Believe it or not, the scale doesn’t hate you. It’s just doing a job— reporting your weight. It doesn’t assess your worth. It isn’t judging you. It isn’t out to get you or trying to ruin your day. We, our harshest critics, do all of that by assigning bogus meaning to the number it reports.
It’s funny how much power we give to this little contraption. I mean, how many times have you allowed the reported number to dictate your mood for the day? A “good” number causes a surge of jubilation, while a “bad” number starts an incessant flow of negative thoughts that infect the day. Believe me, I’ve had my fair share of, “Are you freaking kidding?” moments after stepping on the scale. But, let me tell you something, allowing the scale to have control over your emotions is a waste of your beautiful life.
So, what’s a gal to do? Avoid the scale. Just live fit and assess your progress another way. That is definitely a route you can go. Many women are extremely happy doing so. That said, a scale-free life just isn’t for me. Let me explain…
Don’t Fear The Scale
There was a time when I avoided the scale like sugar alcohols. On those rare occasions when I had to jump on the scale, I found myself experiencing some serious anxiety before I did. (I know it sounds crazy, but I’m not alone here.) Whenever I start to feel fear and worry about something, I don’t let it fester or build. Rather, I just face it. So, as a way of meeting this irrational fear head-on, I started jumping on the scale daily. Overtime, my fears and worries were neutralized. I began seeing the scale as a tool and the number it provides as data.
Now that being said, I don’t weigh myself daily anymore, but I still do every few days. Why so often?
1. Keeps me on track when dieting. We all are extremely busy with numerous responsibilities constantly tugging at our time and energy. Weighing myself is a simple habit that keeps my goals top of mind.
2. Keeps me on track when trying to maintain. When not prepping for a show or a shoot, it is easy to let your eating and exercise habits slide a bit. If you aren’t tuned into your body, you can easily pack on pounds without really even noticing. By weighing yourself somewhat regularly, you can make small adjustments to your nutrition and training to keep yourself in close proximity to where you want to be.
3. Helps me become more aware of my body. Weighing myself regularly has allowed me to understand my body. For example, after tracking my weight over time, I know what days in my cycle I tend to hold a lot of water. Now, I do my best to adjust my diet before and during those days to alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms.
So, if you want to heal your relationship with the scale, here are my recommendations for learning to LOVE the scale:
1. Weigh yourself first thing in the morning. Don’t weigh yourself 10 times a day, just do it every few days at the same time. You want an apple to apple comparison.
2. Keep a journal. Keep a fitness journal to record your workouts, make notes about your nutrition, what’s going on in your life and record your weight.
3. Remember, it’s just a number. Your value as a fab, fit woman is not measured in pounds. So, don’t assign a whole lot of meaning to the number… think about it as data. Use that data to inform your decisions about your fitness journey. However, one data point is never sufficient. Look at the data trends over two weeks as an indicator of where you are. Utilize other methods (measurements, pictures) to help you as well.
4. Don’t overreact. It’s really easy to overreact if the number hasn’t budged in five days after some serious effort on your part. You must resist the urge to double your cardio and slash your calories. Be patient. It takes time for your body to respond and the weight loss to show. You know in your heart if you have been truly living the fit life or if you’ve been off track. So stick to your program for at least 14 full days before making any adjustments.
Push Toward Your Best
In the journey to your best, choose a fitness program that feels doable for the long haul and be patient with results. (I know, easier said than done!) Don’t have what I call Fitness ADD— where you are constantly looking for a new solution that promises more results in less time. Believe me… the grass usually isn’t greener! Faster results usually don’t stick, because you haven’t formed habits sustainable for a lifetime. So, commit yourself to staying the course with the slow and steady route. It takes patience and restraint, but it’ll give you sustainable success! Keep pushing— your best is waiting.
Not sure where to start with your diet? Try this simple 6-step meal plan.
For more dieting success tips, check out the Dieter’s Handbook.