Here's why I finally broke up with the scale and why you should too!
The scale and I had a love-hate relationship for a long, long time. I'm a creature of habit. So I used to weigh myself every morning. I found this was a way to keep myself accountable and to stay motivated for my fitness and nutrition goals.
During my bikini competition prep I developed a really unhealthy relationship with the scale. I started to weigh myself several times per day, which didn't change after the competition and I got quite discouraged to see the number slowly increase.
As I realised that the number on the scale set my mood for the day and how I feel about myself, I decided to throw it away.
Why you should break up too
Your self-worth is taking a toll
The scale is by no means a measurement of your self-worth! We all have our goal weight in mind and there's nothing wrong with that (in fact, it can be quite motivating).
However, you are more than a damn number! Don't allow a scale to determine your worth, value or your self-image. It's tragic that my daily weigh-in determined how I was going to feel about myself in just 5 seconds.
Do yourself a favour and don't let a piece of plastic determine how you feel about your self.
It hinders you to truly listen to your body
Weighing yourself often can really get into your head. Back when I did that, I woke up feeling good and energised. But then I stepped on the scale and it read heavier than what I thought it would. Boom, now I no longer felt energised, but fluffy.
You stop listen to how you actually feel. Living a healthy lifestyle is about so much more than losing weight. Your mood brightens, your skin clears up, your energy levels raise, your focus sharpens. Start to take notice of how healthier choices affect your body and mind.
You easily forget about non-scale victories
There are so many other noticeable changes, than just your weight! You'll miss out on them if the scale is your only measurement of success. Here are just a few:
- When your clothes are suddenly two sizes smaller
- When your diet is well balanced and your cravings are gone (and the binge eating, too)
- You're no longer ashamed to wear a bikini
- When waking up early to work out becomes the norm
- Getting off certain medication
- When you can lift heavier than two weeks ago
- When you discover new cuts
- When you realise the seatbelt on the plane has more room
There are tons of other non-scale victories. Remember to celebrate them too because they actually show the change in your lifestyle! Let them make you proud. The change in your health and body is the most important aspect during this journey - take notice of every small change. Don't let a number take over!
It doesn't accurately measure your health and weight loss accomplishments
Just started with weightlifting? Then your weight can actually increase or stagnate, because you add more muscle mass to your frame, while losing fat. This is called "newbie gains". Meaning, you might experience a period of rapid improvement in strength, size and muscle.
Many people still think that the less you weigh, the healthier you are. This is utter nonsense.
Your weight tells only very little about whether you're moving in the right direction with your health or not. Furthermore, it tells nothing about your relationship to food, hormones, digestive health or inflammatory status. All of which are crucial parts of a weight loss & fitness journey.
It can be addictive
Believe me when I say, that the scale can be a very addictive tool. Especially nowadays, when women often feel the pressure to be a certain size. We tend to attach more meaning to things than is rational.
Your weight fluctuates throughout the day
Weighing yourself daily isn't an accurate method.
Did you just go to the bathroom, eat a big meal, drink a lot of water or is it "that time of the month"? So many things can make the number go up or down.
Even throughout a month. There are certain times where you might be heavier. For example, the day after a good feast or after a salty meal. You'll retain a lot of water due to excess carbohydrates and sodium.
However, if you choose to use a scale to track your progress, weigh yourself weekly or monthly to spot a trend in your body weight. Weigh yourself in the morning, after your first toilet visit. This way you'll get the most accurate readings.
The scale can't measure your lean muscle mass
Is it fat or is it muscle? The scale can't tell, because all it measures is your overall body weight. Even body fat scales are nonsense. One problem with them is that they are completely inaccurate. Many variables affect the results, including how hydrated you are, when you last ate and exercised, and even whether your feet are highly calloused or dirty, as well as the type and quality of the product itself.
Rather use the mirror to determine if you look leaner/better/more athletic than last week. Numbers aren't everything!
How to measure your success instead
Take progress pics
Losing weight doesn't happen over night. It's a gradual process where you can sometimes forget how far you've come.
To notice the change, start to take "before" and "after" pictures from different angles. Do them monthly to get an accurate comparison. Always use the same camera, angles and the same lighting. Don't fool yourself!
It's one of the nicest ways to tell if you're losing weight. Nearly everybody has a favourite pair of jeans, dress or shirt lying around, which is too small. Try it on. If it's less tight than before, than your hard work is paying off.
Actually, your clothes can fit looser even if the scale doesn't move.
Measure body fat percentage
Here's the thing: you don't want to lose weight, but rather body fat. Measuring your body fat percentage is a nice method to track that.
Not only is it necessary to figure out how many calories you need to lose fat, maintain or gain muscle, it's also a very good indicator of how lean you are - way better than the useless BMI.
To measure your body fat percentage you can use callipers, pictures or you can take a DEXA scan. Callipers are a cheaper way to measure your body fat - compared to the DEXA scan. The cheap ones are not very accurate and the "real" ones cost around 200 bucks. And they can be errorprone as well.
The reason why we recommend using pictures: it works and is good enough. If you are honest to yourself, you'll get close to your real percentage range. Plus it's free, quick and you don't need any equipment.
Do you want to try to ditch the scale, but you are nervous? Here's a challenge for you: Don't weigh yourself for the next 30-days. Start to focus on how you feel and become more in-tune with your body.
Let me know how it's going in the comments down below!