5 Reasons Why You Should Stop Weighing Yourself

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“weight provides Little Insight to our overall health”

Today is the day for you to free yourself from the scale.  That pesky device you have sitting in your bathroom that you step on EVERY SINGLE MORNING??  Yeah, it is time to get rid of it.

I might sound crazy, but let me explain--

1. You’re weight does not directly correspond with your health status.

As someone who was anorexic at the age of 14, I can directly attest to this statement.  When I was at my thinnest, I was around 100 lbs at 5’6” tall—basically skin and bones.  I was not healthy.  In fact, my body started to shut down on itself.  My menstrual cycle stopped for about 2 years and I was always freezing cold. This was my body’s way of protecting itself.  It was using all of its energy just to keep me alive and protect my vital organs.

Weight doesn’t give us the whole picture.  Weight doesn’t tell us:

  • How your hormones are functioning

  • How you sleep during the night/ how energized you are throughout the day

  • How hydrated you are

  • How your digestive system is functioning

  • If you have inflammation in the body

  • How effective your immune system is

Your health status is much more than a number on a scale.  Your health status includes how you physically feel, your mood/ behavior, your hormone balance, your gut function, and so much more.  If you really want to know your health status, it is best to get a physical with your Primary Care Physician.  A physical is much much more comprehensive than a digital number on a man-made device.

2. We grow up measuring ourselves against metrics; weight shouldn’t be one of them.

Think back to your childhood.  At an early age we were taught to strive for 100’s on school assignments and to have the shortest time at track practice.  Now, as adults, we are measured against our sale numbers, our salary, or the number of projects we manage.  We have been measuring our progress and success based on numbers our entire lives.  It makes sense that we would naturally want to measure our health against weight (another number).

 But the reality is, as I mentioned above, weight provides little insight to our overall health.  Yes, it is a number they measure at the doctor’s office but think about all the other information they gather in an appointment.  All of this data combined is what helps them determine your health status. 

 So how can you measure your “progress” at the gym or with healthy eating? 

 Consider how you physically & mentally feel.  Sounds crazy, right?

  • Do you sleep better? 

  • Is your digestion better? 

  • Do your pants fit better?

  • Are you more confident?

  • How are your allergy symptoms?

  • Is your energy more stable throughout the day?

  • Are you less moody?

Use these questions to help guide you with your progress! I realize that most of these questions are all subjective.  If you really want/need a number to measure against, do something like: I slept through the night 3 times this week or my mood was stable for 7 days in a row.  Journaling can really help with this.  You can write down how you’re feeling each day and have a record of where you started and how far you’ve progressed.

 

3. Stepping on the scale too often can create mental obstacles

When was the last time you stepped on the scale? Was it this morning? Was it yesterday evening?  How did you feel when you stepped off the scale?  You likely answered “discouraged” if you read a number that increased and you likely answered “motivated” if you read a number that decreased. 

Okay, so how did weighing yourself shape the rest of your day/evening?

  • If you were discouraged from the numbers you saw, you likely had a negative attitude towards yourself and your health.  Some people then find it harder to exercise or eat healthy that day.  You may even adapt the “Why am I even trying” attitude. 

  • If you were motivated from the numbers you saw, you likely will be more productive that day.  You’ll feel a sense of confidence and willpower to keep up the hard work.

Notice how you let one number dictate your mood for the rest of the day.

Once again, let’s focus on how we physically and mentally feel.   Don’t let a number dictate your mood or feelings to yourself. Feed yourself with motivation through quotes on Pinterest or YouTube videos!

4. Obsessively weighing can distract your body from natural cues.

It is no secret that weighing yourself can quickly become obsessive.  You skipped out on your evening glass of wine for 4 nights in a row, surely you lost a few pounds.  On top of the issues mentioned in points 1-3, obsessively weighing yourself can be distracting.   You can no longer determine when you’re truly hungry.  If you weigh yourself and the number is lower that day, you will likely opt to eat more or “treat” yourself.  If you weigh yourself and the number is higher that day, you will likely restrict your eating and tell yourself you’re not as hungry.

When you get away from the scale, you can find the space to intuitively eat.  You’ll find it easier to listen to your body’s cues for hunger.  Are you really hungry for seconds or for Grandma’s cookies? 

Intuitive eating is just like any other new habit-- it will take practice to be good at it.  The best ways to practice are:

  • Eating slowly

  • Drinking water in-between bites

  • Enjoying and engaging with the company you’re eating with

  • Thinking through the 5 senses while you’re chewing:

o   Does the food sound crunchy?

o   What is the texture of the food?

o   How does the food smell? Do you smell garlic?

o   Does the food look appetizing?

o   How does the food taste? Does it have a hint of spice?

Practice intuitive eating and listen to the cues of your body.  If you only eat half of your dinner plate and realize your body is satisfied, pack up the rest for lunch tomorrow!

 

5. Third World countries don’t have weight issues or eating disorders.

 Have you ever thought about how the challenges we deal with today are very much “First-World Problems”?  Men and women in Third World countries are not concerned with their weight.  They are concerned with where their next meal is coming from.  They are concerned with getting enough nutrition.  They don’t have running water nor do they have electricity.  They walk to the river everyday to get their water.  You walk to the faucet. 

In fact, women considered to be “fuller” are actually preferred because it is a sign of prosperity and wealth.  Yes, you read that right, having extra body fat is an ideal in these countries.  Remember, size doesn’t determine their health or worth.

So next time you go to reach for that scale, think about what really, truly matters.  You are privileged to even have the time or resources to own a scale.  Spend your new found time and energy on helping those around you who are less fortunate.

 

Okay so now that you know why you should break up with the scale, it’s time to remove those shackles and get rid of it.  I want you to literally hide the scale, donate it, or heck—throw it out your bathroom window.  Do whatever you need to do to keep yourself from taking your weight.  I ensure you that you will feel a sense of relief and find a new sense of confidence and self-love.

Photography Credit: unsplash-logoi yunmai