Catherine Reynolds works out with the help of trainer Steve Dooley at the Oro Valley Anytime Fitness gym.

Randy Metcalf/The Explorer

There is a definite mindset change that has to happen when losing weight, especially for women. We are taught early on that losing weight and getting in shape is all about the number on the scale and that we shouldn’t focus on gaining muscle. That might be a goal for males, but for females, it’s unnecessary. It is all so untrue though. Gaining muscle is incredibly important and being able to let go of the scale can have its positives too.

This morning was my monthly weigh in. I have to say that I was pretty disappointed when I got on the scale. I was actually up .4 pounds from last month. I was doing really well with my diet and felt that I was giving a little bit more in the gym. So, it was not necessarily the news I wanted.

However, once we calculated my inches and body fat, I had made significant changes. I lost a total of about 3 inches (including 1.5 from my waist alone!) and lost an entire percent body fat! That is a pretty decent change to make in one month’s time.

Fortunately, I have learned to look at more than just the scale. To work that hard and see your weight go up can be discouraging if you don’t look at the big picture. But, in this case, a little added muscle (and therefore, weight) isn’t such a bad thing.

Thing I learned this week: Don’t focus on one factor alone. It is the combination of parts that show your success overall.

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