Are you someone who weighs yourself every day? Do you weigh yourself
multiple times per day? Does the morning number affect your thoughts
and mood the rest of the day? I find this scale worship phenomenon
all too common and for the most part unnecessary. If scale worship
has become a distracting part of your life, read on for some practical
tips and information to help you kick this consuming habit.
So what leads us to scale worship in the first place? I believe that
scale worship is based on our society’s belief that our beauty and
self worth are based on a number on the scale and that when we pursue
weight loss, the scale is the best indicator, but is it really? Have
you ever asked 2 friends that look exactly the same (height, size)
what they weigh? Chances are that they will be different, meaning
that the number on the scale is only one small piece in how we look
and definitely should not be a daily player in gauging our success.
Water retention, hormones, food intolerances, weather, etc affect how
the number will change daily, so allowing ourselves to get wrapped up
in (and distracted by) that just doesn’t even make logical sense. Fat
loss and gain does not happen on a daily basis, so tracking weight
daily does not indicate fat loss or gain, so there is truly no purpose
in doing it that often. But what should you do instead?
- Weigh only once a week or less, never more. What we eat can take
up to two weeks to show on actual fat gain/loss, so weighing once a
week can help to keep an eye on real fluctuations that matter.
- Pay attention to trends, not just from one week to the next. Look
at how your weight trends over the course of a month and from one
month to the next, not just how one week relates to the next. Just
like weighing daily, weight can fluctuate based on many factors that
have nothing to do with actual fat loss.
- Pick up a tape measure. Size change is more an indicator of fat
loss than the scale anyway. You can put on 3 lbs of muscle and lose 3
lbs of fat and be really frustrated if you are only looking at the
scale. Using a measuring tape can help you see the bigger picture of
how you are actually progressing. Muscle is a LOT smaller than fat,
so a measuring tape change without weight change is an indicator of
fat loss and muscle gain.
Aside from weight/size change, look at indicators that the changes you
are making are making a difference in your life and health as well.
- Are you sleeping better?
- Are your hair and nails growing faster?
- How is your skin elasticity?
- Has the bloatedness around your stomach diminished (even in the
absence of weight loss)
- Have the dark circles under your eyes gotten better?
There are so many indicators of progress other than the scale, so
remember to take them into account when you track the change you are
making. Remember that if you let the scale take control of your head,
there can be the knee jerk reaction that leads you to self sabotage.
If your weight is up, you get frustrated and give up possibly giving
power to an uncontrollable factor that may have only lasted a day or
two (like hormones). If your weight is down, you want to celebrate by
eating. You see, allowing the scale to have power (no matter how
often you weight) is putting power into the wrong hands. Weight is an
important thing to track if you have weight loss goals, but be careful
about putting too much stake in it. Your self worth does not come
from the scale. Your beauty does not come from the scale. Your
progress (as outlined above) is only partially gauged by the scale.
For something that we tend to place so much importance on, the scale
is really not that important. So I encourage you today to develop a
healthier relationship with the scale. Use it properly if you have
weight loss goals, but put it in its place. Do not allow the scale to
dictate how you feel about yourself or your day. Freedom is about so
much more that getting healthy. It is about living a life that is not
distracted by anything … especially the scale.
STEP(S) FOR THIS WEEK:
- Think about your relationship with the scale. Is it something that has possibly gained a place of importance in your life? If so, it might be worth addressing and making some changes. A number should not have the power to make or break your day.