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So frustrated with the scale

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Old 08-17-2012, 09:28 AM   #1
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Default So frustrated with the scale

As far as I know, I'm not doing anything wrong, but the scale is being so stubborn! I've been floating between 255-257 for two weeks now, even though my bodybugg clearly indicates I should be at 251. What's worse, I went to the doctor yesterday (unrelated) and did weigh 251 (253 minus about 2lbs for my clothes) there!!!

I bought a nicer scale after I got out of the doctors, and right back up 5 more pounds! I hadn't eaten or drank anything during that time!

Who to believe- the doctor and bodybugg (which match up perfectly) or two digital home scales?

Also, I have no reason to believe I'm retaining water (not near TOM, low salt intake, no new exercise or weight lifting, no exposure to extreme heat).

Anyone have wisdom to share on this? So frustrated!
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:48 AM   #2
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You can retain water without an external aggravator, like those you mentioned. Do your losses come as "whooshes" sometimes? You might find this interesting, if so:
http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat...uishy-fat.html

Also, are you sure your scale is level at home? Not on carpet or an uneven patch of floor? I moved recently and quickly discovered that the tile floor I had my scale on was NOT level by a long shot, even though it seemed fine to my eye. I broke out my husband's leveler, moving the scale around and testing until I found a decent spot on the floor.
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Old 08-17-2012, 10:54 AM   #3
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Thanks, that article was so interesting! I have had at least 3 wooshes in the last two months, so maybe that's what's happening with my body. Still doesn't explain the doctor's scale (I tried bringing the scale to the porch and other rooms but with no effect) but it could explain the bodybugg difference and the two week stall.
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desiderata View Post
You can retain water without an external aggravator, like those you mentioned. Do your losses come as "whooshes" sometimes? You might find this interesting, if so:
http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat...uishy-fat.html

Also, are you sure your scale is level at home? Not on carpet or an uneven patch of floor? I moved recently and quickly discovered that the tile floor I had my scale on was NOT level by a long shot, even though it seemed fine to my eye. I broke out my husband's leveler, moving the scale around and testing until I found a decent spot on the floor.
THIS IS TRUE> NO TILES, RUGS, PLANK BOARDS Or Carpets . I had the same problems at work and home until I went to a spot at home that I knew was level.
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Old 08-18-2012, 10:54 AM   #5
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Still have no idea what I weigh- I tried four different spots in my house and the scale says 4 different things- from 259 to 255. All still higher than the doctor's office, and these are from first thing in the morning.

Not knowing is killing me!
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Old 08-18-2012, 11:15 AM   #6
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To keep my sanity I use just one scale and go by it. So the doctor beam scale I have at home sitting out in the garage weighs me less than the same doctor beam scale in his office or the one in the EMT office at work. All three are the same type of scale, all balanced and all weigh me differently.
The one at home is more convenient so I go by it and it alone.
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Old 08-18-2012, 01:03 PM   #7
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Two weeks can very easily be accounted for by water.

Having said that - the body bugg is not nearly as accurate as they claim it to be. You might not be burning as many calories as it claims.

I wore one and tracked religiously for 3 months and for me it was off by about 500 calories a day. Granted - I am a big person so there is a larger margin for error but that 500 calories represnted about a 15% difference between actual and expected.

So a body bugg is great and very useful for helping you see how minor amounts of activity add up to a big caloric burn over time but as far as accuacy goes the only thing you can do is track carefully and over time (not two weeks) figure out what is actually happening.

Back to the point - it is probably water retention.
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Old 08-18-2012, 03:10 PM   #8
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Having said that - the body bugg is not nearly as accurate as they claim it to be. You might not be burning as many calories as it claims.
I'm not concerned with the accuracy of the bodybugg; it's proven itself accurate to me after many months of use.

So I went around the house with a level and fiiiinnnnnalllly found a decently level part of the floor- although it seems none of my floors are completely level. I'm going to stick with that for now to check out weight change, but I think I'll try the scale at the gym and maybe stop by my doctor's again (they said I can ask a nurse to weigh me whenever one has time) to keep checking up on that. I guess there's nothing else I can do, as frustrating as it is.

Thanks everyone for your advice.
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Old 08-18-2012, 03:54 PM   #9
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I'm not concerned with the accuracy of the bodybugg; it's proven itself accurate to me after many months of use.
That's fantastic. Than obviously you're just retaining some water.

There are really two ways to help limit this issue (nothing can truly solve it.)

Number one try to increase the amount of potasium in your diet without increasing sodium.

Number two - try to chill out. Cortisol is responsible for much of the water people retain. Easier said than done in today's hectic world!
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Old 08-18-2012, 04:21 PM   #10
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Thanks for the tips John! I'll go buy some bananas!

I also haven't had caffeine in quite a while, so I wonder if my body is responding to long term diuretic use (via coffee) and withdrawal. Worth a shot!
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Old 08-18-2012, 08:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Desiderata View Post
You can retain water without an external aggravator, like those you mentioned. Do your losses come as "whooshes" sometimes? You might find this interesting, [link that I can't post omitted.]
I found this interesting since this how things work with me. I didn't know about these wooshes before which made me crazy, but I totally understand the connection in your head between your actions and the scale and feeling deceived in a sense when things don't work out.

As for scale placement, keep in mind that the actual number isn't that important, but that the relationship between the numbers is. It might be easier in the long run to just keep the scale in one place and let the absolute accuracy slide a bit. Not to say that I don't understand the quest for precision!
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:47 PM   #12
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Kelly - a level costs $10 at Lowes or Home Depot. It shows you with little liquid vials if something is truly level or not. (Yah, I sound real technical there. ;-)) It might be worth your sanity for finding a truly level spot for your scale, so at least there's no more guessing on that point.
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Old 08-18-2012, 10:58 PM   #13
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I'm not sure the floor being perfectly level is necessary. What is necessary is the the surface below the scale be hard and flat, as in a vinyl or tile floor that is reasonably level. I weigh as much as 15 pounds lighter if I move my scale to the "blue bedroom" where the carpet is the plushest of any of the bedrooms. I built a little square platform with 5 little 1" high "feet" - one at each corner and one in the middle. I cut a piece of 3/4" plywood about 1" bigger each way than my scale. I attached the little feet with screws to keep it above the bedroom carpet. My bathroom is the only room upstairs with a hard floor and it's just too tiny for the scale to be out all the time. I feel I get an accurate reading day after day.

Now here's the thing. All scales are a bit different. The one at my gym weighs me a pound heavier than the one at home. The one at my old gym was 2 pounds lighter. The doctor's scale weighs me about the same. The only way to check a different scale is to do what you did - weigh yourself with clothes on at home just before or after going to the doctor's office or the gym and comparing the 2 weights.

What you weigh is important, I agree, but only in the context of "knowing what you weigh." More importantly, you have to be consistent. If you weighed 290 to start on your home scale and you now weigh 255 on that scale, you know how many pounds you lost. Your actual weight may be off by a pound or 2, but it was off at the beginning, too, and you still lost the same amount of weight.

I bought a new digital scale when I started losing last January. It worked well for a while but I realized it went nuts when it needed batteries and it needed them more often than I liked. I assumed a battery in a scale should last a year or so at least. Not this one. I figured there might be something wrong with it so I returned it and bought a slightly better (?) (more expensive, more features) one. But the last thing I did before taking the old one back was weigh myself and the first thing I did when I came home with the new one was weigh myself again. The new scale was about 2 pounds lighter. I have no way of knowing which one gave my correct weight - or if my weight was some other number. But, I had still lost the same amount of weight. I certainly didn't lose 2 pounds lin 45 minutes. I simply re-did all my charts and records with a starting weight that was 252 instead of the 254 that I had been using. That accounted accurately for the number of pounds I lost. Regardless of what I weigh, I know I lost 90 pounds. That's what matters to me. and that I weight about 162 pounds. It's sort of like telling your age. I'm 61. But really, if I do the math, I'm closer to 61.4 years old. No one gives their age that way. I stopped putting the "halves" on about 50 years ago! Pick a scale and stick with it. Put it on a reasonably level hard floor and don't move it around. And - I know, this is easier said than done - don't worry so much about it! If the original scale is not broken, it is giving you a consistent record of the change. There will come a day when you think about this and wonder how you could have obsessed so much over a number on the scale that is (possibly) only about 1% off.

Lin
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Last edited by linJber : 08-18-2012 at 11:06 PM.
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