In our lives we’ve all had relationships with scales… and it’s usually a love/hate relationship.
THE SCALE – our judge, jury, condemner, slammer of our self-esteem and worth. The “thing” that has the ability to take our good, happy day and turn it to crap based on what numbers dial up like a slot machine in Vegas. Those numbers can make us feel like a million bucks or a huge failure.
If the numbers are “good” we allow it to stroke our self-esteem… like our personal value is hinging on those numbers. If we determine they are “bad” then it can single handedly take us down, making us feel instantly bad about ourselves. Might as well paint a big loser symbol on our chest and send us out into the world.
Let’s establish this right now… you are not “just” a set of numbers… ok ?? There is far more to you than a set of numbers.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The scale does have a value, but it’s a tool, and there are times we need to use that tool, but use it wisely.
When I started my fitness journey, I needed to lose weight, and my weekly weigh in’s were important to my progress.
Did you note the key word here? Weekly. Not many times in a week, a day, or several times a day, weekly… once.
I won’t lie. I was in the same boat.
Some weeks, I loved the damn thing. Other weeks, I had to resist throwing it out the window. I understood for my progress to be successful it needed to be slow and steady, which it was. Some weeks there was more, some less, but it was forward movement.
You know what that scale didn’t tell me ? What it doesn’t tell you?
How awesome you are no matter your size, even as you are seeking to be less of you. It doesn’t take away that amazing feeling you have finishing a workout. Before I’d lost any weight worth mentioning, I mentally felt great after coming in from my walks (that’s where I started in the beginning before, the sickness started, you know, the sickness that is making me run a 50K 😉
The scale also doesn’t show all the cool stuff that is going on INSIDE you. It doesn’t show your lab tests improving, your heart and lung health getting stronger, your resting heart rate getting lower (and a whole lot of other scientific stuff) or the way you think of yourself, your growing confidence and stronger self-esteem, or the way those workouts help you feel less stressed.
Nor does it show how empowered you are becoming with each workout and positive step forward.
No. It won’t show you any of that.
Being a certain number doesn’t make you “healthy”…. nor does striving to just be “thin”….. it can make you skinny fat which basically means you have more body fat percentage than lean muscle mass. Ah, the benefits of building lean muscle mass… another topic to be pursued….
The goal shouldn’t be to get “thin”. Oh, years ago when I was starting to lose weight that WAS my mentality.
“I just want to be thin and fit in size 10 jeans again!” at that point that’s all I knew….all I wanted. Make the scale say less… life would be good.
I didn’t realize it could be so much better than just a quest to be “thin” and trying to achieve some perceived number of “perfection.”
But then…. things happened along the way. Yeah, I was losing fat. But other cool stuff was happening too.
Losing fat let my muscles start showing up. Lifting weights wasn’t just giving me some muscles but making me stronger for ALL of my daily living. I went from cute 5lb weights to the 35lb I currently use.
Running was shaping me in crazy ways. My legs are not only wildly strong but have awesome muscles. I can’t tell you the times total strangers stop me to comment my legs. My abs leaned out. Actually I can’t tell you a single area that running hasn’t improved on me.
I got faster. I could lift more. I tackled projects in life without needing someone “stronger” to help me.
I got mentally stronger….tougher. My confidence grew. I was empowered and didn’t ( and don’t) consider that there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do.
Oh wait…… hold on ……. do you see my numbers at work here ? Defining me ? No, I don’t either.
You see now days I’m more concerned about what my body can do, and how it can perform doing the things I ask of it, rather than if my numbers are bouncing around on any given day. Today I can’t think of a better compliment than when someone tells me I look strong.
I honestly get on a scale maybe twice a year and it’s at the doctors office. Total freedom.
You see the scale was a “tool” to get me moving. I used it for it’s purpose. It allowed me to see my efforts of eating better and moving more were having results.
Today, all my clothes are single digit sizes. Remember me mentioning all I wanted was to get back into my size 10’s? I never thought a day would come they’d be two sizes to big. As long as my clothes fit well, I don’t concern myself over numbers hopping around on any given day.
I mean, why ? Don’t we have enough in our days to trouble us ? Enough negative to potentially bring us down? Do we need to give something like …a scale… that kind of power ??
Ok…. the take away for you my lovely 1.5 readers….
The scale is a tool. Use it as one ( wisely) on your weight loss journey.
It is not your moral judgment.
If you are at the weight you desire to be, how your clothes fit should be a good indicator of your weight, however, if you check in with it, once every week or two is probably enough.
Remember, you are not defined by a number! It’s doesn’t give you value or take away your value.
Focus on all the cool things that make you feel strong, empowered, and confident.
Celebrate your body and what it can do. There’s only one of you in all your awesomeness.
Most of all, love yourself, on the journey to your destination =)