My relationship with the scale is much like my relationship with gas prices. When the numbers are down, I’m thrilled, but when they’re up, I get really annoyed.

My scale habits have alternated over the years from weighing in daily to not even looking at the scale for weeks or months. And while I’m well aware that the number on the scale doesn’t define me as a person, I'm realizing that the scale helps as a guide as I work toward becoming the woman I want to be.

I’ve discovered that making a daily date with my scale tends to keep my weight steady, whereas not weighing in pretty much guarantees weight gain. I’m sure that for me it’s the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality: I need my weight in sight for weight-loss success.

So every day I weigh in at the same time on my home scale. Not only does a daily check keep me accountable, it also helps me gauge my success over time. In fact, I think tracking everything is going to be my key to success, something I wasn't doing before. I now track my food, steps, and weight.

I have a new Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale that automatically uploads my weight, body fat, and BMI to an online chart, a reminder that simple numbers aren’t everything. Every day I can look at my report and see my progress, trends, overall progress—and weight loss. To be honest, it had never occurred to me to actually write down my weight daily, but seeing the numbers changing over time is really encouraging, even though my weight loss is very slow. I have to remind myself that 2 ounces here and 8 ounces there adds up over time.

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In fact, I recently saw a "low" number on the scale that I haven’t seen in a very long time! That motivated me to make good choices for the rest of the day. On the other hand, when I saw my numbers jump another day, I took it as a reminder me that I needed to drink a lot of water to recover from my sodium-filled sushi dinner the night before. Sure enough, with the help of water, my weight was back down 24 hours later.

And when I weigh in outside of the home, whether it’s the gym or doctor’s office, and the scale jumps up five or six pounds compared to my home number, I try to keep in mind that I’ve normally had breakfast and several cups of coffee or water and am fully clothed. Otherwise, talk about ruining a day!

While I used to dread hopping on the scale, I’m getting accustomed to my daily step-on and am actually finding I look forward to it. Accountability can only help me succeed, which means making friends with the scale is one way to stay focused, even on the days I feel annoyed.

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