If you read my posts, then you know that I'm really not a big fan of the scale. For me personally, I've found that it doesn't really do anything but make me feel bad and cause anxiety. So, for that reason, I probably only weigh myself about 2x per year and that's normally at doctors offices when I have to.
I do think that it's important to use some form of tangible measurement to keep track of progress and take note of how your body is doing but a lot of these "measurements" are subject to moods and feelings. I do my best to take note of how my body is actually feeling as one of my first forms of tracking my body. Have I been feeling lethargic? Am I sleeping well? How are my anxiety and stress levels? As a health coach, I've gotten good at tapping into those feelings and then I trace them back to foods and workouts so that I can make changes and see improvements, but it isn't easy. "Measuring" mood seems kind of lala and un data driven anyways.
So, my next step to keep track of progress is to take inventory of how my clothes are fitting and how I look in the mirror. This is where things get a little tricky too. My body changes A TON right before that time of the month (sorry boys) so that week is out in terms of getting accurate "data". Then, it's also subject to mood, lighting and if my jeans are fresh out of the dryer or 7 days dirty. So, as you can see, if you aren't using the scale, it can be a little hard to really measure your success accurately.
So, really quickly, why is it so important to measure things? Well, I like to measure and track my body so that I know if I'm doing the right thing. I love to experiment with different workouts, foods and routines and sort of use my body as a lab and then take that information to my clients to help them really kick more ass. When I'm with clients I do measure things like improvements in workouts, ability to handle more weight on a lift and then we also talk about energy levels and even weight on the scale. But, as you get closer and closer to your target weight, again, it's hard to measure success.
So, with that, I want to talk to you guys something super badass and totally amazing. And no, this isn't a sponsored post, I just love this product and want to share it with as many people as I can because it's totally revolutionized my thoughts around fitness tracking and improvement. A few months ago I started doing some beta testing with this brand new 3D Fitness tracker in the Bay Area called Naked Labs. I fell in love with them because their mission is to reinvent the scale and the way that we track our fitness success. Instead of getting your weight, this 3D tracker actually scans your entire body and then gives you measurements, body fat % and then an actual look at your body within 30 seconds.
Check out my scan above--The image of me on the right is taken 2 months later, and I actually weight 4lbs MORE! So, although I am much leaner, as you can see in the image, and from the data that the scan provides, I actually weigh more here. Had I just used a traditional model and only weighed myself in this situation I may not have known that I was making so much progress.
My intention with this post is to get you to tune in to your body and not solely rely on the traditional scale to tell you if you are "improving". Whether you have access to something like the Naked scale or are just looking for improvements in energy and sleep, tracking your progress is really important but don't get stuck on just one measurement.
Next time around on the blog I'm going to talk to you all about how I was able to make such significant improvements in my overall body composition in just 7 weeks! So, keep your eyes peeled for that article soon, and definitely check out the Naked fitness tracker here.
I'd love to hear from you and which measurements you use to track your progress. Do you take before and afters? Do you get your body fat % measured? Let me know in the comments!
---By Darby Jackson