I hear this from clients all the time: “It doesn’t matter what I do! My weight goes up and down and up and down. I’ll lose a few pounds and then I’ll gain two back and I just want to give up.”

Photo from www.offfindingsparks.com

Ahhh the scale…a mean mistress. It’s a rare person who has not noticed that, whether trying to lose weight or not, his or her number on the scale tends to fluctuate. This is true for just about everyone for a variety of reasons.

If you’ve been tracking my goal-getting journey, you know that one of my goals was to get back to my normal body weight by losing 7 lbs. If you haven’t been following along, well…now you know. So the first 4-5 came off in the first month or so. After that, things slowed to a screeching halt and began climbing…1 pound, 2 pounds, 3 pounds. I was sticking with my nutrition and workout goals for the most part, but it was still climbing.

How could this be, you ask? It’s actually very common. Read on and I’ll run you through a few reasons that your weight is not the “end all, be all”…or even necessarily a good way to measure your overall progress. It’s part of the equation, and it is certainly linked to health outcomes, but it does not warrant or deserve the intense focus we tend to put on it. Here are 7 reasons your weight may fluctuate that have nothing to do with eating too much or not exercising enough:

  1. Time of the day – Believe it or not our weight changes, sometimes pretty significantly, throughout the day. During the day we retain some of the water we consume, so we tend to weigh the most at the end of the day and the least first thing in the morning after we’ve used the bathroom. I have a pretty small frame and depending on the day I’ve clocked as high as a 4-5 pound difference from morning to evening.
  2. Hydration – Along the same lines as #1, the amount of water we drink during the day can affect our weights. On a day where we are sweating heavily or not drinking enough fluids, we will weigh less than a day where we are adequately hydrated.
  3. Bathroom/food status – Gross but true. If you haven’t had a bowel movement in 1-2 days, your bowels may contain at least a couple of pounds (sometimes more!) of fecal material. Your bladder can hold anywhere from .5 to 1.5 lbs of urine as well.
  4. Menstruation – Sorry ladies, but it can’t be helped. Most women retain at least an extra pound or two of fluid during menstruation.
  5. Fluid retention/swelling – This can be caused by many different things, but in healthy people it is most commonly due to high sodium intakes. Have you ever noticed that your pants don’t fit quite right or your fingers look like sausages the day after the Superbowl party? Sodium and water are friends, so when we eat a lot of sodium, our body hangs on to extra water for a day or two.
  6. Stress – In general, stress tends to make our bodies want to gain fat. Stress management is a very key component of overall health.
  7. Muscle/fat – Most of us have heard the adage, “Muscle weighs more than fat.” It’s true, and it’s also true that if you start a new exercise program you will be gaining some muscle as you lose fat so progress can be tricky to track. Be careful with this one though, because you usually won’t be gaining enough muscle to really affect your weight for the first month or two of a new exercise program.

For these reasons, I try to encourage (and beg and plead) clients to focus on their overall health and fitness, their habits, and how they feel, as well as assessments like weight, circumference, or body fat to assess their overall progress. Given the things listed above, going up a pound or a few every so often is normal and should be expected. Don’t let it stress you out or discourage you! If you feel like you’re likely to quit on improving your health if the scale goes up, I have a strong recommendation for you – don’t get on the scale!


Wellness is about so much more than nutrition and fitness. Wellness includes your mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness on top of your physical well-being. That’s why today, I’m going to feature a book that helped me find direction, make some major life changes, and thoroughly enjoy the life I’m living!

I came across this book while listening to a podcast and read it for a 2016 reading challenge. It inspired me to examine my life and think about how my current lifestyle was affecting all aspects of my wellness. It prompted me to consider how I could be more intentional about building a life that supports my goals, rather than letting life take me wherever it may while my goals lay well-intentioned and sadly, unmet.

Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy offers exactly what the title implies. The book helps you to identify your priorities, make clear and specific goals, and be proactive in creating a life that supports those goals. In fact, their premise helped me realize that spending my time working for someone else was draining me mentally and emotionally, and inspired me to open i’mPowered Nutrition & Fitness. Now I get to spend my day achieving my goals and helping others support the lives they want with a foundation of proper nutrition and wellness.

Living Forward begins with taking you through the interesting exercise of writing your own eulogy. Sounds strange, I know, but it was actually very eye-opening. By starting at “the end,” you get to determine what will really matter in your life after you’ve gone and what you want others to remember about you. Starting from there, you work backwards to build a life that perpetuates those desires. First, you create a list of “Life Accounts” for each priority in your life. For example, mine include God, health, husband, kids, family/friends, career, generosity, financial, home, and self-development. You assess the current status of each account, write a detailed description of your desired outcome for each, and set specific quarterly goals to gradually move the current status toward the end goal.

Finally, you take these goals and create your “ideal week” schedule. This helped take me from goals – which I have often made in the past and found no time to achieve – to actual implementation of my strategies to get there. You start with a blank calendar. You review your goals for your most important life account, and schedule whatever time you need to complete those. You move on to your next important life account, and do the same. So on and so forth until you have created a schedule that is reflective of what matters most to you. It reminds me of one of my new favorite quotes:

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

– Stephen Covey

Going through the life planning process helped me realize that spending 40 hours per week in an office working for someone else was keeping me away from what was more important to me and ultimately came in higher on my list than my career – God, my health, and my family and friends. That realization led me to the decision to change my career path so that it worked around these priorities instead of against them. Now I have plenty of time to achieve my goals in my most important life accounts, and that has been a huge boost for my mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical wellness. Who couldn’t use one of those?

The realizations you make might not be so drastic (or maybe they will be more!) but regardless, they will help move you towards the life you want. Go for it!

Have you read this book? Let me know what you think!

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and I have no affiliation with the producers or manufacturers of this product. As an Amazon Associate, I receive compensation for any purchases of this product through the link on this post; however, I never feature or support products that I have not tried myself or that I do not believe to be useful, ethical, and worthy of recommendation.




Can you believe we have been goal-getting for a month already? It’s crazy! Here’s how we’re doing:

Becki

Goal #1: Lose 7 lbs to return to my usual body weight
     • Use my daily food group checklist to stay within recommendations and get enough food from each food group each day.

How I’m doing: I have been using my food group checklists (and loving them – they are so quick and easy!) and I’ve lost 5 lbs so far. Only two to go! The checklists make way more sense for my lifestyle right now than using a food tracker like I have in the past. They give me plenty of flexibility while still keeping me accountable. I think being home a lot makes it easier because I usually have access to something from all five food groups.

Goals #2-3: Decrease resting heart rate and blood pressure to normal ranges and increase cardiovascular fitness from “fair” to “good”
     • Complete 40-60 minutes of cardiovascular exercise (heart rate 115-155 bpm) 5 days per week

How I’m doing: I’ve probably averaged 4 1/2 days per week but I’m hitting my heart rate goals and I’m enjoying the cardio options I have selected. Most often, I’m doing Youtube cardio dance videos because they are convenient and so much fun, but it’s been beneficial to have alternatives for the days when I’m just not feeling the dancing.

Consequentially, my resting heart rate is normal! I haven’t had my husband check my blood pressure or re-tested my cardio yet, but I’ll do that at the end of the plan. The lower resting heart rate is a good indicator that my cardiovascular fitness has improved – plus the workouts are getting easier!

Goal #4: Improve posture by stretching chest, hip flexors, and decreasing anterior pelvic tilt, while strengthening back muscles
     • Complete tailored yoga practice 5 days per week and strength training program 2 days per week

How I’m doing: Again – I’m probably more often hitting 4 1/2 days on the yoga than five, but I’ve done pretty well. The strength training is pretty quick and simple so I’ve been incorporating that more than 2 days per week. I took a comparison picture – not expecting too much difference only one month in – and I was really impressed with the improvements!

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My head is higher and not so far forward, my spine is in better alignment, and my hips are further back. My pelvis tilts less (still have a ways to go) and shoulders still roll forward but not quite as much!

Charlie

Goal #1: Lose 20 lbs/Button wedding pants without “sucking it in”
     • Track intakes with My Fitness Pal, aiming for goal of 2000 kcal per day.

How he’s doing: Charlie has been faithful with his tracking and though I don’t think he loves the discipline of doing it, he does love the accountability it gives him. He tracks as he goes and makes decisions for the rest of the day based on where he’s at. So far, he’s lost 11 lbs!

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I swear I did not intentionally make the “before” photo have poor lighting!

Goal #2: Increase cardiovascular fitness from “Excellent” to “Superior”
     • Follow the P90X workout program to do 60 minutes of exercise daily.

How he’s doing: He’s working out like a boss! Charlie has been doing P90X daily and if he feels like one of the videos was too easy, he tosses in a second cardio video and does two-a-days! He’s insane, but it works for him and he’s enjoying it. He’s definitely noticed that the videos are getting easier as he goes along.

Goal #3: Improve flexibility from “Good” to “Excellent”
     • Do some yoga each day.

How he’s doing: Charlie has compromised to doing yoga three times weekly, and has definitely noticed a difference in his flexibility. He can put his hands flat on the floor in a forward fold now!

We’re excited about getting our goals! If you’ve got some goals you’d like some help getting, check out www.impowerednf.com for more information about meeting with me to set up your wellness plan!