Today, I want to help you break up with someone who just isn’t good enough for you. They make you feel like a failure. And they’re holding you back from all of the true awesomeness you already possess. You might be really afraid to break up with this (not-so-special) someone, so please, let me help.
That someone, of course, is your scale. And I want you to dump that thing for good. (Say what?)
I know, I know. Scales are considered by many of us dietitians to be absolutely essential for achieving weight loss goals. I get that the idea of a dietitian telling you to toss out your scale to lose weight probably sounds a little strange.
Well, I’m sorry. But I refuse to accept a weight loss tool that only seems to reverse actual progress, make people feel like complete crap, and that ultimately, steers people further away from the internal tools needed to achieve and maintain long-term weight loss.
I just can’t get down with that.
Okay, maybe there are a few people out there who can handle (maybe even thrive on) weighing in.
But these people do not…
- Allow the number on the scale to dictate their mood for the day. (“I lost a pound, let’s get pizza to celebrate!” or “I gained a pound, so no breakfast for me today.”)
- Feel pressured by society (or another external force) to reach a set “goal weight” and/or body shape.
- Have a history with disordered eating, yo-yo dieting, restriction, and/or binging.
- Doubt their own internal cues in order to choose the foods that help them feel good.
- Have the false perception that life begins once they reach a certain weight.
I’m venturing a guess that if you are reading this blog post, you probably don’t fit into this tiny category. That’s okay, I’m right there with you!
That’s why I ditched my own scale a long time ago. I can honestly say its one of the greatest things I have ever done for my own personal health. Here’s what I learned:
The scale is a distractor.
Repeat after me:
I will not give a (semi-meaningless) number the power to distract me or dictate my thoughts, feelings, and actions. I understand that the number on the scale will not always reflect the positive changes that I am making.
(Did you repeat it?? This is important.)
I have worked with so many people who, from the start, succeeded at making some pretty amazing and impressive positive lifestyle changes. People who worked on eating more vegetables, drinking more water, being more active, etc. These people are usually feeling pretty good about themselves at this point.
Actually, they’re feeling freakin’ fantastic.
They are owning this whole healthy living thing.
Until…they decide that they want to step on the scale “for proof.” <– (FYI, the scale isn’t proving anything – your hydration status, the weather, last night’s dinner, salt intake, and/or the time of month are all factors that can change your weight – but none of them mean that you have gained/not lost fat.)
Unfortunately, after stepping on the scale, these people are almost always disappointed. The number just wasn’t as low as they were wishing for/expecting.
So they give up.
(“What’s the point of all of this? I didn’t lose as much as expected, so this whole balanced, healthy eating thing obviously isn’t working as well as I thought it was. I am a failure. Bring on the potato chips. And the ice cream. And some pizza too. Screw you, vegetables, you’ve never done anything for me anyway.”)
It’s seriously makes me feel sad…and kinda angry too. Because these people were usually feeling great and totally on their way to a natural, happy weight. And they were doing it in a way that was actually sustainable too. All that momentum gone with one “bad” weigh-in.
Problems can come up with “good” weigh-ins too…
(“I lost weight! Let’s get ice cream and pizza and not eat any vegetables today. Because I deserve it!”)
Take a moment to fully understand what’s really going on here.
I’m all for treating yourself but really…are these even things that you actually want?
If yes, then by all means, get your pizza on.
But, with some conscious thought, you may be surprised to realize you’re actually not so interested in eating the foods you thought you “deserved.”
The scale only serves to distract us from what really matters:
Our ability to make lifestyle choices based on what helps us feel our best. These internal cues (that are already inside of us and just waiting to be listened to!) are truly what help us reach a happy weight.
Trust me, the scale is usually the exact opposite of a positive motivator.
The scale is not even an accurate reflection of your health.
So many people tell me that they want to lose weight to “get healthy” and I always have a little problem with this because in reality, weight is only a partial indicator of health.
There are plenty of thin people who aren’t leading healthy lifestyles. And so many obese people who are making positive, health-promoting choices daily.
So let’s separate the two, shall we?
Because research even shows that people who focus on healthy habits (instead of body weight) lose just as much weight as traditional dieters (who are focused on calorie restriction and the number on the scale).
And, here’s the kicker, these “non-dieters” are also more likely to keep that weight off for good.
Don’t fall slave to the scale. Trust yourself. Because making positive and internally-motivated lifestyle changes is the only true way to get – and stay – healthy.
You have an actual life to live.
Don’t ever let the scale take that away from you.
Click here to get learn more about how we can work together one-on-one to reach your weight loss goals without the scale.
Do you own a scale? How does weighing yourself impact your mood or actions? Do you focus on external or internal measures to reach your weight loss goals?