Hey, you. Yes, you! I know you do it. We have all done it. And because you love yourself, this intervention is needed. I don’t want you to feel bombarded or judged, but I need you to step off of the scale and bury it in your closet somewhere under the pile of clothes that you meant to fold months ago. Please, don’t do it for me. Do it for your personal sanity.
I, too, have fallen victim to the daily weigh-in and, at times, weighing in multiple times a day hoping that either the first number I saw was a fluke or that the workout I did coupled with my four glasses of water magically melted away the five pounds I need to lose before my vacation in two days. I know how addictive it is to step on that scale every morning praying for “good news” from the scale angels, but it may be one of the most counterproductive things you can do on this fitness journey. Just think about it. What does it do to your motivation when you see a number that you weren’t expecting? How discouraged do you feel when you have made positive changes and it does not reflect immediately on the scale? How about the rage you feel when you have been working out and the numbers on the scale creep up?! I mean, seriously, who wants to be in a relationship like this?! Doesn’t it feel unhealthy? Well, that’s because it is.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that a scale is the mother of Satan, just maybe a distant cousin. You don’t have to remove it completely, but as the saying goes, everything in moderation. There are so many factors that can weigh into the number you see on the screen. (See what I did there?) Everything we consume, even zero-calorie water, weighs something. The kinds of foods that we eat and the way our body digests them will influence this. The number of times we use the bathroom and how sodium-rich our diet is will influence what you see on the scale. And for women, that time of the month can have a major impact on what you see. Instead of agonizing over every ounce of fluctuation, do yourself a favor and weigh in once a week, trying to keep as many factors the same as possible. Every Monday morning, after I use the restroom and before I eat anything, has been my go-to. It allows me to monitor my weight in a way that feels manageable and doesn’t control my life.
There are also so many other ways to monitor progress towards your health goals. Body measurements allow us to track how our body is changing in a way that you may not be able to see simply looking at yourself daily. Plus, it tells you more about your body composition than a scale ever could. You can always track an increased weight load or increased max number of reps of an exercise to see how much stronger you are. You can track how fast you are able to complete a mile or your heart rate after you have finished to see how much you have improved your heart health. Or you can make it easy on yourself by relying on the way you feel. Mood changes, your sleep patterns, and energy levels are all indicators of good (and bad) health. All of us are here with the same ultimate goal which is to positively change our lives. Bury that obsessive compulsion and weigh in on of positivity instead. Friend, let that scale go!