Unofficial poll: Let's discuss...

Written by deeannao (deeanna) on 4/17/2012 9:04 AM | COMMENTS (20)

What's more important to you:

- The number on the scale, or
- The number in your clothing label?


I posted the above question because I was inspired by a post I saw over on the Maintenence board today. The poster was about 2 lbs away from her lowest allowable weight, but wanted to lose about 5-10 more lbs anyway. Her reasoning was that some of her clothes were still more snug than she's like them to be, and if she could just fit into those pieces she'd finally be happy with herself.

It should be noted that the part that piqued my interest the most was found in her signature. She noted that she's gone from a size 10 to a size 2, and never thought she could look and feel so good. Her signature quote led me to my advice. I said, "You admit you look and feel great. Maybe it's best not to force yourself into that size 2 if it's too small. If you look and feel great it doesn't matter if you're a 2, a 4, or a 6. I'd just buy clothes that fit and leave my goal weight above WW's minimum."

Okay, so maybe it wasn't the most tactful response.

But the whole thing got my wheels turning. I asked the question without explanation because I didn't want to lead the answers. I really wanted to see what everyone else thought. Here's a tally of the first 60ish replies.

Size: 10 votes.
Scale: 29 votes, including one emphatic male voice.
Both: 11 votes. Those of you who were waffling got counted in this category. :-)
Other: 6 votes, with measuring tapes being the clear "winner" of this group.

I also got one vote for "your question is unclear, and as such doesn't make much sense." You, who posted that, you know who you are, and you gave me the BIGGEST smile. I bet you've been accused of overthinking before. I do the same thing.

I know those numbers don't add up to 60. Some of the comments were elaborations as to why the vote was what it was. Math nerds, relax. I also know that the 2nd two categories weren't options. I can't help it if you people don't follow the rules. I changed my poll to fit the will of the people. Apparently my blog is a democracy.

I'm having fun, can you tell? We may have to make this a regular blog feature!

Among the points I thought were the best:

- Vanity sizing makes clothing labels nearly useless when it comes to determining if we truly are at a healthy size.
- Exercise and muscle/body fat composition, and water retention can make the scale insanely unreliable too.
- Neither measurement is a perfect quantifier of health. Okay, I may have made up the word "quantifier." I don't feel like checking the dictionary at the moment.

My opinions on the matter are kind of surprising to me. Why? I can't figure out exactly what I think! LOL. I always know what I think about everything. Not being able to pin down an exact opinion on this is really throwing me off. I think my answer is something like: It's all important, but none of it truly matters. But when forced to pick, I'd say scale. The message board poster, in my opinion, is giving credit to a clothing label that the clothing label doesn't deserve. And she's discounting the number on the scale more than it should be discounted! But if the question were reversed and posed: "I'm 10 lbs over WW's highest recommended weight but I'm happy with the clothing size I fit into, should I just stay at this weight?" My answer would be an emphatic, "Heck no, lose that 10 lbs!"

Here's a little more explanation of the idea I'm trying to communicate here.

And I wonder, is my emphasis on the scale simply due to the fact that there are scale guidelines, and I am a rule follower? Being over or under the weight range feels like rule breaking to me, and I don't LIKE it. Which means my answer m ight not be a very good answer, because it's not based on truth. It's simply based on my predisposition to want everyone to follow rules... Right?

Well, doesn't matter anyway. This blog has become a democracy, and majority rules. You said scale, so scale it is... It has been decided.

Categories: Fun

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  • Post Image prippy1

    4/24/2012 3:03 PM
    Scale. I'm also a rule follower so I'm trying to hit somewhere in the middle of my goal weight range :-)

  • Post Image tjkeller163 (tiffany)

    4/24/2012 1:40 PM
    It's true the scale is not a "quanitifier" ;) of our health BUT for most of us that number means a lot because as part of WW we are given a goal weight that we have to try & reach. I've been exercising and gaining muscle which makes the number go up which is VERY discouraging, so that's when I turn to how my clothes fit. And I know this was not an option but if you feel good, have energy, & like what you see in the mirror a little more and more everyday, then ok!

  • Post Image cassieg724

    4/23/2012 12:09 PM
    The person who's trying to go down below their healthy weight range should realize that being underweight can be just as unhealthy as being overweight and it seems to me that their body dismorphism isn't going to go away whether they can fit into those few pieces of clothing or not. Sounds like an eating disorder..... I think that getting within the healthy BMI range and getting your blood pressure, etc down is what's important.

  • Post Image deeannao (deeanna)

    4/23/2012 11:29 AM
    YES Theresa. Where can I sign the petition? :-)

  • Post Image eggjen (jennifer)

    4/23/2012 9:20 AM
    Great post! I think I'd have to go with scale also, but I'd like to add - if I were anywhere near a size 2, I hope I could be happy with that achievement and not find myself nitpicking over pounds here and there. Heck, at this point give me the size 10 thank you very much! I think if you are healthy and feel great and think you look great - awesome. THAT is the goal.

  • Post Image treeb222

    4/23/2012 8:38 AM
    This seems like a good post to start my movement toward women's clothing sizes being labeled more like men's: with waist, hips, length and bust measurements. My hubby can walk into a store and buy slacks off the shelf without trying them on. Women must spend hours finding the right size in that brand v. another. Enough is enough. I'm sticking with online shopping until brands hear me.

  • Post Image luchini1989

    4/20/2012 9:41 PM
    It's almost impossible to judge yourself on clothing sizes, they vary so widely. I would judge the scale.

  • Post Image beth lasater

    4/20/2012 1:59 PM
    Size does matter. I don't care so much about my weight, for me, its more about volume. That said, I would never use clothing size as any real measure of progress. Use a tape measure, it doesn't lie or mislead...

  • Post Image g!raffe (marsha)

    4/20/2012 10:06 AM
    There has been so much emphasis on sizes - what is a size 2 today was a size 7 in the 70s and 80s (I know, I'm dating myself). My goal is to get to the point where I (emphasis on "I") think I look and feel great. My goal weight is higher than what is considered normal for my height but I remember being at this weight and I think I looked terrific and I know I felt great so that's my goal. It has never been my goal to tell anyone "I'm a size 2!"

  • Post Image 1risingup

    4/19/2012 7:34 PM
    Clothing sizes are often estimates for me. For example, when I could barely fit into my favorite dress for Easter this year, I knew I had to make some changes. But since these sizes fluctuate, I don't always trust them. Now, my scale in my bathroom is also off balance, but I know that it's reliably off all the time. When THAT measurement starts climbing, I definitely know I need to change my routine.

  • Post Image lisy7601

    4/19/2012 11:33 AM
    I agree with scale more than the clothing label. It's a more reliable number than any label a clothing manufacturer has decided to put on their piece. At home, I have sizes ranging from 22 to 26 from Lane Bryant. Clothing labels are notorious for being off. I can't take clothes home from a store without investing in the time it takes to try them on first.

  • Post Image addey1123

    4/19/2012 10:40 AM
    (con't) I'm about 100x more fit and active than I was at this weight in college on my way up. That's HUGE. I'm even more fit than I was in my "healthy" range when I was in HS. So... since BMI and weight are so inaccurate and clothing sizes are even worse, I base how I feel about my body by how my body feels. In other words, if I feel healthy and energetic, I am.

  • Post Image addey1123

    4/19/2012 10:39 AM
    I'm one of those that has set her "goal" at well above WW "healthy" range for my height. I'm comfortable in my skin where I'm at, but even that's 20 lb above where I have my "goal" set. My goal is below the obese BMI range, but well within "overweight". To me, my overall health and my energy level and fitness is the most important measure. (con't)

  • Post Image deeannao (deeanna)

    4/19/2012 10:20 AM
    Awwww Natasha! LOL. You just made a 100th comment sandwich. That counts for something, right?

  • Post Image natasha080611 (natasha)

    4/19/2012 10:09 AM
    Oh no and now I missed it! So sad :(

  • Post Image mrsfawlty

    4/19/2012 9:20 AM
    Scale for me- this is, after all, WEIGHT Watchers! I like to see my BMI go down gradually to that healthy range, and love the BP, cholesterol and blood sugar numbers being consistently fabulous. Besides, I've always tried on 3 sizes to gauge the best fit - the shape of my bones will never let me be below a certain size, even at my thinnest back then!

  • Post Image natasha080611 (natasha)

    4/18/2012 10:04 PM
    I just really wanted to be the 100th post on this :D

  • Post Image deeannao (deeanna)

    4/18/2012 9:23 PM
    Cassie, how cute are your kissing owls?! Awww.

  • Post Image stumborgs (cassie )

    4/18/2012 8:46 PM
    Clothing size is kind of useless, IMO. I have a pair of trouser jeans in a ridiculously small size due to vanity sizing. I'm not going to go bragging that I wear that size, because most of the rest of my closet is in bigger sizes. So, I guess scale and / or BMI would be my vote.

  • Post Image michael_o (michael)

    4/18/2012 3:08 PM
    I don't think it's as simple as narrowing it down to one indicator... but certainly what size clothing you fit into is the least important factor. I'm going to list them in order of importance... BP & Chol numbers, Measurements, and then Scale ; ) How's that?


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