Health + Beauty

Lies the Scale Tells Me

First of all I need to get this out of the way:

I’ve gained back all the weight I lost at the beginning of this year, plus some.


The first quarter of this year was a giant horrible spiral and I just shrugged my shoulders and went along for the dizzying ride. I’d like to blame my work schedule during those months, or the two fully stocked snack-cubes in my office (one of which was directly behind me), or the fact that I rarely saw daylight on weekdays – keeping me in a perpetual tired funk.

Those things are all true, but they are definitely just excuses for my less than stellar choices. No workouts. Sugar coffees for breakfast. No lunch. Fast food dinners.

Le sigh.

The greatest thing about making choices though, is that you can almost always make a different one! Like last week, I just decided that I was going back to the gym, and so I did. Five times! FIVE TIMES!! I’ve been eating a lot better for several weeks now too, and greatly upped my water intake. It’s also been super sun-shiney around here lately and getting to actually leave the office on time and enjoy it has been amazing for my emotional well being!

So imagine my surprise, bewilderment, dismay, when I happily stepped on the scale on Monday only to discover that I had gained 2 pounds. You can do the math because I couldn’t bring myself to take a picture. This marks the first time in my life that I have seen anything other than a 1 or a 2 as the first number on the scale and I immediately felt like a failure.

But then I just put the scale away and laughed because that can’t possibly be correct. Obviously the scale was not informed that I had worked out five times last week and should be rewarded accordingly.

But then I started thinking about it:

  • What did I do wrong?
  • Why does my body hate me?
  • Clearly I didn’t eat the right foods.
  • … or drink the right drinks.
  • … or workout hard enough.
  • … or workout long enough.

Or, or, or, or, or. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

The thing is, I can tell you unequivocally that my scale number went up because my feet and lower legs are retaining water like they’re preparing for an excursion through the desert (this started after my first workout last week). I know this is true, and yet I let that number bounce around in my brain and get my thoughts all riled up like it was the cut-and-dry truth.

The real truth is: I am not the number on the scale, and it does not measure the whole of my success.

I do like seeing the number get smaller though, so I will probably still be weighing myself once a week (or every other week) and taking body measurements for tracking. I’ll just be reminding myself that the scale is neither friend nor foe… it’s a digital utilitarian object that does exactly what it’s supposed to do — give me one measurement in the form of numbers.

And with that, I make the very awkward transition into asking for advise about de-swelling my legs! Does this happen to anyone else when you workout? I’ve tried elevating my legs and wearing compressions sleeves over night, but it didn’t work. Stretching? Foam rolling? Different exercises?

Seeing as how the weather is getting warmer, I’d like to be able to show some cankle-free leg!


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  • Reply Kim May 2, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Hi Tiffany!

    How is your salt? I know a bowl of ramen has me up 5 lbs the next day. I think cranberry juice might help, but you should just google natural diuretics.

    • Reply Tiffany May 3, 2013 at 10:43 am

      Hi Kim!! I was thinking about my salt intake, but I can’t think of anything out of the ordinary. It’s so weird that it happens when I work out! I do seem to sweat salt though (gross!) so it’s definitely in there somewhere. Thanks for the cranberry suggestion, and I will consult The Great Google. :)

  • Reply Mona May 2, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    GAH! Stupid scales! You need a girls weekend to laugh and forget!!!

    • Reply Tiffany May 3, 2013 at 12:01 pm

      Well played, Mona. Well played! =P

  • Reply Carrie @ May 2, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    I hate my scale. I swear my clothes feel huge and the scale doesn’t move. You have the right attitude. Use the scale as a tool, keep measurements and keep on trucking. You’ll get there.

  • Reply Katie May 2, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Remember muscle weighs more!! Keep up the great work! It sounds weird but the more water you drink the more you will lose and it will flush your system!

  • Reply K @ Finding a skinnier me May 3, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Oh how I feel the same way about the scale. I have to remind myself often not to get discouraged, to concentrate on how my body feels or how many inches I lost. Muscle does weigh more than fat ;-)

    Hope you have a better week next week!!!!

  • Reply Tara @WorthEveryOunce May 6, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Just want you to know that I. HEART. YOU. Really!!!

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