Journal Entry 01/06/10: Weight = 173.8; Coinage = $1.24, 44 pennies, 2 nickels, 7 dimes; Ground Scores = 4; Glass bottles retrieved = 11.
Journal Entry 01/07/10: Weight = 173.4; Coinage = $1.31, 31 pennies, 4 nickels, 3 dimes, and 2 quarters; Best find = a curb quarter spotted while walking to the barber shop.
Feature Entry: The Psychology of Daily Weighing
The Consumer Reports ratings of Bathroom scales is in. See the February 2010 issue. Digital models are better than Dial models and the Taylor 7506 is rated a best buy and cost about thirty bucks. I know, boring!!
Yet, the MoneyWalkers weigh every day. Ms MoneyWalker isn’t a walker but she follows the big four methods for weight loss/weight loss maintenance, e.g., daily weighing, high fiber breakfast, daily exercise, and portion control. Her exercise regiment is stair climbing for cardiovascular, dumb bells for strength, and body stretches for flexibility. She is a suave 5’ 6” 117 pounder that nearly everyone under estimates her age. (Hint: she carries a Medicare card.)
Experts and authors of fitness/weight loss books and articles usually do not recommend daily weighing. They site lack of scale accuracy, normal daily weight fluctuations (water retention), and the danger of negative reinforcement as possible reasons. The MoneyWalkers however believe that the advantages offset these potential negatives. Here are our reasons for the daily practice. Incidental, the new digital models are much more valid and reliable than the older dial models.
First, daily weighing provides instant accountability concerning food and beverage binging. We are both guilty of short periods of time when we overeat in an unrestrained way. Our digital scales are accurate within plus or minus 1 lb 87 to 100 percent of the time and provides read-outs in fifths of a pound.
Second, we find that daily weighing reinforces our daily exercise, in my case the daily walk. The scale a little up, take that walk; the scale a little down, keep up the good work. Thus, the scales provides both negative and positive reinforcement, both important for creating habit strength.
Third, some recommend that the wardrobe fit be substituted for daily weighing. But we find that daily weighing provides more transparency of the effectiveness of a continuing weight loss or weight maintenance program than wardrobe fluctuations. Actually, we use both methods.
Finally, we find that daily weighing informs the psychology of weight loss/maintenance. Binge with calories, the shadow knows. Blow off a few workouts, the shadow knows. If one is aware that the morning ritual of the scales await, it is easier to maintain fidelity to the program.