Want to lose weight? Here’s why the numbers on your scale don’t matter

Fitness blogger Kelsey Wells has a plea to anyone trying to lose weight: “Stop getting hung up on the number on the stupid scale!”

To show just how little those three digits matter, Wells posted an Instagram photo this week which shows how her weight has fluctuated since she started her weight-loss journey.

If you were to just look at the numbers, the 26-year-old lost only five pounds since giving birth to her now two-year-old son Anderson. But her body tells a totally different story.

“My body composition has changed completely. I have never had more muscle and less body fat than I do now. I have never been healthier than I am now. I have never been more comfortable in my own skin than I am now,” she wrote on Instagram.

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SCREW THE SCALE || I figured it was time for a friendly, yet firm reminder.🤗 YOU GUYS. PLEASEEEEEE STOP GETTING HUNG UP ON THE NUMBER ON THE STUPUD SCALE! PLEASE STOP THINKING YOUR WEIGHT EQUALS YOUR PROGRESS AND FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING PLEASE STOP LETTING YOR WEIGHT HAVE ANY AFFECT WHATSOEVER ON YOUR SELF ESTEEM, like I used to. To any of you who are where I once was, please listen to me. I am 5′ 7" and weigh 140 lbs. When I first started #bbg I was 8 weeks post partum and 145 lbs. I weighed 130 before getting pregnant, so based on nothing besides my own warped perception, I decided my "goal weight" should be 122 and to fit into my skinniest jeans. Well after a few months of BBG and breastfeeding, I HIT IT and I fit into those size 0 jeans. Well guess what? I HAVE GAINED 18 POUNDS SINCE THEN. EIGHT FREAKING TEEN. Also, I have gone up two pant sizes and as a matter of fact I ripped those skinny jeans wide open just the other week trying to pull them up over my knees.😂 My point?? According to my old self and flawed standards, I would be failing miserably. THANK GOODNESS I finally learned to start measuring my progress by things that matter —; strength, ability, endurance, health, and HAPPINESS. Take progress photos and videos. Record how many push-ups you can do, ect. And if you can, your BFP —; there is only a 5 lb difference between my starting and current weight, but my body composition has changed COMPLETELY. I have never had more muscle and less body fat than I do now. I have never been healthier than I am now. I have never been more comfortable in my own skin than I am now. And if I didn’t say #screwthescale long ago, I would have gave up on my journey. So to the little teeny tiny voice in the back of my head that still said "😳wtf is this- not 140!?😭😩" last week when I stepped on the scale, I say SCREW. YOU. And I think you should probably say the same to your scale too. #byefelicia 👋🏼🚫⚖ . . #bbgprogress #transformationtuesday #fit #fitness #workout #fitmom #fitchick #fitfam #fitnesstransformation #beforeandafter #sweat #mysweatlife #girlswithmuscle #girlgains #strongnotskinny

A post shared by KELSEY WELLS (@kelseywells) on Jul 26, 2016 at 8:55am PDT

Her journey to fitness

Before getting pregnant, Wells — who’s 5’7″ — would try to do cardio exercise a couple times a week. She admits she wasn’t consistent, though, nor was she active during her pregnancy.

She ended up packing on more than 55 pounds over those nine months as a result. (A 20 to 40-pound weight gain during pregnancy is considered normal).

“I didn’t recognize my body,” she wrote on her blog.

She would also weigh herself almost daily. Looking back at that practice now, she called it an “unhealthy mental relationship” with herself.

Two months after giving birth, weighing 145 pounds, she decided to try and shed 23 of them. The hope was to fit into her size zero skinny jeans.

Her workout of choice became the popular Bikini Body Guide (BBG) by Kayla Itsines. The 12-week program costs roughly $70 for three months of recipes and 28-minute workouts.

‘It was so freaking hard,” Wells wrote. She initially quit a couple months into the new regimen.

Then she got back on the wagon, got hooked, and reached her “goal weight” within a few months.

READ MORE: To keep weight loss off, you have to wait it out

“It was a challenge to find the time as a new mom, but I got up early or stayed up late or did what I needed to do to fit it in,” she told Global News.

Along the way, though, something happened that she didn’t see coming.

“I have gained 18 pounds since then,” she wrote on Instagram. “Also, I have gone up two pant sizes.”

Muscle mass vs. weight

As she explained in an email, “a pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat, but ten pounds of muscle looks a lot different than 10 pounds of fat.”

Since muscle is much more dense than fat, a pound of it takes up much less space than a pound of fat. So while you may look leaner, your weight may not have dropped that much.

Her legs are so toned now that they ripped those skinny jeans she’d been so desperate to fit into — something she doesn’t seem to mind one bit.

As proud as she is of her physical shape, she says she’s actually more proud of her mental and emotional growth.

“Through adapting to a healthier lifestyle I have found self-confidence and an appreciation for my body for all it has done and does for me.”

Wells points out that if she were still using the scale as a measure of success, it would make her feel like she was “failing miserably.”

She’s since learned to track her progress by “things that matter — strength, ability, endurance, health and happiness.”

WATCH: How an Alberta woman lost over 100 pounds and kept it off for 11 years

She encourages others to do the same and thinks photos and the growing number of push-ups a person can do is a much better marker of success than a scale.

WATCH: How an Ontario mom lost 129 pounds and 10 dress sizes

“If I didn’t say ‘screw the scale’ long ago, I would have [given] up on my journey… And I think you should probably say the same to your scale too.”

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