To weigh thyself, or to not weigh thyself?
My weight loss journey began for two reasons - 1) I was
tired exhausted by my daily battle with my closet and 2) the number on my bathroom scale was not my friend. I used to drink & weigh. You know, instead of drunk dialing it was a dare to see how much I really weighed, something I could only follow through on with a little liquid encouragement. Although those days are gone my relationship with the scale is one I still contend with and I know I am not alone in this.
Do you start your day like this - wake up, go pee, get totally naked, and then weigh yourself? It may be one of your most secret behaviors but I promise you there are many women partaking in this same morning ritual. In my work and at Aleda Fitness we are major cheerleaders of using how you feel to gauge your body satisfaction rather than how you measure against the pull of gravity, a.k.a. your scale weight. I preach daily how much your scale can't measure (more on that in a moment) but I personally don't weigh myself anymore. Why? Because it was never about proving how awesome I was, it was about proving how much I didn't measure up to.
If the number read something I was happy with I feared my cravings because they would certainly take me back to a number I didn't like. And if the number read something I was not happy with - well you know how that feels. I would let that minute or so ruin my good mood, or how I felt in my clothes that day. It would ruin if my body felt good or energized. This tool was no longer serving me so I decided to get rid of it. If your scale wasn't dictating how you felt about yourself, how would that change how you saw yourself? It's liberating, right?
What about the things your scale can't measure? Your scale can't measure...what kind of person you are, how you take care of other people, how you live your life on purpose, or how much you care for your friends or your children or your partner. Your scale can't measure how sexy you look in those jeans or how great of a laugh you have. Your scale can't measure these things because your body weight doesn't determine the happy parts of life. Sometimes we believe, "If I lost weight, then I would be happy." But happiness is not an external experience. Happiness starts on the inside.
If you must get on the scale then here are a few reminders I suggest you keep in mind -
If you don't feel great about yourself today, don't weigh yourself
If you already don't feel great don't add the pressure of your weight to the mix. Nothing good will come from it! If you wake up and have low energy, are bloated, didn't get great sleep, or have a lot on your plate that day don't use your scale to prove a point. Start your day with something that will help you feel good.
Use your scale for positive feedback
Sometimes when working on a particular goal the scale can be helpful IF you are taking action during the week to make your scale a positive tool. For example - if you followed through on your plan, feel good about your food and workouts, are in a positive place mentally then your scale can be a measurement tool. If you are unhappy with the results then get busy deciding HOW you will change your actions the next week. If you aren't prepared to make changes don't get on the scale because it will only make you feel helpless which is never helpful.
Limit how often you weigh yourself
Daily measurements are a bit misleading. Our bodies are always in flux - temperature, food choices, hormones, sleep, stress, etc. all have an impact on the body and what your body is made up of. Your weight is not all made up of fat, remember you are also bone, tissue, blood, organs, and water. The #1 thing a minor increase in weight tends to be is water! Daily measurements may fluctuate by as much as 5 pounds. If you really want to keep your scale in your life I suggest only stepping on once per week and take note with the time of month and how your body feels in general.