The number on the scale has never been my friend. It has taunted me and followed me around my whole life. Inescapable. From my teen years, where I struggled to lose weight and have no confidence. To today, where it’s not so bad but can still bring my self-esteem to it’s knees. You see, the number of the scale is fickle. It can be our best friend or our worst enemy. It can seem like no big deal or the end of the world. Depending on who we are but also the mood we might be in. It’s also notoriously unreliable. So, how can we ignore the number on the scale and call a truce with our body weight?
For How My Daughter Taught Me Self-Love read here.
Question the Number
My first tip is to always question what you see on the scale. We know that our weight can fluctuate depending on numerous factors. Hence the advice to weigh yourself every day at the same time. This at least allows you to get a more accurate picture. It was my preference to weigh myself upon waking. Before eating or drinking could mess with the number. After all, hormones and bloating, water weight, and what we’ve eaten can all make the numbers rise. Secondly, weight is not always the most accurate indicator. If you’re body shape strays even slightly from the mainstream, the number of the scale may give a false picture. For example, body builders will weigh in on the higher end of the scale. This doesn’t mean their fat; it’s all muscle. So, we need to take this in to account. If you’re surprised by the number on the scale, consider if there are other factors that may cause this.
We live in a weight-loss, diet culture. One which can foster a hypervigilance when it comes to our weight. And possibly the easiest way to track it is the scales. However, if you are happy with your weight, or are uninterested. Then opt-out. We should always remind ourselves that we don’t have to step on those scales. Unless medically necessary, weighing ourselves is an option not a necessity. If you think it will bring down your mood – it certainly has ruined mine in the past. Then don’t. Whilst it may be hard to resist the urge, try and distract yourself if needed.
For Handling Weight Gain in Pregnancy read here.
Focus on How You Feel
If weighing yourself is bad for your mental health. Or for any other reason don’t want. They are all valid. There are other ways we can be aware of our bodies. Acknowledging the impact weighing myself can have. My partner once found me sobbing on the sofa after weighing myself during pregnancy; despite the fact a GP reassured me I couldn’t have gained pounds of weight over night. I’ve moved to other ways of considering if I am losing weight, becoming more toned or any other goal I am aiming for. A great one is to think about how you feel. After all, if you feel good about yourself and are happy and healthy. Then there’s no need to worry about your weight. But you may also wish to think about your mood, productivity, motivation or energy levels. To name but a few. Likewise, you may want to consider your body’s increasing capability. Are you fitter? Can you lift more? How quickly do you recover from exercise? These are all great indicators of changes in your body which don’t rely on the scale. It’s also important to remind ourselves that muscle weighs more than fat. Ergo, one can lose weight but the number on the scale rises due to the heavier muscle you’ve gained.
The Number is Not You
My last piece of advice is to remind you that the number is not you. Whatever number you see on the scale. Does not mean anything about who you are. It is a part of you; and not even the most important part. Who you are as a person is far more important. The scale doesn’t weigh your kindness, sense of humour, intelligence, athleticism, creativity, hobbies, opinions, values or beliefs. The number on the scale is not you. And it doesn’t detract from how amazing you are either.
What are your tips for ignoring the number on the scale? How have you found making the change? As always, let me know below.