You get up in the morning, stumble into the bathroom, do your business, undress, and get on the scale. Is this healthy behavior?
Yes. It’s perfectly legit to weigh yourself naked in the morning.
Is it healthy to weigh yourself as soon as you can after each meal or let the number on the scale occupy most of your waking moments throughout the day? No. This kind of compulsive relationship with the scale can rob you of your happiness, leave you feeling depressed, and lower your self-esteem. Think about it. If you had a friend that was constantly nagging you and had the power to determine your mood based on one word they spoke to you, would you continue to be their friend?
I hope the answer is no. That’s why you need to break up with the scale. You can say “hi” to it and be polite, but no more Girl’s Nights Out with that thing. The two of you aren’t besties anymore. If that morning weigh-in seems to set you off, then back off. Weekly weigh-ins to make sure things are on track are fine. It’s like texting an acquaintance just to say hi.
Besides taking up a lot of your precious time, what are some of the other reasons to stay off the scale?
Do you stay in the same mood all day? Do you wear the same thing to an exercise class that you would wear to a business dinner? Is the temperature the same every day, all day? Things change. Like your weight. Your weight can change 5 or 6 (maybe more) pounds a day depending on your salt intake, water consumption, and other factors. The week before my period I can barely look at salt without adding weight. The point is that weight fluctuates and that is a normal thing.
I can tell you the calorie count of any food known to man and eyeball a portion size within .01 of an ounce. Am I bragging? Not at all. No one should have their mental space full of this stuff. I missed out on so many important, interesting conversations because I was mentally calculating my caloric intake instead of giving my attention to the person in front of me. This constant barrage of numbers led me to be anorexic. The control I had over this part of my life – even just numerically – was comforting to me. Eating only for calorie sake (or not eating because of calories) destroys the way you tune into your body’s hunger cues. One day you may be starving and the next day not so much. Hello, balance.
Counting calories can also lead you to make food choices that aren’t the healthiest. Having 1200 calories of just Cheerios and skim milk is not the way to fuel your body.
Skinny Won’t Solve Your Problems
No matter what you weigh, your problems will still be your problems. And if your problem is that you think you weigh too much, that’s not the problem. The problem is why you weigh too much. Work on fixing the problems that led to weight gain. In other words, aim for making healthier choices in your life and weight loss will a side effect of that. If the problem is that you think you weigh too much, but you don’t actually weigh too much, there are other issues there. Find someone to help you work through them.
Hang Out with Friends and Family More
Having alone time is great. Having only alone time because you are afraid of either eating too much or not eating enough in front of other people is not great. What is your motivation for not being around people? If it’s solely because of calories and the scale, then you may need to rethink your priorities. Memories with your loved ones can’t be weighed.
The Bottom Line
The number on the scale is just the measure of the pull of gravity on your body. That’s it. It doesn’t calculate the love you send and receive daily. It doesn’t measure how much your kids adore you. It doesn’t call you up and ask you to grab a drink. The scale won’t be there for you when life gets tough or hold your hand when you need reassurance.
If all the scale does for you is mess with your head, then tell it good-bye.
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