My biggest gripe with using scales in clinic is that there’s such a fear around them and I find that it governs so many people’s lives. They jump on a scale and that number can either send you into a downward spiral or it can make you feel good. Now if it’s the former, that downward spiral is not necessarily a good thing because it can actually change your cortisol levels which in turn can increase your weight – so we use measurements instead.
So why do I love measurements?
Because measurements tell you so much more about your health than the scales do. If we are looking to reduce our weight then we’re looking at measuring our arms, across the bust, the waist, hips, thighs, knees and around the shins too. We are all individuals and all hold fat stores in different places of our bodies, and scales only tell that you’re holding weight – not where you’re holding it.
Now this extra weight could be fluid imbalance, fat stores, maybe we haven’t pooped properly that day, so it’s this conglomeration of stuff, and by just looking at a number on a scale it doesn’t tell you a lot. But in reality, you may not have pooped or wee’d or perhaps you’re a bit dehydrated and didn’t drink enough water, yet if we use measurements we can see that you’ve lost a centimetre around your waist, or two centimetres around your hips, or that your arms have shrunk (even if the rest of you hasn’t!).
And this is a great thing, because when we are reducing our size and our weight, we are actually looking at changing our shape. Now we can be healthy at any “weight” and we can be healthy at any “size”, but changing our shape is the best thing – especially for women like us with thyroid disorders and Hashimoto’s, and with perimenopause or going into menopause, a lot of this weight gets stored around the belly. Now that’s the place where we really need to watch it, or we could find that it’s on our arms or on our face, around our neck – when we can have a goiter – but the thing is too that if we can track our measurements not our weight then we can see the biggest of changes.
We could change our size by centimetres or inches more than we’re ever going to see it on a set of scales. If you’re well-hydrated then your body will start to clear some of that excess fluid and your shape will change dramatically. Your lymphatic system is also important too, and I’ll go into how lymphatics and body brushing will help in another blog.
So when I reduce my own weight, the first place I notice it is on my face, and then my boobs shrink. Sometimes I see it on my upper arms, or that one leg measurement is slightly smaller. My belly is usually the last place I see it, and it’s usually because you’ve been working at this for quite some time. So when you start to see a reduction in belly size it means you’re really starting to get healthy and your body is going, yes! We can release this excess.
When we are trying to reduce our weight we need to remember that we can also have toxins stored in our fat cells – it’s our body’s way of protecting itself – so when we start to lose weight and shift those toxins out of our fat cells we can often get sick, we could have additional pain, and this is because as our body is utilising that fat storage – which processes through the liver – it’s also trying to deal with the toxins as well. These toxins can be anything from allergens to heavy metals, and our liver needs to work really hard. This is the biggest reason we can feel crappy when we start to look after and nurture our bodies.
This is why you don’t have to stand on a set of scales. It’s the number one thing that can cause the most amount of depression and the most amount of anxiety. So take them away.
Really, you could weigh yourself then go poop, and the numbers will change. But has your body shape changed? Has your body fat changed? No.
Instead grab a nice flexible tape measure and use it once a fortnight or once a month, and that will give you the biggest indicator of how well you’re travelling and how much healthier you’re getting.
If you need a little helping hand or a kickstart, make sure to check out my thyroid programs or book in for an individual consult.