Ditching the scale | 4 great reasons to stop weighing yourself

Ditching the scale | 4 great reasons to stop weighing yourself

Growing up, my family never had a scale in our house. Going to the doctor’s office was fascinating for me because I got to hop on the scale and see how big I had grown. I remember hoping to be just one inch taller, or just a couple pounds bigger so I could finally ride the roller coasters.

But as I started getting older, a distinct change began. Instead of hoping for bigger and bigger numbers, I began hoping they would stay small. Just hold on a second, nurse, let me remove my heavy coat because I’m sure I actually weigh less. You know… you just want an accurate reading. But for a lot of us, that number on the scale becomes an obsession. I’ve been there, and so has everyone else.

Paying attention that number on the scale is not a healthy way to gauge your health. As long as we are focusing on that number that the scale provides, we aren’t going to be concentrating on a healthy lifestyle – we’ll be working for quick results.

Looking back, not having a scale in my home growing up was one of the best things my mother could have done for us. We were able to learn the habits of a healthy lifestyle versus picking up the habits to losing weight. There is a difference; and to fully embrace it, you have to chuck that scale. Here are 4 great reasons why you should throw away your scale:

 

Mental Health

Every time we step on the scale, we are setting ourselves up for failure. Even if we hit our goal weight this time, there will be ten more times when we don’t. Seeing ourselves fail time after time takes a huge toll on mental health. Not seeing the number you were hoping for will have you feeling bad about yourself. Next thing you know, you’ll be compensating for those bad feelings by indulging in a box of Twinkies – because why not? You didn’t hit your goal anyways.

It’s an unhealthy rollercoaster to try to ride. Not hitting goals gets us into a depressed and self-conscious state.

Focus on Your Habits, Not Your Goal Weight

Don’t get me wrong, having a goal is really important. Whether it’s in our careers, with friends, or with our health, goals can help to remind us of what we are working towards. But when we set a goal weight, instead on doing what is best for our health, we end up yo-yo dieting our way towards that number.

Creating healthy habits is what is going to enable you to sustain your healthy lifestyle and ultimately get you in the best shape.

What You See Isn’t What You Get

It’s also important to keep in mind that your weight is not a reflection of your overall health. You’ve probably heard that muscle weighs more than fat – and it’s true! So many times, I’ve worked with or talked to people who are doing an amazing job balancing physical activity and a healthy diet but then their scale number plateaus and they can’t figure out why. The only problem here, is that they are looking at that number for validation; when instead they should only be validating themselves with how great they feel. They’ve come to the point where they are gaining muscle and losing fat – but their scale doesn’t know the difference.

Allow for Variation

Did you know that you can gain and lose up to seven pounds in the same day? And it’s pure water weight. When you wake up, your body is somewhat dehydrated and in a fasted state – of course you will weigh less! In addition to this, it’s completely possible for two women to weigh the exact same and be the same size, yet look completely different in bikinis. There is so much variation in that number on the scale. At the end of the day, it’s better to leave it to the doctors to worry about that number and allow yourself to focus on how great you feel.

 

Written by Amber O’Neal

Amber O'Neal

With over 12 years of professional health and wellness experience, Amber is well-respected by her peers in the fitness and nutrition community. In addition to speaking to corporate and community audiences, she is a freelance fitness and nutrition writer and media expert who has been featured in numerous newspapers and magazines including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Marie Claire, and Heart & Soul. Her television appearances include CBS, NBC and FOX affiliates as well as the NBC Nightly News.