Once upon a time, I used to weight myself every day.
I’d set foot on that scale, hoping the number would be lower than it was the day before. If it were, I knew it’d be a good day. Most often, though, it wasn’t. There would be no change or, worse, the number had sneakily crept up. Only slightly so. But enough to make me feel like a failure and ruin the rest of my day.
I was obsessed by that number. My self-worth was based on it. It shouldn’t have been. A scale is just a piece of plastic that measures force, and our relationship to gravity. It doesn’t tell us how healthy, strong, and talented we are. It doesn’t tell the entire story.
I, and you, are much more than a number on a scale. The sooner we realise that, the sooner we can start to lead happy and fulfilled lives. So, throw that scale away.
There are so many reasons why you should. Here are those that helped me break up my abusive relationship with my scale. I hope they’ll help you too.
1. The scale weighs everything, not just fat
We may be obsessed with fat, but our scale isn’t. It measures everything. Fat, muscles, water, bones, the food we eat, even the clothes we wear (if we don’t weight ourselves naked, of course)… That means our weight fluctuates daily, if not hourly.
You could have a big lunch and put on a few grams, and then, a few hours later, go to the bathroom and lose them all. You could eat too much salt, which makes you retain water, and see the number on the scale go up a bit. Or you could lose five kilos, but that could just be water, not fat.
2. Fat or muscle? The scale can’t tell
So, you’ve just started exercising, sure you lost some weight, are all excited and hyped up while you step foot on the scale and… wait… what?! Now you actually weight more than when you were a couch potato?! How’s that possible?
Muscle weighs more than fat, even though it takes up less space. When we exercise, we lose fat, but we gain muscle. So, the scale tells us that we’ve put on weight. Because we have. But we’ve also probably lost inches and can get back into that old pair of jeans that’s been lying in our closet since forever.
The scale can’t tell when our body composition changes, even when it’s for the better. It’s not that smart.
3. The scale doesn’t measure health
The scale says nothing about our health. If you’ve started exercising and gained muscle, the number on the scale will go up. If you give that number too much importance, you can feel disheartened.
And that’ll blind you to the real results. You can now run a mile longer, or climb the stairs without being left out of breath anymore. Your medical condition has improved. You have more energy. You even sleep better. You are healthier now. You’re on the right track. Don’t let a stupid number on a stupid scale derail you.
On the other end, you may be starving yourself to fit into a size 0 dress. Seeing that number on the scale go down every week may feel rewarding and exhilarating. But it’s not healthy. You’re just hurting yourself. But the scale won’t tell you that. It doesn’t care if you’re healthy or not.
4. Different people carry weight differently
We all come in different shapes and sizes. 80 kg look different on different people. Height, built, genes… they all play a part in how we carry weight. The scale doesn’t take into consideration that either.
5. A £10 appliance shouldn’t determine your self-worth
You are an amazing human being. Beautiful. Strong. Caring. Talented. A number on a scale shouldn’t determine your self-worth. It shouldn’t make you loathe yourself and ruin your day. It’s your feelings, your actions, your values, your dreams, your kindness that should influence the way you feel about yourself. Don’t give that power to a £10 appliance that’s constantly lying to you.
Are you ready to break up with your scale now too?