin Delivery Day (39+ weeks) and the same yoga pants I wore pre & post pregnancy

So next time you catch yourself saying, 'I don't weigh myself, I just go by the fit of my clothes' maybe, just maybe, you should hop on the scale.

You May Be (Pleasantly) Surprised

What if you actually lost weight? Impossible you might think, but I've seen it. Less stress, less responsibilities, more sleep, more relaxation and - bam - a few pounds just melt off. If you're one of these people, this information is vital to you. You need to work toward changing your everyday life. Now, I am not suggesting you quit your job and open a surf shop at Alberta Beach, but take a look at what you did differently on vacation that you could start doing in everyday life.

Did you get eight hours or more of sleep a night? Time to implement a bedtime routine. Maybe you walked everywhere? Wear a pedometer and start increasing your steps. Started your day with a fresh fruit smoothie? Buy a blender and get on it. There's no reason you can't start doing some of those simple things here and now.

It's Easy. And Inexpensive. And Painless...

Most people have a scale or access to one. You don't need anything fancy (save your money and stay away from the ones that claim to tell you your body fat percentage). It takes less than a minute and there's no real pain to doing it. You don't even have to share it with anyone. It's just you and the scale. But for all the reasons above, it's a tool, when taken just one time, it doesn't tell us much. But taken on a regular basis, it can tell us a fair amount. One of the funniest things clients tell me is that their scale at home weighs them in less. Honestly, I don't care about the number. I am looking at change. I am looking for what happens over an extended period of time (three months to one year or more). If you can let go of any emotional baggage you have with the scale, you'll be better off.

The overwhelming majority of those who belong to the National Weight Control Registry, people who have lost a minimum of 30 pounds and kept if off for a year or more, will be quick to tell you weighing themselves on a weekly basis was one of their keys to success.

It's time. Get on the scale. Give yourself something tangible to track your progress with. Don't equate that number to anything more than what it is; a measure of how much 'matter' is in a 'body'. The scale is not judging you; you shouldn't be judging yourself either.

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