Do you have a love / hate relationship with your scale? By love, I mean when it says what you want you do a happy dance, have a great day, walk around on cloud 9, and have a little pep in your step? By hate, I mean if that magic number you are looking to see is even off by a .1 you become angered, frustrated, want to scrap the whole fitness idea, or have a pity party with your friend Papa John? Do you jump into that minivan and race at warp speed to the local Sugar Shack and buy one of each?
How often do you currently weigh in? Multiple times daily? Once a day? Weekly? Monthly? Never?
I am going to throw out an idea, what if for one month you evicted your scale from that place in your bathroom? You might be reading this and thinking “How dare she suggest such a thing?” “What an awful idea!” If that is you – Is your hesitation in getting rid of your scale because this is how you judge your success? Do you let a number hold that much value on your day to day functioning and decision? If that is a yes, then hear me out- I will argue that this even more so drives home why the scale needs at least a temporary eviction notice for you to evaluate what is helpful.
It is completely plausible that you could be working out, eating great, but not seeing that number on the scale drop as you might like. But that does not mean what you are doing is not working. You could be eating right, exercising, and not see the scale drop more than 1-2 lbs. This does not mean you are a failure. This means you should first reevaluate how you determine your success in your journey to a healthy future.
Here are some alternative ideas to jumping on that scale:
1. Take before and after pictures. Day 1 and Day 30 – from the front, side, and back when you wake up. Wear the same outfit.
2. Measure – invest in a measuring tape and measure your thigh, chest, waist, and hips. Do this on day 1, day 15, and day 30.
3. Check out how your clothes fit and feel.
4. List out your non-scale victories – by this I mean: How are you sleeping? Are you waking up before your alarm clock? Are you able to get out of bed without hitting snooze 10 times?
5. How do you feel? Do you have more energy? Are you feeling more focused?
6. How is your mood? Are you more patient with your kids/spouse?
Weight is not the only way to determine success. There is not a one size fit all approach to your relationship with your scale. Maybe that means throwing out the scale with this week’s trash, or hiding it in an unused room and bringing out monthly. But I would caution those who hop on every day and let their mindset, goals, and mood be altered by a number to rethink your priorities to one of the ideas above. Find what motivates you in a healthy manner and stick to it.
Let’s hear it – how often do you weigh? Why? Is it productive or destructive?