Monday, May 4, 2009

Taking Measure

One good habit to get into is keeping track of your weight and your measurements. It's simple. Just buy a cheap spiral bond notebook, a tape measure and a pen. Keep all three near where you weigh yourself and every few weeks note your weight and your measurements.

I've actually been doing this since 1999, prior to getting pregnant for my second child. I take measurements of my bust, right under my bust (to measure my back), my waist, my hips and each thigh.

Over time, you'll collect some interesting data on yourself. For instance, although I now weigh about ten pounds more than I did in 1999, my underbust, waist and hip measurements are exactly the same. My thighs are actually thinner, and my bust is a little bigger.

I credit the extra ten pounds to my work-out routine. Muscle weighs more than fat does, and since I now have so much more muscle, I weigh more even though my measurements are essentially the same as they were prior to getting pregnant the second time.

That's the reason for taking measurements. You also want to take measure because you may not see direct results to your dieting and exercise efforts on the scale because you are replacing fat with muscle. The only way to see if you are indeed "slimming down" (and see that the plan is working) is to take your measurements.

And, keeping measurements is a surer way to make sure you are maintaining your figure over time then trusting clothing sizes. One thing I found when I lost weight was that I began fitting into older clothes I kept that were size 6. When I went out to buy new clothes, however, I was a size 4 or a 2.

There's a simple explanation for the difference in sizes. The fashion industry engages in "size deflation" to induce women to buy clothes. The theory is simple, a woman is more likely to buy an item if it's a smaller size--by "increasing" the sizing, so that you fit into a smaller size, they've made a sale.

So only way to make sure that you are indeed fitting into your old sizes (besides holding on to them) is to take measurements, and keep track of those measurements.

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