To Ditch or Not To Ditch The Scale

The dreaded scale. Its how so many judge their success, their health and their self worth. I don’t know about you but I have stepped onto that bad boy a time or two and have not been thrilled about what it read. I’ve felt defeated after several days or heck weeks of clean eating, moving my body with intense workouts and not seeing the number budge or worse watching it go up. I think many of us, especially of the female variety, can get pretty caught up on that number. For so many years if I didn’t lose weight I wasn’t worthy, I was a failure & I was fat. Funny what our minds can do over a number.

Now don’t get me wrong the scale can be a useful tool and for some incredible humans seeing that number shift up doesn’t send the into a full on panic attack, their stomach doesn’t tighten into a knot, they don’t judge and they don’t feel the need to go hit the gym immediately and incessantly until the weight goes down. These foreign creatures can simply look at that number without judgement and note that they may have had some recent changes to lifestyle that impacted that number. For me it honesty depends on the day. Some days i’m totally chill even when I’ve packed on an extra five pounds while other days its a full-on WTF did I do?

It wasn’t until I threw away my scale for an entire year that the trigger became less triggerous. {Its my blog I can make up words right?} I started to notice other things —my energy, how when I slept better I became more toned, how if I had less inflammatory foods I was less puffy. The focus shifted

I believe that as a culture we are far too focused on numbers — BMI, calories & weight that at the end of the day don’t tell us a whole lot. When it comes to actually tuning into our bodies many of the women I work with don’t even know where to start. They can’t tell what foods leave them feeling energized or foggy, they don’t noticed that subtle up-shift in energy after a workout or how they totally in-flow after a yoga mesh. This was me for a long time so absorbed in starving my body, absorbed with “looking hot” and living in the fear of getting fat that the other things don't register.

While I was working at a hospital I met with a patient who had been attending a weight loss classes I was teaching at the time. He stated that he wasn’t sure if he was going to keep coming because he wasn’t losing weight. I sat him down and really looked at what was going on. He mentioned he was eating less sweets, swimming 3 days per week and reducing portion sizes. I asked him if he noticed any changes aside from the scale not shifting. He mentioned he FELT better & was down two notches on his belt but in his mind those were not success because that number on the scale didn’t budge. Was he a healthier person, absolutely but because of that damn scale he didn’t even allow himself to acknowledge his accomplishments.

So if you’re on a weight loss journey I would encourage you to focus on other changes happening in your body as well. There are so many signs that indicate massive shifts in your health!

  • Are you pants fitting looser?

  • Do you have more energy?

  • Are you cravings down?

  • Are those abs a little more visible?

  • Are you going to the bathroom more regularly?

  • Do you have less brain fog?

If you’re sitting here thinking, “well I don’t care how healthy I am”, I just want to be hot & skinny. I too have been there. There was a time I would have done anything to lose those last 10 pounds. There was a time where I would eat 1 bagel w/ peanut butter, an apple and carrots and hummus for an entire day. I get it. Recognize that this obsession with your body is usually a sign that you haven’t fallen in love with all of you. I starved myself because I was ashamed of the fact that I was overweight for most of my childhood, I hated that little girl and at the end of the day I thought being skinny was the only way to be loved. There was work to do before I could get to the place where I wasn’t constantly obsessed with my body.

So next time your weight jumps 5 pounds in a day start with releasing judgement. Remember it is just a number. It could be water weight, it could be muscle, it could be the 15 cookies you ate but there is no need to judge it. I love laughing when insecurity and judgement sneak up. I literally laugh at how silly it is that I’m freaking out about 5 pounds when there are much bigger problems of the world. I also like to play investigator like oh this is interesting I seem to have picked an extra five pounds. Then I ask myself:

  • Did I have a really salty meal yesterday, could I be holding onto extra water weight?

  • Is it that time of the month because LBR my weight goes up a few days every month?

  • How are my clothes fitting me?

  • Have I been doing more weight training? {Especially if its a more gradual increase and your pants are fitting differently.}

  • Did I do an intense workout yesterday? {Inflammation from multiple sources including working out can cause your body to hold not excess water weight.}

And if you’re still freaking out maybe its time to let go of the scale obsession and release it for a few months or even years and when you’re ready to come back to it or are no longer triggered I recommend using something like the Renpho scale as it provides me with a breakdown of body fat percentage, water weight, etc it helps me wrap my head around whats really going on with my body.