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“Ignore the number” is what my friend & personal trainer, Kim, says to me when I obsess about that dreaded number…the digital number that appears on my bathroom scale.  I have been looking at the same four 3-digit numbers for months. I keep losing and gaining the same 4 pounds over and over.  I finally think I am going to get past that one number and then I look at the scale and it is 3 more!!

My husband weighs himself several times a day.  He knows what the number will be when he drinks beer, what it will be when he works out, what it should be after a day of eating right, etc. I can’t do that. To have a larger number the same day I had a smaller number would just plain depress me. For me, I have to weigh myself first thing when I wake up and need to be completely naked.

“Ignore the number” I am told. Judge it by how your clothes feel and how you look.  Well my clothes are tight and I have that “phantom fat” issue…so how I feel and look isn’t what I am striving for. I want that number. You know the number. The number that makes you happy; the magic number on the scale that will make all of your physical problems go away.  I’ve been that number. I miss that number. I WANT to see that number on the scale again.

Why does our weight go up and down during the course of one day? A friend asked that recently, and I did some research on why our number goes up and down every day. One reason is water. You retain water throughout the day, so there will be fluctuation in weight when you are dehydrated or hydrated.  Another reason is food.  If you weigh yourself after you have eaten, it will indicate that additional weight in the number on the scale. A third reason is muscle. Muscle is denser than fat and weighs more.  As you slim down, you may be gaining muscle, therefore the number may rise.

I understand the scientific reasons why my number moves up and down.  I don’t have to like that the number rises when I really want it to go down. I guess it is easier if I skip weighing myself all together or at least save it for once a week. Maybe, just maybe I will see that magic number again.

(photo credit: here)