Why I Ditched the Scale!
Have you ever been frustrated by the number on the scale? I’m pretty sure all of us have been there at one point. Whether you are trying to lose or gain weight, the scale can be a helpful tool or our worst enemy. I have struggled with my relationship with the scale for years, but not anymore! The point came where I had enough, so I ditched the scale and I have never been happier. Now I will share with you why I ditched the scale!!
I’m pretty sure the average person probably doesn’t weigh themselves daily or really even care much about their weight, but for some of us it can become an obsession. The scale can be a helpful tool when trying to lose or gain weight, but it can also sabotage our efforts. When we see the number we want on the scale it can make our whole day. When it’s the other way around it can ruin our day and that’s why I ditched the scale!
If you are frustrated by the number on the scale, you are not alone. This is especially frustrating when we are putting in the work and still not seeing the number we want. I’ve been there so many times. I eat right, exercise, drink my water, get good sleep, and still, that damn number is not what I want it to be.
Then there are the days when I see my efforts paying off and I feel great! While these days I may feel great, this can also lead to an addiction to the scale. You can become addicted to that awesome feeling when you see that number that you have been aiming for.
For myself, this lead to an unhealthy relationship with the scale. I know I’m not alone in this and many other people struggle with the number on the scale and are often left feeling frustrated and defeated. This is why I wanted to share with you how I got into an unhealthy relationship with the scale and how I changed it! I no longer use that number to determine how my day is going to go or how I will eat that day. Now I listen to my body and I feel great and empowered and you can too!!
My Story Behind the Scale
Let me start off by saying, I have not always been in shape or thin. After my first son was born I really struggled to lose the baby weight. I was only 23 and I had zero knowledge on how to eat properly, exercise, or lose weight. When I decided to start losing weight for good, I did Weight Watchers and it worked! I lost about 15lbs and I was feeling great.
If I remember correctly this is when I became obsessed with the scale. I would weigh myself every morning hoping to see the number I wanted. While I felt great when it was a “good” number, it would practically ruin my day if it was a “bad” one. Little did I know this cycle would carry on for the next 14 years.
Realizing I had an Issue
I was to the point where I would not only weigh myself in the morning but sometimes several times throughout the day. I knew in my head this was crazy and I know our weight fluctuates for so many different reasons, but I did it anyway.
My diet is good most of the time. I am at a healthy weight. My strength and muscle tone are increasing. I’m feeling good, so why the hell does this number even matter?!
Well, it doesn’t, but I was caught in a cycle and it was leading to unhealthy habits. For example, if I was a “good” weight, some days it would encourage me to eat really healthy that day. Other days I would use it as an excuse to binge eat, because I figured I could gain a pound or two and it would be no big deal. When I was a “bad” weight, some days this would motivate me to do better that day. Other days I would feel frustrated with myself, which would lead to binge eating. None of this is healthy.
I Had Enough
At some point I realized how crazy this all was and I got fed up with that stupid number determining my happiness. I decided to take the batteries out of my scale and be done with it. I was worried this would lead to me overeating because now I wouldn’t know if my unhealthy habits were having an effect on me and I would gain weight.
This did not happen though! It was actually the opposite. I started to focus on more important things in my health and life and I felt amazing. It relieved so much stress, that I rarely feel the need to overeat. It’s been a total mind shift for me and that’s why I want to share this post with you! If you are feeling stuck and you are obsessing over that damn number, this post is for you!
Why I Ditched the Scale
1. My Mental Health
As I said previously, the number on the scale started to have an impact on my happiness. I started to obsess over it and it was causing me to have more stress and anxiety. This may seem crazy to some, but I’m guessing if you are reading this post you have at least on some level felt this way. This is no way to live.
When I came to the point where I was weighing myself several times throughout the day, I knew I had to stop. Looking back this seems crazy to me that I gave the scale that much time in my day. Once I ditched the scale, I felt like a huge weight (no pun intended) was lifted off my shoulders.
I could now focus on much more important things, like my family, my fitness, and this blog! Ditching the scale was a huge mind-shift for me. Every time I would start to think about it I would redirect my thoughts to something productive. This also completely changed my relationship with food, because I no longer thought about how each food was going to affect that number.
Now I think of food as fuel. I focus on fueling my body with the most nutritious foods I can. Another advantage of ditching the scale, was now I can have dessert and not feel guilty. I don’t overdo it, but I have my treats when I really want them and eat healthy most of the time. I began to realize that weighing myself had just become a bad habit and I needed to get rid of it for good. If you have bad habits or a hard time sticking to good ones, read Atomic Habits by James Clear. This book is a game-changer!
Want to check out some of my healthy recipes?
The Best Salad for Weight Loss
Best Breakfast Smoothie for Weight Loss
Healthy Vegan Protein Bites
2. There Are Better Ways to Measure Progress
Another reason why I ditched the scale is I know there are better ways to measure progress. I have chosen to focus on other aspects of my health rather than a number on a scale. When I was only focusing on the scale, I really didn’t pay as much attention to other areas of my health that were improving. After all, if that damn number wasn’t what I wanted it to be, I didn’t feel I was making any progress at all. Seems crazy right?!
Here are just a few things I now focus on!
- How my clothes fit
- My lack of headaches
- Energy level
- Less fatigue
- My mood and patience
- My strength and endurance during my workouts
- Healthy digestion
- My skin
Yes, I used to ignore all of these things and only go by the scale. Just typing this makes me realize how ridiculous it is to focus on that number for even a second.
3. It’s Not an Accurate Measure of Health
When we think about overall health we have to look at several different aspects other than our weight. Yes, our weight can determine whether we are at a healthy BMI, but it’s not a one size fits all approach.
If you look at several people that are the same height and weight you will realize they can be completely different levels of health. Some may have more lean muscle mass, while others have a much larger body fat percentage. Weight is just not accurate when determining how healthy someone is. Our genetics play a roll in this too. We are all built differently and have different amounts of fat and muscle. Both of these things can affect that number on the scale.
Our weight can fluctuate from day to day for many different reasons:
- Our salt intake- consuming high amounts of salt will make you retain water, which will affect the number on the scale.
- What you ate or drank that day- all food and water have weight to them, so weighing yourself throughout the day is inaccurate. If you drink an 8 oz glass of water it will make the scale go up half a pound. This clearly does not mean you gained a half a pound of body fat.
- Did you eat lots of carbs today- eating carbohydrates will make you hold onto water, which will cause the scale to go up. Eat fewer carbs the next day along with lots of water and this will go away.
- What time of the month is it- yep at that time of the month we hold onto more water weight. Us women are so lucky, aren’t we?!
- How is your digestive system working- how often we are going to the bathroom will have a great effect on the number on the scale.
Take all of these things into consideration when weighing yourself. If you insist on weighing yourself, just keep in mind there are so many factors going into that number and it can fluctuate 3-5 pounds on any given day.
When I decided to ditch the scale, I by no means ditched a healthy lifestyle. It’s not like I don’t care what that number is so I’m just gonna eat what I want. No! Not at all! I still focus on eating nutritious foods and increasing my strength, but now without that anxiety or fear of the scale.
If you are struggling and are in a similar situation, I hope this post helps you. Healthy is all about mental health as well, and obsessing over the scale is far from healthy. Focus on how you feel overall and continue on your health and fitness journey with a happy content mind.
Please comment below with any thoughts or stories you would like to share. I would love to hear from you!