For as long as I can remember, I have been in a toxic relationship with my scale. For the better part of my “adulthood” I have measured more than a number on its digital display, admittedly way more than I should have. But now I am done, we are through, and I am breaking up with my scale.
Falling into the trap of fancy functions, the scale has become a no-good series of relationships. Even through upgrades, I still get kicked in the emotional gut eventually. It is an old belief to base our health on the number on the scale, rather than tracking our health by other key measurements.
The scale does have its place medically to track weight as a whole or to help diagnose or treat diseases, but the number itself should not have an impact on your daily life.
I was scared to give up the square machine at first because it had become a bad habit to weigh myself, knowing full well that I was setting myself and my body up for disappointment. Admitting it was a problem was the first step, as any relationship in life goes. I just wish that it had dawned on me earlier.
Every person has their own personal issues with weight, ranging from too high or too low, or somewhere in between, a magical goal number that does not exist. I have struggled with both, when I should have listened to what my body was telling me instead. Was I giving my body what it needed to have optimal output? The fact that I based what I did to my body after seeing the number, makes that answer a short and simple no.
If you are struggling with letting go of your long-term relationship with the scale, let my trials and tribulations help you on your journey.
Put the scale away
While this seems like stating the obvious, it is not as simple as throwing it out on the next trash day. More of an out of sight, out of mind approach like the sodas I have hiding in the garage refrigerator, you might actually need the scale at some point. If it is not within easy reach, eventually your mind will stop looking for it every morning, week, post fun weekends, etc.
I also was worried that my daughter was starting to peek at my daily habit of pulling out the scale before getting dressed in the morning, little eyes big minds.
Put trust in your body
As I sit here writing this, at thirty-six fabulous years old, I am at my heaviest weight I have ever been (with the exception of two pregnancies). Over the last year I watched the number slowly go up, despite the fact that I have hit fitness goals that I couldn’t even dream of ten years ago. For months, I ignored what my body was doing, how it was changing, and pushed it all into negative emotions because of one thing—the damn number on the scale.
Body acceptance is hard. As women, every year older changes our bodies in ways that we cannot expect, and comparison to others is natural.
Learn to trust your body, treat it well and romance it until the love is mutual.
Focus on health
Weight is not the indication of being in good health. I was completely out of shape when the number on the scale was smaller. I have limited calories my body desperately needed when I started to weigh more. That is not health.
Set goals for fitness, start small. I just completed my first one hundred mile challenge last month and instead of daily weight checks, I am admiring my never before seen leg muscles that weigh more.
Focus on moving your body daily, eating a balanced diet and sleeping enough. Treat your body like the temple it is and you will notice a difference. Our bodies are allowed to change as we get older and have children, and by golly after a hard day, we are allowed to have a slice of cake.
Regular physicals and checkups are necessary; give yourself the time to do them.
Put the scale away and breathe.